Township of Lopatcong, NJ
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Pursuant to the provisions of P.L 1975, c. 291 § 56,[1] the Zoning Board of Adjustment, also known as the "Board of Adjustment," is hereby established and shall consist of seven members.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-69.
B. 
The members of the Board of Adjustment shall be appointed by the Township Council. The terms of the members first appointed under 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. Thereafter, the term of each member shall be four years. No member may hold any elective office or position in the Township. No member shall be permitted to act on any matter in which he has, either directly or indirectly, any personal or financial interest. A member may, after public hearing if he requests it, be removed from by the Township Council for cause. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term only.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
C. 
The Board of Adjustment shall elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman from its members and select a Secretary who may or may not be a member of the Board of Adjustment or a municipal employee.
A. 
The Board of Adjustment shall have the power to:
(1) 
Hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant that there is error in any order, requirement, decision or refusal made by the Zoning Enforcement Officer or other administrative official based on or made in the enforcement of this chapter.
(2) 
Hear and decide, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, requests for interpretation of the Zoning Map or this chapter or decisions upon other special questions upon which such Board is authorized to pass.
(3) 
Where, by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness or shape of a specific piece of property, or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions or physical features uniquely affecting a specific piece of property, or by reason of an extraordinary and exceptional situation uniquely affecting a specific piece of property or the structures lawfully existing thereon, the strict application of any zoning regulation of this chapter would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties to or exceptional and undue hardship upon the developer of such property, grant, upon an application or an appeal relating to such property, a variance from such strict application of such regulation so as to relieve such difficulties or hardship; where in an application or appeal relating to a specific piece of property the purposes of this chapter would be advanced by a deviation from the requirements of this chapter and the benefits of the deviation would substantially outweigh any detriment, grant a variance to allow departure from the zoning regulations of this chapter; provided, however, that no variance from those departures enumerated in Subsection A(4) of this section shall be granted under this subsection; and provided, further, that the proposed development does not require approval by the Planning Board of a subdivision, site plan or conditional use, in conjunction with which the Planning Beard has power to review a request for a variance pursuant to this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
(4) 
In particular cases and for special reasons, grant a variance to allow departure from the zoning regulations of this chapter to permit a use or principal structure, an expansion of a nonconforming use, deviation from a specification or standard pursuant to Article XV of this chapter pertaining solely to a conditional use, an increase in the permitted floor area ratio as defined in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-4, or an increase in the permitted density as defined in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-4, except as applied to the required lot area for a lot or lots for detached one- or two-dwelling-unit buildings, which lot or lots are either an isolated, undersized lot or lots resulting from a minor subdivision. A variance under this subsection shall be granted only by affirmative vote of at least five members of the Board.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
(5) 
Give direction, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-34, for issuance of a permit for a building or structure in the bed of a mapped street or public drainageway, flood control basin or public area reserved on an official map.
(6) 
Give direction, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-36, for issuance of a permit for a building or structure not related to a street.
(7) 
Grant, to the same extent and subject to the same restriction as the Planning Board, subdivision or site plan approval or conditional use approval whenever the proposed development requires approval by the Board of Adjustment of a variance pursuant to Subsection A(4). The developer may elect to submit a separate application requesting approval of the variance and a subsequent application for any required approval of a subdivision, site plan or conditional use. The separate approval of the variance shall be conditioned upon the grant of all required subsequent approvals by the Board of Adjustment. No such subsequent approval shall be granted unless such approval can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without a substantial impairment of the intent and purpose of the Zone Plan.
B. 
No variance or other relief may be granted under the terms of this section unless such variance or other relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the Zone Plan and this chapter. An application under this section may be referred to any appropriate person or agency, including the Planning Board, provided that such reference shall not extend the period of time within which the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall act.
The Board of Adjustment may employ or contract for and fix the compensation of legal counsel, other than the Municipal Attorney, a licensed planning consultant, a licensed engineer and other staff and services as it shall deem necessary, not exceeding, exclusive of gifts or grants, the amount appropriated by the Township Council for its use.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
The Board of Adjustment shall, at least once a year, review its decisions on applications and appeals for variances and prepare and adopt by resolution a report of its findings on zoning ordinance provisions which were the subject of variance requests and its recommendations for amendments or revisions, if any, to this chapter. The Board of Adjustment shall send copies of the report and resolution to the governing body and Planning Board.
A. 
Appeals to the Board of Adjustment may be taken by an interested party effected by any decision of an administrative officer of the municipality based on or made in the enforcement of this chapter or the Official Map. Such appeal shall be taken within 20 days by filing a notice of appeal with the officer from whom the appeal is taken specifying the grounds of such appeal. The officer from whom the appeal is taken shall immediately transmit to the Board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.
B. 
A developer may file an application for development with the Board of Adjustment for action under any of its powers without prior application to an administrative officer.
C. 
The Board of Adjustment may reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, or may modify the action, order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination appealed from and, to that end, have all the powers of the administrative officer from whom the appeal is taken.
D. 
An appeal to the Board of Adjustment shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action in respect to which the decision is appealed from was made unless the officer from whose action the appeal is taken certifies to the Board of Adjustment, after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with him, that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would, in his opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property. In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed other than by an order of the Superior Court upon notice to the officer from whom the appeal is taken and on due cause shown.
A. 
The Board of Adjustment shall render a decision not later than 120 days after the date:
(1) 
An appeal is taken from the decision of an administrative officer; or
(2) 
The submission of a complete application for development to the Board of Adjustment pursuant to § 243-21B.
B. 
Failure of the Board to render a decision within such one-hundred-twenty-day period or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant shall constitute a decision favorable to the applicant.
C. 
Variances granted under § 243-18A(3), commonly known as "bulk variances," and variances granted under § 243-18A(4) hereof, commonly known as "use variances," shall be and remain valid for three years from the date of the adoption of the resolution of the granting of such variance by the approving authority, and the validity of such variances shall not be affected by any subsequent zoning change. In the event that the applicant or his successors or assigns fail to pursue further development approvals required hereby (for example, site plan review and approval), or fail to obtain a building permit where such development approvals are not required, within the three-year duration of the variance, the same shall lapse and be null and void and of no further force and effect. The approving authority shall be at liberty to grant reasonable extensions of zoning variances based upon a showing by the applicant that circumstances beyond his control prevented the inception of the use or construction of the improvement, as the case may be. In no case shall any such extension be for a period of longer than five years from the date of expiration of the original approval.
[Added 9-1-1993 by Ord. No. 1993-16]
[Added 2-1-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-2]
The following fees are to be paid in compliance with the GIS fees:
A. 
Zoning Board applications: $50.