Township of West Orange, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Editor's Note: The power to regulate excavation and construction in the public streets is contained in N.J.S.A. 40:67-1. The power to provide specifications for street and sidewalk construction is part of the general Police power, contained in N.J.S.A. 40:69A-29, 30.
[1972 Code § 22-1.1]
No person shall open, dig up, or excavate any street or sidewalk, or any portion thereof for the purpose of connecting any pipe or conduit pipe with a water or gas main, or for any other purpose whatsoever, unless the applicant shall first obtain a permit from the Township Engineer.
[1972 Code § 22-1.2; Ord. No. 729-84 § 3; Ord. No. 1328-95 § 4]
The permit shall be in writing, signed by the Township Engineer or his/her representative and shall state, as nearly as practicable, where the opening, digging up or excavating is to be done. The permit shall contain the further stipulation that it is issued with the express understanding and agreement that the applicant theretofore shall pay the expense of repairing and replacing the street or part thereof, so opened, dug up or excavated, to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer. Upon issuance of the permit, the applicant shall pay to the Township a fee, in accordance with the following schedule, for the cost and expense of issuance and inspection.
Fee Schedule
Road Opening Permit
Area of Opening
Less than or 50 square feet
More than 50 square feet
$0.50 per square foot
Minimum Fee
Maximum Fee
[1972 Code § 22-1.3; Ord. No. 1328-95 § 5]
The applicant shall upon receiving the permit, in order to secure the Township, deposit with the Township a sum to be determined by the Township Engineer, based on the area of the excavation and twice the prevailing cost of replacement, for such excavation. The minimum bond shall be $500 cash. The deposit shall be forwarded to the Township Treasurer, who shall use it to defray the expense of the Township in maintaining and completing the work of repairing or replacing the street or road or part thereof, if the permittee has not maintained or completed it to the satisfaction of the Engineer. In lieu of the deposit, the applicant may, at the Township's option, give bond to the Township in the sum of $10,000 with surety or sureties as the Township Council shall approve, conditioned for the payment from time to time of the expenses of repairing or replacing any and all streets or roads or parts thereof, so torn up or excavated upon permits issued therefor.
[1972 Code § 20-1.4; Ord. No. 1328-95 § 6]
The deposit of any surplus after the completion of the work shall be returned to the applicant within 180 days, upon written authorization of the Township Engineer. If any additional sum is required, it shall be paid by the applicant upon receiving written notice to that effect from the Township Engineer.
[1972 Code § 22-1.5]
Every person engaged in the digging of any street, in the paving of any street or section of a street, building any sewer or drain, digging any trench for gas pipes or other pipes, or in digging and building any manhole in any public street, or in the placing of any obstruction in any public street, where the work, if lest exposed, would be dangerous to persons who might be passing by, shall erect a fence or railing at such excavations or work. The fence or railing shall be erected in a manner to prevent danger to persons who are traveling on the street or highways. The person shall maintain the railing or fence until the work shall be completed or the obstruction or danger removed.
[1972 Code § 22-1.6]
It shall be the duty of each person who erects a railing or fence, in accordance with subsection 20-1.5, to place upon the railing or fence, at sundown of each evening, suitable and sufficient lights, and to keep the lights burning throughout the night during the performance of the work.
[1972 Code § 22-1.7]
The Department of Public Works shall not approve any work of filling in any excavation, unless the same is pounded, and the macadam or pavement and other surface material, over and around the excavation, are left in as good condition as they were in before the excavation.
[Ord. No. 1328-95 § 6]
As a condition of the issuance of a permit, the applicant shall provide the Township with evidence of General Liability, General Comprehensive and Vehicular Insurance in an amount not less than $1,000,000. Such insurance policy must also name the Township of West Orange as an additional insured and be issued by a company licensed by the State of New Jersey.
[1972 Code § 22-2.1]
No street shall be accepted by the Governing Body unless the width shall be at least 50 feet, unless a lesser width is permitted under special conditions provided in this revision.
