Anthony V. D’Elia, with the assistance of Cindy Nan Vogelman and Jordan F. Friedman, successfully represented the Clifton Board of Education in a legal dispute which lasted almost five years. The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court, in an exhaustive and precedent-setting opinion, adopted CL&L’s arguments and affirmed two lower court opinions which granted a variance to the Board to build an annex to Clifton High School in an industrial zone.
The Board of Education applied for a variance in June 2005 but was opposed by private corporate interests which prolonged the hearing over the course of 17 evening sessions of the Clifton Zoning Board of Adjustment. The Zoning Board denied the variance twice, but Mr. D’Elia persisted and first persuaded the Superior Court Law Division and most recently, the Superior Court Appellate Division, that the Zoning Board acted arbitrarily, capriciously and unreasonably.
The resulting decision is a milestone in the law of local governmental regulation and both clarified and limited the circumstances under which boards of education are now required to appear before local planning boards for review of capital improvement projects. The court’s decision may be found at Board of Education of the City of Clifton v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Clifton, 409 N.J. Super. 389 (App. Div. 2009).