The owner of any real property in the Township of Cranford may submit an application to the Planning Board of the Township of Cranford for the rezoning of its real property. A developer, as that term is used in the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., may submit an application for rezoning, provided that such application is submitted with the written consent of the owner of the affected property.
Each application for rezoning shall include all required fees and escrows and 24 copies of the following:
A fully completed application for rezoning.
A concept plan, depicting the nature, features and proposed use of the property as rezoned.
A specific proposal for rezoning, which may be either that the tract in question be rezoned to a specific existing zoning district or that a new zoning district be created. If a new zoning district is to be created, the applicant shall submit a specific, detailed proposal for said zoning district which shall include permitted uses, conditional uses, if any, and all required bulk conditions, including lot size and area, setbacks, height requirements, open space requirements, building coverage requirements, parking requirements and the like.
The procedure set forth in § 255-17A(4) with respect to an application for development shall be utilized for the purpose of certifying an application to be complete.
When an application shall be deemed complete, the Zoning Officer shall distribute 14 of the 24 copies of the application to the Board and appropriate professionals, and the remaining 10 copies shall be distributed to the Planning Board Secretary.
The Planning Board shall hold a hearing on each application for rezoning which complies with the procedures set forth in § 255-4H. The hearing shall be held within 90 days of the certification of a complete application.
After hearing the application, the Planning Board shall determine whether any action other than rezoning will properly protect the interest of the community or the municipality. The Planning Board shall review the application in light of the existing Master Plan, the conditions existing within the community and the expertise of the Planning Board in matters of land development to determine whether the applicant's proposal should be favorably recommended to the Township Committee. The Planning Board shall make specific detailed findings of fact and conclusions of law concerning the applicant's proposal as it relates to the review standards set forth below. It shall be the applicant's burden of proof to present sufficient credible evidence to the Planning Board for the Board to make appropriate findings, conclusions and recommendations.
The Planning Board shall conclude its review and make its recommendation within 120 days of the certification of a complete application. Unless the applicant shall consent in writing to an extension of the time for decision, if the Planning Board shall not act favorably on such application within said one-hundred-twenty-day period, the applicant's request that the Planning Board recommend rezoning to the Township Committee shall be deemed denied.
Subsequent to action by the Planning Board, the Board shall cause its written findings and conclusions to be forwarded to the Township Clerk for action by the Township Committee. The Planning Board Secretary shall also forward the 10 remaining copies of the applicant's application. The report to the Township Committee shall also include a brief statement as to whether or not the Planning Board recommends that the Township Committee adopt an ordinance rezoning the subject property.
Each application for rezoning shall comply with and address the following standards:
Necessity. No application for rezoning shall be granted if the relief sought could be granted through an application for development other than one pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70d.
Master Plan. In submitting its recommendations, the Planning Board shall submit a report in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-26. The governing body shall comply with such section in acting on the application. If the proposed rezoning is inconsistent with the Master Plan, the Planning Board shall include in its recommendation whether it is in the best interest of the municipality to amend the Master Plan in accordance with the Municipal Land Use Law.
Modification. In making its recommendations, the Planning Board may recommend that the application for rezoning be granted, in whole or in part, or be modified. If the Planning Board recommends the granting of the application with modifications or conditions, the Planning Board shall set out such modifications or conditions in detail, including findings, conclusions and recommendations.
Effect of current zoning. The applicant shall demonstrate by proper proof that, absent rezoning, there is a substantial likelihood that the zoning regulations currently in existence will zone the property into inutility or that the rezoning shall substantially and meaningfully benefit the municipality and further the purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law, including purposes set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-2.
Municipal services. In demonstrating that the proposed rezoning will substantially benefit the municipality and will advance the purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law, the applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed rezoning will not unduly burden the planned and orderly development of the municipality or place an undue burden upon community services and facilities. Where deemed appropriate by the Planning Board, the Board may require traffic studies, fiscal impact studies or such other information as it requires to be produced either by the applicant or for the Board at the applicant's expense.
After receipt of the report and recommendations of the Planning Board, the Township Committee shall consider the application. The decision of the Township Committee to act or not to act on any application shall be deemed a legislative act in the sole discretion of the Township Committee. The Township Committee may determine, in its sole discretion, whether or not to act on any application and whether or not to grant, deny or modify any application. If the Township Committee shall act on any proposed amendment to this chapter, it shall do so in compliance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-62 et seq.