Township of Scotch Plains, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. #18-2008, § 1]
BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (SOMETIMES ALSO REFERRED TO AS DISTRICT OR SPECIAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT)
Shall mean an area within the Township of Scotch Plains, designated by this chapter, as an area in which a special assessment on property within the District shall be imposed for the purposes of promoting the economic and general welfare of the District.
DISTRICT MANAGEMENT CORPORATION
Shall mean "Scotch Plains Business Improvement District Management Corporation" (also referred to as "Management Corporation") an entity to be incorporated pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:56-83 of the New Jersey Statutes, and designated by this municipal ordinance to receive funds collected by a special assessment within the Business Improvement District as authorized by this chapter and any amendatory, supplementary ordinances.
[Ord. #18-2008, § 2]
The Mayor and Township Council of the Township of Scotch Plains hereby find and declare:
a. 
That the area within the Township of Scotch Plains, as described by lot and block number, and by street addresses as set forth in Schedule A of this chapter (with the exception of properties that are residential structures and vacant lots), will benefit from being designated as a Business Improvement District.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Schedule A, referred to herein may be found on file in the office of the Township Clerk.
b. 
That a District Management Corporation would provide administrative and other services to benefit the businesses, employees and consumers in the Business Improvement District.
c. 
That a special assessment shall be imposed and collected by the Township with the regular property tax payment or payment in lieu of taxes or otherwise, and that all of these special assessment payments shall be transferred to the District Management Corporation to effectuate the purposes of this chapter and the Act and to exercise the powers given to it by this chapter.
d. 
That the business community should be encouraged to provide self-help and self-financing programs to meet local business needs, goals and objectives.
e. 
That the District Management Corporation will best be able to effectuate its purposes under the Act by receiving funds and exercising powers pursuant to the Act and therefore the Board of Directors of the District Management Corporation shall at all times include at least one member of the Township Council.
[Ord. #18-2008, § 3]
a. 
There is hereby created and designated within the Township of Scotch Plains a Business Improvement District to be known as the "Scotch Plains Business Improvement District," consisting of the properties designated and listed on Schedule "A" by tax lot and block number and street addresses (with the exception of properties that are residential structures and vacant lots). The Business Improvement District shall be subject to special assessments on all affected property within the District, which assessment shall be imposed by the Township of Scotch Plains for the purposes of promoting the economic and general welfare of the District.
b. 
All business properties within the Business Improvement District, including all private, nonresidential, assessed properties, are deemed included in the assessing provisions of this chapter and are expressly subject to potential assessment made for Business Improvement District purposes.
c. 
All properties within the Business Improvement District that are used exclusively for residential purposes are deemed excluded from the assessing provisions of this ordinance and are expressly exempt from any assessment made for Business Improvement District purposes.
[Ord. #18-2008, § 4]
Any owner of property included within the Business Improvement District, and subject to the assessing provisions of this chapter, may appeal to the Tax Assessor of the Township of Scotch Plains, to be excluded from the District and from any assessment provisions of this chapter. Said appeal shall only consider whether a property should be included within the District under the standards set forth in Section 31-3 of this chapter, shall be in writing and shall specifically detail the factual basis for the appeal. The Assessor shall investigate the matter and conduct an informal hearing within 30 days of receipt of the appeal. Within 10 days after the conclusion of the informal hearing, the Assessor shall file a report and recommendation with the Mayor and Township Council. The Mayor and Township Council shall review the matter and determine the appeal within 30 days following receipt of the report and recommendation from the Assessor. It is not an appeal with regard to any taxes. Appeals with regard to taxes should be taken in the usual manner to the Union County Board of Taxation or to the Tax Court.
[Ord. #18-2008, § 5]
Annual operation and maintenance costs relating to services peculiar to the District as distinguished from service normally provided by the Township, will provide benefits primarily to the properties included within the District rather than to the Township as an entirety. These annual costs shall be assessed and taxed to properties receiving an equal benefit, regardless of size, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and N.J.S.A. 40:56-65. The Mayor and Township Council hereby determine that the annual operation and maintenance costs will benefit every property within the District equally, regardless of size, and pursuant to the Act and this chapter hereby establish an initial annual assessment of $400 per property within the District, based on such benefit conferred to these property owners.
