Borough of Pennington, NJ
Mercer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
No building shall hereafter be erected and no existing building shall be moved, structurally altered, rebuilt, added to or enlarged, nor shall any land be used for any purpose other than those permitted in each zone by this chapter, nor shall any open space contiguous to any building be encroached upon or reduced in any manner, except in conformity to the area and bulk requirements, off-street parking requirements and all other regulations designated in the Schedule of Area, Yard and Building Regulations[1] and this chapter for the zone district in which such building or space is located.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Schedule of Area, Yard and Building Regulations is included at the end of this chapter.
A. 
No structure shall be built within 50 feet of the bed of a stream carrying water on an average of six months of the year. No building shall be constructed on land subject to periodic overflow or on land which has an average water table within two feet of the ground surface.
B. 
No persons, firm or corporation shall strip, excavate or otherwise remove topsoil for sale or other use other than on the premises from which taken, except in conjunction with the construction or alteration of a building on such premises and excavating or grading incidental thereto, or except as hereinafter specified.
C. 
Existing natural features, such as trees, brooks, drainage channels and views, shall be retained. Whenever such features interfere with the proposed use of such property, a retention of the maximum amount of such features consistent with the use of the property shall be required.
No lot shall have erected upon it more than one primary residential building, except as specifically provided in the Schedule of Area, Yard and Building Regulations[1] and this chapter for the zone district in which such lot is located. No yard or other open space provided about any building for the purpose of complying with the provisions of this chapter shall be considered to provide a yard or open space for any other building.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Schedule of Area, Yard and Building Regulations is included at the end of this chapter.
[Amended 9-11-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-6]
A. 
Not more than three accessory structures of different uses shall be permitted per lot. For example, one shed, one garage and one gazebo are permitted. Accessory structures must be located at least 10 feet from the principal structure, except as described in Subsection B.
B. 
Accessory structures that are attached to principal structures, via a nominal or substantial attachment, shall comply with required setbacks of the principal structure and shall be considered part of the principal structure.
C. 
Detached accessory structures shall be located in the rear yard and shall conform to setbacks of not less than five feet from the side or rear yard.
D. 
Garages and pool houses shall be constructed of compatible building materials and architectrual style, including painting schemes, as the principal structure.
[Added 11-6-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-8[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the redesignation of former Subsections D through G as Subsections E through H, respectively.
E. 
Garages shall not exceed a footprint of 750 square feet and shall have concrete or equivalent floors. The maximum height line measured at the ridge shall not exceed 20 feet in height. Garages shall have pitched roofs. Areas above detached garages may be finished, but in no case used for business services or as separate living quarters. Heating and half bathrooms are allowed, but cooking facilities are not permitted.
[Amended 5-2-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-5]
F. 
All garages attached to the principal structure shall be set back not less than five feet from the front facade of the principal structure, and an attached front-loading garage shall not exceed two bays. Garages shall have pitched roofs.
G. 
Sheds and gazebos shall not exceed 200 square feet in floor area. Small sheds and gazebos, i.e., 100 square feet in floor area or less, without permanent footings shall not require a building permit. Large sheds and gazebos, i.e., 101 square feet to 200 square feet in floor area, shall require a building permit whether they utilize permanent footings or not and shall be constructed compatible building materials and architectural style as the principal structure. The maximum height for all sheds and gazebos shall be 12 feet. Pool houses shall not exceed 300 square feet in floor area.
[Amended 11-6-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-8]
H. 
Section 215-16A shall not apply to accessory structures.
Every primary building shall be built upon a lot with frontage upon a public street improved to meet the Borough's requirements or for which such improvements have been insured by the posting of a performance guaranty pursuant to Chapter 181, Subdivision of Land, unless relief has been granted as provided under the provisions of Chapter 291, Public Laws 1975 (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.).
At the intersection of two or more streets, no hedge, fence or wall (other than a single post or tree) which is higher than three feet above the curb level, nor any obstruction to vision, shall be permitted in the triangular area formed by the intersecting street lines and a line joining each 30 feet distant from said intersection along said street line.
A. 
