Understanding Inherently Beneficial Uses

June 17th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 10| comments:

Flower - Inherently beneficial useWhere an applicant would like to introduce a use that is not permitted within a particular zone, that applicant is required to obtain a use variance – a very difficult variance to secure.  The Municipal Land Use Law authorizes local zoning boards to grant a use variance where: (1) “special reasons” exist for the variance (the positive criteria); and (2) the variance can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and purposes of the zone plan and zoning ordinance (the negative criteria). N.J.S.A. 40:55d 70(d).  Where a proposed use is determined to be “inherently beneficial” to society, the positive criteria and negative criteria requirements are less stringent.   Specifically, the positive criteria is presumptively satisfied and the negative criteria is resolved by balancing the benefits of the project against any detriments, considering whether any detrimental effect can be reduced by imposing reasonable conditions, and then determining after weighing of the positive and negative factors (as ameliorated by the conditions) whether the grant of the variance would cause a substantial detriment to the public good.  » Read the rest of this entry «

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