Borough of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights 4-28-1986 by Ord. No. 1354. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 119.
Soil removal — See Ch. 228.
Soil stabilization — See Ch. 232.
Zoning — See Ch. 275.

§ 142-1 Definitions.

Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this chapter its most reasonable application.
APPEAL
A request for a review of the local administrator's interpretation of any provision of this chapter or a request for a variance.
[Added 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
AREA OF SHALLOW FLOODING
A designated AO, AH or VO Zone on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) with a one-percent or greater annual chance of flooding to an average depth of one to three feet where a clearly defined channel does not exist, where the path of flooding is unpredictable and where velocity flow may be evident. Such flooding is characterized by ponding or sheet flow.
[Added 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
AREA OF SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD
The land in the floodplain within a community subject to a one-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year.
BASE FLOOD
The flood having a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
BASEMENT
Any area of the building having its floor subgrade (below ground level) on all sides.
BREAKAWAY WALL
A wall that is not part of the structural support of the building and is intended through its design and construction to collapse under specific lateral loading forces without causing damage to the elevated portion of the building or supporting foundation system.
DEVELOPMENT
Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations, or storage of equipment or materials located within the area of special flood hazard.
[Added 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
ELEVATED BUILDING
A nonbasement building built, in the case of a building in an area of special flood hazard, to have the top of the elevated floor or, in the case of a building in a coastal high hazard area, to have the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the elevated floor elevated above the ground level by means of piling, columns (posts and piers), or shear walls parallel to the flow of water; and adequately anchored so as not to impair the structural integrity of the building during a flood of up to the magnitude of the base flood. In an area of special flood hazard, "elevated building" also includes a building elevated by means of fill or solid foundation perimeter walls with openings sufficient to facilitate the unimpeded movement of floodwaters. In areas of coastal high hazard, "elevated building" also includes a building otherwise meeting the definition of "elevated building" even though the lower area is enclosed by means of breakaway walls.
FLOOD or FLOODING
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
A. 
The overflow of inland or tidal waters; and/or
B. 
The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
The official map on which the Federal Insurance Administration has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS
Zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes, health regulations, special purpose ordinances (such as a floodplain ordinance, grading ordinance and erosion control ordinance) and other applications of police power. The term describes such state or local regulations, in any combination thereof, which provide standards for the purpose of flood damage prevention and reduction.
[Added 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
FLOODWAY
The channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than 0.2 foot.
[Added 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
HISTORIC STRUCTURE
Any structure that is:
[Added 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
A. 
Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the Department of Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register;
B. 
Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historical significances of a registered historic district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district;
C. 
Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states with historic preservation programs which have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior; or
D. 
Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation programs that have been certified either:
(1) 
By an approved state program, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior; or
(2) 
Directly by the Secretary of the Interior in states without approved programs.
LOWEST FLOOR
The lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure, usable solely for the parking of vehicles, building access or storage in an area other than a basement is not considered a building's lowest floor, provided that such enclosure is not built so to render the structure in violation of other applicable nonelevation design requirements.
MANUFACTURED HOME
A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and is designed for use with or without a permanent foundation when attached to the required utilities. The term "manufactured home" does not include a recreational vehicle.
[Amended 3-9-1987 by Ord. No. 1404; 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
MANUFACTURED HOME PARK or MANUFACTURED HOME SUBDIVISION
A parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
[Amended 3-9-1987 by Ord. No. 1404; 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain regulation adopted by a community and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
[Added 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
NEW MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
A manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed on or after the effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by the municipality.
[Added 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
A vehicle which is built on a single chassis, 400 square feet or less when measured at the longest horizontal projections, designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light-duty truck, and designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use.
[Added 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
START OF CONSTRUCTION
For other than new construction or substantial improvements under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (P.L. No. 97-348), includes substantial improvements and means the date the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, placement or other improvement was within 180 days of the permit date. The actual start means either the first placement or permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of a slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation, or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation. "Permanent construction" does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading and filling, nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways, nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings or piers, or foundations or the erection of temporary forms, nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not part of the main structure. For a substantial improvement, the actual start of construction means the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor or other structural part of a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.
[Amended 3-9-1987 by Ord. No. 1404; 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
STRUCTURE
A walled and roofed building, a manufactured home, or a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally above ground.
[Amended 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE
Damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
[Added 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement. This term includes structures which have incurred substantial damage, regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:
[Amended 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
A. 
Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local code enforcement officer and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or
B. 
Any alteration of a historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure.
VARIANCE
A grant of relief from the requirements of this chapter which permits construction in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by this chapter.

§ 142-2 Areas of flood hazard.

[Amended 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722; 9-13-2005 by Ord. No. 2103]
This chapter shall apply to all areas of special flood hazards within the jurisdiction of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights which are identified as areas of special flood hazard by the Federal Insurance Administration on its Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM), dated September 30, 2005, and adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter. The FHBM is on file in the office of the Construction Code Official. Further, there is hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter such base flood elevation data as applies to lands within the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights contained in the Flood Insurance Study, Hackensack Meadowlands District, dated June 15, 1982, also on file at the office of the Construction Code Official.

