How to object to a neighbor getting a commercial use variance on a residential property?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How to object to a neighbor getting a commercial use variance on a residential property?

My neighbor is converting his 2-acre residential property into an assisted living facility with 30 residents. Is this allowed?

Asked on January 25, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the variance is granted, it is allowed: the variance would make it legal. You can of course petition the zoning board or town council (whomever does this in your city/town) to *not* grant the variance, and try to get other neighbors to join with you in attending meetings, signing petitions, etc. to convince them to not do so. If they have already done so and you believe it was done illegally or improperly (such as by not following the rules for granting a variance, or not considering all evidence), you may be able to challenge it in court through a lawsuit (though such a challenge is far from guaranteed to be successful; the courts tend to not overturn local government/agency decisions unless something very improper can be shown). But if the decision was made and was made according to the laws and regulations, then this is allowed. 
Note that challenging a government action in court can be procedurally complex; if you want to try and do this, you are advised to retain an attorney to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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