Editor's Note: This chapter shall be considered to be an amendment to the Land Development Regulations.
[Ord. No. 801 § 1; Ord. No. 2013-02 § 28-1]
This chapter shall be known, and may be cited as the "Environmental Assessment Regulations of the Borough of Haworth."
[Ord. No. 801 § 2; Ord. No. 2013-02 § 28-2]
[see Article 26-300 Definitions and Descriptions; Section 26-301 DEFINITIONS AND WORD USAGE]
[Ord. No. 801 § 3; Ord. No. 28-2 § 3; Ord. No. 2013-02 § 28-3]
The purpose of this chapter is to (a) minimize adverse impacts on the environment; (b) permit the Construction Official and/or the Approving Agency to assess the effect of proposed development and/or site disturbances upon the environment, and (c) explore reasonable mitigation measures and/or development alternatives that might have the effect of lessening adverse impacts. Particular emphasis is made upon assessing the effect of the proposed development upon surface waters, groundwater, air resources, pollution of all kinds, drainage, water disposal, wetlands, flood plains, and critical environmental areas.
[Ord. No. 801 § 4; Ord. No. 2013-02 § 28-4]
Non-Applicability. Applications for a building permit to do interior work only, not necessitating a variance or site plan approval, shall not require the completion of an Environmental Checklist or an Initial Environmental Assessment Report.
Environmental Checklist. The Environmental Checklist Schedule II shall be completed by the Construction Official as part of his review of every application to construct or enlarge any structure, or to cause any site disturbance, for which neither subdivision approval, site plan approval, nor variance approval is required under Chapter 26, Land Use Regulations. The Environmental Checklist shall be designed to determine whether or not the following environmental features are affected by the proposed development: wetlands, flood plains, stream encroachment areas, steep slopes, surface waters, hydric soils, and NJDEP designated C-1 anti-degradation areas.
Initial Environmental Assessment Report (Schedule I).All development applications to the Haworth Planning Board or Haworth Zoning Board of Adjustment shall include a completed Initial Environmental Assessment Report, designed to determine the effect upon the environment of the proposed development.
Editor's Note: The Initial Environmental Assessment Report (Schedule I) is included as an attachment to this chapter.
[Ord. No. 801 § 5; Ord. No. 2013-02 § 28-5]
With respect to applications to construct or enlarge any structure, or to cause any site disturbance, for which neither subdivision approval, site plan approval, nor variance approval is required under the Haworth Land Use Ordinance, no building permit shall be issued until the Haworth Construction Official shall have completed an Environmental Checklist.
In the event the Haworth Construction Official shall determine that none of the environmental conditions identified on the Environmental Checklist are affected or potentially affected by the proposed development or disturbance, the building permit shall be issued provided all other conditions for issuance of a building permit have been satisfied.
In the event that the Haworth Construction Official shall determine that one or more of the environmental conditions identified in the Environmental Checklist is affected or potentially affected by the proposed development, the Haworth Construction Official shall deny the application for a building permit, advising the applicant in writing of the need to secure any required approval or waiver for the proposed development. No building permit shall thereafter be issued with respect to the proposed development until the applicant shall provide such approval or waiver.
In making the determination as to whether or not the environmental conditions identified on the Environmental Checklist are affected or potentially affected by the proposed development, the Construction Official shall refer to the maps included in the Haworth Master Plan of 1991, and as may hereafter be amended from time to time, the Periodic Reexaminations of 1997, 2003, 2009 and beyond, the Environmental Resource Inventory of 1991 and 1992 and any subsequent amendments, and the Land Use and Conservation Plan Elements of 2006. If the Construction Official deems it necessary, he shall conduct a site inspection.
[Ord. No. 801 § 6; Ord. No. 2013-02 § 28-6]
The purposes of the Initial Environmental Assessment Report are to require that applicants provide full disclosure of potential adverse impacts that might be generated by their proposed developments, and that they identify reasonable alternatives that might serve to lessen any of those anticipated adverse impacts.
The Approving Agency may, at the request of the applicant, waive, in whole or in part, the requirement of submission of an Initial Environmental Assessment Report provided the Board determines that the waiver will not impair the public health, safety or general welfare, and is not inconsistent with the purposes of zoning set forth in Section 26-201 of Chapter 26 Land Use Regulations, and/or in the Haworth Master Plan.
In the event that a professional consultant is deemed necessary by the Approving Agency to review the Initial Environmental Assessment Report, the Approving Agency may, in its discretion, hire a consultant, the cost of which shall be paid by the applicant in advance.
In the event the Approving Agency finds that the information provided by the applicant in the Initial Environmental Assessment Report is insufficient for the Approving Agency to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of a project, the Approving Agency may require the applicant to have a qualified professional (i.e. engineer, planner, landscape architect, and/or environmental consultant) complete a new signed Initial Environmental Assessment Report.
