Township of Rochelle Park, NJ
Bergen County
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[Amended 7-16-2008 by Ord. No. 988-08; 6-16-2010 by Ord. No. 1015-10[1]; 8-17-2011 by Ord. No. 1038-11[2]]
[1]:
Editor’s Note: This ordinance established a joint Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adustment.
[2]:
Editor’s Note: This ordinance provided for the reconstitution of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The ordinance passed at referendum 11-8-2011.

§ 185-4 Establishment.

Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-2 et seq., the Township of Rochelle Park Planning Board shall be comprised of nine members consisting of the following four classes:
A. 
Class I: the Mayor.
B. 
Class II: one of the officials of the municipality, other than a member of the governing body, to be appointed by the Mayor, provided that if there is an Environmental Commission, the member of the Environmental Commission who is also a member of the Planning Board as required by N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 shall be deemed to be the Class II Planning Board member for purposes of this chapter in the event that there is among the Class IV or alternate members of the Planning Board both a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment and a member of the Board of Education.
C. 
Class III: a member of the Township Committee, appointed by the Council.
D. 
Class IV: six other citizens of the municipality, to be appointed by the Mayor. The members of Class IV shall hold no other municipal office, except that one such member may be a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment or Historic Preservation Commission. A member of the Environmental Commission who is also a member of the Planning Board as required by N.J.S.A. 40:56A-1 shall be a Class IV Planning Board member, unless there is among the Class IV or alternate members both a member of the Zoning Board or Historic Preservation Commission and a member of the Board of Education, in which case the member common to the Planning Board and Environmental Commission shall be deemed a Class II member. Two Class IV members shall be appointed as alternates. See § 185-9.

§ 185-5 Terms of members.

A. 
The term of the member composing Class I shall correspond with his official tenure. The term of the member composing Class II shall be for one year or terminate at the completion of his first term of office, whichever occurs first, except for a Class II member who is also a member of the Environmental Commission. The term of a Class II or Class IV member who is also a member of the Environmental Commission shall be for three years or terminate at the completion of his term of office as a member of the Environmental Commission, whichever occurs first.
B. 
The term of the member composing Class III shall be for one year or terminate at the completion of his term of office, whichever occurs first.
C. 
The term of a Class IV member who is also a member of the Board of Adjustment or a Board of Education shall terminate whenever he is no longer a member of such other body or at the completion of his Class IV term, whichever occurs first.
D. 
The terms of all Class IV members first appointed pursuant to this chapter shall be so determined that to the greatest practicable extent the expiration of such terms shall be distributed evenly over the first four years after their appointment as determined by resolution of the governing body; provided, however, that no term of any member shall exceed four years and further provided that nothing herein shall affect the terms of any present members of the Planning Board, all of whom shall continue in office until the completion of the terms for which they were appointed. Thereafter all Class IV members shall be appointed for terms of four years except as otherwise herein above provided. All terms shall run from January 1 of the year in which the appointment is made.

§ 185-6 Vacancies.

If a vacancy in any class shall occur otherwise than by expiration of term, it shall be filled by appointment as above provided for the unexpired term.

§ 185-7 Removal for cause.

Any member other than a Class I member, after a public hearing if he/she requests one, may be removed by the Council for cause.

§ 185-8 Organization.

The Planning Board shall elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman from the members of Class IV and select a Secretary who may be either a member of the Planning Board or a municipal employee designated by it.

§ 185-9 Alternate members.

A. 
There shall be two alternate members of the Planning Board appointed by the Mayor and meeting the qualifications of Class IV members of nine-member Planning Boards. The alternate members shall be designated at the time of appointment by the Mayor as "Alternate No. 1" and "Alternate No. 2." The terms of the alternate members shall be for two years, except that the terms of the alternate members shall be such that the term of not more than one alternate member shall expire in any one year; provided, however, that in no instance shall the terms of the alternate members first appointed exceed two years. Notwithstanding the aforesaid, the initial terms of the members shall be arranged so as to accomplish the intent of this section. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled by the Mayor for the unexpired term only.
B. 
No alternate member shall be permitted to act on any matter in which he has, either directly or indirectly, any personal or financial interest. An alternate member may, after public hearing if he requests one, be removed by the Township Committee for cause.
C. 
The alternate members may participate in discussions of the proceedings but may not vote except in the absence or disqualification of a regular member of any class. A vote shall not be delayed in order that a regular member may vote instead of an alternate member. In the event that a choice must be made as to which alternate member is to vote, Alternate No. 1 shall vote.

§ 185-10 Powers and duties.

