Law Office of Christopher D. Hopkins
Law Office of Christopher D. Hopkins
Law Office of Christopher D. Hopkins
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  • Tue January 21, 2014, 3:51 pm
    Site Remediation Extension of Time Bill Gives 2 Additional Years for Completion of Remedial Investigation of Contaminated Sites Two Year of Extension of May 7, 2014 Deadline For Completion of Remedial Investigation of Contaminated Sites For thos...
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  • Mon November 4, 2013, 7:14 pm
    Compensation For Loss of Ocean Views Due to Protective Dunes Upheld Compensation For Loss of Ocean Views Due to Protective Dunes Upheld, Although Protective Benefit of Dunes Must Be Includ...
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  • Sun September 29, 2013, 4:12 pm
    NJ Supreme Court Rejects COAH’s Third Round Regulations New Jersey Supreme Court Rejects COAH’s Third Round Regulations On Thursday, the New Jersey Supreme Court, by a 3...
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  • Thu May 23, 2013, 10:28 am
    De Facto Merger of LP Into LLC Does Not Preclude Transfer of Prior Entity’s Rights May 23 2013 -In I/M/O Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund Innocent Party Grant Application Cliflake Associates LLC...
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  • Tue April 30, 2013, 8:02 pm
    NJ State's Energy Master Plan For Solar Incentives for Dumps and Brownfields - Slow Going According to an article on NJ Spotlight - The state’s Energy Master Plan wants to convert garbage dumps and brownf...
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  • Mon March 25, 2013, 7:14 pm
    Hydraulic Fracturing Update New York Home Rule Power To Curb Fracking Upheld In Lenape v. Town of Avon et al., case number 1060-2012, in New York...
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  • Sun March 24, 2013, 11:39 am
    Creation of Hydraulic Fracturing Performance Standards Shell, Chevron, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Clean Air Task Force, Consol Energy, the EQT Corporation, the Group ...
    [read more]
  • Tue March 5, 2013, 7:42 pm
    Zoning Protections Lost For Hurricane Sandy Damaged Structures Deemed “Totally” Destroyed The Appellate Division yesterday made it more difficult for property owners trying to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. The...
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  • Fri March 1, 2013, 2:17 pm
    NJ Court Holds That Age Restricted Development May Be Marketed With No Age Restriction March 1 2013 - The Court, in Sharbell Building Company, LLC v. Planning Board of The Township of Robbinsville, held that...
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  • Tue February 5, 2013, 8:15 pm
    NJ Supreme Court Clarifies Requisite Nexus For Liability Under the Spill Act February 5 2013 - In NJ Department. of Environmental Protection v. Dimant, 212 N.J. 153 (2012), the New Jersey Supreme C...
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From the Aricle Archive
Zoning Protections Lost For Hurricane Sandy Damaged Structures Deemed “Totally” Destroyed

The Appellate Division yesterday made it more difficult for property owners trying to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. The panel in Motley v. Borough of Seaside Park, No. A-3214-11, upheld the Borough’s determination that a house that had been gutted to a shell to accomplish repairs was deemed “totally destroyed” and so lost its status as a grandfathered nonconforming use under local zoning laws. The Court strictly construed N.J.S.A. 40:55D-68, stating that the statute only allows a nonconforming structure to be rebuilt only if it has been "partially" destroyed. It overturned the trial court’s decision nullifying a stop work order issued by the Borough to prevent Plaintiff from restoring his nonconforming house back to its prior dimensions, which had been torn down to its footings and foundations. The Appellate Division rejected the trial court’s public policy reasoning that it was not unreasonable for Plaintiff to remove and replace the building's walls upon discovery of an unsafe and dilapidated condition of the existing walls because it was better to encourage a property owners' compliance with safety codes and allow the renovation of debilitated non-conforming structures as long as there is no unlawful expansion of the nonconformity. The Court refused to address the disagreement between the Plaintiff and the Board as to the percentage of the structure remaining and upon de novo review upheld the Board’s conclusion that Plaintiff had dismantled the structure to a degree beyond mere “partial” destruction.

The Law Office of Christopher D. Hopkins LLC regularly appears before municipal planning boards, boards of adjustment and governing bodies in connection with planning, zoning and land use matters. Should you wish for a free consultation to discuss the zoning and land use implications of any post Sandy rebuilding efforts, please contact me.

About The Law Office of Christopher D. Hopkins, LLC

The Law Office of Christopher D. Hopkins, LLC is a boutique law firm located in Scotch Plains, New Jersey committed to providing the highest quality of legal services in the select areas of real estate, land use and environmental law. The firm is committed to working collaboratively with clients to achieve practical, cost effective results- whether it be in complex litigation, transactions, cleanups and/or development projects. The firm provides transactional and litigation counsel to a broad spectrum of clients including private and public corporations, trade associations, nonprofit institutions, banks, real estate investment trusts and individuals in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Contact Information

The Law Office of Christopher D. Hopkins, LLC
1812 Front Street
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076
TEL: 908.322.6121
FAX: 908.322.5701
Email: chris@chopkinslaw.com

 



Law Office of Christopher D. Hopkins
The Law Office of Christopher D. Hopkins, LLC 1812 Front Street, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076 || 908.322.6121