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Riya Finnegan, LLC v. Township Council of South

07-03-07 A-3513-05T1

Township Council of South Brunswick appeals the
invalidation of a municipal ordinance which rezoned plaintiff's
property from a commercial development district to an office
development district. In a published opinion, Finnegan v. Twp.
Council of S. Brunswick, 386 N.J. Super. 255 (Law Div. 2006),
the trial court held that the municipal legislation was
arbitrary and capricious, because the Township Council did not
have the benefit of expert testimony to support the enactment of
the ordinance. The court held that the ordinance constituted
inverse spot zoning.

We reverse and held that the trial court applied an
incorrect standard of review in determining the validity of the
ordinance. The Township Council was entitled to rely on the
views expressed by Township residents as a basis for enacting
municipal legislation. We also held that the ordinance did not
constitute spot zoning, because its principal purpose furthered
a comprehensive zoning scheme, and was not designed merely to
relieve the lot from the burden of a general regulation.