On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County.
Petrella, Shebell and Landau. The opinion of the court was delivered by Shebell, J.A.D.
Appellant Medical Realty Associates is a limited partnership which owns property that has been used for the practice of medicine by the Summit Medical Group, P.A. (Medical Group) since 1929. The property consists of seven lots forming three groups: one is the site of the existing Medical Group Building at 120 Summit Avenue; the second parcel is directly across from this structure and is the site for the proposed parking and driveway access; the third is known as 129 Summit Avenue. The latter site was the location of the original Medical Group and presently houses various members of that group. Medical Realty Associates seeks to construct a 45,000 square foot addition to the existing 40,000 square foot building, as well as a 19,000 square foot, two-story parking deck. An application was filed with the Board of Adjustment (Board) which first sought "c" or "hardship" variances, but was amended to include "d" or "special reasons" variances, as the applicants sought to expand a preexisting nonconforming use.*fn1 N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70c and d. The application was denied, and this appeal and cross-appeal has followed.
In 1964 the Medical Group was granted several variances on the representations that: the building at 129 Summit Avenue would be vacated and disposed of; the number of doctors would not exceed 40, and the number of employees would not exceed 120, with no more than 80 employees on the site at any given time.
In 1979 the Board held a hearing on an application to enlarge medical offices located in the immediate vicinity of the Medical Group. That application was filed by Joseph DiLallo, M.D., and
was denied by resolution adopted April 2, 1979. In 1982 the Medical Group purchased DiLallo's lots and also acquired title to two additional lots.
The amended application in the present appeal sought the following variances from Section 4.12 of the Summit Municipal Zoning Ordinance:
(a) Side line with regard to properties fronting on Beechwood Road, with 5 feet proposed in place of the 25 feet required.
(b) Side line regarding properties facing Euclid Avenue, with 5 feet proposed instead of the 25 feet required.
(c) Side yard with regard to properties fronting on DeForest Avenue, with 10 feet proposed instead of the 25 feet required.
(d) Front yard as to Summit Avenue, with a minimum of 3 feet proposed instead of the 35 feet required.
(e) Front yard as to Beechwood Road, with 10 feet proposed instead of the 35 feet required.
(f) Front yard as to Euclid Avenue, with 10 feet proposed instead of ...