Christopher Stracco and Kate Coffey wrote an article, "Can Use Variance Grants Be 'Reasonably Probable'?," for Law360. The article examines the significance of the case New Jersey Transit Corp. v. Franco. The case involved the condemnation by New Jersey Transit Corp. of adjoining properties in Hoboken, Union City and Weehawken. New Jersey Transit offered $934,500 for the taking (subject to remediation of contamination), and the condemnation commissioners awarded compensation of $1.35 million to the defendants/condemnees. On appeal to the Law Division, the defendants' appraisal report valued the property at approximately $9 million. The defendants' experts assumed Weehawken would not need to approve a use variance for the cul-de-sac which would constitute the sole use of the Weehawken parcel. Alternatively, the defendants’ experts contended that the street could be dedicated to Weehawken without need for a use variance. The Appellate Division directed the Law Division to hold a hearing to determine whether or not the grant of a use variance was "reasonably probable." In so doing, the Appellate Division rejected the plaintiff condemnor's position that testimony showing a reasonable probability of a use variance would be improper because approval is not certain. Mr. Stracco and Ms. Coffey argue in their article that the outcome of a variance application should never be preordained, predictable or reasonably probable, until all the testimony is heard by the volunteer citizens who sit on these boards, a record is created, and a resolution is memorialized and ordered a new trial on the issue of just compensation. Therefore, a court cannot predict whether a use variance can be granted with any degree of reasonable probability or certitude.
Day Pitney Advisory
Beth Barton, a partner in the firm's Environmental and Land Use practice, will be speaking at the Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop on June 23.
Beth Barton, a partner in the firm’s Environmental and Land Use practice, spoke at the Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s 2021 Energy & Environment Conference on June 11.
Day Pitney Alert
On March 17, Partner Craig M. Gianetti moderated the panel, "Land Use Update 2021," for the NJICLE.
Day Pitney Press Release
Day Pitney Press Release
On July 15, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its much awaited decision in Christian Mission John 3:16 v. Passaic City. The court granted certification on an appeal from the Appellate Division, which affirmed a decision of the Tax Court rejecting a property tax exemption for a church in the City of Passaic.
Craig Gianetti, a partner in Day Pitney's Real Estate & Land Use group, has been elected to serve as Chair of the Land Use Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA).
Craig Gianetti is featured in a Market Forecast special section in the January 2020 issue of Real Estate New Jersey.