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Borough of Highland Park, NJ
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Regulation of land development and the attachment of reasonable conditions to development applications are exercises of valid police powers delegated by the state to the Borough. The applicant shall comply with reasonable conditions laid down by the approving authority for design, dedication, improvements and the use of the land to conform to the physical and economical development of the municipality and to the safety and general welfare of the future residents/owners in the development and the community at large. Where County Planning Board review or approval is required on a subdivision or site plan, the approving authority shall condition any approval it grants upon either timely receipt of a favorable report by the County Planning Board or approval by the County Planning Board due to its failure to submit a report within the required time period. If the County's report is negative or attaches conditions, the original action by the municipal approving authority shall be null and void and a new resolution shall be adopted which considers the County Planning Board's report.
The approving authority, when acting upon applications for preliminary or minor subdivision approval and/or site plan approval, shall have the power to grant such exceptions from the design and performance standards in Part 3 of this chapter as may be reasonable and within the general purpose and intent of the provisions for subdivision/site plan 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.
The approving authority may waive required notices and hearing for minor and exempt subdivisions except where a variance or conditional use is part of the application. Divisions of land not considered a subdivision, as defined in this chapter or in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., shall be exempt from compliance with the requirements of this chapter, including division of land for agricultural purposes where all resulting parcels are five acres or larger in size; divisions by testamentary or intestate provisions; divisions of property by court order; and conveyances so as to combine existing lots by deed or other instrument, as the case may be.
[Amended by Ord. No. 1304]
A. 
The approving board may waive public notice and hearing for a plan if it is found that the subdivision of land contains not more than three lots fronting on an existing street; not involving any new street, road, extension of municipal facilities, planned development; and not adversely affecting the development of the remainder of the parcel or adjoining property; and is not in conflict with any provision of the Master Plan or this chapter.
B. 
Minor subdivision approval shall be granted or denied within 45 days of the date of submission of a complete application or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Failure of the approving authority to act within 45 days shall constitute minor subdivision approval. The approving board shall condition any approval that it grants pursuant to this section upon timely receipt of a favorable report on the application by the Middlesex County Planning Board or approval by the Middlesex County Planning Board by its failure to report thereon within the required time period.
C. 
Extensions of time to act.
(1) 
Approval of a minor subdivision shall expire 190 days from the date on which the resolution of municipal approval is adopted unless within such period a plan in conformity with such approval and the provisions of the Map Filing Law or a deed clearly describing the approved minor subdivision is filed by the applicant with the Middlesex County Recording Officer, the Borough Engineer and the Borough Tax Assessor. Any plan or deed accepted for such filing shall have been signed by the chairman and secretary of the approving board.
(2) 
The Planning Board may extend the one-hundred-ninety-day period for filing a minor subdivision plat or deed pursuant to this subsection if the developer proves to the reasonable satisfaction of the Planning Board: a) that the developer was barred or prevented, directly or indirectly, from filing because of delays in obtaining legally required approvals from other governmental or quasi-governmental entities; and b) that the developer applied promptly for and diligently pursued the required approvals. The length of the extension shall be equal to the period of delay caused by the wait for the required approvals, as determined by the Planning Board. The developer may apply for the extension either before or after what would otherwise be the expiration date.
(3) 
The Planning Board shall grant an extension of minor subdivision approval for a period determined by the Board but not exceeding one year from what would otherwise be the expiration date, if the developer proves to the reasonable satisfaction of the Board that the developer was barred or prevented, directly or indirectly, from proceeding with the development because of delays in obtaining legally required approvals from other governmental entities and that the developer applied promptly for and diligently pursued the required approvals. A developer shall apply for the extension before: a) what would otherwise be the expiration date of minor subdivision approval; or b) the 91st day after the developer receives the last legally required approval from other governmental entities, whichever occurs later.
D. 
