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11 N.J.A.R. 465

Pinelands Commission; Henry, John and Edna v. Groome, Sproges and the
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Citation: 11 N.J.A.R. 465
Decision Date: 1988
Agency: PINELANDS COMMISSION
Synopsis: Petitioners filed an application with the Pinelands Commission seeking a waiver of strict compliance from the requirements of the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan in order to construct a single family dwelling. The matter was transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law for a hearing. The petitioners' lot is located in a regional growth area. The proposed construction would violate the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan because the dwelling would be within 300 feet of a wetland and the land does not have a seasonal high water table depth of at least f've feet. Two objections to the proposed development were filed. The objectors claimed the construction would increase water accumulation on the property, causing surface water runoff and adverse impact on a wetland. The objectors requested a hearing on the Executive Director's recommendation that the waiver be approved with conditions. The administrative law judge assigned to the case found that petitioners had proved extraordinary hardship and ordered that they be granted a waiver. Extraordinary hardship can be demonstrated by showing there is no contiguous land which is reasonably available. Petitioners could not acquire additional land to increase the size of their lot because there is no vacant land available for purchase. The judge also found that there would be only a slight increase in surface water runoff as a result of the development, because there was already an existing water accumulation problem in the area of petitioners' lot. The Executive Director of the Pinelands Commission had rec- ommended four conditions on the proposed development to minimize adverse environmental impact. These conditions were incorporated in the judge's order that a waiver be granted. Upon review, this initial decision was adopted by the Pinelands Commission. John and Edna Henry, petitioners, pro se Kenneth and Alice Groome, respondents, pro se John E. Sproges, respondent, pro se Richard Engle, Deputy Attorney General, on behalf of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, respondent (W. Cary Edwards, Attorney General of New Jersey, attorney)
Rule(s) Cited: 7:50-4.66 7:50-5.12 7:50-6.7 7:50-6.14 7:50-6.84(a)4iv