[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Riverton 3-8-1984 by Ord. No. 3-84. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance was originally adopted as Ch. 129 but was renumbered as Ch. 109 in order to maintain the alphabetical sequence of the Code.
This chapter shall be known as the "Borough of Riverton Site Plan Review Ordinance."
The purpose of site plan review is to determine whether the proposed use, building, structure or addition to any building, structure or use will conform to the revised statutes, the Zoning Ordinance, the Land Subdivision Ordinance and other applicable ordinances and requirements of the Borough. Site plan review shall work toward the development of an aesthetically acceptable and well-ordered community serving the interest of the public health, safety and general welfare of the Borough residents.
Prior to the excavation, grading or clearing of land for construction or issuance of any permit, said construction or permit pertaining to any building, structure or use within the Borough, with the exception of a single-family dwelling, in a residential zone, by the Construction Official or Zoning Officer of the Borough, site plan approval for the proposed grading, building, structure or use must be obtained from the Planning Board, and no certificate of occupancy shall be issued or occupancy take place until and unless all construction and required improvements shall have been completed in conformity with the approved site plan.
All construction and improvements shall be in accordance with the standards of the Land Subdivision Ordinance.
[Amended 12-12-1985 by Ord. No. 9-85; 3-9-2000 by Ord. No. 3-00]
With the exception of single- or multifamily dwelling units, any change of use, ownership, proprietorship or occupancy will void the previously issued certificate of occupancy and require the issuance of a new certificate of occupancy. A site plan approval is required for all developments which do not meet the definition of an exempt site plan. An exempt site plan includes:
An applicant shall submit to the Planning Board for approval a site plan that also includes a request for a variance from lot area, lot dimensional setbacks and yard requirements. The Planning Board shall either approve or deny the application.
All applications containing a request for a conditional use shall be submitted to the Planning Board.
An applicant shall submit to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for approval a site plan that also includes a request for a use variance.
An applicant shall complete each application for each request for relief, i.e., site plan, subdivision, variance and conditional use, regardless of to which board it is submitted, and the applicant shall pay each fee.
All applications that include a request for a variance shall require a public hearing.
The applicant shall submit six copies of the final site plan to the Administrative Officer. If the application is complete, the Administrative Officer shall transmit the site plans to the appropriate municipal agencies for review. They shall prepare reports containing recommendations and/or conditions of approval and a certification as to completeness. The Administrative Officer shall advise the applicant of the certification within 45 days of submission. The applicant is not required to amend the plan until after Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment action at a public meeting.
The Planning Board or Zoning Board shall take action on the site plan at a public meeting of the board within 45 days of the certification if the site plan contains 10 acres or less of land or 10 or less dwelling units. If the plan exceeds the above acreage or number of units, the Planning Board shall take action within 95 days of the certification.
The Municipal Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment shall condition any approval that it grants upon timely receipt of a favorable report on the application by the Burlington County Planning Board, where applicable, or approval by the Burlington County Planning Board's failure to report thereon within the required time period.
The Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment shall either approve, approve with conditions to which the Planning Board Engineer can certify compliance or disapprove the site plan. In the event of a disapproval, the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment shall set forth its reasons for the rejection of the plan by resolution.
After Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment approval, the applicant shall submit three sets of the site plan to the Planning Board Engineer for certification. Such plans shall conform to the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment approvals and approvals of any other agencies. No building permit shall be issued or construction commenced unless the final site plan has been certified by the Planning Board Engineer. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued nor shall occupancy take place until and unless all construction and required improvements shall be completed or bonded for in conformity with the approved site plan and all conditions required as a part of said approval.
Site plan review shall consider but not be limited to the following:
The height, bulk, area and setback distances of all building structures.
The architectural design, including the appearance of and materials used on the exterior facades.
The architectural design, location, height and width, appearance and materials used in all signs.
Parking and traffic control, including location and material, requirements for curbing, driveways, parking areas, pedestrian walks and other requirements to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
Reasonable screening at all seasons of the year of playgrounds, parking and service areas.
Lighting of buildings, grounds and signs to assure the elimination of any adverse effects on adjoining property owners while simultaneously requiring adequate lighting for the proposed development.
Provisions for necessary utilities such as water supply, sewers, gas and electric.
Provisions for energy-efficient building and/or site plan design.
The stormwater collection and disposal system.
Noise abatement, odor and rodent control and trash and garbage collection facilities.
Provisions for incoming raw materials and outgoing finished products, together with outdoor facilities for storing same.
Provisions for soil erosion and sediment control.
[Added 7-9-2003 by Ord. No. 8-03]
Much of the Neighborhood Business and General Business Zones is contained within a State and National Registers of Historic Places District and also the Borough of Riverton Historic District. The period of significance for historical development in Riverton was from 1851, when the village was founded, to approximately 1915. Therefore, the architectural styles which are considered to be suitable and acceptable for the Neighborhood Business and General Business Zones of Riverton Borough are those architectural styles which were employed in America, and the Riverton region, during the years of 1851 to 1915. Developers are required to clearly articulate one of these architectural styles for nonresidential buildings in the redevelopment area of the Borough of Riverton.
