Zoning Board of Adjustment
The Zoning Board reviews applications that propose to utilize property in a manner not consistent with municipal zoning laws. They review applications for variances that are basically non-permitted uses, and the Zoning Board is empowered to grant exceptions to the zoning ordinances in cases where the literal and rigid interpretation and enforcement of the zoning laws would cause hardship or injustice. These “non-permitted” uses are based upon the zoning ordinances established by the Township.
Mission of the Zoning Board
It is the Board's chief goal to preserve the safety and welfare of the community with the objective of conserving the value of property and encouraging the most appropriate use of land throughout the Township. A simple definition would be that the Board "adjusts zoning" for specific applications, circumstances and pieces of property. Buildings, structures and businesses of various types are limited to specific zones. These zones are regulated with respect to category, nature and extent of use, along with specific lot sizes, required building setbacks, lot coverage and other regulations.
Limitations of Variances
Because zoning variances may infringe on the rights of neighbors, an applicant is not automatically entitled to a variance. An applicant must meet specific criteria contained in the Municipal Land Use Laws by satisfying specific legal standards of proof. This burden of proof is placed upon the applicant to demonstrate that the requested relief is justified without impinging upon the rights of others. Some items to consider when requesting a variance are special reason, benefits, negative criteria, and hardship.
Notification of Application
Municipal land use laws require that notice be served on all property owners within a 200 foot radius of the applicant's property and must be either hand delivered or sent by Certified Mail. The law also requires this notice be published in the official newspaper of the Township (Asbury Park Press or The Beacon). Both must be done at least ten days prior to the hearing date. These forms of notification alert neighbors that a variance is being requested so all interested citizens will be assured an opportunity to attend and be heard at the public meeting.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment meets for Public Hearing once each month on the first (1st) Monday at 6:30 PM at the municipal building, 818 West Lacey Road, Forked River, NJ 08731.
A Zoning Board meeting is a formal quasi-judicial hearing where action is taken by vote. Applicants and witnesses are sworn in, the meeting is recorded on tape and a Secretary keeps an official record of testimony. Individuals have a choice of either presenting their own application before the Board or being represented by an attorney; However, all corporations must be represented by an attorney by law.
The members of the Zoning Board are resident volunteers appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the governing body. The Board consists of seven (7) regular members and two (2) alternate members. The Board is assisted in their deliberations by a professional staff consisting of:
- A Board Attorney
- A Board Engineer
- A Professional Planner, when required
- An Administrative Officer/Board Secretary
Zoning Board of Adjustment Secretary
Mailing Address: 818 Lacey Road, Forked River, NJ 08731
Office Location: 124 South Main Street, Forked River, NJ 08731
609-693-1100, ext. 2251