Township of Belleville, NJ
Essex County
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[Ord. #1950; Ord. #2564; Ord. #2715]
[Ord. #1950; Ord. #2715 § I]
a. 
Site plan review and approval shall be required from the Planning Board for all land development, improvement, rehabilitation, alteration or change in use for any residential, institutional, commercial, industrial development involving an enlargement of an area 750 square feet or more and/or the rehabilitation of 2,500 square feet or more of building area or any vehicular parking or storage lot development in excess of 10 or more vehicles or surface area of 3,500 square feet or more proposed by any private developer or public agency or authority. Approval of the site plan shall be obtained prior to the commencement of any excavations, compactions, removal of soil, clearing of a site, construction or demolition or placing of any fill material on lands contemplated for development. Site plan approval is a prerequisite to the issuance of a building permit. No Certificate of Occupancy shall be issued unless all construction and development conforms to the plans as approved by the reviewing board. In circumstances where the areas are less than the above and where there might involve substantial changes in such matters as traffic, access and parking, lighting, safety and buffer requirements, the director of planning shall review the proposed development to determine if application to the Planning Board is required, regardless of whether a proposed use is permitted.
b. 
Exceptions. Site plan review will not be required for the construction of a single detached one- or two-family home which is not part of a planned unit development, adjacent to a lot or lots to be developed or constructed for a similar use within a period of one year of the date of a certificate of occupancy.
[Ord. #1950]
If, prior to the issuance of a zoning permit, both site plan approval and approval by the Board of Adjustment or the Township Governing Body shall be required because of matters arising under the zoning ordinance, the applicant shall first obtain site plan approval. Such approval shall be conditioned on the granting of the required zoning approval and shall not be effective unless and until the required zoning approval shall have been granted. The Planning Board may make a nonbinding recommendation to the Board of Adjustment as to whether, in the opinion of the Planning Board, such zoning approval should be granted.
[Ord. #1950; Ord. #2564 § 3]
Twenty-five copies of an application for site plan approval on a form approved by the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment, together with 25 copies of the site plan, shall be submitted to the director of planning or his/her designee. Where County Planning Board review is required by the Essex County Site Plan Review Resolution, the applicant shall file a separate application together along with any required materials with the Essex County Planning Board.
[Ord. #1950]
a. 
Certification of Perfection. The site plan application shall not be considered perfected until it is certified by the zoning officer or, in his absence, the Township Engineer, that the application contains all pertinent information requested therein and that the site plan is in the form and shows all the information required by subsection 20-1.5. The determination of whether or not the application meets the requirements for perfection shall be made within three working days of submission of the application. The zoning officer shall notify the applicant of such determination with the reasons for lack of perfection if defects are found. The application shall not be considered as filed until it is certified as perfected.
b. 
Distribution. The zoning officer shall mark each copy of the perfected application with the date of certification of perfection and shall transmit a copy of the application and site plan within 24 hours of receipt thereof, to each of the following:
1. 
Township Planning Board Secretary;
2. 
Township Engineer;
3. 
Township Police Chief or other Police Officers designated by the Commissioner of Public Safety;
4. 
Paid Fire Department Officer as designated by the Commissioner of Public Safety;
5. 
Township Shade Tree Commission;
6. 
Planning Consultant to the Planning Board;
7. 
Building Inspector;
8. 
Township Attorney.
Three copies of the application and site plan shall be transmitted by the building inspector to the chairman of the Township Planning Board or to the chairman of the site plan committee if such committee has been appointed.
c. 
Site Plan Committee. If the board desires, it may, by resolution, create a site plan committee to review applications prior to consideration by the board and to make recommendations as to the need for changes in the plan and/or opinions from officials and consultants.
d. 
Referral to Officials and Consultants. If the board deems necessary to its proper consideration of the site plan, it may request technical advice from any or all of the officials, commissions and consultants to which the plan has been transmitted under paragraph b above, and any other Township officials or Township agency or expert consultant on performance standards. The officials, agencies and consultants shall submit written reports to the board concerning the site plan prior to the second regular meeting following referral action by the board. Failure to submit a report or to request an extension of time to do so shall be deemed an affirmative statement that the official, agency or consultant has no unfavorable comment to make.
e. 
