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Carine v. Cliffside Park Board of Education

Decided: July 10, 1978.

ARTHUR CARINE, ANNE MARIE CARINE, JOSEPH TRAMUTOLA, ROBERT MASSA, THEODORE SCHMIDT, MARY LICATA, JOSEPH LICATA, ROSALYN LOBEL, ANITA HIRSH AND LEO KAZAZIAN, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CLIFFSIDE PARK BOARD OF EDUCATION AND ANDREW L. NEMEC, BUILDING INSPECTOR OF THE BOROUGH OF CLIFFSIDE PARK, DEFENDANTS



Cassidy, J.J.D.R.C. (temporarily assigned).

Cassidy

This matter came before the court on a complaint in lieu of prerogative writs. Plaintiffs are owners of property located on Riverview Avenue, Cliffside Park, New Jersey. Defendant board of education is the owner of property located on the southerly side of Riverview Avenue, and defendant Andrew L. Nemec was, and is, the building inspector of Cliffside Park.

The premises in question owned by the board is known as Lot 36, Block 59 on the tax assessment map of Cliffside Park and situated in a one-family residential zone area. The board maintains and uses the said premises as an athletic field, adjacent to the high school.

Prior to June 1977 the board removed a wooden grandstand used for spectators attending athletic events. On or about October 3, 1977 the board constructed a new grandstand on the premises.

Plaintiffs allege the following violations: (1) the said grandstand was constructed without a building permit from Building Inspector Nemec, allegedly in violation of the local zoning ordinance, and (2) no notice was given to the adjacent property owners within 200 feet of the construction.

Factually, it appears that an application to construct a permanent steel grandstand was submitted to the State Board of Education which approved the plans on June

17, 1977. This application was submitted in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:18A-16 which provided:

All plans and specifications for the erection, alteration, improvement or repair of public schoolhouses shall be drawn by or under the supervision of an appropriate officer employed by the board to whom such power shall have been delegated by the board of education.

No contract for the erection of any building or any part thereof by any board of education of any school district shall be entered into until the plans and specifications therefor have been submitted to, and approved by, the State board and no change in any such plans or specifications, so approved, shall be made unless the same shall have been submitted to, and approved by, the State board. A copy of all plans and specifications, and all changes therein, so approved, shall be filed forthwith with the State board.

Following the State Board's approval, the stands were constructed. No application was made to the zoning board or to the building inspector by the board of education, which relied upon the approval of the State Board of Education.

Plaintiffs contend that according to Roman Catholic Diocese of Newark v. Ho-Ho-Kus , 42 N.J. 556 (1964), public schools are subject to local zoning.

However, that finding must be viewed in light of the recently enacted N.J.S.A. 18A:18A-49 and also the facts and circumstances of the case before the court dealing with the issuance ...


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