City of Clifton, NJ
Passaic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the City of Clifton 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 5859-97. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Land use procedures — See Ch. 57.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 399.
Zoning — See Ch. 461.

§ 201-1 Payment to professionals for services rendered to City.

A. 
The Chief Financial Officer of the City of Clifton shall make all of the payments to professionals for services rendered to the City of Clifton or approving authority for review of applications for development, review and preparation of documents, inspection of improvements or other purposes under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
B. 
The professional's fees or charges shall be based upon a schedule established by resolution of the Municipal Council of the City of Clifton. The application and inspection charges shall be limited to:
(1) 
Professional charges for review of applications, review and preparation of documents and inspections of developments under construction; and
(2) 
Review by outside consultants when an application is of a nature beyond the scope of the expertise of the professionals normally utilized by the City of Clifton.
C. 
The only costs that shall be added to the aforementioned charges are the professional's actual out-of-pocket expenses.
D. 
The City of Clifton shall not bill the applicant or charge any escrow account or deposit for any municipal, clerical or administrative functions, overhead expenses, meeting room charge or any of the municipal costs and expenses except as provided for specifically herein nor shall a City professional add any such charge to his bill.

§ 201-2 Escrow accounts.

A. 
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.2b, the City of Clifton may require the developer to deposit a sum towards anticipated municipal expenses for these professional services. The deposit shall be placed in an escrow account pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.1.
B. 
The deposit for the review of applications for development proposing a subdivision will be calculated based on the number of proposed lots.
C. 
The deposit for a development proposing a site plan shall be based on one or more of the following:
(1) 
The area of the site to be developed;
(2) 
The square footage of the building to be constructed; or
(3) 
If an addition, a factor for circulation-intensive sites, such as those containing drive-through facilities.
D. 
Deposits for inspection fees shall be established according to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.

§ 201-3 Deposits with City; escrow; interest.

A. 
Whenever an amount of money in excess of $5,000 is deposited by an applicant for professional services to be employed by the City of Clifton, the money, until repaid or applied to the purposes for which it is deposited, including the applicant's portion of the interest earned thereon, except as otherwise provided, shall continue to be the property of the applicant and shall be held in trust by the City of Clifton. Money deposited shall be held in escrow. The money shall be deposited in a banking institution or savings and loan association in the State of New Jersey insured by an agency of the federal government or in any other fund or depository approved for such deposits by the state, in an account bearing interest at the minimum rate currently paid by the institution or depository on time or savings deposits. The City shall notify the applicant in writing of the name and address of the institution or depository in which the deposit is made and the amount of the deposit.
B. 
Upon receipt of bills from professionals and approval of said bills as hereinafter provided for, the Chief Financial Officer may use such funds to pay the bills submitted by such professionals or experts. The City shall not be required to refund an amount of interest paid on a deposit which does not exceed $100 for the year. If the amount of interest exceeds $100, the entire amount shall belong to the applicant and shall be refunded to the applicant annually or at the time the deposit is repaid or applied for the purposes for which it was deposited, as the case may be, except that the City may retain for administrative expenses a sum equivalent of no more than 33 1/3% of that entire amount, which shall be in lieu of all other administrative and custodial expenses.
C. 
All sums not actually so expended shall be refunded to the applicant within 90 days after the final decision by the appropriate City agency with respect to such application, upon certification by the Board Secretary that such application has been finally decided.
D. 
The minimum deposit(s) required shall be as follows:
[Added 6-1-2004 by Ord. No. 6416-04]
(1) 
Subdivisions:
(a) 
Minor: $1,500.
[Amended 2-7-2006 by Ord. No. 6549-06]
(b) 
Major: $2,000.
(c) 
Final: $ 750.
(2) 
Site plans:
(a) 
Minor: $500.
(b) 
Preliminary major (residential/nonresidential): $2,000.
(c) 
Final: $750.
(3) 
Bulk variance:
(a) 
Residential/nonresidential: $250.
(4) 
Use variance:
[Added 12-4-2007 by Ord. No. 6705-07[1]]
(a) 
Residential/Nonresidential: $500.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also redesignated former Subsection D(4) and (5) as Subsection D(5) and (6), respectively.
(5) 
Other:
(a) 
Conditional use: $500.
(b) 
Planned unit development/general plan development: $1,000.
(c) 
Appeals (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70a): $500.
(d) 
Interpretations (N.J.S.A. 40D-70b): $500.
(e) 
Request for Master Plan amendment/zoning change: $1,000.
(f) 
Request for special meeting: $1,000.
(6) 
NOTE: The total escrow fee is the sum of all applicable fees from the above schedule.