Planning Board Review. The board shall act on a site plan application, not later than the second regular meeting following the date of certification of perfection, by approving or disapproving the site plan or by referring it to one or more officials, agencies or consultants as provided by paragraph d above. If the action is referral, the board shall approve or disapprove the site plan not later than the third regular meeting following such referral action. The board shall notify the applicant and the zoning officer, in writing, of its action of approval, disapproval or referral. In disapproving a site plan, the board shall enter its reasons for such action in its records and submit a copy of such reasons to the applicant. When a site plan is approved, the chairman and secretary of the Planning Board shall sign and date the statement of approval on the site plan required by subsection 20-1.5. In considering approval or disapproval of the site plan, the board and its consultants and advisors shall be guided by the standards set forth in subsection 20-1.6. In approving a site plan, the board may attach such conditions as it deems necessary to bring the plan into conformance with such standards. In approving a site plan, the board shall state that such approval is contingent upon and shall not become final until approval of any necessary variance by the Board of Adjustment and approval by any Town, County State or Federal agency with jurisdiction over the proposed development.
[Ord. #1950]
The site plan shall be prepared, signed and sealed by a professional engineer, architect or professional planner licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey and shall bear the signature and seal of a licensed land surveyor as to topography and boundary survey data.
The plan shall be drawn to a scale of not less than 20 feet to the inch, unless the site is of such size that it cannot be shown at this scale on a sheet 30 inches by 42 inches, in which case a scale convenient to show the site on such sheet may be used. The site plan shall be drawn on a sheet of one of the following sizes:
8 1/2 x 13 inches
24 x 36 inches
15 x 21 inches
30 x 42 inches
Each site plan shall have the following information:
a. 
Name and title of applicant, owner and person preparing map.
b. 
Place for signature of chairman and clerk of the Planning Board.
c. 
Tax map lot and block numbers.
d. 
Date, graphic scale and north sign.
e. 
Bearing of all property lines with reference to north and south and length of these lines.
f. 
Zone district in which property in question falls and zone district of adjoining property.
g. 
All setback dimensions, landscaped areas, fencing and trees of over six inch caliper.
h. 
Location of all signs and exterior lighting with size of sign and description of height of light fixtures and strength in watts and direction of illumination.
i. 
The location of the principal building and all accessory structures with dimensions of the structures and of the distances to lot lines.
j. 
Storm water system including roof leaders and inlets, and design data supporting the adequacy of the system to handle future storm flows.
k. 
Sanitary sewage disposal system.
l. 
Water supply system.
m. 
All curbs, sidewalks, driveways, parking space layout, and off-street loading areas with dimensions.
n. 
Rights-of-way, easements and all lands to be dedicated to the Town or County.
o. 
The entire property in question, even though only a portion of the property is involved in the site plan provided, however, that where it is impossible to show the entire property on the required sheet, a key map is permitted.
p. 
Based on most recent tax records, names of owners and use of property of all lands adjacent to the property and block and lot numbers for all of the above.
q. 
All property lines, streets, roads, retaining walls, rock outcrops, marsh areas, ponds and streams within 200 feet of the property.
r. 
All entrances and exits to public streets, both on the site and within 200 feet thereof.
s. 
Existing and proposed contours, referred to U.S. coast and Geodetic datum, with a contour interval of not more than two feet for slopes less than 15% and an interval of five feet for slopes of 15% or more. Existing contours shall be indicated by dashed lines and proposed contours by solid lines.
t. 
Proposed finished grade elevations at all corners of existing and proposed buildings.
u. 
The proposed use of each building, the use of each outdoor area, the floor space of each building, the total number of parking spaces and the estimated maximum number of employees. If the precise use of a building is unknown at the time of application, an amended plan showing the proposed use shall be required prior to issuance of certificate of occupancy.
v. 
The distances, measured along the right-of-way lines of existing streets abutting the property, to the nearest intersections with other streets.
w. 
Satisfactory evidence of conformance to the performance standards set forth by the zoning ordinance, where such standards are applicable. Such evidence may be submitted with the site plan as a supplementary document.
x. 
Such other data as may be required by the Planning Board for determination that the site plan is in accordance with the standards of this section, the zoning ordinance and all other applicable Township ordinances.
[Ord. #1950]
All site plans shall be designed in accordance with the following standards and shall meet all requirements of this chapter, the subdivision ordinance and all other applicable Township ordinances, and shall conform to all particulars of the adopted Township Master Plan and Official Map.
a. 
Off-Street Parking.
1. 
The parking plan shall provide adequate access to and egress from each parking space and shall provide for safe and adequate circulation of pedestrians and vehicles. The width of all aisles or driveways providing direct access to four or more individual parking stalls shall be in accordance with the following requirements:
Aisle Width
(feet)
Parking Angle
(degrees)
9 Foot Stall Width
8.5 Feet Stall
0° (parallel parking)
12
12
30°
11
11
45°
13
13.5
60°
18
18.5
90° (perpendicular parking)
24
26
2. 
