Borough of Emerson, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Emerson 9-23-1975 by Ord. No. 652 (appeared as Chapter 104A of the 1966 Code of the Borough of Emerson).[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Land use procedures — See Ch. 47.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 132.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 156.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 248.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 252.
Zoning — See Ch. 290.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance was readopted 1-31-1977 by Ord. No. 672, pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq. Certain changes were made in conjunction with the readoption, which are noted where applicable.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Site Plan Review Ordinance of the Borough of Emerson, in the County of Bergen, New Jersey."
The general purpose of this chapter is to provide rules, regulations and standards to guide land development for nonresidential uses in the Borough of Emerson, in order to promote the public health, safety, convenience and general welfare of the Borough.
This chapter shall be administered by the Planning Board of the Borough of Emerson, by authority of N.J.S.A. 40:55-1.13,[1] in such case made and provided.
[1]
Editor's Note: N.J.S.A. 40:55-1.13 was repealed by L. 1975, c. 291, § 80. See now N.J.S.A. 40:55D-25, 40:55D-26, 40:55D-29, 40:55D-31 and 40:55D-37.
In reviewing and acting upon site development plans, the Planning Board shall consider the public health, safety, welfare, comfort and convenience of the public in general and of the residents of the immediate neighborhood affected in particular. It may prescribe appropriate conditions, safeguards and guaranties required, so that the result of its actions shall, to the maximum extent possible, further the expressed general purpose of this chapter and shall also achieve the following objectives in particular:
A. 
Providing maximum safety and convenience of vehicular and pedestrian traffic by ensuring that all driveways and walkways are adequate but not excessive in number, that they are adequate in width, grade, alignment and visibility and that they are suitably located, particularly with respect to their connections with public streets. Appropriate signs may be utilized for identification to achieve this purpose.
B. 
Providing adequate access, ingress and egress for all proposed structures for equipment or material and for fire and police protection and any other municipal services on the site.
C. 
Providing adequate off-street parking to accommodate vehicles of persons connected with or visiting the premises and to obviate the parking of such vehicles in public streets.
D. 
Landscaping the site in a manner which provides reasonable screening, during all seasons of the year, of all playgrounds, parking areas and service areas from the view of adjacent residential properties and abutting streets of residential areas.
E. 
In applicable cases, providing a drainage system and layout which would afford the best solution to any drainage problems.
F. 
Preventing any alteration of the natural land contours by the erection of any structure that would increase possible flood heights or divert floodwaters to other properties or create any other hazardous condition relating to flooding.
G. 
Conserving the value of the property and encouraging the most appropriate use of the land.
[Amended 4-27-2004 by Ord. No. 1263]
A. 
It shall be at the discretion of the Emerson Construction Code Official to approve the issuance of a building permit or certificate of occupancy for any use other than a single- or two-family detached residential structure, or require that the applicant seek site plan approval by the Planning Board.
[Amended 8-18-2009 by Ord. No. 1381]
B. 
A new certificate of occupancy shall be required for any change in use, change in occupant, or change in the structure on all properties, except for those utilized solely for single- or two-family detached residential housing.
A. 
Initial application.
(1) 
The applicant shall be required to fill out a form to be supplied by the Building Inspector, which form shall be executed by the owner or his duly authorized agent, with the name of the owner supplied and certified by him to be a true statement. The form shall require the following information:
(a) 
The lot and block number of the property.
(b) 
The name and address of the present owner of record.
(c) 
If a corporation, the names and addresses of officers and directors or persons upon whom notice may be served.
(d) 
A detailed description of the proposed use of the property, both at the present time and in the foreseeable future.
(2) 
The aforesaid application shall be filed with each of the following in the Borough of Emerson:
(a) 
The Building Inspector.
(b) 
The Secretary of the Planning Board.
(3) 
If the applicant has secured a variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment affecting the site plan application or any part thereof, a copy of the application to the Zoning Board and its resolution shall accompany the form filed in Subsection A(1).