The required historical architectural styles are as follows:
Gothic Revival including the substyles of Italianate, Second Empire, Folk Victorian, Stick Style and Queen Anne.
Neoclassical including the substyles of Greek Revival, Romanesque, and Beaux Arts.
Pre-modern styles, including the substyles of Prairie Style and Arts and Crafts.
Historic Commercial Architecture, characterized by the utilitarian, vernacular lumber, coal, and railroad delivery sheds with appropriate scale and detail which existed in Riverton particularly near the railroad station location of Broad and Main Streets. This style is favored for the areas surrounding the new light rail transit station.
A bibliography of reference texts, explaining these styles, is available from the Architect Review Committee of the Borough of Riverton as an aid to developers designing and constructing new buildings within the Neighborhood Business and General Business Zones of Riverton. Copies of these texts are available from their publishers or can be obtained and copied from the Architectural Review Committee of the Borough of Riverton. Historical photos of preexisting buildings in the Neighborhood Business and General Business Zones can be seen on request from the Architectural Review Committee or the Historical Society of Riverton.
Applications seeking approval of a site plan for nonresidential and residential structures within the Neighborhood Business and General Business Zoning Districts must be submitted for review in accordance with the following architectural design guidelines:
Lot coverage and building placement. Building placement in commercial areas should be pedestrian-friendly, attractive, and accessible. Where context of existing buildings occurs adjacent to new development, the existing buildings should be used to determine the front line of new buildings. Where adjacent buildings do not exist, development is encouraged to be as close to the street as permitted by the zoning code for each district.
Parking. Parking should be as concealed and as unobtrusive as possible and interconnected with other parking lots to maximize opportunities for shared parking. Where parking is provided in the rear of a building, the building should be oriented so that entrances are available from the rear as well as the front, and the facade presented to the parking area should be of a similar quality as that presented to the street.
Hardscaping. Hardscape pedestrian paving should be of varied materials, exposed aggregate concrete, brick, bluestone and other historically appropriate materials, and should be continuous from the building front to the curb with recessed areas for approved street trees.
Exterior lighting. Exterior lighting should be minimal and post mounted. Post and fixture design should be historically appropriate to the period style of architecture. Cut-off fixtures will direct light to the ground. Matching existing gas fixtures with low light levels in place of electrically lit versions with higher light levels is encouraged.
Building signage. Building signage should be face-lit painted signs, preferably using gooseneck lighting, downward-directed. Internally illuminated signage is not permitted. Creative signage including authentic typography and icons is encouraged.
Fences. Fences should be used for screening and protection of parking areas with the appropriate design in wrought iron and no higher than four feet above grade. Fences should be historically appropriate to the period style of architecture of the building.
Massing of building facades should be broken into smaller areas with frequent offsets in their surfaces to avoid a monolithic appearance. Proportions of the facade elements on each floor, such as windows, doors, bays, etc., are encouraged to be vertical in nature as opposed to horizontal and in context with the surrounding buildings. Massing of roofs should be varied with broken roof lines to improve visual interest and have a rhythm with vertical proportions. The facades of buildings in small downtowns are usually more pedestrian in scale when the architectural features enhance the first floor and downplay the upper floors. All elevations should be designed as equally important.
Buildings must appear to be a minimum of two stories.
Two-story buildings: The second floor should approach 100% of the first floor area but not exceed it except for bays containing windows.
Two-and-one-half story buildings are encouraged. The second floor should approach 100% of the first floor area but not exceed it except for bays containing windows.
Cornices. Fascias, soffits, and cornices should have appropriate scale, details and color schemes. Cornice design should be appropriate to the style of the building, and their height should be in scale with a pedestrian-friendly streetscape.
Roofs. All mechanical equipment, vents, exhaust fans and ducting will be screened from view on all sides with appropriate materials and forms.
Pitched roofs. For buildings with pitched roofs, a preferred pitch of 12:12 is expected, a minimum of 9:12 may be accepted. Standing seam copper, lead-coated copper, and painted tin roofs are allowed and encouraged along with slate or imitation slate materials that are historically appropriate. Dimensional fiberglass shingles that mimic cedar shakes are acceptable.
Flat roofs. Buildings with flat roofs should have a parapet wall or a significant cornice that is historically appropriate in design.
Glazing, elevation design. Windows should be of historically appropriate design for the floor of the building on which they occur. All windows should have appropriately wide trim with cap moldings.
First floor windows on street frontages should be historically appropriate storefronts on knee walls with clearly defined entrances separate from the windows. Individual or paired double-hung windows may also be used where they are appropriate to the architectural style. Relief of the wall surface should be encouraged through use of bays and opaque canvas awnings. No interior illuminated awnings will be allowed.
Second floor windows should be double-hung individual windows, not groupings of windows, arranged to create vertical proportions and pleasing rhythms in the elevation.
Doors to businesses should be a minimum halflite with wide stiles and rails with transom windows above. Secondary customer and client entrances are required when buildings have elevations facing parking areas. Doors to spaces above businesses should be solid with raised panels to distinguish them from business entrances.