[Ord. #18-2008, § 5]
All costs of development, construction and acquisition relating to improvements to the District shall be financed and assessed to properties especially benefited thereby. The Township may, by separate ordinance, or by amendment to this chapter, provide that improvements and facilities hereinafter acquired or developed shall be operated and maintained and the costs assessed to the benefited properties.
[Ord. #18-2008, § 6]
The nonprofit corporation, Scotch Plains Business Improvement District Management Corporation, is hereby created and designated as the "District Management Corporation" for the District. This Management Corporation shall conduct its business in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6, et seq. This Management Corporation shall have no power of condemnation or eminent domain. It shall regularly file copies of the minutes of its meeting with the Township Clerk so the minutes shall be conveniently available to the public for inspection.
[Ord. #18-2008, § 7]
The District Management Corporation shall act exclusively for the express purpose set forth herein and is authorized to exercise the following powers.
a. 
Adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business and to prescribe rules, regulations and policies in connection with the performance of its functions and duties. Said bylaws and other corporate documents shall provide that the corporation shall conduct its business in accordance with the Open Public Meeting Act.
b. 
Conduct regular meetings no less than four times a year.
c. 
Have a Board of Directors that shall consist of 13 voting members.
d. 
Employ such persons as may be required, and fix and pay their compensation from funds available to the corporation.
e. 
Apply for, accept, administer and comply with the requirements respecting an appropriation of funds or a gift, grant or donation of property or money.
f. 
Make and execute agreements which may be necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers and functions of the Corporation, including contracts with any person, firm, corporation, governmental agency or other entity.
g. 
Administer and manage its own funds and accounts and pay its own obligations.
h. 
Borrow money from private lenders for periods not to exceed 180 days and from governmental entities for that or longer periods.
i. 
Fund the improvement for the exterior appearance of properties in the District through grants or loans. Standards for eligibility and standards for terms of such grants and loans shall be established by the Board of Directors.
j. 
Fund the rehabilitation of properties in the District through grants or loans. Standards for eligibility and standards for terms of such grants and loans shall be established by the Board of Directors.
k. 
Accept, purchase, rehabilitate, sell, lease or manage property in the District.
l. 
Enforce the conditions of any loan, grant, sale or lease made by the corporation.
m. 
Provide security, sanitation and other services to the District, supplemental to those provided normally by the Township of Scotch Plains.
n. 
Undertake improvements designated to increase the safety or attractiveness of the District to business, which may wish to locate there or to visitors to the District including, but not limited to, litter cleanup and control, landscaping, signage, parking areas and facilities, recreational and rest areas and facilities, pursuant to pertinent regulations of the Township of Scotch Plains.
o. 
Publicize, promote, and plan for the District and the businesses included within the District boundaries.
p. 
Recruit new businesses to fill vacancies in, and to balance the business mix of, the District.
q. 
Organize special events in the District.
r. 
Provide special parking arrangements for the District.
s. 
Provide temporary, decorative lighting in the District.
The District Management Corporation shall utilize affirmative action goals and guidelines in its hiring and expenditures whenever possible. Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 17:27-5.2, the District Management Corporation will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of age, race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, or sex. The District Management Corporation will take affirmative action to ensure that such applicants are recruited and employed, and that the employees are treated during employment without regard to their age, race, creed, national origin, ancestry, marital status or sex.
Upon further written agreement, the Township of Scotch Plains may delegate to the District Management Corporation the contracting of work to be done on any street, or on other municipal property, including in the Business Improvement District. In that event, the Corporation shall be a "contracting unit" within the "Local Public Contracts Law" P.L. 1971, c. 198 (N.J.S.A. 40A: 11-1 et seq.). The plans and specifications shall be approved by the Municipal Engineer prior to initiation of any action for the award of a contract under the Act.
[Ord. #18-2008, § 8]
a. 
The Board of Directors for Scotch Plains Business Improvement District Management Corporation shall be voting Directors and shall consist of the following:
1. 
A member of the Township Council appointed by the Mayor;
2. 
One resident of the Township who shall not be an owner or occupant of commercial property within the District and who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the Township Council;
3. 
One member of the Scotch Plains Business Professional Association;
4. 
Two members who own or occupy properties within the District on Route 22;
5. 
Two members who own or occupy properties within the District on Front Street;
6. 
One member who owns or occupies property within the District on Westfield Avenue;
7. 