§ 201-4 Voucher required for payments charged by the professional.

A. 
Each payment charged to the deposit for review of application, review and preparation of documents and inspection of improvements shall be pursuant to a voucher from the professional, which voucher shall identify the personnel performing the service, each date the services were performed, the hours spent to one-quarter-hour increments, the hourly rate and the expenses incurred. All professionals shall submit vouchers to the Chief Financial Officer of the City of Clifton on a monthly basis in accordance with the schedules and procedures established by the Chief Financial Officer. If the services are provided by a City of Clifton employee, the employee shall prepare and submit to the Chief Financial Officer a statement containing the same information as required by voucher, on a monthly basis.
B. 
The professional shall send an informational copy of all vouchers or statements submitted to the Chief Financial Officer simultaneously to:
(1) 
The applicant; and
(2) 
The municipal agency for whom said services were performed.
C. 
The Chief Financial Officer shall prepare and send to the applicant a statement, which shall include an accounting of funds listing all deposits, interest earnings, disbursements and the cumulative balance of the escrow account. This information shall be provided on a quarterly basis if monthly charges are $1,000 or less or on a monthly basis if monthly charges exceed $1,000. If an escrow account or deposit contains insufficient funds to enable the municipality or approving authority to perform required application reviews or improvement inspections, the Chief Financial Officer shall provide the applicant with a notice of the insufficient escrow or deposit balance. In order for work to continue on the development or the application, the applicant shall within a reasonable time period post a deposit to the account in an amount to be agreed upon, by the City of Clifton or approving authority and the applicant. In the interim, any required health and safety inspections shall be made and charged back against the replenishment of funds.

§ 201-5 Close-out procedures.

A. 
The following close-out procedures shall apply to the deposits and escrow accounts established under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq. The procedure must begin after the approving authority has granted final approval and signed the subdivision plat or site plan in the case of application review escrows and deposits or after the improvements have been approved in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.
B. 
Notice that the application or improvement is completed must be provided to the City of Clifton by the applicant mailing the same by certified mail to the Chief Financial Officer, the approving authority and to the relevant municipal professional. The Chief Financial Officer shall render a written final accounting of the deposit to the applicant within 45 days of receipt of the final bill. Any balances remaining in the deposit or escrow account, including interest, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.1 shall be refunded to the applicant with a final accounting.

§ 201-6 Scope of charges.

All professional charges for review of an application for development, review and preparation of documents or inspection of improvements shall be reasonable and necessary, given the status and progress of the application or construction. Review fees shall be charged only in connection with an application for development presently pending before the approving authority or upon review of compliance with the conditions of approval or review of requests for modification or amendment made by the applicant. A professional shall not review items which are subject to approval by any state governmental agency and not under municipal jurisdiction except to the extent consultation with a state agency is necessary due to the effect of state approvals on the subdivision or site plan.

§ 201-7 Limitation of inspection fees.

Inspection fees shall be charged only for actual work shown on a subdivision or site plan or required by an approving resolution. Professionals inspecting improvements under construction shall charge only for inspections that are reasonably necessary to check the progress and quality of the work and such inspections shall be reasonably based on the approved development plans and documents.

§ 201-8 Substitution of professionals.