The applicant shall submit to the administrative officer at least 21 days prior to the public meeting of the approving board 20 blue- or black-on-white copies of the sketch plat; 20 completed copies of the standard development application form; three completed copies of the sketch plat checklist; three copies of any protective covenants, deed restrictions and easements applying to the land being developed; five copies of the drainage calculations and soil erosion and sediment control data, if required; 10 copies of any required traffic, environmental or other study or report as may be required by the Board; the applicable fee; and certification by the Tax Collector that all taxes are paid to date. If the applicant is not the owner of record of the land, then all contractual agreements concerning its use shall be submitted. If the application is found to be incomplete, the applicant shall be notified within 45 days of submission of such application or it shall be deemed to be properly submitted.
[Amended by Ord. No. 1304]
A. 
Any owner of land within the municipality shall, prior to subdividing or resubdividing land, as defined in this chapter, submit to the administrative officer at least 21 days prior to a regular meeting of the approving authority, 25 blue- or black-on-white copies of the preliminary plat; 25 completed copies of the standard development application form; three completed copies of the preliminary plat checklist; three copies of any protective covenants, deed restrictions and easements applying to the land being developed; three copies of the drainage calculations and soil erosion and sediment control data, if required; the applicable fee; and certification by the Tax Collector that all taxes are paid to date. If the applicant is not the owner of record of the land, then all contractual agreements concerning its use shall be submitted. If the application is found to be incomplete, the applicant shall be notified in writing within 45 days of submission of such application or it shall be deemed to be properly submitted.
B. 
If the approving board requires a substantial amendment in the layout of improvements proposed by the applicant that have been the subject of a hearing, an amended application shall be submitted and proceeded upon as in the case of the original application. The approving board, shall, if the proposed subdivision complies with the standards and provisions of this chapter, grant preliminary approval to the subdivision.
C. 
Upon the submission to the administrative officer of a complete application for a subdivision of 10 or fewer lots, the approving board shall grant or deny preliminary approval within 45 days of the date of such submission or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Upon the submission to the administrative officer of a complete application for a subdivision of more than 10 lots, the approving board shall grant or deny within 95 days of the date of such submission or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Failure of the approving authority to act within the above-prescribed time periods shall be deemed to have granted preliminary subdivision approval.
D. 
Two preliminary plans shall be filed by the applicant with the Middlesex County Planning Board. If the Middlesex County Planning Board fails to act on the subdivision application within a thirty-day period, the application shall be deemed to have been approved by the County Planning Board. However, by mutual agreement between the County Planning Board and the approving board, with the approval of the applicant, the thirty-day period may be extended for an additional thirty-day period. Any such extension shall so extend the time within which the municipal approving authority shall be required by law to act. Should the Middlesex County Planning Board fail to receive an approved extension of time, and the Secretary of the County Planning Board shall attest on the final plan to the failure of the County Planning Board to report within the required time period, such attestation shall be sufficient authorization for further Borough action on the application.
E. 
Effect of preliminary approval. Preliminary approval of a major subdivision shall, except as provided in Subsection F below, confer upon the applicant the following rights for a three-year period from the date of the preliminary approval:
(1) 
That the general terms and conditions on which preliminary approval was granted shall not be changed, including but not limited to use requirements; layout and design standards for streets, curbs and sidewalks; lot size; yard dimensions and off-tract improvements; any requirements peculiar to site plan approval, except that nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the Borough from modifying by ordinance such general terms and conditions of preliminary approval as relate to public health and safety.
(2) 
That the applicant may submit for final approval on or before the expiration date of preliminary approval the whole or a section or sections of the preliminary plat.
(3) 
That the applicant may apply for and the approving authority may grant extensions on such preliminary approval for additional periods of at least one year but not to exceed a total extension of two years, provided that, if the design standards have been revised by ordinance, such revised standards may govern.
F. 
In the case of a development of an area of 50 acres or more, the approving authority may grant the rights referred to in Subsection E above for such period of time longer than three years as shall be determined by the approving authority to be reasonable, taking into consideration the number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area permissible under preliminary approval, economic conditions and the comprehensiveness of the development. The applicant may thereafter apply for and the approving authority may grant an extension to preliminary approval for such additional period of time as shall be determined by the approving authority.
G. 
Whenever the Planning Board grants an extension of preliminary approval pursuant to Subsection E(3) or F of this section and preliminary approval has expired before the date on which the extension is granted, the extension shall begin on what would otherwise be the expiration date. The developer may apply for the extension either before or after what would otherwise be the expiration date.
