[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Jefferson 5-10-2000 by Ord. No. 7-00 (Ch. 37 of the 1967 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the intent and purpose of this chapter to provide proper guidelines and requirements for an environmental impact statement to be filed in conjunction with an application for development requiring the disturbance of more than 5,000 square feet of land area and in support of any other proposed site disturbances within Jefferson Township, as further defined in § 222-4 below.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The appropriate administrative authority having jurisdiction over the particular application pursuant to the ordinances of the Township of Jefferson. In the case of an application for development, the review and approval of an environmental impact statement shall rest with the agency having jurisdiction over the application. Where there is no specific jurisdiction granted under the Township ordinances, the review and approval agency in all other cases shall be the Township Planning Board.
- ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
- A description and analysis of all possible direct and indirect effects that a proposed development will have on the site itself as well as adjacent and noncontiguous areas, with particular reference to the effect of the project on the public safety, health and welfare, the protection of public and private property and the protection, preservation and enhancement of the natural environment.
- Any plot, parcel or tract of land.
No site shall be disturbed or developed within the Township of Jefferson by any person, partnership, corporation, public agency or entity within the municipality unless an environmental impact statement has been approved by the board in accordance with the specifications and procedures required by this chapter except as authored by the appropriate Township official to obtain data necessary to comply with state, county and municipal requirements. The Township of Jefferson and other public bodies, including churches, boards of education and counties, shall abide by this chapter.
The applicant is responsible for selecting a qualified person or persons to prepare the environmental impact statement. The name(s) and addresses of the person(s) preparing the environmental impact statement and a list of qualifications shall be included in the document. The board shall determine whether the preparers are qualified to write the environmental impact statement (EIS).
An environmental impact statement shall be required in conjunction with any application before the appropriate board which proposes the disturbance of more than 5,000 square feet of land area and prior to the issuance of any permit or the commencement of any activity within the Township of Jefferson which will result in the disturbance of more than 5,000 square feet of land area and in conjunction with any application, permit, request or activity, regardless of the size of the property, which is located in any critical area as identified in the Jefferson Township Natural Resource Inventory or which, in the opinion of the appropriate agency or official, might create a potential environmental hazard to the health, safety and welfare of the public.
An application for a single one-family detached dwelling which would result in the disturbance of more than 5,000 square feet, but less than 10,000 square feet, of land area shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
Any minor subdivision or minor site plan as defined by the Township Subdivision Ordinance shall be exempt unless located in a critical area or unless the development might create a potential environmental hazard to the health, safety or welfare of the public in the opinion of the board considering the application.
Land disturbance for an agricultural use not involving a building permit and conducted under a plan approved by the Soil Conservation District or for silviculture carried out in accordance with a plan approved by the State Forester and Township Forester and not located in any one-hundred-year floodplain or in an area having slopes greater than 12% or requiring road construction for accessibility shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
The board shall have the right to waive the requirements for an environmental impact statement, in whole or in part, for any application upon a finding that the data required is not necessary to determine whether the proposed project might create a hazard to the environmental health, safety and welfare of the public.
An environmental impact statement shall not be required in conjunction with any subsequent applications or activity to be constructed in conformance with a site plan or subdivision approval within the previous five years.
The environmental impact statement shall contain information and analysis with respect to the following:
An inventory of existing environmental conditions at the project site and in the surrounding region, which shall describe air quality, water quality, noise, water supply, hydrology, both surface and subsurface, geology, soils, vegetation (including deciduous trees of three-inch or greater diameter at breast height), coniferous trees of four-inch or greater diameter, desirable shrubs and ground covers worthy of protection, wildlife, aesthetics and historical sites. Water and air quality are defined in accordance with guidelines and standards established by the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The description of soils is to conform with the definition and terminology used by the Soil Conservation District.
An assessment of the probable impact of the project, both adverse and beneficial, on the topics described in Subsection B above for the purpose of addressing and quantifying in a comprehensive manner the impacts of the development on the criteria above as affected by any local, state or federal standards.
Any probable adverse environmental effects, including but not limited to:
Diminished water quality.
Diminished air quality.
Increased noise levels.
Excessive or undesirable illumination of surrounding areas.
Undesirable land use.
Damage to or destruction of significant plant or wildlife systems, as well as to threatened and endangered species of flora and fauna.
Damage to aesthetic values.
Destruction of natural resources.
Displacement of people and business.
Destruction of farms used during the last five years.
Undesirable effects on employment, property taxes and municipal services.
Destruction of man-made resources and damage to recreational areas.
Disruption of desirable community and regional growth.
Jeopardy to health, safety and well-being of the public and immediate neighbors.
Impact on delineated wetlands, both on site and off site.
All of the above as it affects an adjoining municipality.
A summary listing of all adverse impacts for each specific application shall be provided at the conclusion of the impacts section of the EIS.
A thorough discussion of the steps to be taken, including description and timetable before, during and after construction, both at the project site and in the surrounding area, to minimize the adverse environmental effects as described in Subsection D above.
For each of the above alternatives considered, provide a rationale for choosing the proposed plan in lieu of all other alternatives.
