A Land Use Board is hereby created, to consist of nine members and to be composed of four classes as follows:
Class I: the Mayor, or the Mayor's designee in the absence of the Mayor.
[Amended 10-31-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12]
Class II: one Township official, other than a member of the Township Committee, to be appointed by the Mayor. If Class IV includes a member of the Board of Education, then an Environmental Commission member shall constitute this Class II member.
[Amended 10-31-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12]
Class III: none, unless the Township Committee exceeds three members, in which case this class shall consist of one member of the Township Committee other than the Mayor, appointed by the Committee.
Class IV: The balance of the Board shall be other Township citizens appointed by the Mayor who shall hold no other Township office, except that one may be a member of the Board of Education and one shall be a member of the Environmental Commission, unless there shall be among this class or alternate members a member of the Board of Education, in which case the Environmental Commission member shall be deemed to be a Class II member.
[Amended 10-31-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12]
The terms of Land Use Board members shall be as follows:
Class I: to correspond to the Mayor's official tenure or if the member is the Mayor's designee in the absence of the Mayor, the designee shall serve at the pleasure of the Mayor during the Mayor's official tenure.
[Amended 10-31-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12]
Class II: the earlier of one year or term of office, except that the Environmental Commission member's term shall be the earlier of three years or the end of his term on the Environmental Commission.
Class III: the earlier of one year or term of office.
Class IV: the earlier of four years or end of term on any other Township body. To the greatest practicable extent, the expiration of terms shall be distributed evenly in this class.
Vacancies in any class occurring otherwise than by expiration of Land Use Board term shall be filled by appointment as provided above for the unexpired term.
No member shall be permitted to act on any matter in which he has, either directly or indirectly, any personal or financial interest. Whenever any 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 as a Board member in any discussion or decision relating thereto.
Any member except Class I may be removed for cause by the Township Committee, after a public hearing if he requests one.
The Mayor may appoint two alternate members of the Board, who shall meet the qualifications of Class IV members. Alternate members shall be designated at the time of appointment as "Alternate Member No. 1'' and "Alternate Member 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. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled by the Mayor for the unexpired term only.
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 be removed for cause by the Township Committee, after a public hearing if he requests one.
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 Member No. 1 shall vote.
Any member or alternate member of the Board who is absent for one or more meetings at which a hearing was held shall be eligible to vote on the matter although absent from one or more of the meetings; provided, however, that such member or alternate member has available to him the transcript or recording of all of the hearing from which he was absent and that he certifies in writing to the Board that he has read such transcript or listened to such recording.
A Chairman and a Vice Chairman shall be elected by the Board from among the Class IV members, and a Secretary shall be selected, who may or may not be a member of the Board or a Township employee. The Board may create and fill such offices, including a Board Clerk, as may be established by ordinance. It may employ or contract for and fix the compensation of legal counsel, other than the Township Attorney, and experts and other staff and services as it may deem necessary, not exceeding, exclusive of gifts or grants, the amount appropriated by the Township Committee for its use.
The Board shall follow the provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.) and this chapter and may accordingly exercise its power in regard to:
The Master Plan.
Site plan and subdivision review.
The Official Map.
The capital improvements program.
Variances and certain building permits in conjunction with site plan and subdivision approval.
The preparation and review of programs or plans required by state or federal law or regulation.
The assembly of data on a continuing basis as part of a continuous planning process.
The development and maintenance of a checklist of requirements for the determination of completeness of applications for development.
Any other advisory duties as may be assigned to it by ordinance or resolution of the Township Committee.
All powers previously vested in the Board of Adjustment as provided for by N.J.S.A. 40:55D-25.
[Added 2-10-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-03]
Prior to the adoption of any development regulation or any revision or amendment thereto, the Board shall make and transmit to the Township Committee, within 35 days after referral, a report, including recommendations, concerning the proposed development regulation, revision or amendment. The Township Committee, when considering the adoption of any development regulation, revision or amendment, shall review the report of the Board and may disapprove or change any recommendation by a vote of a majority of its full authorized membership and shall record in its minutes the reasons for not following such recommendations. Failure of the Board to transmit its report within the thirty-five-day period provided herein shall relieve the Township Committee from the requirements of this Subsection A in regard to the proposed development regulation, revision or amendment referred to the Board.