Exterior wall materials. Exterior wall materials should be those which would have historically been used in the construction of the historic style chosen for the building by the designer.
For wood siding, horizontal clapboard siding without false wood graining is desired. Wall shingling of cedar or cedar-appearing materials is welcomed. Decorative shingling where historically appropriate is desired. Vertical board and batten siding on small scaled buildings or in gables of larger buildings is allowed. Window, door, corner, water table and belt coursing trim should be a minimum of four inches.
Where brick is used, common-size brick in common bond coursing is encouraged, with historically appropriate decorative detailing around door and window openings, corbeled trim, pilasters, and corner quoins to create relief of the wall surface and vertical proportions.
Colors. Historically appropriate colors in multiple color schemes are encouraged. See Benjamin Moore, Finneran & Haley, and Sherwin Williams color guides.
In the event that a submission consists only of minor site changes, some site plan details may be omitted from the plan if they are not relevant to the review of the submission as determined by the Planning Board Engineer and the Planning Board.
All site plans shall contain the following information:
The name and address of the applicant and the owner of record and the name, address and title of the person preparing the plan, maps including appropriate map titles and accompanying data.
The date of the original plan and each subsequent revision date.
North arrow and graphic scale.
Total tract acreage to 1/10 of an acre.
Existing and proposed streets and street names.
A key map showing the location of the site within the community.
The zoning of the site and adjacent lots and the Tax Map plate, block and lot numbers.
A true and accurate survey of the site.
The exact size, shape and location of all existing and proposed buildings, structures, parking areas and open spaces.
All setbacks, lot and right-of-way lines and the dimensions, locations and purpose of all easements.
An indication of a solution for the stormwater drainage.
A statement of how the sewer, water and all utilities to service the project will be designed.
Pavement construction detail.
The location and arrangement of vehicular accessways and the location, size and capacities of all parking areas and curbs, sidewalks, walkways and all other areas devoted to pedestrian use.
The building floor plans and finished grade elevations at all building corners.
Design concerns of any topographic problems.
Covenants and deed restrictions.
A proposed contour grading plan with intervals of one foot where slopes are less than 15% and five feet when 15% or more, only where deemed necessary by the board. Spot elevations shall be required at building corners and other points where contours do not adequately define the proposed elevation of the site.
Front, rear and side elevations of all proposed buildings.
A landscape plan.
Proposed signs, including type, facade, location, size and materials.
Other information as required by the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment.
The proposed construction receiving final site plan approval must be completed in all respects within two years from the date of final approval. Failure of the applicant to complete construction within such periods will nullify and void the site plan, and said applicant will be in violation of this chapter if any construction or excavation is undertaken or continued after the expiration date. Time period extensions may be granted by the approving body as provided by law.
[Amended 5-13-2009 by Ord. No. 3-2009]
Minimum starting escrow fee.
Nonresidential change of use application reviewed by the Planning Board Chairman and Zoning Officer: no escrow required.
Site plan, floor area less than 1,000 square feet: $1,000.
Site plan, floor area between 1,000 square feet and 9,999 square feet: $3,000.
Site plan, floor area 10,000 square feet and over: $5,000.
Inspection escrow shall be 6% of the bonded amount.
Variances and conditional use. A request for variance or conditional use accompanying site plan will require the payment of the appropriate fee, as enumerated in the Zoning Ordinance of the Borough of Riverton, Chapter 128 of the Code of the Borough of Riverton, in addition to the site plan application and fee.
Other sums. Sums not utilized in the review and inspection process shall be returned to the applicant. If additional sums are deemed necessary for professional reviews or inspection, the applicant shall be notified of the required additional amount and shall add such sum to the escrow. An application for development will not be considered by the Planning Board or Zoning Board unless the applicant's escrow account is current on the date of the scheduled hearing. Each applicant who shall submit a plan for site approval shall agree in writing and shall pay all reasonable costs for professional review of the said site plan and for inspection of improvements required by the Planning Board or Zoning Board. Such costs must be paid in full before any occupancy of the premises is permitted or occupancy permit issued.
Site plan waiver. An escrow fee of $100 and a filing fee of $50 shall be submitted with each application for site plan waiver. Said fees shall be applied toward the fee required for site plan in the event that the waiver is not granted.
[Amended 5-15-2018 by Ord. No. O-2018-02]
In approving the site plan, the Planning Board shall require that the applicant furnish a performance, maintenance, and related guarantees in accordance with the requirements of this Code at Chapter 22-39, et seq.
[Deleted 5-15-2018 by Ord. No. O-2018-02]
Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $500 and/or imprisonment in the County Jail for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each and every violation of this chapter, and each day that a violation of this chapter continues, shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct violation thereof.
If for any reason any section or part of any section of this chapter shall be declared unconstitutional or illegal by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining sections thereof shall remain in full force and effect.
All ordinances or parts thereof inconsistent with the terms of this chapter are hereby repealed insofar as inconsistency exists.
This chapter shall take effect immediately after final passage and approval as provided by law.