(4) 
The application form for the site plan approval as referred to in Subsection A(1) hereof is attached hereto and made a part hereof as Schedule A. In addition, to be included with said application is a certificate of payment of taxes attached hereto and made a part hereof as Schedule B. Schedule A and Schedule B, together with a site plan and payment of the required fees, constitute a complete application, provided that the same contain the requested information upon which the Planning Board can make a decision.[1]
[Added 7-17-1979 by Ord. No. 717; amended 11-24-1981 by Ord. No. 788]
[1]
Editor's Note: Schedules A and B are on file in the office of the Borough Clerk, where they are available for examination by the public during regular business hours.
B. 
Site plan. The applicant shall cause a site plan map to be prepared by a civil engineer, surveyor, land planner, architect or other competent person and certified by him. Site plan elements shall include those listed below which are appropriate to the proposed development or use, as indicated by the Planning Board or its representatives in the presubmission conference required in § 236-6C.
(1) 
Scale and dimensions. The map shall be at least 18 inches by 26 inches but not more than 24 inches by 36 inches and at a scale of 10, 20 or 40 feet to the inch, except that if the property has a maximum dimension over 900 feet, a scale of 50 feet to the inch may be used.
(2) 
Description data:
(a) 
The lot and block designation of the property.
(b) 
The name and address of the owner of record; if a corporation, listing names and addresses of officers and directors or persons upon whom notice may be served.
(c) 
The name and address of the person, firm or organization preparing the map.
(d) 
The date, North point and written and graphic scale.
(e) 
A sufficient description or information to define precisely the boundaries of the property. All distances shall be in feet and tenths of a foot. All bearings shall be given to the nearest 10 seconds. The error of closure shall not exceed one in 10,000.
(f) 
The location, names and existing widths of adjacent streets, rights-of-way and curblines.
(g) 
The owners of record of all adjoining lands.
(h) 
The location, width and purpose of all existing and proposed easements, setbacks, reservations and areas dedicated to the public use within or adjoining the property.
(i) 
A complete outline of existing deed restrictions or covenants applying to the property, including utility easements.
(j) 
The existing zoning of the property and all adjacent lands.
(3) 
Natural features:
(a) 
Contours at six-inch intervals for land with a slope of less than 2%, one-foot intervals between 2% and 5% or five-foot intervals for land with grades over 5%. Contours shall be related to a datum acceptable to the Borough Engineer.
(b) 
The location and width of any existing watercourses, marshes and wooded areas and isolated trees with a diameter of six inches or more when measured three feet above the base.
(c) 
Approximate boundaries of any areas subject to flooding or stormwater overflows.
(d) 
The size of the site in square feet.
(4) 
Existing structures and utilities:
(a) 
The location of uses and outlines of structures drawn to scale on and within 200 feet of the property, including the setback.
(b) 
Paved areas, sidewalks and vehicular access between the site and public streets.
(c) 
Locations, dimensions, grades and flow directions of existing sewers, culverts and waterlines, as well as other underground and aboveground utilities within and adjacent to the property.
(d) 
Other existing development, including fences, lighting and landscape screening.
(5) 
Proposed development:
(a) 
Building plans showing, as a minimum, all floor plans and elevations of all proposed principal buildings and structures and all accessory buildings and structures and any proposed appurtenances to be placed on any structure, and such plans shall also show the design or general architectural styling.
(b) 
The location of the proposed buildings or structural improvements.
(c) 
The location of all uses not requiring structures.
(d) 
The number and type of proposed uses to occupy the building.
(e) 
The number of units and the number of tenants, employees or occupants of each unit.
(f) 
The proposed location of fences, signs and advertising features.
(g) 
The location, direction, size and time of use for any proposed outdoor lighting, including the type of construction.
(h) 
The arrangement of proposed sidewalks, driveways, loading areas, off-street parking areas or other paved areas.
(i) 
Any proposed grading, screening and other landscaping, including types and locations of proposed street trees.
(j) 
The structural design of curbing, sidewalks, driveways, fascia and the like.
(k) 
Grading elevations in sufficient detail to describe the proposed grading and drainage. These shall include existing and proposed grades within the site and for a distance of 50 feet from the lot. Existing and proposed grades shall be measured at lot corners, building corners, 10 feet off building corners and at the high, low and end elevations of driveways, slopes, swales, drains and street paving.
(l) 
The location, type and size of proposed catch basins and storm drainage facilities, including all required design data supporting the adequacy of the existing or proposed facility to handle future storm flows, and all utilities, both above and below the ground. The location of easements to accommodate all of the foregoing shall be clearly indicated on the plan.
