As set forth in detail below, through documents introduced in evidence in the Main Case, Readington failed and refused to adopt an ordinance, as required by the ASZA, incorporating the standards promulgated by the Commissioner, for approximately 24 years, between the enactment of the ASZA [Air Safety Zoning Act] in 1983 and the passage of the Subject Ordinance in 2007, after the related condemnation action had been filed and Readington had acquired fee title to all but 102 acres of the Solberg Airport property by its Declaration of Taking.
The arbitrariness of Readington’s actions become even more evident when the pre-existing airport related uses are examined. Certain existing airport-related uses and facilities fall outside of the 102 +/- acre parcel that was identified by Readington. The Solberg aviation operations that are outside of the 102 acres include an entire turf runway designated as Runway 10-28, parts of the main runway designated as Runway 4-22, hot air balloon take offs, blimp moorings, and a navigational aid installed on the airport by the FAA called the VORTAC.
Given Judge Armstrong’s finding, along with the evidence presented to the Court in this Motion, it is clear that the circumstances before the Court demonstrated that the Plaintiffs are entitled to a finding that the restrictions imposed in the Readington Ordinance impose restrictions that are untenably contrary to State public policy. Judge Armstrong has effectively determined that the Ordinance in question frustrates New Jersey State policy. That finding, along with the evidence before the Court, supports such a finding that renders the subject Ordinance invalid
As our Supreme Court succinctly stated, putting impermissible or invalid matter ‘within the confines of [a] zoning ordinance does not ipso facto clothe it with validity which it would not otherwise have,’ and ‘calling something ‘zoning’ cannot cloak a municipality with the power to act in a field in a way which is otherwise foreclosed to it by supervening state legislation or policy
The Court finds that when the baseline findings established in Judge Armstrong’s decision are considered, along with the overwhelming evidence that has been submitted by the Court as part of this Motion, it is clear that Readington’s Ordinance is not consistent with State law. Even though the Ordinance arguably can be said to fulfill certain non-specific purposes of zoning, the insurmountable evidence indicates that the zoning was based upon an invalid purpose or purposes which have been described throughout this opinion
For the reasons expressed above, that “full record” when considered with Judge Armstrong’s findings, points to only one rational result. The Ordinance was based upon an invalid purpose