This is an action in lieu of prerogative writ whereby the plaintiffs seek to have ordinance No. 58-3 of the defendant Township of Long Beach declared illegal and void as constituting "spot zoning." The ordinance under attack was adopted on February 21, 1958, and is entitled "An Ordinance Amending and Supplementing the Zoning Ordinance of Long Beach Township."
The Township of Long Beach is composed of four areas which are located on a narrow strip of land, extending from Barnegat Inlet on the north to Beach Haven Inlet on the south, known as Long Beach Island. This island is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Barnegat Bay and Little Egg Harbor Bay on the west, and is within the territorial confines of the County of Ocean, New Jersey.
The four areas are separated from each other by other municipalities. The first area is located at the north end of the island between the southerly boundary of the Borough of Barnegat Light and the northerly boundary of the Borough of Harvey Cedars. The second area is located between the southerly boundary of the Borough of Harvey Cedars and the northerly boundary of the Borough of Surf City. The third area is located between the southerly boundary of the Borough of Ship Bottom, which is adjacent to the Borough of Surf City, and the northerly boundary of the Borough of Beach Haven. The fourth area is located at the south end of the island between the southerly boundary of the Borough of Beach Haven and Beach Haven Inlet. These
separate areas of the township shall hereinafter be referred to as area one, two, three and four respectively.
The Township of Long Beach is zoned by ordinance No. 55-2, as amended and supplemented, adopted May 6, 1955, which is a codification, consolidation and revision of the various zoning ordinances previously adopted by the township, including the township's original zoning ordinance of 1949.
Ordinance No. 55-2 established three types of districts in the Township of Long Beach, namely (1) Residence "A" (one-family residence), (2) Residence "B" (two-family residences) and (3) Business. The four areas of the township were zoned as follows: area one as a Residence "A" District, with the exception of a portion reserved for business uses along Long Beach Boulevard; area two as a Residence "B" District; area three as a Residence "B" District, with the exception of portions zoned as Residence "A" and Business; and area four as a Business District.
Ordinance No. 58-3, which is under attack here, established a "marine commercial district" as a fourth type of district. The buildings and uses permitted in a marine commercial district are as follows:
"(a) The buildings and uses permitted in Residence 'A' and Residence 'B' districts.
(b) Rooming houses, boarding houses, hotels, apartment houses and multiple family dwellings.
(c) Boat yards, marinas, marine railways, boat lifts, docks, piers, facilities for the docking, loading, servicing, repairing, storing and sale of boats; retail sale of marine supplies, equipment and provisions, including the sale of fuel and petroleum products for boats, operation of party and charter boat cruises and U-Drives; boat lockers." (Ord. No. 58-3, § I)
Under the terms of ordinance No. 58-3, 12 parcels of land were designated as "marine commercial districts." Exhibits P-9 through P-18 are maps of surveys made by the township engineer of the marine commercial districts and the area in which they are located. The maps ...