Township of Cranford, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford 11-12-1985 by Ord. No. 85-64 (Ch. 199 of the 1992 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Bicycles and play vehicles — See Ch. 158.
Land development — See Ch. 255.
Peddling, soliciting and vending — See Ch. 313.
There is hereby created and designated within the Township of Cranford the Cranford Special Improvement District (the "district"), hereinafter designated by street address and tax lot and block number set forth in § 355-6 hereof. The district shall be subject to a special assessment on all property within the district which shall be imposed by the Township of Cranford for the purposes of promoting the economic and general welfare of the district and the municipality.
[Amended 5-13-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-10]
It is the intention and purpose of this chapter to encourage and endeavor to have the exteriors of all structures in the district which are or become used, whether all or in part, for nonresidential use, as defined in Chapter 255, Land Development, as amended, to be representative of the design of nonresidential structures in existence during the Victorian era to the end that, with the passing of time, Victorian facades and signage will be existent on such structures as much as the original architecture of the structure will architecturally allow; or, as much as possible, to have such structures returned to their original architectural designs, all consistent with the objectives outlined in the Improvement Implementation Plan for the Central Business District and Design Manual prepared by Wallace, Roberts and Todd. Therefore, no permit shall be issued and no development application pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq. shall be approved for the construction, alteration or signage of any structures, including the facades thereof, without the prior review and approval of the plans by the District Management Corporation to assure compliance with the design criteria set forth in this section and in § 355-3, which criteria have been reviewed and approved by the Township Planning Board. The Township Committee hereby finds that the District Management Corporation is constituted and organized so as to be reasonably appropriate and qualified to perform such review and approval. The District Management Corporation may, by resolution, designate a committee to carry out the foregoing. Applications for review shall be submitted as set forth in § 355-4.
[Added 5-13-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-10]
A. 
Applicability. All structures in the Special Improvement District (SID) shall conform to the general provisions of the Land Development Ordinance, Chapter 255 of the Code of the Township of Cranford.
B. 
Intent of standards. All construction, alterations, signs, facades and awnings located within the Special Improvement District are permitted only in compliance with the following regulations. The intent of this section is to evoke the Victorian architectural era in style, color, material and design in accordance with the statement of general standards set forth in this section.
C. 
General standards.
(1) 
New buildings constructed within the SID shall evoke the Victorian architectural period.
(2) 
Every building located within the SID shall be used in a manner which enhances its appearance and site.
(3) 
Existing buildings which make a positive architectural statement shall be recognized as products of their own time and as making a positive contribution to the eclectic nature of the SID.
(4) 
Generally, alterations and additions to such buildings shall preserve the architectural integrity of the building and not seek to create an appearance which is of a later or earlier period. However, where existing buildings have already been changed over the course of time, consideration shall be given as to whether these changes may have an architectural or historical significance of their own.
(5) 
Distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craftsmanship which characterize a building, structure or site shall, whenever possible, be preserved. Removal or alteration of any historic material or distinctive architectural features shall be avoided. Deteriorated architectural features shall be repaired or replaced but not removed. In the event that replacement is necessary, the new material shall match the material being replaced in arrangement, design, color, texture and other visual qualities. Repair or replacement of missing architectural features shall be based on accurate duplications.
(6) 
Sign designs and colors shall be compatible with the architecture of the building and relate to the building features. Signs shall not be dominant but shall be proportionate, appropriate and complementary to the building and existing signs and surroundings.
(7) 
Signs shall be made of appropriate materials. Wooden or wood-like signs are preferred. Signs shall have texture and depth; lettering shall have depth.
(8) 
Logos or graphics are permitted so long as they are harmonious with the overall design.
(9) 
Incongruous features, including but not limited to air conditioners and radio or telephone antennas, are not permitted in any facade treatment or other area visible from the street, unless specifically recommended by the District Management Corporation.
(10) 
Facades shall be constructed of materials used in existing structures through the Special Improvement District in order to maintain visual compatibility. Such materials include, but are not limited to, brick, wood siding, slate and terra cotta.
(11) 
In doing repairs or renovations, original materials shall be retained wherever possible. In the event that replacement is necessary, the new materials shall match the material being replaced in arrangement, design, color, texture and other visual qualities.
(12) 
The original finish of masonry facades must be maintained. No unpainted masonry shall be painted unless the painting shall be approved by the District Management Corporation.
(13) 
Colors for signs, facades and awnings shall be collected from the color palettes maintained by the District Management Corporation. No more than three colors may be used on any facade, including exterior signs and awnings.
(14) 
Primary display windows shall occupy 75% of the ground floor primary facade.
D. 
