Borough of Fort Lee, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
No member of the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment shall act on any matter in which he has either directly or indirectly any personal or financial interest. Whenever any such member shall disqualify himself from acting on a particular matter, he shall not continue to sit with the Board on the hearing of such matter nor participate in any discussion or decision relating thereto.
A. 
Meetings of both the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be scheduled no less often than once a month and any meeting so scheduled shall be held as scheduled unless canceled for lack of applications for development to process.
B. 
Special meetings may be provided for at the call of the Chairman or on the request of any two Board members, which shall be held on notice to its members and the public in accordance with all applicable legal requirements.
C. 
No action shall be taken at any meeting without a quorum being present.
D. 
All actions shall be taken by a majority vote of the members of the Board present at the meeting except as otherwise required by any provision of the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed to contravene any act providing for procedures for governing bodies.
E. 
All regular meetings and all special meetings shall be open to the public. Notice of all such meetings shall be given in accordance with the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.
Minutes of every regular or special meeting shall be kept and shall include the names of the persons appearing and addressing the Board and of the persons appearing by attorney, the action taken by the Board, the findings, if any, made by it and reasons therefor. The minutes shall thereafter be made available for public inspection during normal business hours at the office of the Borough Clerk. Any interested party shall have the right to compel production of the minutes for use as evidence in any legal proceeding concerning the subject matter of such minutes. Such interested party may be charged a fee for reproduction of the minutes for his use as provided for in the rules of the Board or, if no rules govern, then pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-2.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 261-29, Fees, was repealed 6-12-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-14. See now Appendix B: Fees and Escrow Funds, included at the end of this chapter.
A. 
Rules. The Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment shall make rules governing the conduct of hearings before such bodies, which rules shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., or of this chapter.
B. 
Oaths. The officer presiding at the hearing or such person as he may designate shall have power to administer oaths and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant evidence, including witnesses and documents presented by the parties, and the provisions of the County and Municipal Investigations Law, N.J.S.A. 2A:67A-1 et seq., shall apply.
C. 
Testimony. The testimony of all witnesses relating to an application for development shall be taken under oath or affirmation by the presiding officer and the right of cross examination shall be permitted to all interested parties through their attorneys, if represented, or directly, if not represented, subject to the discretion of the presiding officer and to reasonable limitations as to time and number of witnesses.
D. 
Evidence. Technical rules of evidence shall not be applicable to the hearing, but the Board may exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence.
E. 
Records. Each Board shall provide for the verbatim recording of the proceedings by either stenographic, mechanical or electronic means. The Board shall furnish a transcript or duplicate recording in lieu thereof on request to any interested party at his expense.
F. 
On appeals to the governing body pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-17, the appealing party shall bear the cost of providing transcripts of the record before the Board of Adjustment to the governing body.
G. 
A member of a municipal agency who was absent for one or more of the meetings at which a hearing was held shall be eligible to vote on the matter upon which the hearing was conducted, notwithstanding his absence from one or more of the meetings; provided, however, that such Board member has available to him the transcript or recording of all of the hearings from which he was absent and certifies in writing to the Board that he has read such transcript or listened to such recording.
Whenever a hearing is required on an application for development pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., or pursuant to the determination of the municipal agency in question, the applicant shall give notice thereof as follows:
A. 
Public notice shall be given by publication in the official newspaper of the Borough at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing.
B. 
Notice shall be given to the owners of all real property as shown on the current tax duplicate, located in the state and within 200 feet in all directions of the property which is the subject of such hearings, provided that this requirement shall be deemed satisfied by notice to the condominium association, in the case of any unit owner whose unit has a unit above or below it, or horizontal property regime, in the case of any co-owner whose apartment has an apartment above or below it.
(1) 
Notice shall be given by:
(a) 
Serving a copy thereof on the property owner as shown on the current tax duplicate, or his agent in charge of the property; or
(b) 
Mailing a copy thereof by certified mail to the property owner at his address as shown on the current tax duplicate.
(2) 
A return receipt is not required. Notice to a partnership owner may be made by service upon it upon any partner. Notice to a corporate owner may be made by service upon its president, a vice president, secretary or other person authorized by appointment or by law to accept service on behalf of the corporation. Notice to a condominium association, horizontal property regime, community trust or homeowners' association, because of its ownership of common elements or areas located within 200 feet of the property which is the subject of the hearing, may be made in the same manner as to a corporation without further notice to unit owners, co-owners or homeowners on account of such common elements or areas.
C. 
Notice of all hearings on applications for development involving property located within 200 feet of an adjoining municipality shall be given by personal service or certified mail to the Clerk of such municipality, which notice shall be in addition to the notice required to be given pursuant to § 261-31B to the owners of lands in such adjoining municipality which are located within 200 feet of the subject premises.
D. 
Notice shall be given by personal service or certified mail to the County Planning Board of a hearing on an application for development of property adjacent to an existing county road or proposed road shown on the Official County Map or on the County Master Plan, adjoining other county land or situate within 200 feet of a Borough boundary.
E. 
Notice shall be given by personal service or certified mail to the Commissioner of Transportation of a hearing on an application for development of property adjacent to a state highway.
F. 
Notice shall be given by personal service or certified mail to the Director of the Division of State and Regional Planning in the Department of Community Affairs of a hearing on an application for development of property which exceeds 150 acres or 500 dwelling units. Such notice shall include a copy of any maps or documents required to be on file with the Borough Clerk pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-10(b).
G. 
All notices hereinabove specified in this section shall be given at least 10 days prior to the date fixed for hearing and the applicant shall file an affidavit of proof of service with the Board holding the hearing on the application for development.
H. 