If the City retains a different professional or consultant in the place of a professional originally responsible for development application review or inspection of improvements, the City or approving authority shall be responsible for all time and expenses of the new professional to become familiar with the application or the project, and the City or approving authority shall not bill the applicant or charge to the deposit or escrow account for any such services.

§ 201-9 Charges for professional services.

The applicant shall be responsible to reimburse the City of Clifton with regard to specific professional services in accordance with the following:
A. 
Charges for any professional for required attendance at a regular or special meeting during which hearings are held on the application in question; provided, however, that where hearings are held on other applications at the same hearing, the cost of attendance of the professionals shall be reimbursed on a pro rata basis;
B. 
The City of Clifton shall be entitled to be reimbursed for the review of applications both as to completeness and as to content; for the review and preparation of documents such as but not limited to drafting resolutions, developer's agreements and necessary correspondence with the applicant or applicant's professionals; and
C. 
The cost of all necessary inspections and for such other services necessary to assure that all work is performed in compliance with the approved plans and governing laws or ordinances.

§ 201-10 Payments required prior to issuance of permits.

No zoning permits, building permits, certificates of occupancy or any other types of permits may be issued with respect to any approved application for development until all bills for reimbursable services have been received by the City of Clifton from professional personnel rendering services in connection with such application and payment has been made by the applicant.

§ 201-11 Estimate of cost of improvements.

[Amended 12-3-2002 by Ord. No. 6319-02]
The cost of improvements for the purposes of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53 shall be estimated by the City Engineer based on documented construction costs for the public improvements prevailing in the general area of the City of Clifton. The developer may appeal the City Engineer's estimate to the Passaic County Construction Board of Appeals.

§ 201-12 Appeals of City fees.

[Amended 12-3-2002 by Ord. No. 6319-02]
A. 
An applicant must notify the governing body, in writing, with copies to the Chief Financial Officer, the approving authority and the professional, whenever the applicant disputes the charges made by a professional for a service rendered to the City of Clifton in reviewing applications for development, review and preparation of documents, inspection of improvements or other charges made pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.2. The governing body or its designee shall, within a reasonable time, attempt to remediate any disputed charges. If the matter is not resolved among the parties, the applicant may appeal to the Passaic County Construction Board of Appeals. An appeal must be filed within 45 days from the receipt of the professional voucher. If the professional does not provide the applicant with a voucher, the appeal period is extended to 60 days.
B. 
Once an appeal is filed, the Passaic County Construction Board of Appeals shall hear the appeal, render a decision thereon and file its decision with a statement of the reasons therefor with the City of Clifton or approving authority not later than 10 business days following the submission of the appeal unless such period of time has been extended with the consent of the applicant. The decision may approve, disapprove or modify the professional charges appealed from. A copy of the decision shall be forwarded by certified or registered mail to the party making the appeal, the City of Clifton, the approving authority and the professional involved in the appeal. Failure by the Board to hear an appeal and render and file a decision thereon within the time limits prescribed in this subsection shall be deemed a denial of the appeal for purposes of a complaint, application, or appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction.
C. 
Appeals shall be taken in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the Passaic County Construction Board of Appeals.

§ 201-13 Exercise of police power.

This entire chapter shall be deemed and construed to be an exercise of the police power of the City of Clifton in the State of New Jersey, and all of its provisions shall be liberally construed with a view to the effectuation of such purpose.

§ 201-14 Separability.

The provisions of this chapter are separable and if any provision, clause, sentence, subsection, word or part thereof is held illegal, invalid or unconstitutional or inapplicable to any person or circumstance, such illegality, invalidity or unconstitutionality, or inapplicability shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, clauses, sentences, subsections, words or parts of the regulation or their application to other persons or circumstances. It is hereby declared to be the legislative intent that this chapter would be adopted if such illegal, invalid or unconstitutional provision, clause, sentence, subsection, word or part had not been included therein, or as if such persons or circumstances, to which this chapter or part thereof is held inapplicable, had been specifically exempted therefrom.