H. 
The Planning Board shall grant an extension of preliminary approval for a period determined by the Board but not exceeding one year from what would otherwise be the expiration date, if the developer proves to the reasonable satisfaction of the Board that the developer was barred or prevented, directly or indirectly, from proceeding with the development because of delays in obtaining legally required approvals from other governmental entities and that the developer applied promptly for and diligently pursued the required approvals. A developer shall apply for the extension before: 1) what would otherwise be the expiration date of preliminary approval; or 2) the 91st day after the developer receives the last legally required approval from other governmental entities, whichever occurs later. An extension granted pursuant to this section shall not preclude the Planning Board from granting an extension pursuant to Subsection E(3) or F of this section.
A. 
The applicant shall submit to the administrative officer at least 21 days prior to the public hearing of the approving board 20 blue- or black-on-white copies of the final plat together with 20 completed copies of the standard development application form. The approving board shall grant final approval if the detailed drawings, specifications and estimates of the application for final approval conform to the standards established by this chapter for final approval, the conditions for preliminary approval, and the standards prescribed by the Map Filing Law.
B. 
Final approval shall be granted or denied within 45 days after submission of a complete application to the administrative officer or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Failure of the approving authority to act within 45 days shall constitute final approval. Whenever review or approval of the application by the county approving board is required, the approving board shall condition any approval that it grants upon timely receipt of a favorable report on the application by the County Planning Board or approval by the County Planning Board by its failure to report thereon within the required time period. After its approval, an applicant shall file the final subdivision plan which conforms to the Map Filing Law, clearly describing the approved subdivision, with the County Clerk, the Municipal Engineer and the Municipal Tax Assessor. It shall also be filed by the applicant with the Middlesex County Clerk within 95 days of such approval; otherwise such approval shall expire unless the approving board extends the time for filing for an additional period, not to exceed 190 days from the signing of the plat, and the final plan is so filed within such period of time.
C. 
Where the final approval contains conditions, if all conditions are not complied with within 180 days from the date of final approval or within such additional time as the approving board shall allow, the final approval shall lapse.
D. 
Effect of final approval.
(1) 
The zoning requirements applicable to the preliminary approval first granted and all other rights conferred upon the applicant, whether conditionally or otherwise, shall not be changed for a period of two years after the date on which the resolution of final approval is adopted, provided that, in the case of a major subdivision, the rights conferred by this section shall expire if the plat has not been duly recorded within the time periods provided herein. If the applicant has followed the standards prescribed for final approval and, in the case of a subdivision, has duly recorded the plat as required, the approving board may extend such period of protection by extensions of one year, but there shall not be more than three extensions. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the granting of final approval terminates the time period of preliminary approval for the section granted final approval.
(2) 
In the case of a subdivision for a planned development of 50 acres or more or major conventional subdivision or site development plan for 150 acres or more, the approving board may grant the rights referred to herein for such period of time longer than two years as shall be determined by the approving board to be reasonable taking into consideration:
(a) 
The number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area permissible under final approval;
(b) 
Economic conditions; and
(c) 
The comprehensiveness of the development. The applicant may apply for thereafter, and the approving board may thereafter grant, an extension of final approval for such additional period of time as shall be determined by the approving board to be reasonable, taking into consideration:
[1] 
The number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area permissible under final approval;
[2] 
The number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area remaining to be developed;
[3] 
Economic conditions; and
[4] 
The comprehensiveness of the development.
(3) 
Whenever the Planning Board grants an extension of final approval pursuant to Subsection D(1) or (2) of this section and final approval has expired before the date on which the extension is granted, the extension shall begin on what would otherwise be the expiration date. The developer may apply for the extension either before or after what would otherwise be the expiration date.