(m) 
An outline of any proposed deed restrictions or covenants.
(n) 
The location and identification of proposed open spaces, parks or other recreation areas.
(o) 
Water use and connections and details of any specific fire protection connection systems.
(p) 
Such other information as is necessary to enable the Planning Board to determine whether the proposed structure and use of land will conform to the provisions of this chapter.
(q) 
If the site development plan indicates only a first stage, a supplementary plan shall indicate ultimate development.
C. 
Presubmission conference. At the request of the applicant, and prior to the submission of a detailed site plan, the Planning Board may meet with the applicant to discuss the proposed use, review the application and determine what additional information should be supplied to conform to the detailed filing requirements of this chapter.
D. 
Waiver. The Planning Board, pursuant to the vote of a majority of a duly constituted quorum of the members of said Board, may waive any requirements and provisions of § 236-6B when the applicant demonstrates to the Board that, by reason of the strict adherence thereto, an unnecessary hardship will result and which the Planning Board shall deem unnecessary or inappropriate in making a proper determination of the extent and purpose of the proposed use. The Board may proceed upon its own motion, or upon the application of the applicant, to waive any of these requirements.
E. 
Processing of application.
(1) 
Drawings shall be submitted for each separate application. Each sheet of the submitted drawings shall bear the professional seals required by law or the owner's affidavit that they were drawn by his own hand for use by himself or an immediate member of his family.
(2) 
Nine copies of the site plan shall be filed with the Secretary of the Planning Board. Said copies shall be submitted to the Secretary at least 15 days prior to the regular Planning Board meeting at which approval is requested.
(3) 
The Planning Board shall act on any site plan submitted to it for its review within 45 days after the regular meeting at which it is first considered, and failure of the Planning Board to act thereon within said time or within such future extended time as may be consented to by the applicant shall be deemed as approval of the site plan.
(4) 
If any substantial changes are required, an amended plan shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Planning Board at least 15 days prior to the regular Planning Board meeting at which it will be considered, and the Planning Board shall have 45 days from such meeting to act upon the amended plan, or such future extended time as may be consented to by the applicant.
(5) 
The Planning Board, in its review of the site plan, may call upon any agency or department within the Borough of Emerson for its appropriate recommendation.
A. 
Performance guaranty.
(1) 
After approval of the Planning Board of the site plan, the applicant shall sign a contract with the governing body of the Borough of Emerson and post a performance guaranty.
(2) 
The performance guaranty may be in the form of a cash deposit with the Borough or in the form of a surety bond acceptable to the Borough Attorney, or a combination of the two.
(3) 
The performance guaranty shall cover all improvements shown on the approved site plan, excluding the structure as determined by the Borough Engineer.
(4) 
In addition to the performance guaranty, the applicant shall deposit with the Borough a sum of money sufficient to cover the legal and engineering costs associated with the application, its processing and during the performance and maintenance periods. The applicant can subsequently be required to deposit additional money for engineering and legal costs if the initial deposit is inadequate.
(5) 
The performance guaranty shall not be released until the Borough Engineer has inspected the improvements and has certified, in writing, that they are in accordance with the approved site plan and Borough specifications.
(6) 
A maintenance guaranty may be required at the expiration of the performance guaranty in a sum to be set by the Borough Engineer and posted by bond or cash, or a combination of both.
B. 
Changes in approved site plan.
(1) 
No changes shall be made in any site plan approved by the Planning Board without approval of the change by said Board, in writing.
(2) 
Application for changes shall be made in the same manner as the initial application under § 236-6A; although, for minor changes, the Planning Board may waive some or all requirements pursuant to § 236-6D.
C. 
Length of approval.
(1) 
Any site plan approval issued by the Planning Board shall be valid for the same period of time as the time during which the building permit or certificate of occupancy, which may be thereafter issued, shall be valid.
(2) 
The approval of the Planning Board shall be deemed to have lapsed if a building permit is not issued within one year after the date when Planning Board approval is communicated to the applicant.
D. 
Certificate of occupancy. Prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy:
(1) 
The Building Inspector shall certify, in writing, that the structure or structures meet all requirements of the Building Code.
