Zoning Board of Adjustment

The Township of Montclair Zoning Board of Adjustment is a land use board empowered with principal duties to hear appeals, to grant variances from the strict application of the zoning ordinance and to rule on "use" applications.  The Board consists of 7-members and 4-alternate members.  No member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment may hold any elective office or position with the municipality.

The Department of Planning & Community Development provides all administrative support staffing to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment is established under Montclair Code Chapter 202: Land Use Procedures, Article II: Zoning Board of Adjustment.


In accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70 and Montclair Code § 202-21, the Zoning Board of Adjustment has the following powers:

1. Hear appeals of decisions made by Administrative Officer
Whenever a party believes that the administrative officer has made a mistake in enforcing the zoning ordinance, they may appeal the issue to the Zoning Board of Adjustment. (Montclair Code § 202-21(A)1)

2. Interpret Zoning Ordinance & Zoning Map
The Zoning Board of Adjustment may hear and decide requests for interpretation of the zoning ordinance or map.  (Montclair Code § 202-21(A)2)

3. Hear requests for "C" variances
The Zoning Board of Adjustment may hear and decide requests for deviations from the zoning ordinance, pursuant to N.J.S.A 40:55D-70(c), that are categorized as "C" variances.  There are two types of "C" variance requests.  The first type of "C" variance may be granted by the Board due to existing constraints of the property, size, area, shape or topographic conditions which may prevent compliance with the zoning regulations for that property.  The second type of "C" variance may be granted by the Board when it believes that the purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law would be advanced by the proposed deviation from the strict standards of the zoning ordinance.  (Montclair Code § 202-21(A)3)

4. Hear requests for "D" variances
The Zoning Board of Adjustment, for special reasons, may hear and decide requests for the following deviations of the zoning ordinance, pursuant to N.J.S.A 40:55D-70(d); also known as "D" variances.  Approval of such cases require an affirmative vote by at least 5 members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.  (Montclair Code § 202-21(A)4)

  • The use or principal structure in a district regulated against such use or building.
  • An expansion of a nonconforming use.
  • Deviation from the standards for a conditional use.
  • An increase in the permitted floor area.
  • An increase in permitted density.
  • The height of a principal structure that exceeds by 10 feet or 10% the height permitted in the district for a principal structure.