Township of Pequannock, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The short title of this chapter shall be the "Pequannock Township Land Use Ordinance."
The purpose of this chapter is to establish the procedures for site plan, subdivision, variance, conditional use and all other activities related to land development in conformance with the Municipal Land Use Law (Chapter 291 of the Laws of New Jersey 1975).
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55d-23 and the amendments thereof and supplements thereto, a Planning Board is hereby created.
[Amended 8-25-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-09]
A. 
The Planning Board shall consist of nine members designated into the four following classes:
(1) 
Class I: the Mayor or the Mayors designee.
(2) 
Class II: an official of the Township as defined in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-23.
(3) 
Class III: a member of the Township Council to be appointed by the Council.
(4) 
Class IV: six citizens of the Township to be appointed by the Township Council who shall hold no other municipal office, position, or employment except as provided for in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-23.
B. 
There shall be two alternate members of the Planning Board appointed by the Township Council and meeting the qualifications for Class IV members.
C. 
If a vacancy of any class shall occur other than by expiration of the term, it shall be filled by appointment as provided above for the unexpired term.
A. 
All members of the Planning Board shall serve without compensation.
B. 
Terms of the members shall be as follows:
(1) 
Class I: one-year term expiring on December 31 of the year appointed or upon completion of the term of office of Mayor, and until a successor is appointed and qualifies.
(2) 
Class II: one-year term expiring on December 31 of the year appointed or upon the completion of the official's term of office, whichever comes first.
(3) 
Class III: one-year term expiring on December 31 of the year appointed or upon completion of the term of office on the Council, and until a successor is appointed and qualifies.
(4) 
Class IV.
(i) 
The Class IV member who is a member of the Environmental Protection and Flood Control Commission, a three-year term expiring on December 31 of the third year of the term or upon completion of his term of office on the Environmental Commission, whichever occurs first.
(ii) 
If there is a Class IV member who is a member of the Board of Adjustment or the Board of Education, a four-year term which shall expire on December 31 of the fourth year of the term or upon completion of his term of office on the Board of Adjustment or Board of Education, whichever occurs first.
(iii) 
For all other Class IV members, a four-year term, which shall expire on December 31 of the fourth year of the term for which they were appointed.
C. 
Nothing in this chapter shall, however, be construed to affect the term of any present member of the Planning Board, all of whom shall continue in office until the completion of the term for which they are appointed.
D. 
All Planning Board members shall be 18 years of age or older.
A. 
The Planning Board is authorized to adopt bylaws governing its procedural operation, which shall not be inconsistent with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq. or the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
It shall elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman from the members of Class IV and select a Secretary who need not be a member of the Planning Board.
The Planning Board shall perform all of the duties and functions of:
A. 
Preparation and, after appropriate deliberation and public hearings, adoption of a Master Plan for the development of the Township. Such plan, in all respects, shall comply with and take into consideration the matters mentioned in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-28. With a frequency of at least once in every six years, the Planning Board shall review, revise as necessary and adopt a Master Plan for the Township.
B. 
Subdivision approval as required by the Township Subdivision Ordinance.
C. 
Site plan approval as required by the Township Zoning Ordinance, except where the Township Zoning Board of Adjustment shall have jurisdiction over a site plan or subdivision pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-76 by reason of a use variance being involved in the application.
D. 
Granting conditional uses as permitted by the Township Zoning Ordinance except where the Township Zoning Board of Adjustment shall have jurisdiction over a conditional use pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-76 by reason of a use variance being involved in the application.
E. 
Following the review and adoption of the Master Plan, and not less than one year from the date of such adoption, the Planning Board shall review and recommend to the Township Council, any amendments to the Official Map which are needed in order to bring the Official Map into conformance with the Master Plan.
F. 
The Planning Board, when reviewing an application for approval of a subdivision plat, site plan or conditional use, shall have the power, to grant, grant conditionally or deny:
(1) 
Variances pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70c.
(2) 
Applications seeking the issuance of a construction permit for a building or structure in the bed of a mapped street, public drainageway, flood control basin or public area as established on the Township Official Map pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-32.
(3) 
Applications for the issuance of a construction permit for a building or structure not on an improved and accepted street.
G. 
