No member of the Planning Board or 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.
[Added 7-11-1984 by Ord. No. 28-84; amended 10-1-2012 by Ord. No. 13-12]
In accordance with Section 5 of Chapter 20 of the Laws of 1984, adopted on March 22, 1984, for the purpose of determining a completed application for development, the adopted checklists for the Board of Adjustment and for the Planning Board of the Township of Morris are available in the office of the Secretary to the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment. Completeness of applications for general development plan approval shall be determined in accordance with the procedures applicable to applications for development as set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-10.3 and the completeness checklist available in the office of the Planning Board Secretary titled "Township of Morris General Development Plan Checklist."
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-10.3.
[Added 7-19-1995 by Ord. No. 22-95]
Hours for construction activities, including installation of on-site or off-site improvements related to any project approved by the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment, shall be 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. There shall be no construction on Sunday, except emergency repairs as may be authorized by the Township Engineer. A condition to this effect shall be incorporated in each resolution approving an application for development.
Meetings of both the Planning Board and the 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.
Special meetings may be provided for at the call of the Chairperson 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.
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 municipal agency present at the meeting except as otherwise required by any provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.).
[Amended 2-13-1980 by Ord. No. 4-80]
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 (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 Municipal 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 by ordinance.
[Amended 4-22-1981 by Ord. No. 17-81; 2-24-1982 by Ord. No. 9-82; 4-21-1993 by Ord. No. 10-93; 9-18-1996 by Ord. No. 20-96]
Fees for applications or for the rendering of any service by the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment or any member of their administrative staffs or any municipal agency or its administration staff shall be as follows:
[Last amended 3-28-2018 by Ord. No. 05-18]
Administration of technical review deposits.
The Chief Financial Officer shall make all of the payments to professionals for services rendered to the governing body or the municipal agency for review of applications for development, review and preparation of documents, inspection of improvements or other purposes under the Municipal Land Use Law. Said fees or charges shall be based upon a schedule of fees established, and as may be from time to time amended, by resolution of the governing body and/or the municipal agency.
The municipal agency shall notify the Chief Financial Officer of the amount of the initial escrow deposit required of each applicant in accordance with the fee schedule.
Each payment charged to the escrow deposit account for review of applications, review and preparation of documents and inspection of improvements shall be pursuant to a voucher from the professional in accordance with Subsection C of this section.
The Chief Financial Officer shall prepare and send to each applicant a statement of his escrow account, which shall include an accounting of funds listing all deposits, interest earnings, disbursements and the cumulative balance of the escrow account. This information shall be provided to the applicant on a quarterly basis, if monthly charges are $1,000 or less, or on a monthly basis if monthly charges exceed $1,000.
If an escrow deposit account contains insufficient funds to enable the governing body or municipal agency to perform required application reviews or improvement inspections, the Chief Financial Officer shall provide the applicant with a notice of the insufficient escrow deposit balance.
In order for work to continue on the development or the application, the applicant shall, within a reasonable time period, post a deposit to the account in an amount to be agreed upon by the governing body or municipal agency and the applicant. In the interim, any required health and safety inspections shall be made and charged back against the replenishment of funds.
Each technical review escrow deposit shall be held in trust, separate from general funds. The applicant shall be required to maintain, at all times, with the Chief Financial Officer a current mailing address and a registered agent in the State of New Jersey.
Whenever an amount of money in excess of $5,000 shall be deposited by an applicant for technical review deposits pursuant to this section, said money, until repaid or applied to the purposes for which it is deposited, including the applicant's portion of the interest earned thereon, shall continue to be the property of the applicant and shall be held in trust by the Township in escrow. All interest earned and paid to the applicant shall be in conformance with P.L. 1985, c. 315 (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.1).
Prior to the adoption of the resolutions or execution of approved maps/deeds, as the case may be, the municipal agency shall verify that the applicant has paid sufficient deposit moneys to pay all anticipated fees and charges.
The following closeout procedure, applicable to all escrow deposit accounts, shall commence after the municipal agency has granted approval and signed the subdivision plat or site plan, in the case of escrow review deposits, or after the improvements have been approved, in the case of improvement inspection escrow deposits.