§ 142-3 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 2-10-2009 by Ord. No. 2201]
No structure or land shall hereafter be constructed, located, extended, converted or altered without full compliance with the terms of this chapter and other applicable regulations. Violation of the provisions of this chapter by failure to comply with any of its requirements (including violations of conditions and safeguards established in connection with conditions) shall constitute a misdemeanor. Any person who violates this chapter or fails to comply with any of its requirements shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to such penalties as are provided in Chapter 204 of this Code, and in addition shall pay all costs and expenses involved in the case. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the Borough from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served thereof shall be deemed a separate offense.

§ 142-4 Effect on other ordinances.

This chapter is not intended to repeal, abrogate or impair any existing easements, covenants or deed restrictions. However, where this chapter and another ordinance, easement, covenant or deed restriction conflict or overlap, whichever imposes the more stringent restrictions shall prevail.

§ 142-5 Interpretation.

In the interpretation and application of this chapter all provisions shall be:
A. 
Considered as minimum requirements;
B. 
Liberally construed in favor of the governing body; and
C. 
Deemed neither to limit nor repeal any other powers granted under state statutes.

§ 142-6 No liability.

The degree of flood protection required by this chapter is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on scientific and engineering considerations. Larger floods can and will occur on rare occasions. Flood heights may be increased by man-made or natural causes. This chapter does not imply that land outside the areas of special flood hazards or uses permitted within such areas will be free from flooding or flood damages. This chapter shall not create liability on the part of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights, any officer or employee thereof or the Federal Insurance Administration for any flood damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.

§ 142-7 Permit required.

[Amended 4-11-2000 by Ord. No. 1893]
A development permit shall be obtained before construction or development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in § 142-2 hereof. Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the Construction Code Official and may include, but not be limited to, plans in duplicate drawn to scale showing the nature, location, dimensions, and elevations of the area in question; existing or proposed structures, fill, storage of materials, drainage facilities, and the location of the foregoing. Such application shall be accepted only upon the payment of a fee as set forth in Chapter 133, Fees, and shall include at least the following information:
A. 
Elevation in relation to mean sea level of the lowest floor (including basement) of all structures;
B. 
Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any structure has been floodproofed;
C. 
Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in § 142-11; and
D. 
Description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development.

§ 142-8 Duties of Construction Code Official.

The Construction Code Official is hereby appointed to administer and implement this chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions. The duties of the Construction Code Official shall include, but not be limited to:
A. 
Review all development permits to determine that the permit requirements of this chapter have been satisfied.
B. 
When base flood elevation and floodway data have not been provided in accordance with "basis for establishing the areas of special flood hazard,"[1] the local administrator shall obtain, review, and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a federal, state or other source in order to administer the specific standards hereof.
[Amended 3-9-1987 by Ord. No. 1404]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 142-2, Areas of flood hazard.
C. 
Review all development permits to determine if the proposed development adversely affects the flood-carrying capacity of the area of special flood hazard. For the purposes of this chapter, "adversely affects" means damage to adjacent properties because of rises in flood stages attributed to physical changes of the channel and the adjacent overbank areas.
(1) 
If it is determined that there is no adverse effect, then the permit shall be granted consistent with the provisions of this chapter.
(2) 
If it is determined that there is an adverse effect, then flood damage mitigation measures shall be made a condition of the permit.
D. 
Obtain and record the actual elevation (in relation to the mean sea level) of the lowest habitable floor (including basement) of all new or substantially improved structures, and whether or not the structure contains a basement.
E. 
For all new or substantially improved floodproofed structures:
(1) 
Obtain and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level) to which the structure has been floodproofed.
(2) 
Maintain the floodproofing certifications required in § 142-7C.
F. 
Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this chapter.
G. 
Notify adjacent communities and the NJDEP prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Insurance Administration.
H. 
Require that maintenance is provided within the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so that the flood-carrying capacity is not diminished.
I. 
Make interpretations where needed as to the exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazards (for example, where there appears to be a conflict between a mapped boundary and actual field conditions).

§ 142-9 Requirements.

