Borough of Essex Fells, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 2-20-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-725]
A. 
Before filing a formal application in accordance with the procedure set forth in this article, applicants are encouraged to meet with the Planning Board prior to submitting a formal application for development. The purpose of the informal meetings is to make the applicant aware of the specific requirements applicable to the area or type of development being considered.
B. 
An application for the development of land shall be submitted with the required fees and all required exhibits set forth in Articles VIII through XIII to the administrative officer. The administrative officer shall:
(1) 
Review the application to determine its completeness;
(2) 
Determine the type of development action required; and
(3) 
Forward the application to the proper board or agency for subsequent action.
C. 
If found to be incomplete, the application shall be returned to the applicant within 45 days of submission with information as to what is lacking.
D. 
All applications for development shall contain calculations of the floor area ratio of all existing and proposed structures on the property, calculated in accordance with the provisions of §§ 170-3,[1] 170-112A and 170-119, on a worksheet which will be provided to the applicant with the other application documents.
[1]
Editor's Note: See the definition of "floor area ratio (FAR)."
The provisions of this article shall be administered by the Borough Planning Board in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-37, except that the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall substitute for the Planning Board whenever the Zoning Board of Adjustment has jurisdiction over an application for development. In this article, where reference is made to the Planning Board, the words "Board of Adjustment" shall be substituted in those situations where the Zoning Board of Adjustment has jurisdiction.
The applicant or his agent shall appear at all regular meetings of the Board whenever the application is being considered. Failure to appear shall give the Board the right to postpone action on the application if the applicant or the agent's absence deprives the Board of information necessary to make a decision.
A. 
Preliminary approval.
(1) 
If the application is found to be complete, the Planning Board shall schedule a public hearing and the applicant shall be responsible for providing notice as set forth in § 170-32. At the public hearing, the applicant shall submit to the Board a copy of the advertisement required under § 170-32A; affidavit of notice of public hearing to persons served; affidavit of ownership or authorization of owner to submit application; map showing all properties within 200 feet; and a letter from the Tax Collector stating that all taxes and easements for local improvements have been paid to date on the property.
(2) 
At the public hearing, the Planning Board shall consider the application as submitted, the recommendations and comments of all agencies to which the application was referred and those of the public, and shall take action within the time period set forth in Articles II, III, IV and V or within such further extension agreed to by the applicant. The Planning Board shall reject the application for development, grant preliminary approval, or grant conditional preliminary approval. Preliminary approval shall confer upon the applicant those rights set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-49.
(3) 
If the Planning Board requires any substantial amendment to the layout or improvements proposed by the developer that have been the subject of a hearing, an amended application for development shall be submitted and proceeded upon as in the case of the original application for development, and the time period within which the Planning Board shall be required to make a decision shall be computed from the date of the submission of the amended application and all exhibits to the administrative officer.
B. 
Final approval.
(1) 
Within three years from the date of preliminary approval or within such extension as allowed by N.J.S.A. 40:55D-49, the applicant may apply for final approval in the manner set forth in this article.
(2) 
The final plan shall incorporate all changes or modifications required by the Board. The applicant shall submit an affidavit indicating no changes were required or specify the changes that have been made and the reasons for the changes.
(3) 
In addition to the exhibits required in Articles VIII through XIII and any other exhibits which may have been required as a condition of preliminary approval, the following materials shall accompany the application for final approval:
(a) 
A letter from the Borough Engineer indicating:
[1] 
That the Engineer is in receipt of a map showing all utilities in exact location and elevation identifying those portions already installed and those to be installed.
[2] 
That the applicant has either completed the installation of all improvements in accordance with the requirements of this article or posted with the Borough Clerk a performance guarantee in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of all improvements or uncompleted portions thereof, as estimated by the Borough Engineer, and ensuring the installation of such improvements on or before an agreed date.
[3] 
All items and amounts required for the corporate surety maintenance guarantee.
[4] 
That the final plan conforms to the preliminary plan as submitted and approved.
(b) 
A letter from the Borough Tax Collector stating that all taxes and assessments for local improvements have been paid to date on the property.
(c) 
A letter from the Borough Clerk indicating:
[1] 
That the amount, form and content of the performance and maintenance guarantees have been accepted by the governing body.
[2] 
Where appropriate, that moneys as required by this chapter have been paid the Borough as reimbursement for construction inspection costs incurred since preliminary approval.
(4) 
The Board shall act within 45 days of submission of a completed application or within such further time as may be mutually agreed upon. Failure of the Board to act within the allocated time or a mutually agreed upon extension shall be deemed to be favorable approval, and the Borough Clerk shall issue a certificate to that effect.
(5) 
If the application for development is a subdivision, the plan granted final approval shall be filed by the applicant with the county recording officer within 95 days from the date of such approval. If any final plan is not filed within that period, the approval shall expire. For good cause, the Planning Board may extend the time of the filing of the plan for an additional period not to exceed 95 days.
(6) 
The granting of final approval shall confer upon the applicant those rights set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-50 and shall terminate the time period of preliminary approval for that part of the development for which final approval has been granted.
