Borough of Wood-Ridge, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The short form by which this chapter shall be known is the "Zoning Ordinance of the Borough of Wood-Ridge."
The purpose of this chapter is to establish a pattern for the use of land and buildings in the Borough of Wood-Ridge based on the Master Plan for the Borough and enacted in order to promote the following:
A. 
To encourage municipal action to guide the appropriate use or development of all lands in this state in a manner which will promote the public health, safety, morals and general welfare.
B. 
To secure safety from fire, flood, panic and other natural and man-made disasters.
C. 
To provide adequate light, air and open space.
D. 
To ensure that the development of individual municipalities does not conflict with the development and general welfare of neighboring municipalities, the county and state as a whole.
E. 
To promote the establishment of appropriate population densities and concentrations that will contribute to the well-being of persons, neighborhoods, communities and regions and the preservation of the environment.
F. 
To encourage the appropriate and efficient expenditure of public funds by the coordination of public development with land use policies.
G. 
To provide sufficient space in appropriate locations for a variety of agricultural, residential, recreational, commercial and industrial uses and open space, both public and private, according to their respective environmental requirements in order to meet the needs of all New Jersey citizens.
H. 
To encourage the location and design of transportation routes which will promote the free flow of traffic while discouraging locations of such facilities and routes which result in congestion or blight.
I. 
To promote a desirable visual environment through creative development techniques and good civic design and arrangements.
J. 
To promote the conservation of open space and valuable natural resources and to prevent urban sprawl and degradation of the environment through improper use of land.
K. 
To encourage planned unit developments which incorporate the best features of design and relate the type, design and layout of the residential, commercial, industrial and recreational development to the particular site.
L. 
To encourage senior citizen community housing construction.
M. 
To encourage coordination of the various public and private procedures and activities shaping land development with a view to lessening the cost of such development and to the more efficient use of land.
N. 
To promote the conservation of energy through the use of planning practices designed to reduce energy consumption and to provide for maximum utilization of renewable energy sources.
O. 
To encourage development of a balanced housing supply.
In the interpretation and the application of the provisions of this chapter, they shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the promotion of the health, safety, morals and general welfare. It is not intended to interfere with or abrogate or annul other rules, regulations or ordinances. Where this chapter imposes a greater restriction than is imposed or required by other provisions of law or by other rules and regulations or resolutions, the provisions of this chapter shall control. Where other laws, rules, regulations or resolutions require greater restrictions than are imposed or required by this chapter, the provisions of such laws, rules, regulations or resolutions shall control.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).
A. 
Unless the context otherwise indicates, the following definitions shall be used in the interpretation and construction of this chapter. Words used in the present tense include the future; the singular number shall include the plural, and the plural the singular; the word "structure" shall include the word "building," and the word "building" shall include the word "structure"; the word "person" includes a corporation as well as an individual; the word "lot" includes the word "plot"; the word "occupies" includes the words "designed or intended to be occupied"; the word "used" shall include the words "arranged, designed, constructed, altered, converted, rented, leased or intended to be used"; the word "shall" is mandatory and not optional; and the word "may" is permissive.
B. 
Certain words and phrases used in this chapter are defined for the purpose hereof as follows:
ACCESSORY USE OR STRUCTURE
A use or structure accessory to the principal use of a building or structure on the same lot and serving a purpose customarily incidental to the principal use of the principal building. It is intended (but not by the way of limitation) to include permanent swimming pools as accessory uses to residential structures for the purpose of this definition.
[Amended 8-8-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-18[1]]
AISLE
The vehicular access to a parking lot.
ALTERATION, STRUCTURAL
Any change in the supporting members of a building, such as walls, columns, beams or girders.
APPLICANT
A developer submitting an application for development.
APPLICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT
The application form and all accompanying documents required by ordinance for approval of a subdivision plat, site plan, planned development, conditional use, zoning variance or direction of the issuance of a permit pursuant to law.
BAR
An establishment used primarily for the sale or dispensing of liquor or nonliquor liquids by the drink and/or glass.
[Added 7-17-1989 by Ord. No. 89-11]
BASEMENT
That portion of a building which is partly below and partly above grade and having 1/2 or more of its height above grade.