All yards facing on a public street shall be considered front yards and shall conform to the minimum front yard requirements for the zone in which located. Corner lots shall provide the minimum front yard requirements for the respective zone for both intersecting streets, for both principal and accessory buildings.
B. 
Where a building lot has frontage on a street which the Master Plan or the Official Map of the Borough indicates is proposed for right-of-way widening, the required front yard area shall be measured from such proposed right-of-way line.
C. 
No front yard shall be used for open storage of boats, vehicles or any other equipment. This subsection should not be construed to prohibit the parking of a motor vehicle on a driveway located in a front yard.
D. 
In the R-80 Zone, at least 50% of the front yard shall be lawn or landscaped and shall not be used for the parking of cars or other vehicles. In the R-100 Zone, at least 70% of the front yard shall be lawn or landscaped and shall not be used for the parking of cars or other vehicles.
[Added 5-2-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-5]
E. 
Front yards. In any residential zone where 50% or more of the lots within a distance of 500 feet on the same side of the street are developed, the front yard requirements for any lot within such area shall be the average of the existing front yards on the developed lots.
[Added 3-6-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-3]
F. 
Side yards. In the case of lots upon which an existing structure is located, the combined total side yard requirements shall be reduced by six inches for each foot by which a lot is less than the minimum requirement for the zone in which located. In any case, the side yard width for either side yard shall not be reduced to less than 50% of the requirement of said zone.
[Added 3-6-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-3]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 215-16, Slopes, as amended, was repealed 3-6-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-3.
Business structures or uses shall not display goods for sale purposes or coin-operated vending machines of any type in any location which would infringe upon the required yard areas specified in this chapter.
All yards, open space, off-street parking and required landscaping must be contained within the zone in which the use is permitted.
No commercial vehicle shall be parked out-of-doors overnight in any residential zone, and not more than one commercial vehicle may be garaged on each lot in a residential zone. No vehicle containing advertising displays thereon shall be parked in any zone if the effect of such parking would be to create in effect a sign or other advertisement otherwise prohibited by this chapter.
For the purpose of regulating the locations of accessory buildings on corner lots, and on lots extending through between two parallel streets, all portions of a corner lot or a through lot which fronts on a public street shall be subject to the front yard requirements of the zone district in which the said corner lot or through lot is located.
When a new lot is formed so as to include within its boundaries any part of a former lot on which there is an existing building or use, the subdivision must be carried out in such a manner as will not infringe upon any of the provisions of this chapter with respect to any existing structures or use and any proposed structures or use.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to customary governmental utilities for the distribution or collection of water, sewerage, garbage or the operation of a sanitary landfill. However, a governmental unit or authority shall, prior to beginning work on any such project, and in addition to any other requirements imposed by law, submit the proposed plans to the Borough Planning Board for its review, comment and recommendations.
Off-street parking facilities shall adhere to the following:
A. 
Off-street parking space shall be provided as further specified in this chapter, and shall be furnished with necessary passageways and driveways. All such space shall be deemed to be required space on the lot on which it is situated and shall not be encroached upon or reduced in any manner. All parking areas, passageways and driveways, except where provided in connection with one-family residences, shall be surfaced with a dustless, durable, all-weather pavement, clearly marked for car spaces, and shall be adequately drained, all subject to the approval of the Borough Engineer.
B. 
None of the off-street parking facilities as required in this chapter shall be required for any existing building or use, unless said building or use shall be enlarged, in which case the provision of this chapter shall apply only to the enlarged portion of the building or use.
C. 
The collective provision of off-street parking areas by two or more buildings or uses located on adjacent lots is permitted, provided that the total of such facilities shall not be less than the sum required of the various buildings or uses computed separately and further provided that the land upon which the collective facilities are located is owned or leased by one or more of the collective users.
D. 
All parking areas and appurtenant passageways and driveways serving commercial uses shall be illuminated adequately during the hours between sunset and sunrise when the use is in operation. Adequate shielding shall be provided by commercial users to protect adjacent residential zones from the glare of such illumination and from that of automobile headlights.
E. 
Off-street parking areas located in commercial zones and which provide parking for 20 or more vehicles shall be provided with shade trees of a type approved by the Borough Shade Tree Committee and located not further than 60 feet on center.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Sections 203.15 and 203.16, regarding signs, which immediately followed this section, were repealed 11-4-1996 by Ord. No. 96-16.
