On July 17, 2012, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, reversed, on Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) grounds, the Waldwick Zoning Board’s denial of an application to establish a “mini-mart” at a gas station.  In their six page unpublished decision, the three judge panel found that “based on the limited record” before them, they could not rule out that the Zoning Board may have improperly discussed and decided the merits of the zoning application in a private (i.e. executive or closed) meeting instead of at a meeting to which the public was admitted.  Since the trial judge, Hon. Joseph S. Conte, J.S.C., did not consider the applicant’s OPMA arguments, the Appellate Division remanded that matter back to the lower court “to determine whether the resolution adopted by the Board should be nullified because the Board violated the OPMA.”  The Appellate Division’s opinion is on-line here.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]