On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County.
Michels, McElroy and J. H. Coleman. The opinion of the court was delivered by Michels, P.J.A.D.
Plaintiffs, a group of residential property owners and taxpayers of defendant Borough of Shrewsbury (borough), appeal from a summary judgment of the Law Division entered in favor of the borough, defendants mayor, borough council and planning board of the borough, and defendants and intervenors Properties Ventures, Inc., and David H. Marx and Charlene A. Marx, which (1) denied plaintiffs' application to enlarge the time within which to institute this action in lieu of prerogative writs under R. 4:69-6(c), and (2) dismissed their action challenging the validity of the January 1979 and March 1979 amendments to the borough's zoning ordinance.
A brief review of the procedural history giving rise to this appeal is helpful to its resolution. The borough is a small residential community located in the eastern portion of Monmouth County, New Jersey. In 1979 the borough rezoned three large tracts of land located in its southern section. The borough changed these tracts from a single-family residential zone, requiring one-acre lots, to a planned residential development zone, which would permit townhouse development with two to five units an acre. The three tracts rezoned were the 85-acre Marx tract, the 84-acre Forgotson tract and the 119-acre Genola tract. These three tracts, aggregating 288 acres, represented approximately 20% of the land mass in the borough and 80% of the remaining vacant land available for development. Apparently the master plan adopted in 1978 recommended the change in the zoning for these three properties.
The notice for the January 1979 amendment, which first provided for the planned residential development zone, appeared on January 17, 1979 in the Daily Register , a local newspaper printed and published in Shrewsbury, and read as follows:
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:49-2.1, notice is hereby given that the following ordinance is being revised pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law, P.L.1975. C. 291 (C. 40:55D-1 et seq.).
An ordinance to amend the code of the Borough of Shrewsbury by amending Chapter 94 -- Zoning.
The main objectives of these revisions are to comply with the requirements of said Municipal Land Use Law by conforming to the provisions of the Master Plan of the Borough of Shrewsbury, prepared by Candeub-Fleissig and Associates, dated December, 1973.
Copies of said ordinance are on file on public examination and acquisition at the Office of the Shrewsbury Borough Clerk, Municipal Building, Broad Street and Sycamore Avenue, Shrewsbury, New Jersey.
The public hearing on this proposed ordinance shall be held on Monday, January 29, 1979, at 8:00 p.m., at the ...