Where possible, only one-way traffic shall be permitted in aisles or driveways providing direct access to spaces placed at an angle of other than 90° to the aisles or driveway. Any such aisle or driveway providing for two-way traffic shall be at least 24 feet in width.
3. 
In all cases where there is sufficient space on the site, parking intended for shoppers shall be angle parking, at an angle of between 30° and 60° to the access aisle. All parking spaces shall be not less than 19 feet in length. Parking spaces for other than employees shall be at least nine feet in width. Employee spaces shall be at least 8.5 feet in width.
4. 
Off-street parking areas shall be designed to prevent the maneuvering of vehicles into or out of parking spaces within any portion of an entrance driveway that is within 10 feet of the right-of-way line of any street or within 20 feet of the right-of-way line of any County road. Off-street parking shall be designed so as to permit all vehicles to avoid the necessity of backing onto any street from the site. One-, two- and three-family dwellings shall be exempt from the provisions of this paragraph.
5. 
No required off-street parking space, parking access lane or maneuvering space shall be located within a proposed street right-of-way as shown on the Belleville master plan or official map or the Essex County Highway System Master Plan or official map.
6. 
Where an off-street parking plan for the site in question is shown on Belleville Master Plan, the Planning Board shall require that the parking plan conform as closely as is practicable, the Planning Board may require that the parking plan be adaptable to future conformance to the master plan.
7. 
All parking lots over 20,000 square feet in area shall have at least 5% of the area within the parking lot devoted to landscaping, including shade trees. Such areas shall be not less than five feet in least dimension and shall be located between, within or at the ends of parking rows.
b. 
Off-Street Loading.
1. 
Off-street loading spaces shall be located so as to cause the lease practicable noise and aesthetic disturbance to persons using neighboring properties. No loading space shall be located so that a vehicle using a space will block the passage of pedestrians or vehicles. Each loading space shall be located and designed to permit any vehicle expected to use such space to maneuver from a driveway into and out of such space without encroaching upon any portion of an existing right-of-way or on any street right-of-way proposed by the Belleville Master Plan or Official Map or the Essex County Master Plan or Official Map.
2. 
Any use expected to be served by any vehicle more than 25 feet in length shall provide off-street loading spaces at least 12 feet wide and as long as the longest vehicle expected to serve such use. The site plan shall stipulate the type and length of vehicle expected to serve the site.
c. 
Customer Service Areas. Any use such as bank or gasoline station that provides or expects to provide temporary stopping space or maneuvering space for vehicles of patrons seeking service from their cars, shall show such space on the site plan. Such space shall be located at least 10 feet back of any street line or any proposed street line as shown by the Belleville Master Plan or Official Map or the Essex County Master Plan or Official Map.
d. 
Driveways.
1. 
Driveway Location:
(a) 
All entrance and exit driveways shall be located so as to afford maximum safety to and minimum disruption of traffic on the street.
(b) 
Where practicable, no part of any driveway or exit to a public street shall be closer to the intersection of the center lines of two intersecting streets than a distance equal to the right-of-way width of the intersecting streets. Where the frontage of the lot is too narrow to permit the above distance, the driveway shall be located as far from the intersection as possible.
(c) 
Any driveway exiting onto a collector or arterial street as defined by the Belleville Master Plan, except for driveways serving three-family residences, shall be so designated in profile and grading and so located as to permit the following minimum sight distance measured in each direction along such arterial or collector street, such measurement to be from a point 10 feet behind the curb line or shoulder of the street and at a height of 3.75 feet from the driveway pavement at that point, to the top of an object 4.5 feet above the street pavement.
Allowable Speed on Mayor or Collector Street
Required Sight Distance in Feet
25 MPH
150
30 MPH
200
35 MPH
250
40 MPH
300
45 MPH
350
50 MPH
400
(d) 
Where practicable, no part of any driveway may be located within 10 feet of any side property line, except that the Planning Board may permit a driveway serving two or more adjacent sites to be located on or within 10 feet of a side property line. Where a driveway to a parking lot for the site in question is shown on the Nutley Master Plan, the Planning Board shall require that such driveways be located on the site plan so as to conform as closely as practicable to the master plan.
(e) 
Wherever practicable, the Planning Board shall require that a minimum clear distance of 25 feet measured along the street right-of-way line shall separate the closest edges of any two driveways.
2. 