The Planning Board is authorized to adopt bylaws governing its procedural operation. It shall also have the following powers and duties:
A. 
To make and adopt and from time to time amend a Master Plan for the physical development of the Township, including any areas outside its boundaries which, in the Board's judgment, bear essential relation to the planning of the Township, in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-28.
B. 
To approve conditional use applications as authorized by state statute.
C. 
To administer the provisions of the Land Use and Development Ordinance of the Township in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the Municipal Land Use Law of 1975, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
D. 
To participate in the preparation and review of programs or plans required by state or federal law or regulations.
E. 
To assemble data on a continuing basis as part of a continuing planning process.
F. 
To review and make recommendations to the Council on the Official Map of the Township pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-32 and N.J.S.A. 40:55D-26.
G. 
To annually prepare a program of municipal capital improvement projects over a term of six years and amendments thereto and recommend the same to the governing body.
H. 
To consider and make report to the governing body within 35 days after referral as to any proposed development regulation submitted to it pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-26a and also pass upon other matters specifically referred to the Planning Board by the Township Committee pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-26b.
I. 
When reviewing applications for approval of subdivision plats, site plans or conditional uses, to grant, to the same extent and subject to the same restrictions as the Zoning Board of Adjustment:
(1) 
A variance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70c.
(2) 
Direct the issuance of a permit for a building or structure either not related to a street (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-36) or in the bed of a mapped street or public drainageway, flood control basin or public area reserved on the Official Map (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-32).
(3) 
Whenever relief is requested pursuant to this subsection, notice of a hearing on the application for development shall include reference to the request for a variance or direction for issuance of a permit as the case may be.
J. 
To perform such other advisory duties as are assigned to it by ordinance or resolution of the governing body or other agencies or officers.

§ 185-11 Time for approval; expiration of approval.

A. 
Minor subdivisions. Minor subdivision approvals shall be granted or denied within 45 days of the date of submission of a complete application to the Planning Board or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Approval of a minor subdivision shall expire 190 days from the date of Planning Board approval unless within such period a plat in conformity with such approval and the provisions of the Map Filing Law or a deed clearly describing the approved minor subdivision is filed by the developer with the County Recording Officer, the Municipal Engineer and the Municipal Tax Assessor. Any such plat or deed must be signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Planning Board before it will be accepted for filing by the County Recording Officer.
B. 
Preliminary approval of major subdivisions. Upon submission of a complete application for a subdivision of 10 or fewer lots, the Planning Board shall grant or deny preliminary approval within 45 days of the date of such submission or within such further time as may be consented to by the developer. Upon submission of a complete application for a subdivision of more than 10 lots, the Planning Board shall grant or deny preliminary approval within 95 days of the date of such submission or within such further time as may be consented to by the developer. Otherwise, the Planning Board shall be deemed to have granted preliminary approval for the subdivision.
C. 
Ancillary powers. Whenever the Planning Board is called upon to exercise its ancillary powers before the granting of a variance as set forth in Article II, § 185-10I, the Planning Board shall grant or deny approval of the application within 95 days after the submission by the developer of a complete application or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Failure of the Planning Board to act within the period prescribed shall constitute approval of the application and a certificate of the administrative officer as to the failure of the Planning Board to act shall be issued on request of the applicant.
D. 
Final approval. Application for final subdivision approval shall be granted or denied within 45 days of submission of a complete application or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Final approval of a major subdivision shall expire 95 days from the date of the signing of the plat unless within such period the plat shall have been duly filed by the developer with the County Recording Officer. The Planning Board may, for good cause shown, extend the period for recording for an additional period not to exceed 190 days from the date of the signing of the plat.

§ 185-12 Application procedure.

A. 
Applications for development within the jurisdiction of the Planning Board pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq. shall be filed with the Secretary of the Planning Board. The applicant shall file, at least 25 days before the date of the meeting of the Board, one copy of an application and one plan. This initial submittal will be reviewed and returned to the applicant with notations and/or suggestions for the applicant to prepare the final application. Within 15 days of the scheduled meeting, the applicant shall submit 16 copies of an application, 16 plans and reports associated with the application. The applicant shall obtain all necessary forms from the Secretary of the Planning Board. The submission of an application for either preliminary or final approval shall be accompanied by a completed application form and the appropriate completed checklist as adopted as part of this chapter (see Appendix A).[1] The Secretary of the Board shall inform the applicant of the steps to be taken to initiate applications and of the regular meeting dates of the Board.
[1]:
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included at the end of this chapter.
B. 
Copies of all applications, plat plans, maps and other papers submitted to the Planning Board Secretary shall simultaneously with such delivery be served upon the Planning Board Attorney and Planning Board Engineer. In addition, if requested to do so by the Board Secretary, copies shall also be forwarded to the Board's Planner as well as any other professionals.

§ 185-13 Environmental Commission.

Whenever the Environmental Commission (if any Environmental Commission exists) has prepared and submitted to the Planning Board an index of the natural resources of the municipality, the Planning Board shall make available to the Environmental Commission a copy of every application for development to the Planning Board. Failure of the Planning Board to make such informational copy available to the Environmental Commission shall not invalidate any hearing or proceeding.

§ 185-14 Rules and regulations.

The Board shall adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry into effect the provisions and purposes of this chapter. In the issuance of subpoenas, administration of oaths and taking of testimony, the provisions of the County and Municipal Investigations Law of 1953 (N.J.S.A. 2A:67A-1 et seq.) shall apply.

§ 185-15 Employment of counsel, experts and staff.

The Planning Board may also employ or contract for and fix the compensation of legal counsel and such experts and other staff and services as it may deem necessary. The Board shall not authorize expenditures which exceed, exclusive of grants, the amount appropriated by the governing body for its use.