Borough of Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Monmouth County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The purpose of this article is to establish the procedure for review and action on applications requiring subdivision, site plan, conditional use, or variance approval. The procedure is intended to provide orderly and expeditious processing of such applications. In all zones for all proposed uses, subdivision, site development or construction other than an exempt development, site plan and/or subdivision approval shall be required prior to:
A. 
Subdivision or resubdivision of land.
B. 
Issuance of a development permit or building permit.
C. 
Commencement of any regulated use or activity, which includes:
(1) 
The erection, construction, alteration, repair, remodeling, or conversion of any building or structures;
(2) 
The use or occupancy of any building, structure or land;
(3) 
Any activity which entails the construction of any improvements or the alteration of the natural condition of any land.
(4) 
Demolition or removal of any historic structure or any building or structure within an historic district as designated on the Borough Master Plan except that site plan approval shall not be required for individual lot applications for one- or two-dwelling-unit buildings pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-37.
A. 
At the request of the applicant, the Planning Board shall grant an informal review of a concept plan for a development for which the applicant intends to prepare and submit an application for development. The purpose of the concept plan is to provide Planning Board input in the formative stages of subdivision and site plan design.
B. 
Applicants seeking concept plan informal review shall submit the items stipulated in Article XII of this chapter 24 days before the concept plan meeting. These items provide the developer and Planning Board with an opportunity to discuss the development proposal in its formative stages.
C. 
A brief written summary of the concept plan review shall be provided within 30 working days after the meeting.
D. 
The applicant will be charged the fee established for concept plan review. The amount of any fee for such informal review shall be a credit towards fees for review of the application for a development. Only one concept plan review fee shall be credited.
E. 
The applicant shall not be bound by any concept plan for which review is requested, nor shall the Planning Board be bound by any such review.
F. 
The applicant uses the information resulting from any concept plan review entirely at the applicant's own risk. The applicant shall make no claim against the Borough, the Planning Board or any of its agents or employees which is in any way related to a concept plan review.
A. 
Assignment. The applicant shall have the option of filing an application for development with the Zoning Officer as to which approvals are required and the Planning Board. The Zoning Officer's determination shall be presumed to be correct. The following applications may be filed:
(1) 
Exempt subdivision.
(2) 
Minor subdivision.
(3) 
Preliminary major subdivision.
(4) 
Final major subdivision.
(5) 
Minor site plan.
(6) 
Preliminary major site plan.
(7) 
Variance.
(8) 
Conditional use.
(9) 
Final major site plan.
(10) 
Waiver of site plan approval.
[Added 5-14-2014 by Ord. No. 07-2014]
B. 
Content. An application for development shall include the items specified in Article XII, Specification of Documents to be Submitted, of this chapter which constitutes a checklist of items to be submitted for subdivision and site plan review. A copy of this checklist shall be completed by the applicant, and submitted with the application form.
C. 
Complete application.
(1) 
A subdivision and site plan application shall be complete for purposes of commencing the applicable time period for action when so certified by the person or committee by the rules of the Planning Board to review for completeness. In the event that the application is not certified to be complete within 45 days of the date of its submission, the application shall be deemed complete upon the expiration of the forty-five-day period for purposes of commencing the applicable time period unless: 1) the application lacks information indicated on the checklist of items specified in Article XII; 2) the checklist has been provided in writing to the applicant; and 3) the Planning Board or its authorized committee or designee has notified the applicant, in writing, of the deficiencies in the application within 45 days of submission of the application. The applicant may request that one or more of the submission requirements be waived, in which event the Planning Board or its authorized committee shall grant or deny the request within 45 days of the date of its submission. Nothing herein shall be construed as diminishing the applicant's obligation to prove in the application process that the applicant is entitled to approval of the application. The Planning Board may subsequently require correction of any information found to be in error and submission of additional information not specified in these regulations or any revisions in the accompanying documents, as are reasonably necessary to make an informed decision as to whether the requirements necessary for approval of the application for development have been met. The application shall not be deemed incomplete for lack of any such additional information or any revisions in the accompanying documents required by the Planning Board.
(2) 
An applicant may appeal the decision of the authorized committee or designee concerning completeness of an application to the Planning Board. The Planning Board shall have 45 days after receipt of a written request to schedule a public hearing at which time the Planning Board will determine if the application is complete. The Board shall affirm, modify, or reverse the decision of its authorized committee or designee.