Prior to a hearing on adoption of a Zoning Ordinance any development ordinance or any amendments or revisions thereto, the Township Council shall refer any such proposed ordinance or amendment thereto to the Planning Board. The Planning Board shall make and transmit to the Council, within 35 days of referral, a report, including recommendations concerning the proposed ordinance or amendment for, among other matters, conformance to the adopted Master Plan, and any report to the Council shall include findings on the manner in which said ordinance or amendment thereto conforms or does not conform to the adopted Master Plan. The governing body shall review the report of the Planning Board and may disapprove or change any recommendations by a vote of the majority of its full authorized membership. Failure of the Planning Board to act within 35 days shall relieve the Council from the requirements of this section.
H. 
The Township Council may authorize the Planning Board to prepare or review a program of municipal capital improvements projects over a term of at least six years, and amendments thereto.
(1) 
The capital improvements program shall classify projects with regard to the urgency and need for realization, and shall recommend a time sequence for their implementation. Any such program shall include an estimate of the displacement of persons and establishments caused by each recommended project, and shall otherwise conform to the requirements of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-29.
Whenever the Planning Board is authorized and directed to prepare a capital improvements program, every municipal department, authority or agency shall, upon request of the Planning Board, transmit to said Board a statement of all capital projects proposed to be undertaken by such municipal department, authority or agency, during the term of the program for study, advice and recommendation by the Planning Board. When the Planning Board has prepared a capital improvement program, it shall recommend said program to the Township Council which may adopt such program with any modification as may be approved by affirmative vote of the full authorized membership of the Council.
(2) 
Before taking action necessitating the expenditures of any public funds incidental to the location, character or extent of a capital project, within the Township, the Township Council or other public agency having jurisdiction over the project, including the School Board, county, state, or special district or authority shall refer such action to the Planning Board for review and recommendation on the proposed project and its conformance with the adopted Master Plan. The Planning Board shall have 45 days upon which to act in making a recommendation on the project.
I. 
The Planning Board may assemble data on a continuing basis as part of a continuous planning process.
J. 
The Planning Board shall perform such other advisory duties as are delegated to it by ordinance or resolution of the Township Council for the aid and assistance of the Council or other agencies or officers.
K. 
The Board shall follow the procedures outlined in this chapter, the Subdivision Ordinance and the Zoning Ordinance* of the Township of Pequannock for public hearings whenever any hearings shall be required.
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-69 and the amendments thereof and supplements thereto, a Zoning Board of Adjustment is hereby created. The Board of Adjustment shall constitute a continuation of the Board of Adjustment in existence at the time of passage of this section.
A. 
The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall consist of seven members appointed by the Township Council. One member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment may be appointed by the Council to the Township Planning Board. All members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be residents of the Township and shall be 18 years of age or older.
B. 
In addition to the seven members aforesaid constituting the Zoning Board of Adjustment proper, there shall be appointed by the Township Council two alternate members, who shall be subject to all conditions and requirements to which the original seven-member Board is subject. Alternate members shall be designated by the Township Council as "Alternate No. 1" and "Alternate No. 2."
A. 
All members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall serve without compensation.
B. 
Terms of the members shall be for four years. All terms shall expire on December 31 of the last year of the term for which they were appointed.
C. 
The term of each such alternate member shall be for a period of two years. Alternate members may participate in discussions of the proceedings but may not vote except in the absence or disqualification of a regular member. A vote shall not be delayed in order that a regular member may vote instead of an alternate member. In the event that a choice must be made as to which alternate member is to vote, Alternate No. 1 shall vote.
D. 
All members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment in office at the effective date of this article shall continue in office until the completion of the term of office for which they were appointed. Any vacancy occurring other than by the expiration of the term shall be billed for the unexpired term only.
A. 
The Zoning Board of Adjustment is authorized to and shall adopt bylaws governing its procedure operations. Said bylaws shall include such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.) and this chapter.
B. 
The Board shall elect a Chairman and a Vice Chairman from among its members and a Secretary who need not be a member of the Board or a municipal employee.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall have the following powers and duties:
A. 
To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant that there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or refusal made by an administrative officer based on or made in the enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance. The Board may reverse, affirm, wholly or in part, or may modify any order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and, to that end, have all the powers of the administrative officer from whom appeal was taken.
B. 
