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Klotz v. Board of Adjustment of Borough of Englewood Cliffs

Decided: February 15, 1966.

HAROLD KLOTZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT OF THE BOROUGH OF ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, LEON ARRIGO, BUILDING INSPECTOR OF THE BOROUGH OF ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, AND THE BOROUGH OF ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, DEFENDANTS



Schneider, J.c.c. (temporarily assigned).

Schneider

This is a suit in lieu of prerogative writs to review the action of the building inspector and board of adjustment in granting a permit for a fence in violation of the zoning ordinance.

Plaintiff is the owner of property at 316 Ropes Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. John Schipper is the owner of property at 320 Ropes Avenue, adjoining the property of plaintiff, and is on the southwest corner of Charlotte Place. On September 3, 1964 permit No. 3336 Zone B was issued by the building inspector to Schipper to erect a fence on his premises.

Plaintiff demanded of the building inspector that the permit be revoked since it violated chapter III, section 2, paragraph 5(d) of zoning ordinance No. 100R of the Borough of Englewood Cliffs which provides that in the dwelling zones specified, no fence shall be constructed or placed in front yards. Plaintiff contended property of Schipper is in such a zone. The building inspector took no action to revoke the permit.

On January 26, 1965 plaintiff appealed to the board of adjustment, requesting that the permit be revoked as being in violation of the ordinance and requesting the fence be removed. On March 8, 1965 there was a hearing and on April 12, 1965 the board denied plaintiff's application to revoke the permit.

Schipper erected a cedar stockade fence around his property from the front property line to the rear line and along the rear line.

Plaintiff contends said fence is erected in violation of law and the action of the board of adjustment is arbitrary and unreasonable. Defendants contend that the erection of the fence is permitted by the municipal action.

The zoning ordinance in question provides:

"In dwelling zones specified above, no fences shall be constructed or placed in front yards."

Chapter I, section 1, "Definitions," provides:

"(12) Front Yard. A 'front yard' is an open unoccupied space within and extending the full width of the lot between the front lot line and the parts of the ...


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