Every town in New Jersey has various rules and regulations regarding where a person can build a structure on their property. There are setback requirements as to how far a building has to be from the street, how close they can be to a neighbor or body or water, limitations on building height, lot size, etc. These are usually referred to as bulk requirements and are used to keep neighborhoods attractive and neat. But if a person is prohibited from building due to these bulk requirements there may be other options.
The New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law
The New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL) recognizes that each property is unique and that occasionally exceptions should be made. An exception to a variance is known as a “C” variance. There are two standards that a person may have in order to qualify for a “C” variance. These include:
- There is hardship because of the exceptional narrowness, shallowness, shape or exceptional geological conditions of the property.
- The benefits of the building outweigh any detriment. It needs to benefit both the property owner and the community and serve as a better zoning alternative for the property.
Deciding a “C” variance
Deciding if a “C” variance is needed and how to obtain one requires the skill of an attorney who specializes in real estate law. An attorney has the experience to help their client understand their variance options and can assist their client in making sure their proposal is successful. They can advise their client in land development and regulatory processes and represent them before planning and zoning boards.