The Township Committee may by ordinance provide for the referral of any matter or class of matters to the Board before final action thereon by a Township body or a Township official having final authority thereon, except to any matter under N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70d. Whenever the Board shall have made a recommendation regarding a matter authorized by ordinance to another Township body, such recommendation may be rejected only by a majority vote of the full authorized membership of such other Township body.
[Amended 2-10-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-03]
The Mayor may appoint one or more persons as a Citizens' Advisory Committee to assist or collaborate with the Board in its duties, but such person or persons shall be without power to vote or take other action required by the Board. Such person or persons shall serve at the pleasure of the Mayor.
If the Environmental Commission has prepared and submitted to the Land Use Board an index of the natural resources of the Township, each such Board shall transmit an informational copy of every application for development received to the Commission. Failure to submit such copy shall not invalidate any hearing or proceeding by the Board.
The Board shall adopt and may amend reasonable rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.) or this chapter, for the administration of its functions, powers and duties, and shall furnish a copy thereof to any person upon request and may charge a reasonable fee for such copy. Copies of such rules and regulations and amendments thereto shall be maintained in the office of the Board Clerk.
The Board shall by its rules fix the time and place for holding its regular meetings for business authorized to be conducted, to be scheduled not less than once a month and to be held as scheduled unless canceled for lack of applications for development to process. The Board may provide for special meetings at the call of the Chairman or on request of any two of its members, which shall be held on notice to its members and the public in accordance with this chapter. No action shall be taken at any meeting without a quorum being present. All actions shall be taken by a majority vote of the members of the Board present at the meeting except as otherwise required by § 310-20G(2) and (3) of this article or § 310-49A(2) of Article VI of this chapter or by the Municipal Land Use Law. Failure of a motion to receive the number of votes required to approve an application for development pursuant to the exceptional vote requirements of § 310-49A(2) of Article VI of this chapter shall be deemed an action denying the application. Nothing herein shall be construed to contravene any act providing for procedures of the Township Committee.
All regular meetings and all special meetings shall be open to the public. Notice of all such meetings shall be given in accordance with this chapter. An executive session for the purpose of discussing and studying any matters to come before the Board shall not be deemed to be a regular or special meeting within the meaning of this chapter.
Minutes of every regular and special meeting shall be kept and shall include the names of persons appearing and addressing the Board and of all persons appearing by attorney, the action taken by the Board, the findings, if any, made by it and the reasons therefor. Minutes shall be made available for public inspection during normal business hours at the office of the Board Clerk. Any interested party shall have the right to compel production of the minutes for use as evidence in any legal proceedings concerning the subject matter of such minutes, subject to a reasonable charge for their reproduction.
The Board shall hold a hearing on each application for development or each adoption, revision or amendment of the Master Plan.
The Board shall make the rules governing such hearings. Any maps and documents for which approval is sought at a hearing shall be on file and available for public inspection at least 10 days before the date of the hearing during normal business hours in the office of the Board Clerk. The applicant may produce other documents, records or testimony at the hearing to substantiate, clarify or supplement the previously filed maps and documents.
The Board Chairman or such other persons as he may designate shall have the 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 N.J.S.A. 2A:67-1 et seq. shall apply.
The testimony of all witnesses relating to an application for development shall be taken under oath or affirmation by the Chairman and the right of cross-examination shall be permitted to all interested parties, subject to the discretion of the Chairman and to reasonable limitations as to time and number of witnesses.
Technical rules of evidence shall not be applicable to the hearing, but the Board may exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence.
The Board shall provide for the verbatim recording of the proceedings by stenographer, mechanical or electronic means. The Board shall furnish a transcript or a duplicate recording in lieu thereof on request to any interested party at his expense; provided, however, that the Board shall not charge such interested party more than the maximum permitted by N.J.S.A. 2A:11-15. The transcript shall be certified in writing by the transcriber to be accurate.