Number of Driveways. The number of driveways provided from a site directly to any one street shall not exceed one for a site frontage on such street of 100 feet or less, and shall not exceed two for a site frontage on such street over 100 feet. Where more than one driveway is permitted, the Planning Board shall require that each driveway be designated as either an exit or an entrance where such designation will facilitate vehicle and pedestrian movement within the site without hindering traffic movement on the street. In the case of gasoline service stations, the Planning Board shall allow such additional driveways as will best provide for safe traffic flow.
3. 
Driveway Angle. Driveways used for two-way shall intersect the street at an angle as near to 90° as practicable and in no case less than 60°. Driveways used for one-way operation with right turns only shall form an angle of not smaller than 45° to the street.
4. 
Driveway and Interior Road Dimensions. The dimensions of entrance and exit driveways and interior roads shall be adequate to accommodate the volume and character of vehicles anticipated to be using the site, but not wider than necessary to accommodate the expected traffic at a speed of 15 miles per hour. Where a driveway is to serve a facility having less than 50 parking spaces a depressed curb driveway shall be used. If a driveway is to serve more than 50 parking spaces, curb returns of not less than 15 feet in radius may be used. Any vertical curve on a driveway shall be flat enough to prevent the dragging of any vehicle undercarriage. Driveway pavement shall extend to the pave portion of the street with which it connects.
e. 
Interior Roads. Interior roads shall be adequate in number, grade, alignment and provision of visibility and shall furnish safe and adequate circulation.
f. 
Sidewalks. Sidewalks shall connect the main entrance of each building with the street or with the interior road giving access to the building. Interior roads giving access to buildings shall have a sidewalk on at least one side of such road. Each parking area shall be provided with a sidewalk connecting the parking area to the building entrance or entrances to be used by the employees, general public or tenants using the parking area.
g. 
Construction. Construction of all parking areas intended to be used by more than five cars, and of all roadways, curbs and sidewalks shall be according to the specifications established for these purposes by Township ordinance or by the Township Engineer.
h. 
Signs.
1. 
Traffic Sign. To facilitate the safe and efficient manner of traffic into and out of a site, the Planning Board may require the installation of specified directional, regulatory or advisory signs or pavement markings at designated locations on the site or on the right-of-way. Such signs shall be of a size, color and design specified in accordance with the "Uniform Manual of Traffic Control Devices."
2. 
Advertising Signs. Advertising, business or political signs which revolve, move, flash, or give the illusion of movement shall be prohibited within 25 feet of any existing or proposed future curbline. Nothing in this section shall permit any sign prohibited by this chapter or any other ordinance.
i. 
Drainage.
1. 
Surface Runoff. Provision shall be made for safe and adequate drainage of the surface runoff waters in and from the premises so that flooding and erosion of the property and the property of others will be prevented. Calculations on which the design of drainage facilities is based shall be submitted with the site plan. Unless otherwise provided by the Planning Board upon the advice of the Township Engineer, drainage facilities shall be designed on the basis of a storm of one hour duration using a rainfall intensity of not less than 2.6 inches per hour.
2. 
Facilities in Street. Each development shall be required to provide adequate drainage facilities along public streets. Where runoff from the development requires enlargement, modification or reconstruction of existing Township drainage structures, such development shall pay the cost of such improvement.
3. 
Streams. When a development lies within a drainage basin of 1/2 square mile or greater and an alteration or improvement of a water course is proposed by the site plan, evidence of submission of the proposed alteration or improvement to the New Jersey Division of Water Policy and Supply shall accompany the site plan application.
j. 
Water Supply and Sewage Disposal. The proposed water supply and sanitary sewage and waste disposal measures shall be adequate and in accord with regulations of all bodies with jurisdiction over such measures.
k. 
Utilities. Facilities shall be provided for placing all utilities, including telephone and electric power lines underground.
l. 
Adverse Effect on Utilities. The proposed development shall have no adverse effect on existing municipal utilities. Should additional or improved municipal utilities be required to prevent such adverse effect, the Planning Board shall forward its recommendation regarding installation of the necessary improvements to the Governing Body and shall not issue final site plan approval until the applicant has entered into agreement with the Governing Body regarding installation of payment for installation of such improvements.
m. 
Street Improvements. Improvements to Township streets and/or dedication of additional right-of-way may be required of the applicant if such is necessitated by the proposed development. Such improvements or dedications shall be in accordance with specifications set forth in the land subdivision ordinance, and the master plan.
n. 
Design of Structures. The design of any structure shall not be destructively incongruous with the character of the neighborhood, in the opinion of the Planning Board.
o. 
