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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Zoning Board to Hear New Settlement Proposal on Stone Court Litigation

Zoning Board to Hear New Settlement Proposal on Stone Court Litigation

By Vince Conti

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STONE HARBOR – The Zoning Board will be asked to consider a second settlement proposal in its dispute with a Stone Court couple over a proposed expansion of their home.

The settlement proposal is the result of mediation ordered by Superior Court Judge Michael Blee one day after the board voted unanimously to reject the previous proposal.

Kara and Kyle Sweet, owners of the home on Stone Court, one of three narrow streets known as The Courts, applied last summer for variances by the Zoning Board to expand to a 1,300-square-foot, two-story home on their small lot, but were denied. They sued on Oct. 27.

In June, a proposed settlement agreement was rejected by the Zoning Board 8-0. That vote followed two days of hearings at which borough residents, mostly from areas on or adjacent to Stone Court, testified both for and against the agreement.

The Sweets claimed the height restrictions imposed on Courts properties in borough ordinances are illegal. They also argued that restrictions preventing reasonable expansion of their home represent “an improper attempt by the borough to create an historic preservation district.”

During the hearing that culminated in the June 10 rejection vote Zoning Board members said they did not feel the decision to settle was one that they as a board should be making. Members argued they would be establishing new zoning and not just granting or rejecting a variance for a specific property, as is their normal function.

A public hearing on the proposed settlement is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 5, at 6 p.m. in borough hall.

Contact the reporter, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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