(2) 
The Borough Engineer shall certify, in writing, that all improvements other than the structure are in accordance with the approved site plan and Borough specifications.
The following standards shall be utilized by the Planning Board in reviewing all site plans. These standards are intended to provide a frame of reference for the applicant in the development of site and building plans, as well as a method of review for the reviewing authority. These standards shall not be regarded as inflexible requirements. They are not intended to discourage creativity, invention and innovation. The specification of one or more particular architectural styles is not included in these standards.
A. 
Preservation of landscape.
(1) 
The landscape shall be preserved in its natural state, insofar as practicable and where desirable, by minimizing tree and soil removal; and any grade changes shall be in keeping with the general appearance of neighboring developed areas.
(2) 
Treatment and design of proposed screening shall be shown. Effective landscaping shall be provided and maintained throughout the year. The remaining area of the lot not occupied by building, parking or sidewalks shall be planted with grass, shrubs and other decorative landscaping.
B. 
Relation of proposed buildings to environment. Proposed structures shall be related harmoniously to the terrain and to existing buildings in the vicinity that have a visual relationship to the proposed buildings. The achievement of such relationship may include the enclosure of space in conjunction with other existing buildings or other proposed buildings and the creation of focal points with respect to avenues of approach, terrain features or other buildings.
C. 
Drives, parking and circulation. With respect to vehicular and pedestrian circulation, including walkways, interior drives and parking, special attention shall be given to the location and number of access points to the public streets; the width of interior drives and access points; the general interior circulation; the separation of pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic; and the arrangement of parking areas that are safe and convenient and do not detract from the design of the proposed buildings and structures and the neighboring properties. Treatment and design of proposed screening shall be shown.
D. 
Surface water drainage. Special attention shall be given to proper site surface drainage so that removal of surface waters shall not adversely affect neighboring properties or the public storm drainage system. Stormwater shall be removed from all roofs, canopies and paved areas and carried away in paved swales or in an underground drainage system. Surface water in all paved areas shall be connected at intervals so that it will not obstruct the flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic and will not create puddles or the menace of ice or other hazardous conditions.
E. 
Utility service. Electric and telephone lines shall be underground. Any utility installations remaining above the ground shall be located so as to have a harmonious relationship to neighboring properties and the site. The proposed method of sanitary sewage disposal from all buildings shall be indicated.
F. 
Advertising features. The size, location, design, color, texture, lighting and materials of all permanent signs and outdoor advertising structures or features shall not detract from the design of proposed buildings and structures and the surrounding properties nor create confusion with traffic signs or any other signs. Off-site directional signs shall conform to the foregoing.
G. 
There shall be no building or feature in the round which is representational, e.g. a brown derby, ice cream cone, polar bear, etc. There shall be no ragged outlines of buildings clearly used as eyecatchers representing internal functions or not representing a corporate identity.
H. 
Lighting. There shall be adequate controls of all illumination or sky glow and glare.
I. 
Special features. Exposed storage areas, exposed or hidden machinery installations on all levels, services areas, truck loading areas, utility buildings and structures and similar accessory areas and structures shall be subject to such setbacks, screen plantings or other screening methods as shall reasonably be required to prevent their being incongruous with the existing or contemplated environment and the surrounding properties.
J. 
Application of design standards. The standard of review outlined in Subsections A through I shall also apply to all accessory buildings, structures, freestanding signs and other site features, however related to the major buildings or structures.
K. 
All building exterior walls shall be of brick masonry or its equivalent.
[Amended 7-17-1979 by Ord. No. 717]
A. 
The following fee schedule shall apply when site plans are filed with the Planning Board of the Borough of Emerson, which fees shall be for the engineering and legal expenses incurred for review and inspection of the site plan and for any other miscellaneous costs relating thereto:
[Amended 5-20-2003 by Ord. No. 1227]
Site
Fee
With Variance
Up to one acre
$750
$1,000
One acre or less than two
$850
$1,100
Two acres or less than three
$950
$1,200
Three acres or less than four
$1,050
$1,300
Four acres or less than five
$1,150
$1,400
Five acres or less than six
$1,250
$1,500
Six acres or less than seven
$1,350
$1,600
Seven acres or less than eight
$1,450
$1,700
Eight acres or less than nine
$1,550
$1,800
Nine acres or less than ten
$1,650
$1,900
Ten acres or greater
$1,750
$2,000, plus $100 for additional acres or fraction thereof
B. 