(4) 
The Planning Board shall grant an extension of final approval for a period determined by the Board, but not exceeding one year from what would otherwise be the expiration date, if the developer proves to the reasonable satisfaction of the Board that the developer was barred or prevented, directly or indirectly, from proceeding with the development because of delays in obtaining legally required approvals from other governmental entities, and that the developer applied promptly for and diligently pursued these approvals. A developer shall apply for the extension before: 1) what would otherwise be the expiration date of final approval; or 2) the 91st day after the developer receives the last legally required approval from other governmental entities, whichever occurs later. An extension granted pursuant to this Subsection D(4) shall not preclude the Planning Board from granting an extension pursuant to Subsection D(1) or (2) of this subsection.
[Amended by Ord. No. 1292; Ord. No. 1314; Ord. No. 1441; Ord. No. 1509]
A. 
Prior to the issuance of a building permit or certificate of occupancy for any new structure or use, change, addition or alteration in structure or use, external renovations, construction of or addition to a parking lot or use of vacant land as a parking lot, change in use of any nonresidential use, or for any new structure or use, a site plan shall be reviewed, approved or waived, as hereinafter provided, by the approving authority. Detached one- and two-family dwellings used exclusively as residences are specifically excluded from the site plan requirement. Specifically included are all applications within the C, PO and CBD Districts for:
(1) 
Permits for the erection or exterior alteration of any building or structure, including its color, texture and exterior lighting;
(2) 
Site plan and subdivision applications;
(3) 
Signs, awnings, canopies and marquees;
(4) 
Buildings or structures erected upon public land or allowed to extend over or upon any street, sidewalk, public property or public right-of-way;
(5) 
Change of permitted use, except where the existing site development meets the requirements of this chapter for the new use;
[Amended 7-6-2010 by Ord. No. 10-1786]
(6) 
Minor site improvements such as plantings, shade trees, landscaping or repaving of exterior spaces;
(7) 
Location of street furniture.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection A(8), regarding any other relevant applications, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 7-6-2010 by Ord. No. 10-1786.
B. 
The approving authority may waive certain site plan content requirements if the proposed construction or alteration or change of occupancy or use does not effect existing circulation, drainage, relationship of buildings to each other, external appearance, landscaping, buffering, lighting, signage, parking or other considerations of site plan review; and further provided that all requirements of the zoning regulations and design standards and guidelines are met. The approving authority may waive the requirements for the notice and a public hearing for minor site plan, at its discretion, on any application.
[Amended 7-6-2010 by Ord. No. 10-1786]
C. 
Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsections A and B above and provided compliance with the design standards and guidelines in Art. XVII of this chapter, the Zoning Officer shall waive site plan review, provided the proposed change(s) is limited to the following:
[Amended 7-6-2010 by Ord. No. 10-1786]
(1) 
Changes in existing or erection of new signs on existing structures, except that the Zoning Officer may not waive site plan review for the facade or wall signs, or painted, silk-screened, illuminated or neon window or door signs for upper-story businesses as referenced in § 230-140I(8);
(2) 
Exterior painting;
(3) 
Minor landscaping;
(4) 
Repair/maintenance to existing structures;
(5) 
Interior renovations of existing structures, including those involving changes in tenancy or use, provided there is no increase in parking requirements greater than two additional spaces between the prior and proposed use.
(6) 
Changes in existing or erection of new awning, canopies, marquees, shutters, siding, trim or moldings on existing structures;
(7) 
Other changes to the facade of an existing building, provided the same do not alter either the amount or location of lot coverage; and
(8) 
Sidewalk repair, maintenance or replacement.
D. 
Following the decision of the Zoning Officer, any applicant may request that the approving authority review the application pursuant to Subsection A and B of this section. Any such request for review shall be made within 20 days of the decision of the Zoning Officer.
No certificate of occupancy shall be given unless all construction and development conform to the approved site plan, as the same may have been formally revised or amended by the approving authority.
[Amended by Ord. No. 1304]
A. 
The applicant shall submit to the administrative officer at least 21 days prior to the public meeting of the approving authority 20 blue- or black-on-white copies of the minor site plan; 20 completed copies of the standard development application form; three completed copies of the minor site plan checklist; three copies of any protective covenants, deed restrictions and easements applying to the land being developed; five copies of the drainage calculations and soil erosion and sediment control data if required; the applicable fee; and certification by the Tax Collector that all taxes are paid to date. If the applicant is not the owner of record of the land, then all contractual agreements concerning its use shall be submitted.