The applicant shall send written notice by certified mail to the Chief Financial Officer, the municipal agency and to the relevant Township or municipal agency professional(s) that the application or the improvements, as the case may be, are completed.
After receipt of such notice, the professional(s) shall render a final bill to the Chief Financial Officer within 30 days and shall send a copy simultaneously to the applicant.
The Chief Financial Officer shall render a written final accounting to the applicant within 45 days of receipt of the final bill from the professional(s).
Any balances remaining in the escrow deposit account, including interest in accordance with P.L. 1985, c. 315 (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.1), shall be refunded to the applicant along with the final accounting.
Professional service charges and procedures, including dispute resolution.
Application review and inspection charges shall be limited only to professional charges (including charges by municipal professional staff) for review of applications, review and preparation of documents and inspections of developments and improvements under construction. Such professional charges shall also include review by outside consultants when an application is of a nature beyond the scope of the expertise of the professionals normally utilized by the municipality. In accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.2, the services of municipal professionals, which include the salary, staff support and overhead furnished by the municipality, shall not exceed 200% of the sum of the products resulting from multiplying the hourly base salary, which shall be established annually by ordinance, of each of the professionals by the number of hours spent by the respective professional upon review of the application for development or inspection of the developer's improvements, as the case may be.
[Amended 11-13-1996 by Ord. No. 24-96]
Professionals who are not employees of the Township shall charge at the same rate as for all other work of the same nature performed by the professional for the governing body or municipal agency when fees are not reimbursed or otherwise imposed on applicants or developers.
The only costs that shall be added to any such charges shall be actual out-of-pocket expenses of any such professionals or consultants, including normal and typical expenses incurred in processing applications and inspecting improvements.
All professional charges for review of an application for development, review and preparation of documents or inspection of improvements shall be reasonable and necessary, given the status and progress of the application or construction.
Review fees shall be charged only in connection with an application for development presently pending before the municipal agency, review of compliance with conditions of approval or review of requests for modification or amendment made by the applicant.
Professionals shall not review items which are subject to approval by any state governmental agency and not under municipal jurisdiction except to the extent consultation with a state agency is necessary due to the effect of state approvals on the subdivision or site plan.
Inspection fees shall be charged only for actual work shown on a subdivision or site plan or required by an approving resolution. Professionals inspecting improvements under construction shall charge only for inspections that are reasonably necessary to check the progress and quality of the work, and such inspections shall be reasonably based upon the approved development plans and documents.
Professionals shall submit vouchers to the Chief Financial Officer on a monthly basis in accordance with schedules and procedures established by the Chief Financial Officer. Each voucher shall identify the personnel performing the service and, for each date the service is performed, the hours spent to one-fourth-hour increments, the hourly rate and the expense incurred.
The professional shall simultaneously send to the applicant an informational copy of all vouchers or statements submitted to the Chief Financial Officer.
The Township and the municipal agency shall not bill any applicant or charge an escrow deposit account for any municipal clerical or administrative functions, overhead expenses, meeting room charges or any municipal costs and expenses except as provided for in this section.
[Amended 11-13-1996 by Ord. No. 24-96]
If the governing body or the municipal agency retains a different professional or consultant in the place of the professional or consultant originally responsible for development, application review or inspection of improvements, the governing body or the municipal agency shall be responsible for all time and expenses of the new professional or consultant to become familiar with the application or project, and the governing body or municipal agency shall not bill the applicant or charge the escrow deposit account for any such services.
The following procedures shall apply whenever an applicant disputes a charge made by a professional for service rendered to the governing body or the municipal agency in reviewing applications for development, review and preparation of documents, inspection of improvements or other charges made pursuant to the provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.):
The applicant shall notify the Township, in writing, with copies to the Chief Financial Officer, the municipal agency and the professional whose charge is the subject of the dispute.
The governing body, or its designee, shall, within a reasonable time period, attempt to mediate any disputed charges.
If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the applicant, the applicant may appeal any such charge to the County Construction Board of Appeals established under P.L. 1975, c. 217 (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-127), pursuant to the procedures established by the County Construction Board.
