After a land use your application has been deemed complete, it will be scheduled for a public hearing. Usually the applicant is obligated to give notice of that hearing.
Giving notice requires an applicant to prepare a concise statement that sets forth the date, time and place where the public hearing will occur. The applicant is required to identify the property that is the subject of the application by providing the street address or the lot and block number as shown on the municipality's tax map.
A description of the proposed development and the land use approval being sought need to be incorporated in the notice. For example, the notice must state whether the applicant is seeking an approval for a site plan, variance or subdivision. While an applicant is not required to mention every aspect of his application, he should identify those that will have a substantial impact on the community.
The notice must also include the location and times when the application and the supporting documentation will be available for review by members of the public. Usually, the application is available for inspection at the municipal building or town hall during regular business hours.
The notice must be given at least ten (10) days prior to the scheduled hearing. This is done in two ways. First, the must publish the notice in the municipality's official newspaper ten days before the hearing. Second, he is obligated to personally serve or mail a copy of the notice by certified mail to those individuals who own property within 200 feet of the applicant's property. The municipality's tax department will generate the list of the addresses that the applicant must serve. Depending upon the nature of the application, the list might also include clerks of neighboring municipalities, the County Planning Board, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and public utilities and cable television companies.
Once the applicant provides the required notice, he must present evidence to the land use board that he has correctly done so. If the applicant notice is incorrect in any manner or if the applicant fails to serve everyone entitled to the notice, his application will not be heard on the scheduled date and he may be forced to provide revised notice. Therefore, the upmost care should be given in the preparation of the notice and its service on all interested parties.
If you have any questions concerning how to draft or serve notice, you are encouraged to contact Lavery, Selvaggi & Cohen, P.C for assistance. Our lawyers have vast experience in representing applicants and have helped them navigate the challenges of the notice requirements.