General regulations.
(1) 
Nonconforming signs shall not be rebuilt, enlarged, changed or altered in size, location, text or appearance.
(2) 
No neon sign shall be permitted, except in accordance with the following:
(a) 
No exterior neon lighting shall be permitted.
(b) 
No neon lighting shall be permitted that outlines windows or architectural features such as doors, roofs, cornices, and the like.
(c) 
Neon signs shall be permitted only in a window display.
(d) 
No neon sign may occupy more than 10% of the total area of the window in which it is displayed, measured by the height and width of the sign.
(e) 
No neon sign shall be permitted above the first floor.
(f) 
All neon signs shall comply with all standards established by the National Electrical Safety Code.
(3) 
Where an overall sign plan has been approved by the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment for any structure or as part of any site plan, any subsequent sign for the structure or site shall take into consideration the previously approved plan in terms of location, letter style, lighting, color, construction and material, height and dimensions.
(4) 
Signs shall, at all times, be visible, legible and in good repair and must be of professional quality.
(5) 
The owner of the property and the proprietor of the business premises shall be jointly and severally responsible for keeping the area surrounding ground signs neat, clean and landscaped.
E. 
Prohibited signs. The following signs are prohibited:
(1) 
Signs other than blade signs which project more than six inches from the wall to which they are attached.
(2) 
Marquees and canopy signs, except as permitted in Subsection I(1) below.
(3) 
Permanent banners, streamers, advertising flags, inflatable objects, twirlers and like objects. Subject to approval by the District Management Corporation, such decorations may be used as temporary adornment.
(4) 
Exterior moving signs of any nature and interior moving signs located within eight feet of a window within public view.
(5) 
Signs painted directly on structures, except signs painted directly on unpainted brick where, in the opinion of the District Management Corporation, such sign has historical value or where such sign successfully evokes the Victorian era. A sign painted directly on a structure cannot be the primary sign for any business located within. The bottom of any sign painted directly on a structure must be located at least 10 feet above ground level.
(6) 
Pylon signs, except as permitted in Subsection H(2) below, subject to review by the District Management Corporation.
(7) 
Signs utilizing stark white and/or bright, Day-Glo colors.
(8) 
Backlit signs.
(9) 
Non-matte-finish metal or non-matte-finish plastic signs.
(10) 
Flashing, intermittent or changing color light, including LED, fiber-optic signs, strobe lights, or highway flashers.
F. 
Temporary signs.
(1) 
Temporary signs for special events and sales shall be permitted, provided that the person erecting the sign shall notify the District Management Corporation at or before the time that the sign is installed. No such temporary sign shall be displayed for more than 30 days consecutively or 120 days aggregate in one calendar year.
[Amended 5-13-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-17]
(2) 
One temporary sign shall be permitted per business. Unless such sign is attached to the principal building, it shall be no closer than 10 feet to any property line. Such sign shall not exceed six square feet in size nor stand more than four feet above grade.
(3) 
Decorative flags must be double-sided and shall project from the facade on a five-foot pole. The lowest point of the flag shall be not less than seven feet above the sidewalk.
G. 
Window lettering and window signs.
(1) 
All permitted window lettering and window signs shall be of professional quality and applied to the interior of the window.
(2) 
Window lettering or signs shall pertain only to the establishment occupying that portion of the premises in which the window is located, and shall include only:
(a) 
The name of the business, in letters not to exceed 12 inches in height.
(b) 
The business logo, service or merchandise, in letters not to exceed eight inches in height.
(c) 
A phone number or an e-mail address, in letters not to exceed eight inches in height.
H. 
Sign size, number, height, location and area requirements. Signs may be erected only in accordance with the following requirements:
(1) 
No commercial establishment shall be permitted a total of more than two signs; provided, however, that no single exterior wall of any one establishment shall contain more than one of the two permitted signs. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this section, such sign shall not be freestanding or perpendicular to the street line.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(2) 
No permitted freestanding sign shall be placed closer than 1/2 of the required front setback to any abutting street right-of-way line or property line.
(3) 
Blade signs shall be permitted, provided that:
(a) 
Blade signs must be attached to the building by an ornamental bracket.
(b) 
No blade sign may have more than two faces.
(c) 
No blade sign, including brackets, may project more than 42 inches from the building to which it is attached.
(d) 
A blade sign shall not be larger than 5% of the area of the facade to which it is attached. Ornamental brackets to which a blade sign may be attached are not included in such 5% calculation.
(e) 
No more than one blade sign is permitted for each entrance door.
(f) 
The bottom of any blade sign must be at least 7 1/2 feet above ground level; its top may not extend higher than whichever of the following is lowest: 25 feet above grade or the top of the sills of the first level of windows above the ground floor.