BILLBOARD
Any structure or portion thereof on which lettered or pictorial matter is displayed for advertising purposes, other than that on a building or its grounds giving the name and occupation of the user of the premises, the nature of business conducted therein or the products primarily sold or manufactured therein.
BUFFER STRIP
An area of specified width adjacent to a lot line, which may include but shall not be limited to an area planted with trees, shrubs, ground covers or other vegetation, which is designed to screen the view or minimize the noise and glare of cars or buildings from adjacent properties or roads. Buffer strips in all nonresidential districts shall comply with the requirement of the zone in which they are located, provided that, if the lot in question abuts a different zone, the more restrictive buffer requirement shall apply.
BUILDING
A combination of materials to form a construction adapted to permanent, temporary or continuous occupancy or use, and having a roof.
[Amended 10-20-1986 by Ord. No. 86-16]
BUILDING CODE
The building subcode promulgated under the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code Act (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq.).
[Amended 10-20-1986 by Ord. No. 86-16]
BUILDING, COMMUNITY
A public building for civic, social, educational, cultural or recreational activities of a neighborhood or community not operated primarily for monetary gain.
BUILDING COVERAGE
A combination of the horizontal area measured within the outside walls of the principal structures and accessory structures, excluding decks and swimming pools. The combined total shall not exceed the Schedule of Area, Bulk and Yard Requirements unless otherwise noted.[2]
[Amended 8-8-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-18; 9-15-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-18]
BUILDING HEIGHT
The vertical distance measured from the average elevation of the finished grade five feet away from the building to the top of the roof surface for mansard and flat roofs and to the peak of the roof for peaked roofs.
[Amended 10-14-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-10]
BUILDING, PRINCIPAL
A structure in which is conducted the principal use of the site on which it is situated.
CELLAR
That portion of a building which is partly or completely below grade and having at least 1/2 its height below grade.
[Amended 5-9-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-6]
(1) 
A vehicle licensed and/or used for commercial purposes, such as the transportation of goods, wares and merchandise.
(2) 
A vehicle containing a sign, advertisement or other graphics indicating that its use is for commercial purposes.
(3) 
A vehicle having a gross weight of over four tons.
(4) 
All tractors, trailers, construction equipment, omnibuses and snowplows.
COMPLETE APPLICATION
An application form completed as specified by ordinance and the rules and regulations of the municipal agency and all accompanying documents required by ordinance for approval of the application for development, including, where applicable, but not limited to, a site plan or subdivision plat, provided that the municipal agency may require such additional information not specified in the ordinance or any revisions in the accompanying documents as are reasonably necessary to make an informed decision as to whether the requirements necessary for the approval of the application for development have been met. The application shall not be deemed to be incomplete for lack of any such additional information or any revisions in the accompanying documents so required by the municipal agency. An application shall be certified as "complete" immediately upon the meeting of all requirements specified in the ordinance and in the rules and regulations of the municipal agency and shall be deemed "complete" on the day it is so certified by the Construction Code Official for purposes of commencement of the time period for action by the municipal agency.
COUNTY PLANNING BOARD
The County Planning Board, as defined in Section 1 of P.L. 1968, c. 285 (N.J.S.A. 40:27-6.1), of the county in which the land or development is located.
CURB LEVEL
The elevation, established by existing curb or the Borough Code, of the street grade at the point that is opposite the center of the building wall nearest to and facing the street line. Where a building is on a corner lot, the curb level is the average of such elevations of the two intersecting streets.
DECK
An exterior floor supported on at least two opposing sides by an adjacent structure, post, piers or other independent support.
[Added 8-8-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-18]
DISTRIBUTION
A use wherein the primary activity is storage and shipping of goods and materials.
[Added 7-17-1989 by Ord. No. 89-11]
DISTRICT
Any part of the territory of the Borough of Wood-Ridge defined on the Zoning Map within which certain uniform regulations and requirements of this chapter apply.
DWELLING
A building which is designed or used exclusively as the living quarters for one or more families.
DWELLING, ONE-FAMILY
A building occupied or intended to be occupied for residence purposes by one family. A mobile home shall not be considered as a one-family dwelling.
DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY
A building containing not more than two dwelling units and intended for residential occupancy by not more than two families, each living independent of the other and each with its own separate sleeping, cooking and sanitary facilities, but not including mobile homes.