[1972 Code § 22-2.2]
No person shall lay any sidewalk, on any tract or portion of any public street unless the same shall conform to the established grade of the street, and according to specifications adopted at the time by the Township Council.
[1972 Code § 22-3.1; Ord. No. 1328-95 § 7]
Any person owning, leasing, or occupying any house or other building, or vacant lot, fronting on any street in the Township shall, at his or their charge and expense, sufficiently pave the sidewalk, and maintain in good repair, according to this section, the curb and sidewalk, including the authorized installations in front of the house, building or lot.
[1972 Code § 22-3.2; Ord. No. 1328-95 § 7]
No person shall construct, remove, repair, reset or alter the sidewalk or curb or cause the construction, removal, repair, replacement, resetting or altering of the sidewalk or curb of any public street in the Township, nor store thereon construction materials for the same, without the written permit of the Director of Public Works or his/her authorized representative. A fee shall be charged for the written permit in accordance with the following schedule.
Fee Schedule
Curb and Sidewalk Permit
Length of Curb or Sidewalk
Less than or 50 linear feet
More than 50 linear feet
$0.50 per linear foot
Minimum Fee
Maximum Fee
[1972 Code § 22-3.3; Ord. No. 1328-95 § 7]
All sidewalks and curbs hereafter paved, constructed or repaired, shall be paved in accordance with the "Standard Specifications of the Township of West Orange, adopted March 3rd, 1959" and on file with the Township Clerk.
[1972 Code § 22-3.4; Ord. No. 1328-95 § 7]
The following regulations shall apply:
Materials for Repair. Alterations, restoration, and repair of any sidewalk, shall be made with concrete as specified in the "Standard Specifications of the Township of West Orange," or with the same materials as exist on both sides of the sidewalk in disrepair.
Grade. Every sidewalk shall at the curbline, be of the same grade as that established for the top of the curb except that where any driveway may cross the same, it shall be the same grade as the top of the lowered drive-way curb. From the property line the paved and unpaved portions shall have a uniform slope of at least 1/4 inch and not more than 1/2 inch per foot towards the established curbline and grade except that where a driveway crosses the sidewalk, the surface may slope from the top of the lowered driveway curb to meet the normal prescribed sidewalk grade at the adjacent edge of the required sidewalk strip. In all cases the sidewalk must be paved to meet adjoining walks to present a continuous smooth surface free from abrupt rises or depressions.
Unpaved Portions. The permissible unflagged or unpaved portions of the sidewalk of any public street in the Township shall be properly graded and neatly and sufficiently covered and maintained with gravel, broken stone, screenings, grass or soddings.
Specified Materials. The material used, and the work of constructing or repairing any curb or sidewalk, shall be as specified by the "Standard Specifications" referred to in subsection 20-3.3.
Driveways Crossing Sidewalk. Where any driveway crosses the sidewalk it shall be paved with the same material as the adjoining sidewalk with a smooth surface to join, and be continuous with the abutting sidewalk pavements.
Driveways Proximate to Intersections. No person shall construct or cause to be constructed a driveway at a street sideline within 35 feet from the nearest sideline of a street or intersection roadway.
[1972 Code § 22-3.5; Ord. No. 1328-95 § 7]
Any person constructing, removing, repairing, replacing or altering any sidewalk or curb contrary to the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to the penalty stated in Chapter 1, Section 1-5, in addition to paying the expense of restoring the sidewalk to its proper condition.
[1972 Code § 5-6.1; Ord. No. 1324-95 § 1; Ord. No. 1902-03 § II]
No person shall obstruct or hinder the free and lawful passage of pedestrians and vehicles on the streets and sidewalks of the Township by placing thereon any goods, wares, merchandise or other articles of trade or sale, or in any manner whatsoever, except as hereinafter provided.
[1972 Code § 5-6.2; Ord. No. 1324-95 § 2; Ord. No. 1902-03 § II; Ord. No. 2546-18]
This section shall not apply as follows:
Where the obstruction is caused by the loading or unloading, in the ordinary course, of goods, wares or merchandise to and from vehicles in such a manner as to cause a minimum of obstruction which is necessary and unavoidable.