The Board shall include findings of fact and conclusions based thereon in each decision on any application for development and shall reduce the decision to writing. The Board shall provide the findings and conclusions through:
A resolution adopted at a meeting held within the time period provided by ordinance for action by the Board on the application for development; or
A memorializing resolution adopted at a meeting held not later than 45 days after the date of the meeting at which the Board voted to grant or deny the approval.
Only the members of the Board who voted in favor of the action taken may vote on the memorializing resolution, and the vote of a majority of such members present at the meeting at which the resolution is presented for adoption shall be sufficient to adopt the resolution.
An action pursuant to § 310-18A of this article (resulting from the failure of a motion to approve an application) shall be memorialized by resolution as provided above, with those members who voted against the motion for approval being the members eligible to vote on the memorializing resolution.
The vote on any such resolution shall be deemed to be a memorialization of the action of the Board and not to be an action of the Board; provided, however, that the date of the adoption of the resolution shall constitute the date of the decision for purposes of the mailings, filings and publications required by Subsections H and I of this section.
If the Board fails to adopt a resolution or a memorializing resolution as specified in Subsection G(1)(a) and (b) above, any interested party may apply to the Superior Court in a summary manner for an order compelling the Board to reduce its findings and conclusions to writing within a stated time, and the cost of the application, including attorney's fees, shall be assessed against the Township.
A copy of the decision shall be mailed by the Board within 10 days of the date of the decision or adoption of a resolution or a memorializing resolution, whichever shall last occur, to the applicant or his attorney, if represented, without separate charge, and to all who request a copy of the decision for a reasonable fee. A copy of the decision shall also be filed by the Board in the office of the Board Clerk. The Board Clerk shall make a copy of the filed decision available to any interested party for a reasonable fee, and available for public inspection at his office during reasonable hours.
A brief notice of the decision shall be published by the Board Clerk in the official newspaper of the Township, and the period of time in which an appeal of the decision may be made shall run from the first publication of the decision. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as preventing the applicant from arranging such publication if he so desires. The Township may make a reasonable charge for this publication.
[Amended 6-10-1993 by Ord. No. 93-4]
At the request of an applicant/developer, the Board shall grant an informal review of a concept plan for a development for which the applicant/developer intends to prepare and submit an application for development. If the applicant/developer requests the presence of professionals, an escrow account must be established and all charges shall be borne by the applicant/developer. The applicant/developer shall not be bound by any concept plan for which an informal review is requested, and the Land Use Board shall not be bound by any such review.
The Land Use and Subdivision and Site Plan Review Ordinances or any revision or amendment thereto shall not take effect until a copy thereof has been filed with the County Planning Board. The Official Map of the Township shall not take effect until a copy thereof has been filed with the County Clerk. Copies of all development regulations and the Official Map and revisions and amendments thereto shall be filed and maintained in the office of the Township Clerk.
Public utilities may apply directly to the State Board of Public Utility Commissioners within 35 days of a Board decision without appeal to the Township Committee, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-19.
If, during an approval period, an applicant is ready, willing and able to proceed and is barred or prevented from proceeding by any state or local agency, court or another party to protect the public health and welfare, the running of the time period shall be suspended during the hiatus.
If an applicant submits an application for development proposing a development that is barred or prevented, directly or indirectly, by a legal action instituted by any state agency, political subdivision or other party to protect the public health or welfare or by a directive or order issued by any state agency, political subdivision or court of competent jurisdiction to protect the public health or welfare, the Board shall process such application for development in accordance with the development regulations and, if such application for development complies with said regulations, the Board shall approve such application conditioned upon removal of such legal barrier to development.
If any development proposed by an application for development requires an approval by a governmental agency other than the Board, the Board shall, in appropriate instances, condition its approval upon the subsequent approval of such other government agency; provided, however, that the Board shall act upon the application for development within the time period provided by this chapter or within such additional period as may have been agreed to in writing by the applicant, unless the Board is prevented or relieved from acting by operation of law.
[Added 4-2-1987 by Ord. No. 87-16]
All proposals for development within an airport hazard area shall meet the zoning standards of Franklin Township and the minimum land use standards of the Air Safety and Hazardous Zoning Act of 1983 as set forth in N.J.A.C. 16:62.