The applicant shall submit the appeal in writing and shall simultaneously send copies of the appeal to the governing body, the municipal agency and any professional whose charge is the subject of the appeal.
An applicant shall file an appeal under this section within 45 days from receipt of the informational copy of the professional's voucher required under Subsection C(8) of this section, except that if the professional has not supplied the applicant with an informational copy of the voucher, then the applicant shall file his appeal within 60 days from receipt of the municipal statement of activity against the escrow deposit account.
An applicant may file an appeal for an ongoing series of charges by a professional during a period not exceeding six months to demonstrate that they represent a pattern of excessive or inaccurate charges. An applicant making use of this provision need not appeal each charge individually.
During the pendency of any appeal, the governing body or municipal agency shall continue to process, hear and decide the application for development and to inspect the development in the normal course and shall not withhold, delay or deny reviews, inspections, signing of subdivision plats or site plans, the reduction or the release of performance or maintenance guaranties, the issuance of construction permits or certificates of occupancy or any other approval or permit because an appeal has been filed or is pending under this section.
The Chief Financial Officer may pay charges out of the appropriate escrow deposit account for which an appeal has been filed. If the charge is disallowed after payment, the Chief Financial Officer shall reimburse the escrow deposit account in the amount of any such disallowed charge or refund the amount to the applicant. If a charge is disallowed after payment to a professional or consultant who is not an employee of the municipality, the professional or consultant shall reimburse the municipality in the amount of any such disallowed charge.
Rules. The Planning Board and 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.
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.
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.
Evidence. Technical rules of evidence shall not be applicable to the hearing, but the Board may exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence.
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.
[Amended 2-13-1980 by Ord. No. 4-80; 4-2-1997 by Ord. No. 9-97]
Notice of hearing on an application for development shall be given except for minor subdivision and final approval of site plans and major subdivisions. The applicant shall give such notice as follows:
Public notice shall be given by publication in the official newspaper of the municipality at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing.
Notice shall be given to the owners of all real property as shown on the current tax duplicate or duplicates located within 200 feet in all directions of the property which is the subject of such hearing and whether located within or without the municipality in which the applicant's land is located. Such notice shall be given by serving a copy thereof on the owner as shown on the current tax duplicate or his agent in charge of the property or by mailing a copy thereof by certified mall to the property owner at his address as shown on said current tax duplicate. A return receipt is not required. Notice to a partnership owner may be made by service 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. 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. Notice to a condominium association, horizontal property regime, community trust or homeowners' association, because of the 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.
Notice of all hearings on application 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 Subsection B of this section to the owners of lands in such adjoining municipality which are located within 200 feet of the subject premises.
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 municipal boundary.
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.
Notice shall be given by personal service or certified mail to the State Planning Commission 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 Municipal Clerk pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-10b.
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.
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.
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 Municipal 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.
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-12c, the Township Tax Assessor shall, within seven days after receipt of a request therefor and upon receipt of payment of a fee as prescribed in the fee schedule in § 57-29, 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 Article IV, § 57-31B, of this chapter.
Each decision on any application for development shall be reduced to writing as a resolution of the Board, which shall include findings of fact and legal conclusions based thereon. 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. The municipal agency may provide such written decision and findings and conclusions either on the date of the meeting at which the municipal agency takes action 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 municipal agency 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. The adoption of a resolution of memorialization pursuant to this subsection 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 municipal agency who voted for the action previously taken, and no other member shall vote thereon. The vote on such resolution shall be deemed to be a memorialization of an action of the municipal agency and not to be an action of the municipal agency, 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. Whenever a resolution of memorialization is adopted in accordance with this subsection, the date of such adoption shall constitute the date of the decision for purposes of the mailings, fillings and publications required by the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.).
[Amended 2-13-1980 by Ord. No. 4-80]
A copy of the decision shall be mailed by the Secretary of 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 it 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 Municipal 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 municipality.
A brief notice of every final decision shall be published in the official newspaper of the municipality. Such publication shall be arranged by the Secretary of the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment, as the case may be, without separate charge to the applicant. Said 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 40:55D-65, every application for development submitted to the Planning Board or to the 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 said 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 municipality will be adequately protected.