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Land Use2023-02-26T18:18:46+00:00

Land Use Applications/Redevelopment

Planning/Zoning Board Applications

If you want to change the use of a property, or make improvements that require variances, or subdivide any property, you will need either Zoning or Planning Board approvals to do so.

Helping Our Clients Accomplish their Real Estate Goals and Ambitions

There are four types of land use approvals you might need for any given property*, all of which can be requested (as applicable) in the same land use application for a given property:

  • Bulk “c” Variances. This includes variances for things like lot depth, lot width, side yard set-back, max lot coverage, max building height and parking. If only bulk variances are needed, then this type of variance is usually heard before the Planning Board.
  • Use “d’ Variances. This includes variances for things like max number of units, commercial versus residential uses, and office space versus retail. Certain bulk variances can become use variances if they are highly non-conforming. Any application that requires a use variance is heard before the Zoning Board, including if it also requires bulk variances.
  • Site Plan Approval. Most municipal zoning ordinances and redevelopment plans require site plan approval for any proposed construction except one and two family houses. The applicable Board considers the entirety of the propose construction, and will often require changes to the propose site plan based on recommendations from its own engineering and planning professionals. State law restricts municipalities from expressly requiring site plan approval of conforming one and two family house plans.
  • Subdivision Approval. This is required in every subdivision, even where you are creating conforming lots which require no variances. It is very similar to site plan approval, as the commissioners may place restrictions on the approvals based on local conditions. For example, at the time of this writing the Jersey City Planning Board generally requires all subdivisions of 50X100 lots into two 25X100 lots, to have a deed restriction requiring a shared driveway. This is meant to reduce how much on-street parking is taken away by the subdivision.

We are regulars at the Jersey City and Bayonne Planning and Zoning Boards. We also file applications in many other towns for our clients. And overall, many if not most of our clients are real estate investors. A successful real estate investor finds value where others don’t know to look. Knowledge of what type of improvements can likely get approvals after a purchase, based on local experience, often gives our clients an edge over their competition. We often represent clients throughout the whole process – starting from their contract negotiations and answering questions regarding their due diligence, through the closing, obtaining of board approvals, construction and then ultimate sale of the completed development.

*not including redevelopment which is a completely different and more or less political process, that generally is only an option for large attached assemblages of property – if you own less than half the block it’s usually not a realistic option.

We specialize in all areas of real estate and probate law. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Call (201) 354-9305 now to speak directly with an attorney, or feel free to e-mail your inquiry directly to office@cecininilaw.com. We welcome your questions!

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