FABRICATION
Constructed from a part or parts as opposed to manufacturing from raw materials.
FAMILY
A reasonable number of persons related by blood, marriage or adoption or a reasonable number of persons not so related who are living together as a single housekeeping unit and using certain rooms and cooking facilities in common. A family may also include foster children placed by the Division of Youth and Family Services or a duly incorporated child-care or placement agency. This definition is intended to be construed in accordance with the developing concepts enunciated by the public policies of this state.
(1) 
The sum of the horizontal areas of all stories calculated by using the outside dimensions of the buildings. In dwellings, the area of an attached garage, open porch, cellar or patio is excluded. The gross floor area shall include kitchens, closets, bathrooms, basements, hallways and any other habitable space within the dwelling unit in addition to the area of all other rooms within the dwelling unit.
[Amended 10-14-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-11; 3-9-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-1]
(2) 
The total of all storied areas of the buildings, excluding stairwells, elevator shafts, equipment rooms, interior vehicular parking or loading, and all stories below the first or ground floor, except when used or intended to be used for human habitation or service to the public.
(3) 
The sum of the area of all floors of buildings or structures compared to the total area of the site.
[Amended 10-20-1986 by Ord. No. 86-16]
GARAGE, COMMERCIAL
A building used for the parking and storage of motor vehicles.
GARAGE, PRIVATE
A detached accessory building or portion of a main residential building for the parking of vehicles of the occupants of the main building to which the garage is accessory.
GARAGE, PUBLIC
A building or part thereof, other than a private garage, used for the sale, lease, storage, service or repair of motor vehicles and automotive accessories.
HOTEL
A facility offering transient lodging accommodations to the general public and providing additional services and facilities, such as restaurants, meeting rooms, and entertainment and recreational facilities. All rooms shall be accessible via internal corridors only and may contain limited kitchen facilities. This definition does not apply to "extended stay" hotels, which are prohibited, and which are defined as allowing clientele to occupy the premises for periods of time in excess of three consecutive weeks.
[Added 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-4]
IMPERVIOUS COVERAGE
Any portion of a lot covered with surface materials that prevent the maximum absorption of stormwater into the ground, including but not limited to concrete, asphalt, brick, pavers, wood, and gravel. Any accessory structure situated in the front yard shall be factored into the impervious coverage calculations.
[Added 2-8-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-9[3]]
INDUSTRIAL PARK
One or more buildings erected within an area or tract as part of an integrated and comprehensively planned total unit, whether or not the buildings are erected simultaneously or over a period of time.
JUNKYARD
Any area of land with or without buildings, regardless of size, devoted to the storage, keeping or abandonment of junk or debris. It shall include but shall not be limited to abandoned automobiles, tires, automobile parts, paper, rags, metal, glass or plastic containers, old household appliances, wood, lumber, brush and any stumps or any other debris of any material whatsoever.
LIGHT INDUSTRIAL
Industrial uses that have no offensive or nuisance characteristics and can be conducted entirely within enclosed buildings.
[Added 7-17-1989 by Ord. No. 89-11]
LIVABLE FLOOR AREA
The floor area within a residential structure to be used for habitation, excluding cellars, attics, utility (heating and cooling) rooms and garages and open porches.
LOADING SPACE
An off-street space or berth on the same lot with a building or group of buildings for the temporary parking of a commercial vehicle while loading or unloading material.
LOT
A designated parcel, tract or area of land established by a plat or otherwise as permitted by law and to be used, developed or built upon as a unit.
(1) 
A parcel of land at the junction of and abutting on two or more intersecting streets, where the interior angle of intersection does not exceed 135°.
(2) 
A parcel of land other than a corner lot.
(3) 
A parcel of land which extends through from one street to another.
LOT AREA
The area contained within the lot lines of a lot, but shall not include any portion of a street right-of-way.
LOT DEPTH
The horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines measured from the midpoint of the front lot line to the midpoint of the rear lot line.
LOT LINE
A line of record bounding a lot.
(1) 
The lot line separating the lot from the street right-of-way; also referred to as a "street line."
(2) 
The lot line opposite and most distant from the front lot line.
(3) 
Any lot line other than a front or rear lot line.
(4) 
On corner lots there shall be two front lot lines. All other lot lines shall be side lot lines.