A. 
In cases where a proposed development requires Planning Board action on an application for the grant of a variance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70c or does not involve a site plan or subdivision but requires a variance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-7c or requires the direction for issuance of a building permit pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-34 or 40:55D-36 or where a party requests Planning Board action on an appeal pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70a. or on an interpretation pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70b. the applicant shall submit to the Planning Board the items required in Article XII of this chapter, together with an executed application form, the prescribed fee, and evidence that no taxes or assessments are outstanding against the property.
B. 
The application shall be declared complete or incomplete within a forty-five-day period from the date of its submission according to the provision of Article IV, § 150-23C, of this chapter.
C. 
The Planning Board shall render a decision not later than 120 days after the date an appeal is taken from the decision of an Administrative Officer or the submission of a complete application for development to the Planning Board. Failure of the Board to render a decision within the one-hundred-twenty-day period or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant shall constitute a decision favorable to the applicant.
A. 
Any applicant requesting approval of a proposed minor subdivision or minor site plan as defined in this chapter shall submit to the Administrative Officer or designee the items required in Article XII of this chapter, together with an executed application form, the prescribed fee, and evidence that no taxes or assessments are outstanding against the property.
B. 
The application shall be declared complete or incomplete within a forty-five-day period from the date of its submission according to the provisions of Article IV, § 150-23C, of this chapter.
C. 
The action of the Planning Board under this article must be taken within 45 days, or 120 days if a variance is required or within such further time as is agreed to by the applicant and the Planning Board. Failure of the Planning Board to act within the period prescribed shall constitute minor subdivision or site plan approval and a certificate of the Borough Administrator as to the failure of the Planning Board to act shall be issued on request of the applicant, and it shall be sufficient in lieu of the written endorsement or other evidence of approval, herein required, and shall be so accepted by the County Recording Officer for purposes of filing subdivision plats.
D. 
Except as provided in Subsection F, approval of a minor subdivision shall expire 190 days form the date on which the resolution of municipal approval is adopted, unless within such period a plat in conformity with such approval and the provisions of the Map Filing Law, N.J.S.A. 46:23-9.9 et seq., or a deed clearly describing the approved minor subdivision is filed by the developer with the County Recording Officer, the Municipal Engineer and the Municipal Tax Assessor as specified by N.J.S.A 40:55D-1 et seq. Any such plat or deed accepted for such filing shall have been signed by the Chairperson and Secretary of the Planning Board.
E. 
The zoning requirements and general terms and conditions, whether conditional or otherwise, upon which minor subdivision and site plan approval was granted, shall not be changed for a period of two years after the date on which the resolution of minor subdivision approval is adopted, provided that the approved minor subdivision shall have been duly recorded as provided in Subsection D above.
F. 
The Planning Board may extend the one-hundred-ninety-day period for filing a minor subdivision plat or deed pursuant to Subsection D above if the developer proves to the reasonable satisfaction of the Planning Board: 1) 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 2) 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.
G. 
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 1) what would otherwise be the expiration date of minor subdivision approval; or 2) the 91st day after the developer receives the last legally required approval from the governmental entities, whichever occurs later.
H. 
The Zoning requirements and general terms and conditions, whether conditional or otherwise, upon which minor site plan approval was granted, shall not be changed for a period of two years after the date of minor site plan approval. The Planning Board shall grant an extension of this period for a period determined by the Board 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 this extension before 1) what would otherwise be the expiration date; or 2) the 91st day after the date on which the developer receives the last of the legally required approval from other governmental entities, whichever occurs later.
A. 
Preliminary approval of major subdivisions and major site plans.
(1) 
The applicant seeking preliminary major subdivision or preliminary major site plan approval shall submit to the Administrative Officer the materials stipulated in Article XII of this chapter.
(2) 
The application shall be declared complete within a forty-five-day period from the date of its submission according to the provisions of Article IV, § 150-23C, of this chapter.
(3) 
The application for major subdivision or major site plan shall be referred to the Planning Board.
(4) 
A complete application for a subdivision of 10 or fewer lots, or for a site plan of 10 acres of land or less or 10 dwelling units or less, shall be acted upon within 45 days of the date of such submission, or 120 days if a variance is required, or within such further time as may be consented to by the developer. A subdivision of more than 10 lots, or a site plan that involves more than 10 acres of land or more than 10 dwelling units, shall be acted upon within 95 days of the date of such submissions, or 120 days if a variance is required, or within such further time as may be consented to by the developer. Otherwise, the Planning Board shall be deemed to have granted preliminary subdivision or site plan approval.
