continued To obtain a use variance, the district had to prove a lack of return on investment, that the hardship to the property was unique, that the use variance would not alter the character of the neighborhood and the alleged hardship was not self created.
In the case of School’s Out, most board members had agreed the hardship was unique and the school district did not create the problem, but said the sale would change the neighborhood’s character, mostly due to traffic. Neighbors argued buses and parents dropping off students at School’s Out would lead to an unsafe environment. They also said quality of life would diminish for residents and the move would destroy the unique character of the old Delmar neighborhood.
The district’s lawsuit challenged the Zoning Board’s determination that the building’s purchase by School’s Out would change the character of the neighborhood. The district also claimed the Zoning Board failed to consider the property’s size and how the district first received the building from the library in 1931, before existing zoning regulations were adopted.