by: Greg Ricciardi
According to the New Jersey Supreme Court, in certain circumstances the answer is yes. On June 16, 2011, the Court held that a driveway is a principal use where, pursuant to local zoning, the driveway does not meet the definition of an accessory use. Moreover, depending on the circumstances, you may need difficult to obtain and costly variances to get your driveway approved. How could this happen?
The answer lies in the curious case of Nuckey v. Borough of Little Ferry Planning Bd. These are the facts. A developer owns multiple lots and wants to build a hotel. One of the lots has no highway access. To remedy this issue, the developer proposes to build a driveway on an adjacent lot that would continue across the corner of another lot owned by the same principals as the developer. This proposed driveway would provide the needed highway access for the hotel. Sounds like a simple accessory use right? Herein lies the rub.