[Amended 6-1-1992 by Ord. No. 514; 9-11-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-6; 11-13-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-15]
A. 
Except as provided in Subsection B below, before a fence, wall or retaining wall shall be erected, a zoning permit from the Zoning Officer must be obtained, and if required by state regulation, a building permit from the Construction Code Official must also be obtained. A request for a permit shall be accompanied by a plot plan which shall show the location of the fence, wall or retaining wall in relation to all other structures and buildings and in relation to the property lines and abutting streets.
B. 
Any fence, wall or retaining wall three feet or less above ground level shall not require a building permit or zoning permit.
C. 
Any fence, wall or retaining wall located within the front yard or within the minimum required front yard, whichever is greater, shall not be erected, altered or reconstructed to a height in excess of three feet above ground level, except as provided in Subsection F with respect to corner lots in the R-80 and R-100 Zoning Districts. A fence or wall located elsewhere shall not be erected, altered or reconstructed to a height in excess of six feet above ground level or in violation of Chapter 185, Swimming Pools. A retaining wall which is located in other than the front yard or minimum required front yard and exceeds three feet in height shall be subject to Subsection D.
[Amended 3-5-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-2]
(1) 
The height of a fence or wall shall be determined from the lower grade at the ground level on each side of the fence or wall, as measured within six inches of the fence or wall.
(2) 
An additional four inches of clearance from grade is permitted under a fence or wall to allow for adequate drainage and to prevent rot.
(3) 
Posts for a fence or pillars for a wall may protrude an additional three inches above the maximum permitted height.
D. 
Retaining walls greater than three feet in height are permitted in the side and rear yard areas only and shall be subject to the following:
(1) 
No retaining wall shall be erected or altered so that any individual retaining wall exceeds a height of five feet. Where the change in grade requires a higher wall, a tiered system of walls shall be used. Each wall section should be separated by a strip of land at least three feet in width, which shall be landscaped with appropriate plant material to improve stability, prevent erosion, and minimize the visual impact of the overall height of the tiered system.
(2) 
An approved safety barrier, in the form of either a fence or railing at least 42 inches high or dense landscaping of a size and spacing acceptable to the Borough Engineer shall be required on top of any retaining wall greater than three feet in height.
(3) 
All retaining walls shall be adequately designed and detailed to carry all earth pressures, including any known or anticipated surcharges. Plans, details, and calculations signed and sealed by a licensed professional engineer shall be submitted for all proposed retaining walls greater than three feet in height for review and approval by the Borough Engineer prior to the issuance of a zoning and construction permit.
(4) 
Areas upslope of retaining walls, regardless of the type of cover, shall be graded so as to direct surface water away from retaining walls. No surface water shall be directed toward and over a retaining wall. Swales or other measures acceptable to the Borough Engineer shall be provided to intercept and drain surface water away from retaining walls and adjacent properties.
(5) 
Any retaining wall greater than three feet in height shall be set back from any property line two feet for every one foot of total overall wall height inclusive of any fence erected on top of the wall, unless otherwise approved by the Planning Board. No retaining wall shall continue across property lines or alter the existing grades at the property lines unless approved by the Planning Board as part of an overall grading plan for a subdivision or site plan application.
E. 
All permitted fences and walls shall be situated on a lot in such a manner that the finished side of the fence shall face adjacent properties. No fence or wall shall be erected of barbed wire, topped with metal spikes or constructed of any material or in any manner which may be dangerous to persons or animals, except that the requirements of state or federal regulations shall prevail. Common boundary fences or walls shall be erected so as to be located wholly within a lot.
F. 
In the R-80 and R-100 Zone Districts, a fence or wall of up to but not exceeding five feet in height shall be permitted for single-family detached dwellings on corner lots within that portion of the front yard of the corner lot abutting the rear yard, subject to the following conditions:
[Added 3-5-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-2]
(1) 
The fence or wall as permitted in this subsection shall be parallel to the street line and set back from the street line no less than 1/2 the front-yard setback distance required for a single-family dwelling in the zone district; except in the R-80 Zone District, the fence or wall shall be set back no less than 1/2 the front yard setback distance required for a single-family dwelling in that zone district or 1/2 the distance between the dwelling and the street line, whichever is less.