B. 
If the application is found to be incomplete, the applicant shall be notified in writing within 45 days of submission of such application or it shall be deemed to be properly submitted.
C. 
Upon the submission to the administrative officer of a complete application, the approving authority shall grant or deny approval within 45 days of the date of such submission or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Failure of the approving authority to act within 45 days shall be deemed approval.
D. 
Approval of a minor site plan hereunder shall be subject to the procedures and rights afforded pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-46.1.
A. 
The applicant shall submit to the administrative officer at least 21 days prior to the public meeting of the approving authority 20 blue or black-on-white copies of the preliminary site plan; 20 completed copies of the standard development application form; three completed copies of the preliminary site plan checklist; three copies of any protective covenants, deed restrictions and easements applying to the land being developed; five copies of the drainage calculations and soil erosion and sediment control data if required; 10 copies of any required traffic, environmental or other study or report; the applicable fee; and certification by the Tax Collector that all taxes are paid to date. If the applicant is not the owner of record of the land, then all contractual agreements concerning its use shall be submitted.
B. 
If the application is found to be incomplete, the applicant shall be notified in writing within 45 days of submission of such application or it shall be deemed to be properly submitted.
C. 
If the approving board requires for any substantial amendment in the layout of improvements proposed by the applicant that have been subject of a hearing, an amended application for site development plan approval shall be submitted and proceeded upon as in the case of the original application. The approving board shall, if the proposed development complies with this chapter, grant preliminary site development plan approval.
D. 
Two preliminary plans shall be filed by the applicant with the Middlesex County Planning Board. If the Middlesex County Planning Board fails to act on the site plan application within a thirty-day period, the application shall be deemed to have been approved by the County Planning Board. However, by mutual agreement between the County Planning Board and the approving board, with the approval of the applicant, the thirty-day period may be extended for an additional thirty-day period. Should the Middlesex County Planning Board fail to receive an approved extension of time, and the Secretary of the County Planning Board attests on the final plan to the failure of the County Planning Board to report within the required time period, such attestation shall be sufficient authorization for further Borough action on the application.
E. 
Effect of preliminary approval. Preliminary approval of a site development plan shall, except as provided in Subsection F of this section, confer upon the applicant the following rights for a three-year period from the date of the preliminary approval.
(1) 
That the general terms and conditions on which preliminary approval was granted shall not be changed, including but not limited to use requirements, layout and design standards for streets, curbs and sidewalks; lot size; yard dimensions and off-tract improvements; and, in the case of a site development plan, any requirements peculiar to the site development plan approval, except that nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the municipality from modifying by ordinance such general terms and conditions of preliminary approval as relate to public health and safety.
(2) 
That the applicant may submit for final approval on or before the expiration date of preliminary approval the whole or a section or sections of the preliminary site development plan.
(3) 
That the applicant may apply for and the approving board may grant extensions of such preliminary approval for additional periods of at least one year but not to exceed a total extension of two years, provided that, if the design standards have been revised herein, such revised standards may govern.
F. 
In the case of a site development plan for an area of 50 acres or more, the approving board may grant the rights referred to herein for such period of time, longer than three years, as shall be determined by the approving board to be reasonable, taking into consideration:
(1) 
The number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area permissible under preliminary approval;
(2) 
Economic conditions; and
(3) 
The comprehensiveness of the development. The applicant may apply for thereafter and the approving board may thereafter grant an extension to preliminary approval for such additional period of time as shall be determined by the approving board to be reasonable taking into consideration:
(a) 
The number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area permissible under preliminary approval;
(b) 
The potential number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area of the section or sections awaiting final approval;
(c) 
Economic conditions; and
(d) 
The comprehensiveness of the development, provided that, if the design standards have been revised, such revised standards may govern.
[Amended by Ord. No. 1304]
A. 