B. 
Effect of preliminary approval of major subdivisions and major site plans. Preliminary approval of a major subdivision and site plan shall, except as provided in Subsection B(4) of this section, confer upon the applicant the following rights for a three-year period from the date of the preliminary approval as specified by N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.:
(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 sizes; yard dimensions and off-tract improvements; and in the case of a site plan, any requirements peculiar to site plan approval pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-41, except that nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the municipality from modifying by ordinance such general terms and conditions of preliminary approval as related 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 subdivision plat or site plan, as the case may be; and
(3) 
That the applicant may apply for and the Planning Board may grant extension 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 and improvement standards have been revised by ordinance, such revised standards may govern.
(4) 
Where a developer plans to install the improvements prior to final approval, the developer shall submit the engineering plans and specifications for the improvements to the Municipal Engineer and the required fees and insurance certificate to the Municipal Clerk, who shall act upon them within 35 days. In the event of a denial, the specific reasons must be enumerated in letter to the applicant. If revised plans are submitted in response to the denial letter, they shall be approved or denied within 20 days with the same requirements as previously imposed for a denial. After the plans are approved, the developer may install the improvements prior to final approval. In addition to or as part of the performance guarantees, the developer shall be required to furnish a restoration bond for 120% of the maximum cost of restoring the site in the event that the improvements are not complete within two years from the commencement of the work on any section in the development or prior to the expiration of preliminary approval, whichever occurs first. The bond shall either be a security bond, a letter of credit, or an escrow account in accordance with Article X.
(5) 
Whenever the Planning Board grants an extension of preliminary approval pursuant to Subsection B(3) or (4) above and preliminary approval has expired before the date 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.
(6) 
The Planning Board shall grant an extension of this 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 subsection shall not preclude the Planning Board from granting an extension pursuant to Subsection B(3) or (4) above.
C. 
Final approval.
(1) 
An applicant requesting final approval of a proposed major subdivision and site plan shall submit to the Administrative Officer or other designee the materials specified in Article XII of this chapter. Unless the preliminary plat was approved without changes, the final plat shall have incorporated all changes or modifications required by the Planning Board. The final plat shall also be accompanied by a statement from the Municipal Engineer that the municipality is in receipt of as-built plans showing all streets and utilities in exact location and elevation and identifying those portions already installed and those to be installed, and/or certified in the amount of performance guarantees required to assure completion of those improvements not yet installed as stipulated in Article X of this chapter.
(2) 
The application for final subdivision or site plan approval shall be declared complete within a forty-five-day period from the date of its submission according to the provisions of § 150-23C of this chapter.
(3) 
Final approval shall be granted or denied within 45 days after submission of a complete application to the Administrative Officer, or other designee, or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Failure of the Planning Board to act within the period prescribed shall constitute final approval and a certificate of the Borough Administrator as to the failure of the Planning Board to act shall be issued on request of the applicant, and it shall be sufficient in lieu of the written endorsement or other evidence of approval, herein required, and shall be so accepted by the County Recording Officer for purpose of filing subdivision plats.
(4) 
Within 95 days of the adoption of the resolution of final approval, the applicant shall comply with the conditions set forth therein. If the conditions are not satisfied, then the approval shall expire. The Board may, for good cause shown, extend this time period.
(5) 
Final approval of a major subdivision shall expire 95 days from the date of signing of the plat by the Chairman and Secretary of the Planning Board unless within such period the plat shall have been duly filed by the developer with the County Recording Officer. The Planning Board may, for good cause shown, extend the period for recording for an additional period not to exceed 190 days from the date of signing of the plat. The Planning Board may extend the ninety-five-day or one-hundred-ninety-day period if the developer proves, to the reasonable satisfaction of the Planning Board 1) 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 2) 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 an extension either before or after the original expiration date.
(6) 
No subdivision plat shall be accepted for filing by the County Recording Officer until it has been approved by the Planning Board as indicated on the instrument by the signature of the Chairman and Secretary of the Planning Board or a certificate has been issued, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-47, 40:55D-50, 40:55D-56, 40:55D-61, 40:55D-67 or 40:55D-76. The signatures of the Chairman and Secretary of the Planning Board shall not be affixed until the developer has posted the guarantees required pursuant to Article X of this chapter.