LOT WIDTH
The horizontal distance between side lot lines measured at the required front-yard setback line.
MOBILE HOME
A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a one-family dwelling unit, with or without a permanent foundation, when connected to the required utilities.
MOBILE HOME PARK
One or more parcels of land under single ownership which have been planned for the placement of two or more mobile homes, appurtenant structures or additions, provided that the mobile homes shall not be stacked one on top of the other.[4]
MOTEL
A building or group of buildings providing guest rooms, each with outside entrances, a public lobby, and which may have one or more public dining rooms.
NONCONFORMING LOT
A lot the area, dimension or location of which is lawful to prior to the adoption, revision or amendment of this chapter but which fails to conform to requirements of the zoning district in which it is located by reason of such adoption, revision or amendment.
NONCONFORMING STRUCTURE
A structure the size, dimension or location of which was lawful prior to the adoption, revision or amendment of this chapter but which fails to conform to the requirements of the zoning district in which it is located by reason of such adoption, revision or amendment.
NONCONFORMING USE
A use or activity which was lawful prior to the adoption, revision or amendment of this chapter but which fails to conform to the requirements of the zoning district in which it is located by reason of such adoption, revision or amendment.
OFFICE
A room or group of rooms used for conducting the affairs of a business, profession, service, industry or government.
[Added 7-17-1989 by Ord. No. 89-11]
OFFICE BUILDING
A building used primarily for conducting the affairs of a business, profession, service, industry or government or like activity.
[Added 7-17-1989 by Ord. No. 89-11]
PARKING AREA, PRIVATE
Any area, including parking stalls and maneuvering aisles, used for the temporary storage of automobiles and other vehicles for private use solely by the occupants thereof and their invitees and guests, to which such use is accessory.
PARKING AREA, PUBLIC
Any area other than a street or public way used for the temporary storage of automobiles and other vehicles and available to the public, whether for a fee or without compensation, or as an accommodation for clients, customers or employees.
PARKING SPACE
A space for the parking of a motor vehicle within a public or private parking area. Private driveways for one-family dwellings shall be considered off-street parking area, provided that no portion of the private driveway within the right-of-way line of the street intersected by the driveway shall be considered off-street parking space.
PROFESSIONAL OFFICE
The offices of a dentist, physician, artist, planner, surgeon, teacher, attorney, clergyman, accountant, engineer, architect, insurance or real estate agent or any other recognized professional licensed as such by the State of New Jersey.
RESTAURANT
An establishment where food and drink are prepared, served and consumed primarily within the principal building.
[Added 7-17-1989 by Ord. No. 89-11]
RESTAURANT, FAST-FOOD
An establishment whose principal business is the sale of pre-prepared or rapidly prepared food directly to the customer in a ready-to-consume state for consumption either within the restaurant building or off premises.
[Added 7-17-1989 by Ord. No. 89-11]
RESTAURANT, NEIGHBORHOOD
An establishment whose customers come from the neighborhood, an area approximately 1/4 mile from the establishment, as opposed to drawing from the larger community or region.
[Added 7-17-1989 by Ord. No. 89-11]
SERVICE STATION
Land and building designed and used for providing for the sale of motor fuel, lubricants and automotive accessories and for providing maintenance and minor repairs for motor vehicles, but not including body repairs.
SETBACK LINE
That line which is the required minimum distance from the street right-of-way or any other lot line that establishes the area within which the principal structure must be erected or placed.
SHOPPING CENTER
A group of commercial establishments planned, constructed and managed as a total entity, with customer and employee parking provided on site, provision for goods delivery separated from customer access, aesthetic consideration and protection from the elements.
STANDARDS OF PERFORMANCE
Standards adopted by ordinance, pursuant to law, regulating noise levels, glare, earthborne or sonic vibrations, heat, electronic or atomic radiation, noxious odors, toxic matters, explosive and inflammable matters, smoke and airborne particles, waste discharge, screening of unsightly objects or conditions and such other similar matters as may be reasonably required by the municipality or required by applicable federal or state laws or municipal ordinances.
STORY
That portion of a building included between the surface of any floor and surface of the floor above it or, if there is no floor above it, then the space between the floor and the ceiling next above it. The first story of any building shall be where more than 50% of the story is above the average level of the adjoining ground.