(g) 
Blade signs may only be indirectly illuminated (no interior lighting).
(h) 
Blade signs may not be less than 1 1/2 inches in thickness.
I. 
Awnings.
[Amended 11-14-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-42]
(1) 
The outer decorative skin of all awnings shall be of canvas. No other material, such as vinyl or metal, is permitted.
(2) 
No awning shall be backlit.
(3) 
"Waterfall" or "bubble" (convex shape) awnings are not permitted.
(4) 
Lettering shall be permitted only in accordance with the following:
(a) 
An awning may display only the name of the business located on the premises or products or services sold therein.
(b) 
If the awning has a vertical flap, the lettering may appear on the vertical flap only and may not exceed eight inches in height.
(c) 
Where the awning has no vertical flap, up to two lines of lettering shall be permitted. Such lettering shall not exceed 12 inches in height on the first line and eight inches on the second line.
(5) 
No nonconforming awning shall be rebuilt, enlarged, changed or altered in size, location, text or appearance.
J. 
Other regulations.
(1) 
Where there is a business or office floor above the first floor which is not the same business as is located on the first floor, each such business shall be permitted one sign not more than 18 inches high or more than three feet wide, such sign to be placed or painted on the window of the business or office.
(2) 
Where window lettering and window signs are permitted, aggregate space and time limitations set forth in this chapter shall be construed to apply to any community service advertisements included in the display.
(3) 
Storefront window displays shall be illuminated from dusk until 12:00 midnight.
(4) 
Storage of materials, stock or inventory shall not be permitted in any window display area ordinarily exposed to public view. All screening of windows shall be maintained in a clean and attractive manner.
(5) 
Window display areas of vacant storefronts shall be maintained in good condition and in accordance with the regulations of this chapter. The owner of any storefront vacant for more than 60 days shall apply for approval and install a decorative window display within 60 days of the date of the vacancy.
(6) 
Applied letters may be substituted for wall-mounted signs, if constructed of painted wood, painted cast metal, bronze, brass or black anodized aluminum. Applied plastic letters are not permitted. Applied letters shall not exceed 18 inches in height.
K. 
Incorporation of zoning regulations.
(1) 
All development regulations contained in Chapter 255, Land Development, of this Code are incorporated herein by reference.
(2) 
Nothing contained in this chapter is intended to repeal any portion of Chapter 255, Land Development.
(3) 
In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of Chapter 255, Land Development, the provisions of the more restrictive chapter shall apply.
[Added 5-13-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-10; 6-12-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-10]
A. 
No person shall erect or alter any structure or sign, facade or awning in the Special Improvement District until and unless an application for the same shall have been submitted to and approved by the Downtown Business and Economic Development Office. Such application shall include specific details setting forth the following information, where applicable:
(1) 
The storefront plan.
(2) 
An architectural rendering or line drawing to scale of all building elevations showing proposed improvements, including paint scheme, sign placements and any awning placements.
(3) 
Current photographs of the subject building and adjacent buildings.
(4) 
Samples of new exposed building material (i.e., siding).
(5) 
Separate renderings of any and all proposed signs and/or awnings, including:
(a) 
The placement of the sign and/or awning.
(b) 
The dimensions.
(c) 
The size and style of all lettering.
(d) 
Colors, with paint chips and/or color charts attached.
(e) 
Fabric, with fabric sample attached.
(f) 
Construction materials.
(g) 
Lighting.
(h) 
Height above grade and below roofline.
(i) 
Sign location.
B. 
The Downtown Business and Economic Development Office shall grant or deny approval of the application within 45 days of the date of submission of such application to the Downtown Business and Economic Development Office or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. If the Downtown Business and Economic Development Office shall not have granted or denied said application within 45 days, the application shall be deemed to have been approved.
[Added 5-13-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-10; amended 5-13-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-17]
Unless otherwise provided herein, any violation under the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $500, at the discretion of the Municipal Court. Each day the violation shall continue after notice and a reasonable opportunity to correct or remedy the violation shall constitute a separate violation.
All costs of development, construction and acquisition relating to providing public improvements for the district not borne by federal, state, county or local governments shall be financed and assessed to properties specially benefited by such improvements. The properties specially benefited by the creation of the district as described by lot and block number and street address are listed in Appendix A.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is on file in the office of the Township Clerk and may be examined there during regular business hours.