D. 
Effect of final approval of major subdivisions and major site plans.
(1) 
The zoning requirements applicable to the preliminary approval granted and all other rights conferred upon the developer pursuant to preliminary approval 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 major subdivision, the rights conferred by this section shall expire if the plat has not been duly recorded within the time period provided in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-54. If the developer has followed the standards prescribed for final approval and in the case of a subdivision has duly recorded the plat, the Planning Board may extend such period of protection for extensions of one year, but not to exceed three extensions.
(2) 
In the case of a subdivision or site plan for a conventional subdivision or site plan for 150 acres or more, or site plan for development of a nonresidential floor area of 200,000 square feet or more, the Planning Board may grant the rights referred to in Subsection D(1) of this section for such period of time, longer than two years, as shall be determined by the Planning Board to be reasonable taking into consideration: 1) the number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area permissible under final approval; 2) economic conditions; and 3) the comprehensiveness of the development. The developer may apply for and the Planning Board may thereafter grant, an extension of final approval for such additional period of time as shall be determined by the Planning 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) above, 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 whether 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. The 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 shall not preclude the Planning Board from granting an extension pursuant to Subsection D(1) or (2) above.
A. 
Whenever an application for approval of a subdivision plat, site plan, or conditional use includes a request for relief pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-60, the Planning Board shall grant or deny approval of the application within 120 days after submission by a developer of a complete application or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. In the event that the developer elects to submit separate consecutive applications, the aforesaid provision shall apply to the application for approval of the variance of direction for issuance of a permit. The period for granting or denying any subsequent approval shall be as otherwise provided in this chapter. Failure of the Planning Board to act within the period prescribed shall constitute approval of the application and a certificate of the Administrative Officer as to the failure of the Planning Board to act shall be issued on request of the applicant, and it shall be sufficient in lieu of the written endorsement or other evidence of approval, herein required, and shall be so accepted by the County Recording Officer for purposes of filing subdivision plats.
B. 
Whenever relief is requested pursuant to this section, notice of the hearing on the application for development shall include reference to the request for a variance, or direction for issuance of a permit, as the case may be.
C. 
The developer may elect to submit a separate application requesting approval of the variance or direction of the issuance of a permit and a subsequent application for any required approval of a subdivision, site plan or conditional use. The separate approval of the variance or direction of the issuance of a permit shall be conditioned upon grant of all required subsequent approvals by the Planning Board. No such subsequent approval shall be granted unless the approval can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantial impairment of the intent and purpose of the zone plan and this chapter.
D. 
Whenever review or approval of the application by the County Planning Board is required by § 5 of P.L. 1968, c. 285 (N.J.S.A. 40:27-6.3), in the case of a subdivision, or § 8 of P.L. 1968, c. 285 (N.J.S.A. 40:27-6.6), in the case of a site plan, the Borough Planning 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.
An applicant may claim approval of his application for development by reason of the failure of the approving authority to act within the time period prescribed by complying with the following provisions:
A. 
The applicant shall provide notice of the default approval to the Planning Board and to all those entitled to notice by personal service or certified mail of the hearing on the application for development; but for purposes of determining who is entitled to notice, the hearing on the application for development shall be deemed to have required public notice pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-12.
B. 
The applicant shall arrange publication of a notice of the default approval in the official newspaper of the Borough, if there be one, or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Borough.
C. 
The applicant shall file an affidavit of proof of service and publication with the Administrative Officer (Borough Administrator).
D. 
Upon satisfaction of these requirements by the applicant, the Administrative Officer (Borough Administrator) shall, if he or she agrees with the facts as set forth by the applicant in the notice of default approval, issue a certificate of default approval and it shall be sufficient in lieu of the written endorsement or other evidence of approval, herein required, and shall be so accepted by the County Recording Officer for purposes of filing subdivision plats.
E. 
If the Administrative Officer (Borough Administrator) does not agree with the facts as set forth by the applicant in the notice of default approval, he or she shall so notify the applicant and the Planning Board, setting forth the specific items of disagreement, within 30 days of the date the applicant submits the proof of service and publication as required by Subsection C hereof. Unless appealed pursuant to § 150-8D hereof, the decision of the Administrative Officer (Borough Administrator) shall be conclusive.