Combined preliminary and final approval, as well as site plan and subdivision approval, may be granted simultaneously, providing all submission requirements for both approvals are met. The time limit within which the Board shall act shall be the longest permitted for any of the approvals.
A. 
Applicants for development may request waivers or exceptions from the provisions of this article from the Planning Board, except for those procedures or requirements set forth in Part 3, Zoning, or any procedures or requirements set forth in the Municipal Land Use Law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
B. 
The applicant shall indicate on the formal application the nature and reasons for the exception or waiver. The request shall also be indicated on any public notice required under this chapter. The Planning Board may waive the requirements for a public hearing and public notice on applications for minor development where it is determined that the development proposed is of a minor nature and does not have any adverse effects on adjoining properties or on the public health, safety and general welfare.
C. 
The Planning Board shall also have the power to grant such exceptions from the requirements for development approval as may be reasonable and within the general purpose and intent of the provisions for development review and approval, if the literal enforcement of one or more provisions of this chapter is impracticable or will exact undue hardship because of peculiar conditions pertaining to the land in question.
A. 
General. No application shall be granted final approval by the Board until the completion of all required improvements has been certified in writing to the Board by the Borough Engineer, unless the applicant has filed with the Borough a performance guarantee. The performance guarantee shall be sufficient to cover all the cost of such improvements or incomplete portions thereof as estimated by the Borough Engineer and ensuring the installation of such incomplete improvements on or before an agreed date in accordance with the time set forth in Subsection C of this section. An additional amount of 20% of the estimate of the Engineer shall be included in the total amount of the performance guarantee to cover legal, engineering and other costs in the event that the applicant fails to complete the required improvements and the Borough is required to install the improvements.
B. 
Type of guarantee. At least 10% of the performance guarantee shall be in cash deposited with the Borough. Such cash shall be deposited to the credit of the Borough and may be usable at any time in the event of the nonperformance of the applicant. Any interest earned by the Borough on the cash deposit shall inure to the benefit of the applicant. The remaining portion of the performance guarantee shall be issued by a bonding or surety company authorized to do business in the state as approved by the Borough Attorney.
C. 
Time of guarantee. Performance guarantees shall run for a term not to exceed 24 months. Performance guarantees with the consent of the principal and surety, if there is a surety, may be extended by the governing body by resolution for an additional period not to exceed 18 months.
D. 
Borough completion. If the required improvements have not been installed in accordance with the standards and specifications of the Borough within the time limit or extension thereof, as described in Subsection C of this section and in the requirements of the performance guarantees, the obligor and surety shall then be liable to the Borough for all reasonable costs of the improvements not installed. Upon receipt of the proceeds, the Borough shall install such improvements and/or may use such portions of the performance guarantees as have been deposited in cash with the Clerk to ensure the completion of the improvements in accordance with the terms of this article and any applicable agreement.
E. 
Acceptance of performance bond by the governing body.
(1) 
Before accepting a performance bond, the governing body shall have the following:
(a) 
A letter from the Borough Engineer stating that the proposed bond covers all the items required by the Planning Board with a list of the items and costs. The letter should also state that the plans and specifications meet all applicable Borough ordinances;
(b) 
A letter from the Borough Attorney approving the performance guarantee as to form and amount.
(2) 
After approval and acceptance of the performance guarantee by the governing body, a letter stating that fact shall be sent to the Planning Board before the Planning Board signs the final plats for filing with the county.
F. 
Release of performance guarantee. The procedures established in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53 shall govern the release of performance bonds. Before the governing body releases any guarantees, or portions thereof, the following items shall be submitted to the governing body:
(1) 
As-built plans and profiles of all utilities and roads with a certification by the applicant's engineer as to the actual location and construction;
(2) 
A statement of affidavit from the developer that there are no liens or other legal encumbrances on any of the improvements or utilities proposed to be deeded to the Borough;
(3) 
A statement from the Borough Engineer that all utilities and improvements required by the Planning Board have been installed and completed in accordance with applicable Borough ordinances;
(4) 
A maintenance bond as provided in § 170-54;
(5) 
Deeds, free and clear of all encumbrances, for all streets, public easements, drainage and conservation easements, other lands dedicated to public use, and any improvements to be dedicated or deeded to the Borough or other public agency.
All improvements required by the Planning Board shall, before being accepted by the Borough, be covered by a maintenance bond running in favor of the Borough in the amount of 15% of the estimated cost of the improvements as estimated by the Borough Engineer. The maintenance bond shall run for a period of two years and provide for the proper repair and/or replacement of any such improvements during said period. The two-year period shall run from the date of the acceptance of the improvements by the Borough.
A. 
The governing body shall not accept any road or other improvements into the municipal road system or for municipal ownership until the maintenance bond has been posted and all deficiencies are corrected or repaired. The Borough may, however, undertake to remove snow and perform other municipal services as may be required on the roads prior to final acceptance, if the applicant presents a written request to the governing body and agrees in the request to hold the Borough harmless from any damages to the roads or public improvements caused by snow removal or other municipal activities.
B. 
The governing body need not accept any roads or other improvements if the roads or other improvements will be used by the developer to complete other portions of the development.
No certificate of occupancy shall be granted until such time as all conditions of approval have been complied with, including the installation of all improvements.