In the event the Approving Agency finds that the information provided by the applicant in the professionally completed Initial Environmental Assessment Report is insufficient for the Approving Agency to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of a project, the Approving Agency may require the applicant to prepare and submit a professionally signed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by a qualified professional (i.e. engineer, planner, landscape architect, and/or environmental consultant).
[Ord. No. 801 § 7; Ord. No. 2013-02 § 28-7]
This chapter will amend Chapter 26, the Haworth Land Use Regulations, Ord. No. 779, and will require that the Initial Environmental Assessment Report be included in the checklist of items that must be submitted with each application to the Approving Agency, except as herein provided.
[Ord. No. 801 § 8; Ord. No. 2013-02 § 28-8]
All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent with or in conflict with this chapter are hereby repealed as to the inconsistencies or conflict.
[Ord. No. 801; Ord. No. 2013-02 § 28-9]
If any section, part of any section, or clause or phrase of this chapter is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the remaining provisions of this chapter.
[Ord. No. 2013-02]
An EIS must assemble relevant and material facts upon which an Approving Agency's decision is to be made. It must analyze the significant adverse impacts and evaluate all reasonable alternatives. EISs must be analytical and not encyclopedic. The applicant may review applicable municipal files and request copies of information that the applicant deems relevant to the EIS. The Approving Agency and other municipal employees must cooperate with applicants preparing EISs by making these copies available to them at fees conforming to municipal ordinances. When requested, municipal consultants must also cooperate with applicants but need not make their files available for inspection.
EISs must be clearly and concisely written in plain language that can be read and understood by the public. EISs should address only those potential significant adverse environmental impacts that can be reasonably anticipated and/or have been identified in the scoping process (see paragraph c below). EISs should not contain more detail than is appropriate considering the nature and magnitude of the proposed action and the significance of its potential impacts. Highly technical material should be summarized and, if it must be included in its entirety, should be referenced in the statement and included in an appendix.
The Approving Agency should conduct a scoping session with the applicants once the Approving Agency has determined that the adverse impacts projected could reasonably be significant (see paragraph g below). The term "scoping session" refers to a discussion between the applicant and the Approving Agency during which they jointly decide which of the subject matters in paragraph g below should be included in the EIS. In the event of a disagreement, the Approving Agency's decision shall be final. Scoping sessions shall be conducted at public meetings, and public input should be considered by the Approving Agency.
All EISs must be preceded by a cover sheet stating the name or descriptive title of the action, its location, the names of individuals or organizations that prepared any portion of the EIS, the preparation date, and the date by which comments must be submitted.
An EIS must have a table of contents following the cover sheet and a precise summary that adequately and accurately summarizes the statement.
The format of the EIS may be flexible; however, all EISs must include the following elements:
A concise description of the proposed action, its purpose, public need and benefits;
A concise description of the environmental setting of the areas to be affected, sufficient to understand the impacts of the proposed action and alternatives;
A statement and evaluation of the potential significant adverse environmental impacts at a level of detail that reflects the severity of the impacts and the reasonable likelihood of their occurrence. The EIS should identify and discuss the following only where applicable and significant:
Reasonably related short-term and long-term impacts, cumulative impacts and other associated environmental impacts;
Those adverse environmental impacts that cannot be avoided or adequately mitigated if the proposed action is implemented;
Any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of environmental resources that would be associated with the proposed action should it be implemented;
Any growth-inducing aspects of the proposed action;
Impacts of the proposed action on the use and conservation of energy; and
Impacts of the proposed action on solid waste management and its consistency with the State or locally adopted solid waste management plan.
A description of the mitigation measures;
A description and evaluation of the range of reasonable alternatives to the action that are feasible, considering the objectives and capabilities of the applicants. The description and evaluation of each alternative should be at a level of detail sufficient to permit a comparative assessment of the alternatives discussed. The range of alternatives must include the no action alternative. The no action alternative discussion should evaluate the adverse or beneficial site changes that are likely to occur in the reasonably foreseeable future, in the absence of the proposed action. The range of alternatives may also include, as appropriate, alternative:
A list of any underlying studies, reports, EISs and other information obtained and considered in preparing the statement including the final written scope.
The range of subject matters that should be considered during the scoping session should include but not be limited to the following, however only those subjects that the Approving Agency could reasonably expect to experience adverse impacts should be included in the EIS:
Design and layout;
Construction and operation;
List of required approvals;
Roadways and traffic;
Existing and surrounding land uses;
Existing and surrounding zoning;
Land use plans (local, regional, County, State);
Community services (schools, police, fire, ambulance, social services, recreation, utilities, public water supply, solid waste disposal, sewage treatment);
Historic and archaeological resources; and