It is hereby determined that the improvements in the district may involve annual costs in addition to the initial cost of constructing and making improvements within the district. Such annual costs relate to maintenance services peculiar to the district and are distinguished from maintenance services normally provided by the Township outside of the district and will provide benefits primarily to the property included in the district rather than to the Township as a whole. The improvements and the facilities thereof shall be maintained and operated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and to N.J.S.A. 40:56-65 et seq., and the costs thereof shall be assessed or taxed to the benefited properties or businesses pursuant to this chapter and N.J.S.A. 40:56-80 (or N.J.S.A. 40:56-85). The properties to be assessed or taxed to provide for the payment of such annual costs are described in § 355-6 hereof.
Concurrently with the submission of the Improvement Implementation Plan for the Special Improvement District and annually thereafter, the Township Administrator, with the assistance of the District Management Corporation, shall report to the Township Committee an estimate of the cost of operating and maintaining and annually improving the district for the next fiscal year to be incurred under the plan and an estimate of changes in the amounts of said costs which would follow upon the adoption of any addition or amendment to the plan recommended to or under consideration by the Township Committee. Such estimate shall be reasonably itemized and shall include a summary of the categories of cost properly chargeable in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:56-80. The Township Administrator, with the assistance and concurrence of the District Management Corporation, shall submit a detailed annual budget for approval by resolution of the Township Committee.
There is hereby created the Township of Cranford District Management Corporation (the "Corporation"), which shall exercise the following powers:
A. 
Adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business and prescribe rules, regulations and policies in connection with the performance of its functions and duties.
B. 
Subject to prior Township Committee approval, may employ such persons as may be required, and fix and pay their compensation from funds available to the Corporation.
C. 
Apply for, accept, administer and comply with the requirements respecting an appropriation of funds or a gift, grant or donation of property or money.
D. 
Subject to prior Township Committee approval, may make and execute agreements which may be necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers and functions of the Corporation, including contracts with any person, firm, corporation, governmental agency or other entity.
E. 
Subject to prior Township Committee approval, may borrow money from private lenders for periods not to exceed 180 days and from governmental entities for that or longer periods.
F. 
Fund the improvement of the exterior appearance of properties in the district through grants or loans subject to prior Township Committee approval.
G. 
Fund the rehabilitation of properties in the district subject to prior Township Committee approval.
H. 
Subject to prior Township Committee approval, may accept, purchase, rehabilitate, sell, lease or manage property in the district.
I. 
Enforce the conditions of any loan, grant, sale or lease made by the Corporation.
J. 
Provide security, sanitation and other services to the district supplemental to those provided normally by the Township.
K. 
Undertake improvements designed to increase the safety or attractiveness of the district to businesses which may wish to locate there or to visitors to the district, including but not limited to litter cleanup and control, landscaping, parking areas and facilities, recreational and rest areas and facilities, and those improvements generally permitted for pedestrian malls under Section 2 of P.L. 1972, c. 134 (N.J.S.A. 40:56-66) pursuant to pertinent regulations of the governing body.
L. 
Publicize the district and the businesses included within the district boundaries.
M. 
Recruit new businesses to fill vacancies in and to balance the business mix of the district.
N. 
Organize and coordinate special events in the district pursuant to pertinent regulations of the Township Committee.
O. 
Provide special parking arrangements for the district subject to prior Township Committee approval.
P. 
Provide temporary decorative lighting in the district.
[Amended 3-26-1991 by Ord. No. 91-9]
A. 
The Corporation shall be governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of 11 members appointed by the Township Committee as follows:
(1) 
A member of the Township Committee appointed by a majority vote of the Township Committee.
(2) 
Four residents of the Township of Cranford who neither are an owner or tenant of property in the district nor conduct a business therein nor are a stockholder, officer, employee or director of any business conducted in the district.
(3) 
Three persons who are owners of real estate located within the district or officials of a corporation or entity owning real estate within the district, of which one may be the owner of commercial or business real estate located anywhere in the Township of Cranford or an official of a corporation or entity owning real estate located anywhere within the Township of Cranford.
(4) 
Three persons who are proprietors or employees of businesses conducted in the district.
B. 
Appointments will be for three-year terms. All appointments shall expire on December 31.
C. 
Vacancies on the Board of Trustees shall be appointed by the Township Committee and will be filled for the expiration of the term.
D. 
The member of the Township Committee shall be appointed for a one-year term ending December 31.
E. 
The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees shall be appointed by the Township Committee annually.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 199-8, Signs, added 10-8-1991 by Ord. No. 91-29, was repealed 5-14-1996 by Ord. No. 96-7. See now § 255-26J.
[Added 10-8-1991 by Ord. No. 91-29; amended 6-12-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-10[1]]
See Chapter 255, Land Development, § 255-31, Construction in public right-of-way in Special Improvement District.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).