To hear and decide requests for interpretation of the Zoning Map or Zoning Ordinance or to make decisions on other special questions upon which the Board is authorized to pass by any Zoning or Official Township Map Ordinance adopted in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
C. 
Where, by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness or slope of a specific piece of property or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions or physical features uniquely affecting a specific piece of property or by reason of an extraordinary and exceptional situation uniquely affecting a specific piece of property or the structure lawfully existing thereon, the strict application of any regulation pursuant to the Zoning Ordinance would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties or exceptional and undue hardship upon the developer of such property, to grant, upon an application or an appeal relating to such property, a variance from such strict application of such regulation so as to relieve such difficulties or hardship; or where, in an application or appeal relating to a specific piece of property, the purposes of this article would be advanced by a deviation from the Zoning Ordinance requirements and the benefits of the deviation would substantially outweigh any detriment, to grant a variance to allow departure from the regulations of the Zoning Ordinance, provided that no use variance shall be granted under this subsection, and provided further that the proposed development does not require approval by the Planning Board of a subdivision, site plan or conditional use in conjunction with which the Planning Board has power to review a request for a variance pursuant to C.40:55D-60a and Section 16-7 of the Ordinance.
D. 
In particular cases and for special reasons, to grant a variance to allow departure from the regulations of the Zoning Ordinance to permit a use or principal structure in a district restricted against such use or principal structure; an expansion of a nonconforming use; deviation from a specification or standard pertaining solely to a conditional use; an increase in the permitted floor area ratio; an increase in density, except as applicable to the required lot area for a lot or lots for detached one- or two-dwelling-unit buildings, which lot(s) is either an isolated undersized lot or a lot resulting from a minor subdivision; and, where the height of a principal structure which exceeds 10 feet or 10% of the maximum height permitted in the district for a principal structure. A variance under this section shall be granted only by an affirmative vote of 2/3 of the full authorized membership of the Board. No variance or other relief may be granted under the terms of this section unless such variance or other relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and the purpose of the Zone Plan and Zoning Ordinance.
E. 
To grant, to the same extent and subject to the same restrictions as the Planning Board, subdivision or site plan approval or conditional use approval pursuant to the Zoning Ordinance whenever the proposed development requires approval by the Board of Adjustment of a variance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70d.
F. 
To direct the issuance of a permit for a building or structure:
(1) 
In the bed of a mapped street or public drainageway, flood control basin or public area reserved on the Official Township Map (pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-34).
(2) 
Not related to a street (pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-36).
No variance or other relief may be granted under the provisions of this article unless such variance or other relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the Zone Plan and Zoning Ordinance.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall follow the procedures outlined in this chapter for public hearings whenever a hearing shall be required.
No member of the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment shall act on any matter in which he has either directly or indirectly any personal or financial interest. Whenever any such member shall disqualify himself from acting on a particular matter, he shall not continue to sit with the Board on the hearing of such matter nor participate in any discussion or decision relating thereto.
A. 
Meetings of both the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be scheduled no less often than once a month and shall be held as scheduled unless cancelled for lack of development applications to process.
B. 
Special meetings may be provided for at the call of the Chairman or on the request of any two Board members, which shall be held on notice to its members and the public in accordance with all applicable legal requirements.
C. 
No action shall be taken at any meeting without a quorum being present.
D. 
All actions shall be taken by majority vote of the members of the Board present at the meeting except as otherwise required by any provision of Chapter 291, Laws of New Jersey 1975 and subsequent amendment thereto. *(C.40.55D-32, C.40:55D-34, C.40:55D-62, C.40:55D-17e, C.40:55D-26a and b, C.40:55D-69d)
E. 
All regular meetings and all special meetings shall be open to the public except when the public has been specifically excluded from a meeting pursuant to Chapter 231, Laws of New Jersey 1975.* Notice of all such meetings shall be given in accordance with the requirements of the Open Public Meeting Law, Chapter 231, Laws of New Jersey 1975, and with any additional requirements of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
Minutes of every regular or special meeting shall be kept and shall include the names of the persons appearing and addressing the Board and of the persons appearing by attorney, the action taken by the Board, the findings, if any, made by it and reasons therefor. The minutes shall thereafter be made available for public inspection during normal business hours at the office of the Municipal Clerk and copies reproduced at a fee set by the Township.
