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Posts Tagged ‘Land use laws in Ocean Grove’

The Warrington as seen from Seaview Avenue. The lot in the foreground is the site of the Parkview Inn. Blogfinger photo. Oct 21, 2016 ©

The Warrington as seen from Seaview Avenue. The lot in the foreground is the site of the Parkview Inn. Blogfinger photo. Oct 21, 2016 ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, researcher and reporter @Blogfinger

On October 7, we posted our piece “The Case of the Worrisome Warrington” about the plans to turn that derelict building at 22 Lake Avenue into a boutique hotel adjacent to Wesley Lake.

We pointed out a number of land use issues that concerned us including the illegal subdivision of the original lot into 3 nonconforming lots, two of which are undersized and now contain two small cottages.  In addition we addressed the “easement “ connecting Sea View with Lake Avenue, but that easement does not appear on the tax map.  Other matters include the illegal encroachment of the Warrington onto property owned by the CMA.

Now we turn our attention to the process which the owner of this property utilized to achieve Final Site Plan approval by the Neptune Zoning Board of Adjustment.

In 2014, an application was filed with the Neptune Township Board of Adjustment to redevelop this former rooming house at 22 Lake Avenue into a 20-unit hotel on Wesley Lake. However, the Warrington lot is isolated  (land-locked), not fronting on a municipal street in the front, on the sides, or in the back. Lake Avenue is not a street. It is illegal to construct a building at such a location.

Also,  the hotel will not be providing any on-site parking for guests and staff. New Jersey RSIS Site Improvement Standards  require off-street parking for the Warrington.  Without that, the approval is illegal.

The Board held hearings where its professionals and the applicant’s professionals gave a two thumbs up and proclaimed, “This project will advance the intent and purpose of the Zoning Ordinance.”

After more hearings in 2015, the Board gave its approval of the Warrington’s Final Site Plan and  also adopted a Memorialization Resolution signed by the Board Chairman, Secretary, and the Board’s Engineer.

The decision was published in the newspaper, and then the Board’s jurisdiction was automatically transferred to the Superior Court pending an appeal that did not materialize, so the Board’s job was completed.

Then, the jurisdiction was automatically transferred to the Neptune Twp. Building Department for building plans and permits to begin construction.

But first, there were some details discovered recently that had been so far ignored in the process.  On June 17, 2016, the Board’s Engineer reported “that some conditions of approval remain to be satisfied” including a Developer’s Agreement with the Township Committee.

 On September 12, 2016, the Township Committee passed resolution #16-400 authorizing a Developer’s Agreement.  They did so on the written advice of the Township Attorney.  The agreement addressed all other “conditions of approval” and states “the Warrington Hotel LLC applied for and was granted preliminary and final Site Plan Approval.”

Two weeks ago Blogfinger asked the Board’s Administrative Officer, Kristy Armour, to send us the Finalized Site Plan.

She emailed us the Plan, but in her text to Dr. Goldfinger, she said, “This plan has not received final approval from the Board at this time.”

The opinion by Ms. Armour is contrary to the Board of Adjustment’s Resolution and the Township Committee’s Developers Agreement, both of which state that the Site Plan was indeed finalized.

We went to her office to review the Site Plan application. We discovered that the approval block on the cover page of the Site Plan was not signed, sealed or dated by the Board Chairman, the Secretary or the Board Engineer.

When we asked Ms. Armour how this could happen, she said that there was a “to do list” consisting of a variety of approvals and tasks which remained to be done before the document could be finalized.   This probably explains why, when we went to the Building Department to find out about construction permits, we were told that they had not yet granted permits.

It is our opinion that the Warrington approval is a “done deal” despite all the issues of land use law that we have raised.  It appears that this is the way that “business” is done by the Neptune Township government.  They have approved a site plan that violates Municipal Land Use Law.

We will continue to report on the Warrington.

FATS WALLER  “Undecided.”

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