(2) 
The permitted fence or wall shall not extend along any portion of the front yard between the dwelling and the street exclusive of any rear porch.
(3) 
The permitted fence or wall shall have a finished side facing the street line.
(4) 
The side of the permitted fence or wall facing the street line shall have shrubs planted in front of it spaced no more than six feet apart.
[Amended 11-4-1996 by Ord. No. 96-16]
Any use not specifically permitted in a zoning district established by this chapter is hereby specifically prohibited from that district, and further provided that the following uses and activities shall be specifically prohibited in any zone on the Borough of Pennington:
A. 
Auction markets.
B. 
Miniature golf course, golf driving ranges and similar outdoor commercial recreation facilities.
C. 
Junkyards, automobile wrecking or disassembly yards, the sorting or baling of scrap metal, paper, rags or other scrap or waste materials.
D. 
The keeping or raising of swine, fur-bearing or other animals which by reason of the nature of their diet (scrap meat, fish, etc.) and/or the living habits of the animals themselves normally cause or result in objectionable odors.
E. 
Trailer courts, trailer coaches used as a dwelling or commercial activities related to the outdoor storage or display of trailer coaches.
F. 
Privately operated dumps for the disposal of garbage, trash, junk, refuse and similar materials, but excluding recycling centers authorized by Borough Council. A recycling center is a facility for the collection and temporary storage of recyclable materials and operating under authorization of Borough Council. Recyclable materials shall be limited to newspapers and magazines, glass bottles, aluminum and/or steel cans and other materials specifically approved by Borough Council.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 172, Solid Waste, Art. I, Recycling.
G. 
Open-air drive-in moving picture theaters.
H. 
Drive-in restaurants.
I. 
Any use of any building or premises in such a manner that the health, safety or welfare of the community may be endangered.
J. 
The open storage of any unregistered, unlicensed or inoperable motor vehicle or portion thereof for a period in excess of six months.
K. 
Gas (illuminating or heating) storage, except for consumption on the premises.
L. 
Incineration, reduction, storage or dumping of slaughterhouse refuse, rancid fats, garbage, dead animals or offal, except by the municipality or its agents.
M. 
Petroleum or its derivatives except when stored in underground tanks for use on the premises and not in excess of 40,000 gallons of fuel oil or 20,000 gallons of gasoline or kerosene.
N. 
Slaughterhouses.
O. 
The manufacture of heavy chemicals such as but not limited to mineral acids or other corrosives, ammonia, chlorine, bleaching powder, caustic soap, sulfurous, sulfuric, nitric, carbolic or hydrochloric acid; the manufacture of basic or semifinished chemicals, such as cellulose products, resins, dye stuffs, glue, vegetable, animal or mineral fats or oils, explosives, fireworks, combustible gases, soaps and detergents, fertilizers, asphalt and tar products; the manufacture or production of metals and alloys in ingot form.
P. 
Any trade or use which is noxious or offensive by reasons of the emission of odor, dust, gas or noise.
[Amended 5-5-1980 by Ord. No. 320]
A. 
The temporary use of readily portable construction sheds and construction trailers may be permitted in any zone during the period of and in connection with the actual construction of a permanent structure on the lot or on any lot within the development of more than one lot, upon which such shed or trailer is located as determined by the Zoning Officer.
B. 
No shed or trailer shall be used for dwelling purposes at any time; provided, however, that the Zoning Officer may, in a situation in which the existing dwelling on the property has been made uninhabitable by reason of fire or act of God, permit the property owner and his family to occupy a residential-type trailer on the property for the period of time required to repair/reconstruct the dwelling not to exceed one year. Any such occupancy shall also be subject to approval of the Health Officer and the Building Construction Official.
[Amended 9-11-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-6]
C. 
Permits for such sheds or trailers shall be issued by the Zoning Officer only for the reasonably anticipated period of the construction at which they are to be used and shall, in no event, be issued for more than one year.
D. 
Such permits may be renewed by the Zoning Officer for periods not longer than six months, if construction activity is continuing.
E. 