A. 
Bylaws. The Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment shall adopt bylaws governing the conduct of hearings before such bodies which rules shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq. or of this chapter.
B. 
Oaths. The officer presiding at the hearing or such person as he may designate shall have power to administer oaths and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant evidence, including witnesses and documents presented by the parties, and the provisions of the County and Municipal Investigation Law, P.L. 1953, c. 1938 (N.J.S.A. 2A:67A-1 et seq.).
C. 
Testimony. The testimony of all witnesses relating to an application for development shall be taken under oath or affirmation by the presiding officer and the right of cross-examination shall be permitted to all interested parties through their attorneys, if represented, or directly, if not represented, subject to the discretion of the presiding officer and to reasonable limitations as to time and number of witnesses. Any maps and documents for which approval is sought at a hearing shall be on file and available for public inspection at least 10 days before the date of the hearing during normal business hours of the Planning Department.
D. 
Evidence. Technical rules of evidence shall not be applicable to the hearing, but the Board may exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence.
E. 
Record. Each Board shall provide for the verbatim recording of the proceedings by either stenographic, mechanical or electronic means. The Board shall furnish a transcript or a duplicate recording in lieu thereof on request to any interested party at his expense, provided that this charge does not exceed the maximum permitted by N.J.S.A. 2A:11-15. Such transcript shall be certified in writing by the transcriber to be accurate.
F. 
Absence at hearing. A member of the Board who is absent for one or more of the meetings at which a hearing was held shall be eligible to vote on the matter upon which the hearing was conducted, provided that such Board member has read or listened to a recording of all of the hearing from which he was absent and certified this to the Board in writing.
[Amended 3-24-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-2]
Whenever a hearing is required on an application for development pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., the applicant shall give notice thereof as follows:
A. 
Public notice shall be given by publication in the official newspaper of the municipality at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing.
B. 
Method of service.
(1) 
Notice shall be given to the owners of all real property as shown on the current tax duplicate or duplicates located within 200 feet in all directions of the property which is the subject of the hearing and whether located within or without the municipality in which applicant's land is located. Such notice shall be given by:
(i) 
Serving a copy thereof on the owner as shown on the current tax duplicate or his agent in charge of the property; or
(ii) 
Mailing a copy thereof by certified mail to the property owner at his address as shown on said current tax duplicate. A return receipt is not required.
(2) 
Notice to a partnership owner may be made by service upon its President, a vice President, secretary or other person authorized by law to accept service on behalf of the corporation.
(3) 
Notice to a condominium association, horizontal property regime, community trust or homeowners' association, because of its ownership of common elements or areas located within 200 feet of the property which is the subject of the hearing, may be made in the same manner as to a corporation without further notice to unit owners, co-owners, or homeowners. The requirement for individual notice is limited to owners whose units could have been on separate lots, such as townhouses.
C. 
Notice of all hearings on applications for development involving property located within 200 feet of an adjoining municipality shall be given by personal service or certified mail to the Clerk of such municipality, which notice shall be in addition to the notice required to be given pursuant to this section to the citizens of lands in such adjoining municipality which are located within 200 feet of the subject premises.
D. 
Notice shall be given by personal service or certified mail to the County Planning Board of a hearing on an application:
(1) 
For property contiguous to an existing county road or proposed road shown on the Official County Map or on the County Master Plan.
(2) 
For property adjoining other county land.
(3) 
For property situated within 200 feet of an adjoining municipal boundary.
E. 
Notice shall be given by personal service or certified mail to the Commissioner of Transportation of a hearing on an application for development of property contiguous to a state highway. This notice shall not be required if municipal notice and notice to property owners within 200 feet is not required.
F. 
Notice shall be given by personal service or certified mail to the Director of the Division of State and Regional Planning in the Department of Community Affairs of an application for development of property which exceeds 150 acres or 500 dwelling units. Such notice shall include a copy of any maps or documents required to be on file with the Administrative Officer pursuant to Section 6b of P.L. 1975, c. 291. This notice shall not be required if municipal notice and notice to property owners within 200 feet is not required.
G. 
All notices hereinabove specified in this section shall be given at least 10 days prior to the date fixed for hearing, and the applicant shall file an affidavit of proof of service with the Board holding the hearing.