Landscaping. Portions of all front, rear and side yards are not used for required driveways, sidewalks, off-street parking or loading, accessory buildings or playground areas shall be attractively planted with trees, shrubs, plants, and grass lawns or ground cover. Not more than 10% of such areas to be planted may be covered with stones or pebbles of not less than one inch in diameter in lieu of grass or ground cover. Existing trees of six inch caliper or over shall not be removed unless they are so located as to interfere unduly with construction.
p. 
Shade Trees. Each site plan with street frontage totaling 50 feet or more shall allow one or more trees in the street right-of-way bordering the site.
q. 
Screening. In additional to screening required by other sections of this chapter, the Planning Board shall require screening in the following cases:
1. 
Outdoor storage, where permitted, shall be screened so as to be shielded from public view and from view from adjacent properties, insofar as practicable.
2. 
All parking areas for four or more vehicles and all off-street loading areas in any district shall be screened so as to be shielded from view from any lot in any R District adjacent to or across a street from the subject site.
3. 
Where metal fencing, or walls of other than decorative masonry are necessary for security purposes, such fencing, or walls shall not be located in any required yard unless screened so as to be shielded from public view and from adjacent lots in any R district insofar as practicable.
4. 
Required screening shall be at least five feet in height and shall consist of a solid evergreen hedge or a landscaped redwood or cedar fence or a landscaped, decorative masonry wall. Screening shall be maintained in a safe and sightly condition and such maintenance shall be the responsibility of the property owner. No screening over six feet in height shall be permitted unless such screening is placed a clear distance of one foot from the property line for each foot the height of the screening exceed six feet.
r. 
Buffer Strips. Where any nonresidence use adjoins a lot in any R District, a landscaped buffer strip at least five feet in width adjoining the R District shall be provided.
s. 
Solid Waste Storage. Garbage, trash, refuse and other solid waste shall be stored in covered containers. Such containers shall be stored indoors or in an unroofed enclosure the walls of which shall be at least six feet high.
t. 
The Planning Board may require provision of such additional measures as it deems necessary to protect public areas or neighboring properties from adverse effects of the proposed development which would be harmful to health, safety, conservation or property value and general welfare.
[Ord. #1950]
The applicant shall, prior to the signing of the site plan, deposit with the Township of Belleville such sum as the board deems sufficient to defray the costs to the board of referral to the planning consultant or other expert consultant from which the board has requested and received technical advice.
[Ord. #1950]
In the event an applicant obtains site plan approval and thereafter applies for a Certificate of Occupancy without having first completed the improvements required by the approved site plan, the Planning Board, upon application, may permit a Certificate of Occupancy to be issued if the applicant first supplies to the Township a performance guarantee with sufficient sureties, in a form satisfactory to the board attorney, in an amount sufficient in the opinion of the Township Engineer, to insure the completion of the improvement shown on the approved site plan.
[Ord. #1950]
If construction, occupancy or use, as the case may be, shall not have been commenced and diligently pursued within one year of the date of final site plan approval, or within such extended period as the board for good cause may have granted, the approval shall expire and be void.
The following additions to and changes in the existing zoning ordinance are needed to accommodate the site plan approval amendments:
ARTICLE III
Definitions
RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT — Shall mean the construction of two or more dwellings on two or more adjacent lots within one twelve-month period, unless such lots have been held by separate owners for a period exceeding 12 months.
DECORATIVE MASONRY — Shall mean concrete or cinderblock with a patterned or openwork face, brick or stone.
GROSS FLOOR AREA — Shall mean the total of the areas of each floor of a building including any cellar or basement and any attic with a floor.
ARTICLE XIII
Administrations
2. Zoning Permits.
A. After "The Zoning Officer shall grant or refuse a zoning permit within 10 days after receipt of application." Add:
except when site plan approval is required, in which case the Zoning Officers shall grant or refuse the permit upon receipt of notice of final action on the Site Plan by the Planning Board.
B. Change to read:
A zoning permit shall be obtained from the Zoning Officer for any of the following:
(a) The construction or alteration of any building or part of a building or any sign.
(b) The painting of a sign on a building.
(c) Occupancy and use of vacant land.
(d) Occupancy and use or change in the occupancy, ownership or use of any building.
(e) Change in the use of land or part of the lot.
No such construction, alteration, occupancy, use or change of occupancy, ownership or use, shall take place until a zoning permit therefore has been issued by the Zoning Officer, and no excavation for any building or use of land shall commence until a zoning permit for such building or use has been issued by the Zoning Officer.