This is an action in lieu of prerogative writs, seeking to set aside a resolution of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Town of Bloomfield, which board denied plaintiff's application for a variance and refused to make a recommendation for the same to the mayor and council of the defendant town.
The plaintiff is a purchaser under contract of certain vacant and unimproved land known as Lot 48, Block 1082 (Tax Map, Town of Bloomfield); the property is known as 191 Watchung Avenue, and is a vacant lot 124 feet front by 348 feet deep. It varies in elevation from 170.26 to 159.6 feet, sloping to the north. Generally, the property fronts on Watchung Avenue to the south, the easterly side line faces the Garden State Parkway, and the westerly side line is almost contiguous to the Third River, a well known drainage stream in the municipality.
The property is situated in Zone R5 (see article VII, section A, Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Bloomfield, adopted June 15, 1959) in which single family residences
are permitted, as well as churches, schools, public buildings, golf courses, and public utility installations.
The plaintiff sought a permit to erect a motor hotel on the property under contract. The proposed building is a two-story cinder block and brick completely fireproof building, with stone and wood trim and covered by a flat roof. It would contain 32 motel units. Provision is made for parking 33 cars; 7 of those may be parked inside. The approximate cost of the entire facility, inclusive of land, is $140,000.
A permit was refused by the building inspector. Plaintiff applied to the board of adjustment under N.J.S.A. 40:55-39(d). The parties agree the application was made April 1, 1960 and denied April 5, 1960; and the application to the board of adjustment was made April 6, 1960. The application to the board of adjustment, indicates a filing date to the board as March 31, 1960. This fact is not important to a decision here.
A hearing before the board of adjustment took place on June 9, 1960. On June 16, 1960, by resolution, the board voted 3-2 to deny the variance for these reasons.
"(a) The erection and operation * * * of a motor hotel is not compatible with the accepted permissible uses in the Residential (R-5) Zone;
(b) The granting of the application would be detrimental to the surrounding properties and depreciate their values;
(c) The relief sought cannot be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will substantially impair the intent and purpose of the Zone Plan and Zoning Ordinance;
(d) And insufficient special reason being shown why said variance should be granted;"
These facts were developed in the ...