Receptacles for garbage or refuse lawfully placed on or in sidewalk or street areas for collection.
Space within three feet of the front line of any building, dwelling, house or shop if such space is appropriated or used by the occupant or owner thereof.
Any "outdoor sale" approved or permitted pursuant to Chapter 25, Land Use Regulations, of the Revised General Ordinances of West Orange.
On any street lawfully closed for a block party or similar governmentally sanctioned social event.
Apparatus such as basketball backboards, hockey nets, volleyball nets, and similar recreational equipment shall be portable; and shall not be permanently placed on or immediately contiguous to a street or sidewalk unless it is permanently affixed entirely onto the apparatus owner's real property and not onto any public right of ways or easements. Additionally, the described apparatus must be equipped with reflectors or similar warning devices to facilitate recognition. The recreational apparatus shall not be utilized after 9:00 p.m., nor before 7:30 a.m. prevailing time. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no apparatus shall be permitted to hang over a roadway so as to interfere with the safe passage of buses or similar high clearance vehicles and no apparatus shall be permitted to hang over a sidewalk so as to interfere with the ability of pedestrians to utilize the sidewalk.
Citizens assume all risk and liability when utilizing portable recreational apparatus on or immediately adjacent to any roadway.
[1972 Code § 5-6.3]
No street, sidewalk or crossing shall be encumbered or obstructed without the written permission of the Township Engineer. Such permission shall state the conditions and restrictions under which it is issued, and shall be given only to persons intending to erect buildings, for the placing of building materials in such manner as not to obstruct travel on any street or sidewalk. No mortar or other building material in which water is an ingredient shall be mixed or retained in any street in anything except a watertight receptacle.
[1972 Code § 5-6.4]
The Police Department is given full power and authority to prevent obstructions in violation of this section and to remove any such obstruction after giving to the owner of the premises abutting the area so obstructed a reasonable notice to remove the obstruction.
Editor's Note: For additional regulations concerning the removal of grass, weeds and debris from streets and sidewalks, see Chapter 4, Section 4-2.
[1972 Code § 5-8.1; Ord. No. 2302-11]
The owner, occupant or tenant of premises abutting or bordering on any street in the Township shall remove all snow and ice from the abutting sidewalks of such streets, or in the event of ice which may be so frozen as to make removal impracticable, shall cause the same to be thoroughly covered with sand, ashes, salt, sawdust or some other nonslippery or adhesive substance so as to make the same safely passable within 24 hours after the snow has ceased to fall or the ice has formed. In addition to any other remedy provided by this section any person who violates this section shall be subject to the penalty provided in Chapter 1, Section 1-5.
[1972 Code § 5-8.2]
In the event snow or ice shall not be removed from sidewalks as provided in this section, the same may be removed under the direction of the Township Engineer. The cost of removal of any snow or ice by the Township Engineer for and on behalf of the Township of West Orange shall be certified to the Township Council by the Engineer or his or her nominee. The Township Council shall examine the certificate, and if found to be correct, the Council shall cause the cost to be charged against the real estate abutting upon the sidewalk, and the amount charged shall become a lien and a tax on the real estate and shall be added to and be part of the taxes next to be levied and assessed thereon, and enforced and collected with interest in the same manner as other taxes.
[1972 Code § 5-8.3]
No person, including the owner or occupant of any premises abutting on any street, shall throw, place or deposit any snow or ice into or on any street in the Township, except such as falls or is formed on that portion of the property abutting the street lying within the sidewalk lines thereof. It is the intent and purpose of this subsection to prohibit all persons from throwing, casting, placing or depositing snow and ice which accumulates within the private property belonging to or occupied by such persons on the sidewalks or streets of the Township.
[1972 Code § 5-9.1]
All trees that stand along public streets and whose branches extend over the sidewalks shall be trimmed under the supervision of the Shade Tree Superintendent so as to prevent impediment to travel and obstruction of street lights.