STREET
Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, parkway, viaduct, drive or other way which is an existing state, county or municipal roadway, or which is shown upon a plat heretofore approved pursuant to law, or which is approved by official action as provided by statute, or which is shown on a plat duly filed and recorded in the office of the County Recording Officer prior to the appointment of a planning board and the grant to such board of the power to review plats, and includes the land between the street lines, whether improved or unimproved, and may comprise pavement, shoulders, gutters, curbs, sidewalks, parking areas and other areas within the street lines.
STREET LINE
The dividing line between the existing or future street right-of-way and a lot. Where title to land extends into or to the center of a street, the edge of the present right-of-way of the street, including any drainage ditch, shall nevertheless be deemed to be the street line.
STRUCTURE
A combination of materials to form a construction for continuous occupancy, whether installed on, above or below the surface of the parcel of land, including but not limited to buildings, decks and patios, fences, tanks, towers, signs and advertising devices.
[Amended 8-8-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-18]
SWIMMING POOL, PORTABLE
Those pools which are not otherwise permanently installed, do not have water filtration, circulation and purification systems, do not exceed two feet of water depth, do not exceed a water surface area of 80 square feet and do not require braces or supports. Portable pools shall not be subject to the requirements of this chapter.
SWIMMING POOL, PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL
Any structure that contains water over 24 inches in depth and which is used, or intended to be used, for swimming or recreational bathing by an individual, for his own use or his family's use or guests of his household. This includes in-ground, aboveground and on-ground swimming pools, hot tubs and spas.
[Amended 8-8-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-18]
SWIMMING POOL, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE CLUB
Includes either outdoor or indoor pools which are artificially constructed to provide recreational facilities for swimming, bathing or wading.
SWIMMING POOLS, WADING
Artificially constructed pools not designed or used for swimming and having a maximum depth of two feet.
TAVERN
An establishment used primarily for the serving of liquor by the drink and/or glass to the general public and where food or packaged liquors may be served or sold only as accessory to the primary use.
[Added 7-17-1989 by Ord. No. 89-11]
TRANSCRIPT
A typed or printed verbatim record of proceedings or reproduction thereof.
TRUCK TERMINAL
An area and/or building where trucks or other modes of transportation transfer, load and unload goods and materials on a regular basis.
[Added 7-17-1989 by Ord. No. 89-11]
USE
The specific purpose for which land or a building is designed, arranged or intended or for which it is or may be occupied or maintained.
VARIANCE
The Planning Board's authorized departure from the literal requirements and terms of this chapter in accordance with the procedure contained herein.[5]
WAREHOUSE
A building used primarily for the storage of goods and material.
[Added 7-17-1989 by Ord. No. 89-11]
YARD
An open space which lies between the principal or accessory building or buildings and the nearest lot line and is unoccupied and unobstructed from the ground upward, except as herein permitted.
(1) 
An open space extending the full width of the lot between a principal building and the front lot line, unoccupied and unobstructed from the ground upward, except as may be specified elsewhere in this chapter. The depth of the front yard shall be measured horizontally and shall be the minimum distance between the front lot line and the building foundation.
(2) 
A yard extending across the full width of the lot and lying between the rear line of the lot and the nearest line of the principal building. The depth of the rear yard shall be measured horizontally and shall be the minimum distance between the rear lot line and the building foundation.
(3) 
An open, unoccupied space between the side line of the lot and the nearest line of the principal building and extending from the front to the rear yard. The width of the side yard shall be measured horizontally and shall be the minimum distance between the side lot line and the building foundation.
ZONING MAP
The Zoning Map of the Borough of Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, together with all amendments subsequently adopted.
ZONING OFFICIAL
The official appointed by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Wood-Ridge to enforce and administer this chapter in accordance with the provisions of Articles XI and XII of said chapter.
[Added 4-12-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-11]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).
[2]
Editor's Note: The Schedule of Area, Bulk and Yard Requirements is included as an attachment to this chapter.
[3]
Editor's Note: Section 1 of this ordinance also provided as follows: "Purpose: To establish requirements to prevent the overdevelopment and overutilization of single-family residential properties in Wood-Ridge as well as advance the purpose of zoning relative to providing adequate light, air, open space, and a desirable visual environment."
[4]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).
[5]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).