The applicant shall submit to the administrative officer at least 21 days prior to the public meeting of the approving authority 20 blue- or black-on-white copies of the final site plan; 20 completed copies of the standard development application form; three completed copies of the final site plan checklist; the applicable fee; and certification by the Tax Collector that all taxes are paid to date. If the applicant is not the owner of record of the land, then all contractual agreements concerning its use shall be submitted.
B. 
If the application is found to be incomplete, the applicant shall be notified in writing within 45 days of submission of such application or it shall be deemed to be properly submitted.
C. 
The approving board shall grant final approval if the detailed drawings, specifications and estimates of the application for final approval conform to the standards established by this chapter for:
(1) 
Final approval;
(2) 
The conditions for preliminary approval; and
(3) 
The standards prescribed by the Map Filing Law.
D. 
Final approval shall be granted or denied within 45 days after submission of a complete application to the administrative officer or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Failure of the approving authority to act within 45 days shall constitute final approval. Whenever review or approval of the application by the County Planning Board is required, the approving board shall condition any approval that it grants upon timely receipt of a favorable report on the application by the County Planning Board or approval thereon within the required time period.
E. 
Where the final approval contains conditions, if all conditions are not complied with within 180 days from the date of final approval or within such additional time as the approving authority shall allow, the final approval shall lapse.
F. 
Effect of final approval.
(1) 
The zoning requirements applicable to the preliminary approval first granted and all other rights conferred upon the applicant, whether conditionally or otherwise, shall not be changed for a period of two years after the date on which the resolution of final approval is adopted, provided that, in the case of a major subdivision, the rights conferred by this section shall expire if the plat has not been duly recorded within the time periods provided herein. If the applicant has followed the standards prescribed for final approval and, in the case of a subdivision, has duly recorded the plat as required, the approving board may extend such period of protection by extensions of one year but there shall not be more than three extensions. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the granting of final approval terminates the time period of preliminary approval for the section granted final approval.
(2) 
In the case of a subdivision for a planned development of 50 acres or more or major conventional subdivision or site development plan for 150 acres or more, the approving board may grant the rights referred to herein for such period of time, longer than two years, as shall be determined by the approving board to be reasonable, taking into consideration:
(a) 
The number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area permissible under final approval;
(b) 
Economic conditions; and
(c) 
The comprehensiveness of the development. The applicant may apply for thereafter, and the approving board may thereafter grant, an extension of final approval for such additional period of time as shall be determined by the approving board to be reasonable, taking into consideration:
[1] 
The number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area permissible under final approval;
[2] 
The number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area remaining to be developed;
[3] 
Economic conditions; and
[4] 
The comprehensiveness of the development.
(3) 
Whenever the Planning Board grants an extension of final approval pursuant to Subsection F(1) or (2) of this section and final approval has expired before the date on which the extension is granted, the extension shall begin on what would otherwise be the expiration date. The developer may apply for the extension either before or after what would otherwise be the expiration date.
(4) 
The Planning Board shall grant an extension of final approval for a period determined by the Board but not exceeding one year from what would otherwise be the expiration date if the developer proves to the reasonable satisfaction of the Board that the developer was barred or prevented, directly or indirectly, from proceeding with the development because of delays in obtaining legally required approvals from other governmental entities and that the developer applied promptly for and diligently pursued these approvals. A developer shall apply for the extension before what would otherwise be the expiration date of final approval or the 91st day after the developer receives the last legally required approval from other governmental entities, whichever occurs later. An extension granted pursuant to this subsection shall not preclude the Planning Board from granting an extension pursuant to Subsection D(1) or (2) of this section.
A. 
Conditions binding. All conditions of any preliminary and final approval shall be binding upon all present and future owners, tenants, occupants, lessors, lessees, heirs, assignees, developers, contractors and subcontractors.
B. 
Failure to maintain. All persons receiving development approval for property or their successors in title shall be responsible for installing, maintaining and properly utilizing on-site, off-site and off-tract improvements required by the Board, including but not limited to parking arrangements, buffer zones, drainage facilities, exterior lighting plans and other requirements of the Board as reflected on the plans and in the Board minutes. Failure of the property owner to install, maintain and/or utilize improvements as provided by the site plan approval shall constitute a violation of this chapter and shall be subject to the enforcement procedures set forth herein.