In all areas of special flood hazards the following general standards are required:
A. 
Anchoring.
(1) 
All new construction and substantial improvements shall be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure.
(2) 
All manufactured homes shall be anchored to resist flotation, collapse or lateral movement. Methods of anchoring may include, but are not to be limited to, use of over-the-top or frame ties to ground anchors. This requirement is in addition to applicable state and local anchoring requirements for resisting wind forces.
[Amended 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
B. 
Construction materials and methods.
(1) 
All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed with materials and utility equipment resistant to flood damage.
(2) 
All new construction and substantial improvements shall be constructed using methods and practices that minimize flood damage.
C. 
Utilities.
(1) 
All new and replacement water supply systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the system;
(2) 
New and replacement sanitary sewage systems shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems and discharge from the systems into floodwaters;
(3) 
On-site waste disposal systems shall be located to avoid impairment to them or contamination from them during flooding; and
(4) 
Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing and air conditioning equipment and other service facilities shall be designed and/or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding.
[Added 3-9-1987 by Ord. No. 1404; amended 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
D. 
Subdivision proposals.
(1) 
All subdivision proposals shall be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage;
(2) 
All subdivision proposals shall have public utilities and facilities, such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems, located and constructed to minimize flood damage;
(3) 
All subdivision proposals shall have adequate drainage provided to reduce exposure to flood damage; and
(4) 
Base flood elevation data shall be provided for subdivision proposals and other proposed developments which contain at least 50 lots or five acres (whichever is less).
[Amended 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
E. 
Encroachments. Any proposed development shall be analyzed to determine effects on flood-carrying capacity of the area of special flood hazard as set forth in § 142-8C, concerning permit review. Encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development shall be prohibited in any floodway unless a technical evaluation demonstrates that the encroachments will not result in any increase in the flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
[Amended 3-9-1987 by Ord. No. 1404]

§ 142-10 Elevation requirement.

[Amended 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
In all areas of special flood hazards where base flood elevation data have been provided as set forth herein, the following standards are required. New construction and substantial improvement of any residential structure shall have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to or above the base flood elevation.

§ 142-11 Alternatives.

[Amended 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
In all areas of special flood hazards where base flood elevation data has been provided as set forth herein, the following standards are required. New construction and substantial improvement of any commercial, industrial or other nonresidential structure shall either have the lowest floor, including basement, elevated to or above the base flood elevation or, together with attendant utility and sanitary facilities, shall:
A. 
Be floodproofed so that below the base flood level the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water;
B. 
Have structural components capable of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy; and
C. 
Be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect that the standards of this subsection are satisfied. Such certification shall be provided to the official as set forth in § 142-7C.

§ 142-12 Repealer.

All parts of ordinances inconsistent with this chapter are hereby repealed as to such inconsistent parts and this chapter shall take effect upon publication after passage in the manner provided by law.

§ 142-13 Variance procedure.

[Added 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
A. 
Appeal board.
(1) 
The Planning Board as established by the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this chapter.
(2) 
The Planning Board shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged there is an error in any requirement, decision or determination made by the Borough Administrator in the enforcement or administration of this chapter.
(3) 
Those aggrieved by the decision of the Planning Board or any taxpayer may appeal such decision to the Superior Court of New Jersey.
(4) 
In passing upon such applications, the Planning Board shall consider all technical evaluations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this chapter, and:
(a) 
The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;
(b) 
The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;
(c) 
The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;
(d) 
The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;
(e) 
The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;
(f) 
The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;
(g) 
The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;
(h) 
The relationship of the proposed use to the Comprehensive Plan and floodplain management program of that area;
(i) 
The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
(j) 
The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise, and sediment transport of the floodwaters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site; and
(k) 
The costs of providing governmental services during and after flood conditions, including maintenance and repair of public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems, and streets and bridges.
(5) 
Upon consideration of the factors of Subsection A(4) and the purposes of this chapter, the Planning Board may attach such conditions to the granting of variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.
(6) 
The Borough Administrator shall maintain the records of all appeal actions, including technical information, and report any variances to the Federal Insurance Administration, upon request.
B. 
Conditions for variances.
(1) 
Generally, variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot of 1/2 acre or less in size contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level, providing items in Subsection A(4)(a) through (k) have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond the 1/2 acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
(2) 
Variances may be issued for the repair or rehabilitation of historic structures upon a determination that the proposed repair or rehabilitation will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure and the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
(3) 
Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
(4) 
Variance shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
(5) 
Variances shall only be issued upon:
(a) 
A showing of good and sufficient cause;
(b) 
A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant; and
(c) 
A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expenses, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public as identified in Subsection A(4), or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.
(6) 
Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice that the structure will be permitted to be built with a lowest floor elevation below the base flood elevation and that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation.

§ 142-14 Enclosure openings.

[Added 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
For all new construction and substantial improvements having fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage in an area other than a basement and which are subject to flooding shall be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwaters. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or must meet or exceed the following minimum criteria: A minimum of two openings having a total net area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed area subject to flooding shall be provided. The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade. Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, or other covering or devices, provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.

§ 142-15 (Reserved)

§ 142-16 Manufactured homes.

[Added 3-9-1987 by Ord. No. 1404; amended 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
In all areas of special flood hazards where base flood elevation data have been provided as set forth herein, the following standards are required.
A. 
Manufactured homes shall be anchored in accordance with § 142-9A(2).
B. 
All manufactured homes to be placed or substantially improved within an area of special flood hazard shall be elevated on a permanent foundation such that the top of the lowest floor is at or above the base flood elevation.

§ 142-17 Encroachments.

[Added 9-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1722]
The cumulative effect of any proposed development, when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, shall not increase the water surface elevation of the base flood more than 0.2 foot at any point.