H. 
Mailing and/or posting of notice.
(1) 
Any notice made by certified mail as hereinabove required shall be deemed complete upon mailing in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-14.
(2) 
Notice of hearings on applications for subdivision or a site plan approval not defined as a minor site plan shall be given to a public utility, cable television company or local utility which possesses a right-of-way or easement within the municipality and which has registered with the municipality pursuant to Chapter 291, Laws of N.J. 1975 (C.40:55D-12.1)*
I. 
Form of notice. All notices required to be given pursuant to the terms of this chapter shall state the date, time and place of the hearing, the nature of the matters to be considered and identification of the property proposed for development by street address, if any, or by reference to lot and block numbers as shown on the current tax duplicate in the Municipal Tax Assessor's office and the location and times at which any maps and documents for which approval is sought are available as required by law.
Upon the request of an applicant, the administrative officer shall, within seven days, make and certify a list from said current tax duplicates of names and addresses of owners to whom the applicant is required to give notice pursuant to this chapter. The applicant shall be entitled to rely on the information contained in such list, and failure to give notice to any owner not on the list shall not invalidate any hearing or proceedings. A sum not to exceed $0.25 per name or $10, whichever is greater, may be charged for such a list.
A. 
Each decision on any application shall be reduced to writing by the Board in the form of a resolution which shall include findings of fact and legal conclusions based there.
B. 
A true copy of the aforesaid resolution shall be mailed by the Board within 10 days of the date of the adoption of the resolution to the applicant, or to the applicant's attorney, without charge. A true copy of the resolution shall also be mailed to those persons who have requested and have paid the fee prescribed by the Board for such services. A true copy of the resolution shall be filed in the office of the *[Municipal Clerk]* Township Planner and be available to the public.
Within 10 days of the rendering of a decision, a brief notice of every final decision shall be published in the official newspaper of the municipality. Such publication shall be arranged by the Township Planner.
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-39 and 55D-65, every application submitted to the Planning Board or to the Zoning Board of adjustment shall be accompanied by proof that no taxes or assessments for local improvements are due or delinquent on the property which is the subject of such application.
The Board of Adjustment shall be empowered to grant variances from the bulk or use provisions of the Township Zoning Ordinance and Official Map Ordinance in a manner consistent with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
[Amended 11-23-1999 by Ord. No. 99-26; 3-24-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-2]
Any variance from the terms of this chapter hereafter granted by the Board of Adjustment permitting the erection or alteration of any structure or structures or permitting a specified use of any premises shall expire by limitation unless such construction or alteration shall have been actually commenced on each and every structure permitted by said variance, or unless such permitted use has been actually been commenced, within one year from the date of the entry of the judgment or determination of the Board of Adjustment; except, however, that the running of the period of limitation herein provided shall be tolled from the date of filing an appeal from the decision of the Board of Adjustment to a court of competent jurisdiction, until the termination in any manner of such appeal or proceeding; except further, in the case of a variance which also involves a subdivision or site plan approval, the variance shall extend for the full period of preliminary or final approval or any extension thereof pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law.
The Board of Adjustment shall act on any variance before it within 120 days of the date the application is deemed by the administrative officer to be complete or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. The administrative officer shall be, for purposes of the Zoning Ordinance, the Township Zoning Officer and shall rule upon the completeness of an application within 45 days of its submission.
A development fee schedule is established per Chapter 79 of this "Code."
An appeal to the Zoning Board of Adjustment may be taken by any interested party affected by any decision of the administrative officer of the municipality based on or made in the enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance or Official Township Map. Such appeal shall be made within 20 days of the notice of decision by the administrative officer, by filing a notice of appeal in the manner set forth in Section 16.03 of this chapter and in accordance with the Municipal Land Use Law Chapter 291, Laws of N.J. 1975.
[Amended 3-24-2008 by Ord. No. 2009-2; 3-24-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-2]
An appeal from a decision of the Planning Board shall be made directly to the court of competent jurisdiction. All appeals shall be made in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
[Amended 3-24-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-2]
An appeal from a decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be made to a court of competent jurisdiction. All appeals shall be made in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
Any appeal made from the decision of the governing body, as provided by 16.07.010 and 16.07.020, shall be made directly to the Superior Court of the County of Morris as provided by law.