[1972 Code § 5-9.2]
No person shall cut down, destroy or in any way injure any tree or shrub standing in any public street. No person shall cut down, destroy, break, mar or in any way injure any tree, bush, shrub, bench, chair, pavilion or any other thing or property or building standing in any park or public grounds.
[1972 Code § 5-9.3]
All ornamental or shade trees or posts placed or set out in any street shall be placed or set out within the ten-foot right-of-way or other Township property.
[1972 Code § 5-9.4]
The Shade Tree Superintendent is authorized to cause any dead tree, and any trees which encumber or obstruct any street or sidewalk, to be cut down or removed.
[1972 Code § 5-9.5]
No person shall run or suspend in any manner, in, across or through any street any wire of any nature whatever, without first obtaining permission of the Township Council, unless such action is permitted under the laws of the State.
[1972 Code § 5-9.6]
No person shall attach any electric wire, insulator or other device for the holding of an electric wire to any tree standing in a street in the Township.
[1972 Code § 5-9.7]
The Township reserves the right to use the top cross beam, to be painted a distinct color, of any telegraph, telephone or electric light pole, for the purpose of attaching the wires of any fire alarm, telegraph or Police patrol, which may at any time be adopted and used by it.
[1972 Code § 5-3.1; Ord. No. 2353-12]
The owner, occupant or tenant of premises in this Township in front of which there is a sidewalk or an off-street parking area shall keep the same neat and clean, and shall keep the grass and weeds on either side thereof cut to a height not exceeding eight inches.
The owner, occupant or tenant of premises abutting on any street in the Township shall at all times keep the sidewalk area, off-street parking area and gutters free from all weeds, mud, dirt, sticks, holes, pits, loose stones, leaves, gravel, rubbish, paper, debris and other objects, and shall provide open gutters across or adequate drains under his/her entrance walks or drives, which shall at all times be kept thoroughly open, clean and free from obstructions of all sorts.
[1972 Code § 5-3.2]
In the event, after three days' notice, any owner, occupant or tenant of premises in the Township shall fail to observe the requirements of subsection 20-7.1, he or she shall not only be liable to the penalty provided for violation of this section but also the necessary work shall be done by or under the direction of the Township Engineer and the cost thereof shall be certified to the Tax Collector. Such cost shall be a lien upon the premises and be recorded and collected in the same manner as the taxes to be levied thereon.
[1972 Code § 5-4.1]
The owner or tenant of any lands in the Township, wherever necessary and expedient for the preservation of the public safety, shall keep all brush, hedges and other plant life growing within 10 feet of any roadway and within 25 feet of the intersection of two roadways, cut to a height of not more than 2 1/2 feet. Such work shall be done within 10 days after written notice sent to the last known Post Office address of the owner or tenant by Certified Mail to cut the same. The notice shall set forth the reasons therefor, and shall provide an opportunity to the owner or tenant, within five days of the receipt of the notice, to show cause before the officer sending the notice why the demands made should not be complied with.
[1972 Code § 5-4.2]
In case any owner or tenant fails or neglects to show cause why such cutting should not be done after proper notice, or fails to cut the same within 10 days, as provided in the notice, the Director of Police or his/her agent may, on behalf of the Township, cause such brush, hedges and other plant life to be cut.
The cost thereof shall be certified to the Township Council, which shall examine the certificate of cost and, if found correct, shall cause the cost to be charged against the lands. The amount so charged shall become a lien on the lands and shall be added to and become part of the taxes to be assessed on such lands, shall bear interest at the same rate as taxes and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers in the same manner as payment of taxes.
[1972 Code § 22-4.1]
The Township Engineer is authorized to provide a system of numbering all buildings and lots whereby each lot in the Township shall have a number. The numbers assigned each building shall be given to the Tax Assessor so that they may be set down on the tax maps of the Township.
[1972 Code § 22-4.2]
The numbers of all houses erected shall correspond with the numbers shown on the tax maps. Every property owner shall have his/her house number in conformity with the numbers as shown and designated on the tax maps.
[1972 Code § 22-4.3]
Before affixing any number to any house, it shall be the duty of the owner to apply to the Tax Assessor for the correct number of the house, if the same is designated on the tax maps. Upon application, the Tax Assessor shall furnish to the applicant the correct number to designate his/her property.
