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Applications for apartment complexes across New Jersey face community pushback

Zoning and planning boards across the state have recently been confronted with some contentious hearings regarding applications for apartment complexes near neighborhoods typically zoned for single-family homes.

The zoning board in Woodcliff Lake denied an application in July 2019 after seven months of hearings that is currently before the same board again in amended form. [1] The Holmdel planning board has been continuing public hearings over a 60-unit apartment building for months as the public asserts concerns of flooding and related impacts. [2] The Maplewood planning board just last week approved a three-story mixed-use building, including apartments on the second and third floors. [3]

Many of the publics’ objections to this type of project involve alleged flooding and drainage issues, traffic and parking problems, and concerns with their apartment-dwelling neighbors being able to see into their backyards. When opposing an application in front of a zoning or planning board, residents and entities such as non-profit organizations may hire their own attorney and other professionals to present testimony in opposition to an application. One type of professional often retained by residents is a planner. A professional planner can review the application materials, attempt to refute the applicant’s planner’s arguments, and testify as to why the proposed use or application does not meet the criteria necessary for board approval.


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