Any notice made by certified mail as hereinabove required shall be deemed to be complete upon mailing in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-14.
I. 
Form of notice. All notices required to be given pursuant to the terms of this chapter shall state the date, time and place of the hearing, the nature of the matters to be considered and identification of the property proposed for development by street address, if any, or by reference to lot and block numbers as shown on the current tax duplicate in the Borough Tax Assessor's office and the location and times at which any maps and documents for which approval is sought are available as required by law.
J. 
In addition to the foregoing notice requirements as set forth in the Municipal Land Use Law, whenever a property is the subject of any application for development pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law, the applicant shall allow the Borough to place a sign as hereinafter described on the property subject to the application, thereby giving additional notice of the application.
[Added 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-44]
(1) 
The sign to be placed on the property shall be fabricated by the Borough and shall read as follows: "This property is subject to a developmental application. The hearing will be held on ______________. Please contact the Board Secretary at 201-592-3500, ext. 1501, for further information regarding this project.
[Amended 11-14-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-47; 2-28-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-12]
(2) 
The property owner shall be responsible for placement of the sign and certification to the Board of the fact that the sign was placed on the subject property.
(3) 
The sign shall be placed on the subject property no more than two weeks, nor less than 10 days prior to the hearing, and shall remain on the property until completion of the hearing.
(4) 
The sign shall measure 18 inches by 24 inches with a white background and black lettering.
[Amended 2-28-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-12]
(5) 
Neither the Planning Board nor the Board of Adjustment shall entertain a hearing unless the property owner has certified that the sign was placed on the premises and remained on the premises in accordance with the foregoing.
(6) 
Nothing herein contained shall affect or dispense with any notice requirements mandated by the Municipal Land Use Law, but shall be merely supplementary thereto.
(7) 
The sign shall be placed by the property owner in a prominent position as close to the sidewalk or street on which the property has frontage so as to be readable from sidewalk or street.
[Amended 9-28-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-35; 12-16-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-46; 10-8-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-20]
A. 
List of property owners furnished. Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-12c, the Tax Assessor, the Zoning Officer, and/or Planning Administrator of the Borough shall, within seven days after receipt of a written request therefor and upon receipt of payment of a fee a sum not to exceed $0.25 per name, or $10, whichever is greater, may be charged for such list pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-12(c), make and certify a list from the current tax duplicate of names and addresses of owners to whom the applicant is required to give notice pursuant to § 261-31B of this chapter. The Tax Assessor, Zoning Officer, and/or Planning Administrator shall include on the list the names, addresses and positions of those persons who, not less than seven days prior to the date on which the applicant requested the list, have registered to receive notice pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-12h.
B. 
The applicant shall be entitled to rely upon the information contained in such list and failure to give notice to any owner or to any public utility, cable television company or local utility not on the list shall not invalidate any hearing or proceeding. The Tax Assessor, the Zoning Officer, and/or Planning Administrator shall not be required to furnish the names and addresses of those to whom the applicant must give notice pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-12(d), (e), (f), or (g).
A. 
Each decision on any application for development shall be reduced to writing as provided in this section and shall include findings of facts and conclusions based thereon.
(1) 
Failure of a motion to approve an application for development to receive the number of votes required for approval shall be deemed an action denying the application.
(2) 
A municipal agency may provide such written decision and findings and conclusions either on the date of the meeting at which the Board takes to grant or deny approval or, if the meeting at which such action is taken occurs within the final 45 days of the applicable time period for rendering a decision on the application for development, within 45 days of such meeting by the adoption of a resolution of memorialization setting forth the decision and the findings and conclusions of the Board thereon. An action resulting from the failure of a motion to approve an application shall be memorialized by resolution as provided above, notwithstanding the time at which such action occurs within the applicable time period for rendering a decision on the application.
(3) 
The adoption of a resolution of memorialization pursuant to this section shall not be construed to alter the applicable time period for rendering a decision on the application for development. Such resolution shall be adopted by a vote of a majority of the members of the Board who voted for the action previously taken and no other members shall vote thereon. The vote on such resolution shall be deemed to be a memorialization of an action of the Board and not to be an action of the Board, except that failure to adopt such a resolution within the forty-five-day period shall result in the approval of the application for development, notwithstanding any prior action taken thereon.
(4) 
Whenever a resolution of memorialization is adopted in accordance with this section, the date of such adoption shall constitute the date of the decision for purposes of mailing, filing and publication as required by this chapter.
B. 
A copy of the decision shall be mailed by the Board within 10 days of the date of decision to the applicant, or if represented, then to his attorney, without separate charge. A copy of the decision shall also be mailed to all persons who have requested in and who have paid the fee prescribed by the Board for such service. A copy of the decision shall also be filed in the office of the Borough Clerk, who shall make a copy of such filed decision available to any interested party upon payment of a fee calculated in the same manner as those established for copies of other public documents in the Borough.
[Amended 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-17]
A brief notice of every final decision shall be published in the official newspaper of the Borough. Such publication shall be arranged by the Planning Administrator or Board Secretary. Whenever, by resolution, the Planning Board shall act on an application made to the Board and legal publication of such resolution is required by the laws of the State of New Jersey, a publication fee shall be paid from the applicant's escrow account. The notice shall be sent to the official newspaper for publication within 10 days of the date of any such decision.
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-39 and N.J.S.A. 40:55D-65, every application for development submitted to the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be accompanied by proof that no taxes or assessments for local improvements are due or delinquent on the property which is the subject of such application; or, if it is shown that taxes or assessments are delinquent on the property, any approvals or other relief granted by either Board shall be conditioned upon either the prompt payment of such taxes or assessments or the making of adequate provision for the payment thereof in such manner that the Borough will be adequately protected.