Any such shed or trailer shall, in any event, be removed immediately upon substantial completion of the construction at which it is used.
[Added 6-1-1992 by Ord. No. 514]
A. 
Satellite receiving-only and other types of receiving antennas may be permitted, subject to the following findings of the Borough of Pennington:
(1) 
That said satellite antennas may pose a potential risk to the safety of residents and the property within the Borough due to their size, configuration and location.
(2) 
That the potential risk increases as these satellite antennas are placed on the roofs or atop structures within the Borough.
(3) 
That said antennas may have a negative aesthetic impact upon the community and should, therefore, be regulated.
(4) 
That the negative aesthetic impact increases as said antennas are placed upon roofs or other structures within the Borough.
(5) 
That the Borough desires to further the objectives of protecting the health and safety of its citizens and property and the aesthetic character of the community.
(6) 
That the Borough may impose regulations upon said antennas that have a reasonable and clearly defined health, safety or aesthetic objective.
(7) 
That the Borough does not desire to impose costs on the users of said antennas that are excessive in light of the purchase and installation cost of the antenna facilities.
B. 
The installation and construction of all satellite receiving-only and other types of receiving antennas shall be subject to the following minimum requirements:
(1) 
Each such antenna must be necessary to a principal structure located on the same lot as the principal use for which it is necessary.
(2) 
Each satellite receiving-only antenna shall be ground mounted in the rear yard area of the lot and shall be located in conformity with the rear yard and side yard setback requirements for a principal permitted structure in the zone district in which the lot is located. In cases where the applicant can demonstrate to the Planning Board that such a required location is impracticable or would prevent proper antenna function, the Board may approve an alternate location as listed hereinbelow:
(a) 
As a first preferred alternate to Subsection B(2) hereinabove, an antenna may be ground mounted in the rear yard of the lot and shall be located in conformity with the rear yard and side yard setback requirements for a permitted accessory structure in the zoning district in which the lot is located; or
(b) 
As a second preferred alternate to Subsection B(2) hereinabove, an antenna may be ground mounted in the side yard area of the lot and shall be located in conformity with the side yard setback requirements for permitted accessory structures and the front yard setback requirements for a permitted principal structure in the zoning district in which the lot is located; or
(c) 
As a third preferred alternate to Subsection B(2) hereinabove, an antenna may be roof mounted, provided that the bottom of the antenna shall not extend above the roofline where mounted and is located toward the rear of the structure away from the street line.
C. 
A ground mounted antenna shall be screened from adjacent properties to the extent possible and practical with nondeciduous plantings or other means acceptable to the Planning Board. To the greatest extent possible, all antennas shall blend with the immediate surrounding area, including the color of the roof if roof-mounted.
D. 
No lot shall have more than one satellite receiving-only and one other type of receiving antenna. Wires and cables running between the ground-mounted antenna and any structure shall be properly installed in accordance with the Uniform Construction Codes. Additionally, the installation of all antennas shall meet all local, state and federal requirements, including those contained in the Uniform Construction Codes.
E. 
Portable antennas are prohibited.
F. 
All antennas shall be installed or constructed in a manner so as not to interfere with television, radio or similar reception in adjacent and nearby areas and shall meet all local, state and federal requirements, including those contained in the Uniform Construction Codes.
G. 
No roof-mounted antenna shall have a total height in excess of 15 feet, measured from the average grade elevation at its base. Antenna diameter shall be limited to the minimum required for proper antenna function.
H. 
Satellite receiving-only and other types of receiving antennas three feet in diameter or less are not subject to § 215-27 and are not required to have a zoning permit.
[Amended 9-11-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-6]
[Added 9-6-1994 by Ord. No. 544; amended 12-6-1999 by Ord. No. 99-14]
In order to mitigate and reduce traffic volume associated with land development in the Borough of Pennington, the following rules and regulations shall apply: the Federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA) (42 U.S.C.S. 7401); the New Jersey Employer Trip Reduction Program (ETRP) [N.J.A.C. 16:50-1 et seq.) and the New Jersey Traffic Congestion and Air Pollution Control Act (N.J.S.A. 27:26A-1 et seq.), including any regulation promulgated under any of these federal or state statutes.