Implications of the proposed action for population distribution or concentration should be estimated and an assessment made of any possible change in population patterns upon the area impacted, including land use, water and public services.
A listing of all licenses, permits or other approvals as required by municipal, county and state law, and the status of each.
A reference list of pertinent published information, relating to the project, project site and surrounding region, used in the preparation of the environmental impact statement shall be submitted.
Particular data are required as to:
Sewerage facilities. The applicant must show:
Compliance with state and local health regulations.
If disposal is on-site, the applicant is to include a soil analysis, percolation tests for every five acres and every building site, location of aquifers, depth and capacity of all wells within 200 feet of the disposal site and other pertinent data.
If disposal is off-site, the applicant is to include data on plant design capacity, capacity of plant to treat industrial or commercial wastes, when applicable, and any other pertinent data.
Flows, existing and future, expected from any approved subdivision which are dependent upon the same facilities.
Water supply. The applicant must show:
Compliance with state and local regulations.
Location and depth of all private and public water supplies within 200 feet of the realty improvement.
Location, depth and adequacy of off-site and on-site private or public water supplies to serve the proposed realty improvement.
For realty improvements with more than 50 dwelling units, it will be necessary to obtain a determination by the Division of Water Resources that the proposed water supply and sewerage facilities are adequate.
For realty improvements with less than 50 dwelling units, it will be necessary to show that the semipublic water supply is adequate.
Drainage. The applicant must show:
The volume of stormwater runoff from the site and the volume to be generated by new improvements.
Any increase in the rate of velocity of runoff and change in drainage patterns.
Plans for disposition of stormwater, whether by retention on-site or other means, to protect downstream property.
Floodplains. A description of potential flood conditions or damages, including a summary of flood stages from state and federal sources.
Proposals for soil erosion and sedimentation control.
Solid waste disposal. The applicant must submit a plan for disposal in compliance with the State Sanitary Code.
Energy use. Applicant must submit information on the utilities' capacity to satisfy needs of development.
Wetlands. Where wetlands are either known or thought to exist on the subject parcel of interest, the applicant will retain a wetlands expert to confirm or deny the existence of wetlands on the site. Where confirmation is found, a letter of interpretation confirming the delineation of the wetlands on the site is required to be applied for from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).
Noise. The applicant must show:
Compliance with state and local regulations.
Sound level generation projected during the construction phase of the project at neighboring property lines.
Sound levels associated with stationary and mobile sources on the site at the neighboring property lines during the operational phase of the project.
Analysis, by the applicant, of sound attenuating capabilities of mitigation provided (i.e., landscaping, solid fencing, earthen or vegetative berms, sound barriers, etc.).
Fiscal impact analysis. In situations where the applicant is requesting a variance to either build residential units on parcels not currently zoned as residential or requesting considerations of higher densities of residential development than currently permitted in the residential zone in question, then the applicant must:
Prepare a fiscal impact analysis which details the financial benefits (i.e., tax revenue generated) and costs (i.e., municipal services, public education, etc.) associated with the proposal.
The above analysis shall provide total population and school age population projection figures by recognized sources (i.e., Center for Urban Research at Rutgers University, etc.).
Traffic analysis. Unless specifically waived by the board, all applicants must prepare a traffic report in addition to an environmental impact statement. The traffic report must be prepared by a licensed professional engineer with a demonstrated background (i.e., education, professional practice, etc.) in the field of traffic/transportation engineering.
Twenty copies of the environmental impact statement shall be submitted to the Secretary of the board at the time of application. In the case of a subdivision or site plan application, the environmental impact statement shall be included with the application for preliminary approval. In the case of an environmental impact statement which is not in conjunction with a development application, the statement shall be filed with the Township Clerk at the time of permit application and/or prior to commencement of any land disturbance activity.
Upon receipt, copies of the environmental impact statement shall be distributed as follows:
One copy to each board member.
One copy to Township Planner.
One copy to Township Engineer.
Three copies to the Environmental Commission, together with three copies of all maps, plats, applications and supporting data.
One copy to any other agency or individual as requested by the board.
Two copies are to remain on file in the Municipal Building for review by any member of the public.
Each agency or individual designated by the board as provided above shall review the environmental impact statement as well as any other pertinent documents, inspect the site in question and make a report of his findings and recommendations to the board within 30 days of the date of filing of the statement. Said time period can be extended by the board with the consent of the applicant.
The board shall analyze and review the environmental impact statement along with the recommendations of all agencies and individuals listed above and make a determination within the time limits provided by law for action in the case of a subdivision or site plan or within 60 days of the date of filing in all other cases.
Upon the filing of any environmental impact statement, the party filing same shall be required to pay a fee in the amount of $250 for each application.
In reviewing an environmental impact statement, the Board may refer the statement to one or more qualified environmental experts for review and comment at the applicant's sole cost and expense. Payment for such services and the collection of funds therefor shall be in accordance with § 70-28, Fees. The board may consider, but not be bound by, any such expert information, recommendations or opinion in deciding whether to approve, reject or require revisions to the proposed development application.