[1972 Code § 22-4.4; Ord. No. 716-83 § 1]
The owner, occupant or agent of an owner or occupant shall place or cause to be displayed upon each house, store, office building or other building or structure controlled by him/her, the street number or numbers assigned to the lot upon which the building is located. Street number assignments shall be made by the Township Engineer, pursuant to subsection 20-11.1.
The numbers used shall be Arabic, not less than three inches in height, and should be made of durable and clearly-visible material. The numbers shall be legible and maintained in good order at all times. Roman numerals or script may supplement this requirement but shall not be a substitute for compliance.
The numbers shall be conspicuously placed at the main entrance to the building, parallel to the street at a location on the building's facade or porch so that the number can be plainly read from the centerline of the street by a person possessing at least 20/40 vision.
Whenever any building is situated more than 50 feet from the street line, the house number shall be displayed as provided in paragraph c, but the numerals shall be at least five inches in height.
If the number would not be visible due to the orientation, set-back or other features of the building or site if it were displayed as provided above, then the number shall be placed near the walk, driveway or entrance to such building and upon a gate, post or fence, so as to be easily discernible from the centerline of the street. Such a display shall be no further away than 15 feet from the curbline. The bottom of such a display shall be no less than 30 inches above the level of the ground nor shall the top of such display be more than six feet above the ground.
All numbers posted pursuant to this section shall be of reflective material or of sufficient visual contrast to the background material to be easily discernible at night with the aid of an emergency vehicle spotlight.
[1972 Code § 22-4.5; Ord. No. 716-83 § 2]
Where any building has more than one entrance serving separate occupants, a separate number shall be assigned to each entrance serving a separate occupant and shall be posted as otherwise provided in this section.
Where only one number can be assigned to any one house or building, the suffix "a", "b", "c", etc., as may be required, shall be used to designate each separate entrance serving a separate occupant.
Where any building or complex of buildings is so structured that all separate entrances serving separate occupants and the numbers assigned to them are not clearly visible from the centerline of the street, then the number for each separate entrance shall be placed near the walk or driveway from the street to such separate entrance and upon a gate, post, fence or other appropriate place so as to be easily visible from the centerline of the street. The height limitations on such a display shall be the same as those provided in subsection 20-11.4e.
For all multi-family buildings having apartment doors opening on interior halls, each door shall have a number no less than two inches high affixed thereon and all hall entryways shall have on the exterior thereof a display indicating the sequence of apartments served by such entryway.
[1972 Code § 22-4.6; Ord. No. 716-83 § 3]
Subsections 20-11.4 and 20-11.5 shall be enforced by the Construction Official of the Township of West Orange, who is empowered to order in writing the remedying of any condition found to exist in violation of any provision of subsections 20-11.4 and 20-11.5. The owner or agent of a building or premises, if a violation of any of the provisions of these subsections shall exist, or the lessee or tenant of any part of the buildings or premises in which such violations shall exist, or agent, architect, builder, contractor or any other person who shall commit, take part or assist in any violation or who shall maintain any building or premises in which any violation of these subsections shall exist, or the persons so violating same who refuse to correct the violations within one month after written notice has been mailed to them shall, for each and every violation of the provisions of subsections 20-11.4 and 20-11.5 be subject to a maximum fine of not more than $25. Each and every day that such a violation continues after this notice, as hereinabove prescribed, shall be considered a separate and specific violation of these subsections. Existing number installations which essentially meet the requirements and/or spirit of these regulations may be granted approval by the Construction Official without further alterations.
[Ord. No. 1090-91 § 1]
If after investigation the Construction Official determines that any owner, occupant or agent of any owner or occupant is using the number assigned to the house, store, office building or other building or structure of another, written notice shall be given by the Construction Official to the violator to correct this violation within 30 days. If the violation is not corrected within the thirty-day grace period, the violator shall be subject to a fine of $50. Each and every day that the violation continues after the grace period shall be considered a separate violation of this subsection.