On a site plan involving a portion of land in a parent parcel greater than five acres, the Borough Engineer will determine the number of acres involved in the development for site plan, and the fee will be according to the schedule in this section but will not be less than $500 in any case.
C. 
A conditional use application submitted for review by the Planning Board as follows: $1,000, plus $100 per acre.
[Added 5-23-2003 by Ord. No. 1227]
[Added 2-11-1985 by Ord. No. 871]
A. 
Deposit for inspection of site plan and subdivision. The applicant shall deposit at the time of site plan or subdivision application an escrow to cover engineering, investigation and inspection of improvements, legal and planning costs, recording fees and all other costs in connection with the site plan or subdivision.
B. 
Rules governing escrow deposits. Upon receipt of an application for one of the above applications, the administrative officer shall send a copy of the application and one set of all maps and reports to the professionals and consultants of the approving authority. Within a reasonable time of receipt of the same, said professionals shall submit an estimate of funds sufficient in amount to undertake technical reviews and findings of fact relative to the application at hand. Such estimated deposits shall be approved by the approving authority and may from time to time be reviewed by the governing body. The applicant shall forthwith deposit funds on demand, which funds shall be required to be placed in an escrow account by the Treasurer of the Borough of Emerson. Such funds on deposit shall be expended to reimburse the municipality and the approving authority for moneys paid to professionals and consultants engaged by them on account of the reasonable cost of their services rendered with reference to the application for which the deposit has been established. Upon receipt of the funds above and herein provided for, the secretary of the approving authority shall notify the professionals and other consultants of the approving authority that all appropriate examinations and reviews may be undertaken. Should additional funds be required after the original deposit has been exhausted, such additional funds shall be paid by the applicant to the Treasurer of the Borough of Emerson and placed in the appropriate account, subject to the conditions above provided for. Funds remaining in the escrow account at the completion of the project or phase of the application procedure, as the case may be, shall be returned without interest to the applicant as soon as is practicable. The approving authority shall take no formal action unless all application fees and escrow funds have been paid to the Treasurer of the Borough of Emerson, except those provided to be paid upon application for final approval, which shall be payable to the Borough Treasurer at the time specified. All escrow deposits are intended solely to reimburse the municipality and the approving authority for expenses incurred by them, or either of them, on account of the performance of their respective professionals and consultants with respect to a particular application.
C. 
Escrow deposit: $1,500 (separate check).
[Amended 5-23-2003 by Ord. No. 1227]
[Amended 2-18-2003 by Ord. No. 1218]
Any person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate any provision of this chapter shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both; and each day in which such violation continues shall constitute a separate violation or offense.
A. 
Failure to comply with any of the conditions of site plan approval subsequent to the receipt of a building permit shall be grounds for:
(1) 
The revocation of any building permit or the withholding or revocation, if issued, of any certificate of occupancy.
(2) 
Forfeiture of any performance bond or other payment guaranty required by the Planning Board to cover the costs of improvement specified in the portion of the site plan over which the Borough has control.
(3) 
Appropriate court action initiated by the Planning Board.
B. 
A written notice of revocation sent by certified mail to the applicant by the Building Inspector, requiring compliance with the conditions of the site plan approval in not less than five days, shall effectively revoke any building permit or certificate of occupancy, as the case may be, if compliance shall not be had within the time limit set and if the time limit is not extended by the appropriate Borough official.
C. 
In the event that any construction of any sort is started or completed prior to the securing of Planning Board approval, when such approval is required by virtue of this chapter, it is a violation of this chapter. Such violation shall be a continuing violation until removed or abated or until approval by the Planning Board is secured. It shall be no defense that the violation shall have been removed, abated or approved by the Planning Board, and said construction shall be a violation for each and every day of its occurrence.
D. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed a waiver of compliance with any other applicable Borough ordinance or state or county statute, rule, ordinance or resolution.
[Amended 1-31-1977 by Ord. No. 672]
All other ordinances or parts of ordinances, except Ordinance No. 666,[1] inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 47, Land Use Procedures.