Two members who own or occupy properties within the District on Second Street;
8. 
Three members who own or occupy properties within the District on Park Avenue,
b. 
Board of Director members a,1, 2, 3 and 6 above shall be appointed for a term of two years, expiring on December 31 of the second year following appointment; of the remaining Board of Director members, each category of members shall consist of one member (with two members of the Park Avenue District) appointed for a term of two years and the remaining member appointed for a term of three years, expiring on December 31 of the second year or third year following the appointment, depending on appointment term, or until a successor is appointed. After the initial appointment of the Board of Directors by the Mayor and Township Council, the Board of Directors shall be replaced in accordance with this chapter by majority vote of the Board of Directors, except for (1) the member of Township Council who shall be appointed by the Mayor, (2) one Township resident who shall be appointed by the Mayor with consent of the Township Council and (3) the member of Business Professional Association who shall be selected by the Scotch Plains Business Professional Association, with the consent of the Township Council.
c. 
Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, a majority of the Board of Directors or the District Management Corporation shall at all times be owners or occupants of the properties within the Special (Business) Improvement District designated herein.
[Ord. #18-2008, § 9]
a. 
The fiscal year of the District and of the Management Corporation shall be the calendar year. The first budget shall be presented to the Mayor and Township Council as soon as practical after adoption of this chapter. Thereafter, beginning December 1, 2009, the District Management Corporation shall submit no later than December 1 of each year a detailed, annual budget for the following year for approval by the Mayor and Township Council. The budget shall be processed and adopted by the Township on or before April 1 of each year, in accordance with the procedures set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:56-84.
b. 
The budget shall be submitted with a report, which explains how the budget contributes to the goals and objectives of the Business Improvement District, together with the following:
1. 
The amount of such costs to be charged against the general funds of the Township, if any.
2. 
The amount of costs to be charged and assessed against properties benefited in the District in proportion to benefits, which shall be the aggregate of costs of annual improvements to be made in the District during the year.
3. 
The amount of costs, if any, to be specially assessed against properties in the District.
c. 
Each year, when the Mayor and Township Council shall have acted on the estimated costs and/or on the budget, the Municipal Assessor shall prepare an assessment roll setting forth separately the amounts to be specially assessed against the benefited and assessable properties in the District. Descriptions of such properties, and the names of the current owners of such properties, so far as names are available, shall be included in each annual assessment roll. The assessment roll, when so prepared, shall be filed in the office of the Township Clerk and be there available for inspection. The Mayor and Township Council shall annually meet to consider objections to the amounts of such special assessments at least 10 days after a notice of hearing has been published once in the official newspaper and sent by certified mail to each of the named owners of all tracts, parcels and lots of property proposed to be assessed. The notice shall set forth the purpose of such meeting, but may refer to the assessment roll for further particulars. When the Mayor and Township Council shall have approved the amounts of the special assessments set forth therein, or as may be modified by it, the Township Clerk shall forthwith certify a copy of the assessment roll, with such changes, if any, to the Union County Tax Board.
d. 
For the purpose of this section "annual improvements" shall, with respect to pedestrian malls or special improvement districts, mean and include any reconstruction, replacement or repair of trees and plantings, furniture, shelters and other facilities of a pedestrian mall or special improvement district, furnishing overhead or the underground heating for snow removal or for enjoyment of pedestrians, and any other local improvement which benefits properties within the district. For the purpose of this act, "costs" shall, with respect to annual improvements to and operation and maintenance of pedestrian malls or special improvement districts, mean costs of annual improvements; fees of consultants employed by the governing body to assist in the planning of annual improvements; and all other costs incurred or to be incurred in connection with annual improvements to and operation and maintenance of pedestrian malls or special improvement districts, as the case may be.
e. 
Moneys appropriated and collected on account of annual improvement costs and costs of operating and maintaining the Business Improvement District, shall be credited to a special account. The Mayor and Township Council may incur the annual costs of improving, operating and maintaining a Business Improvement District, during any fiscal year, though not specifically provided for by line item or other category in an approved estimate for such annual improvements or operations or maintenance prior to the succeeding fiscal year and so long as the total amount of the account as approved for that year is not exceeded by that expenditure. Any balances to the credit of the account and remaining unexpended at the end of the fiscal year shall be conserved and applied toward the financial requirements of the succeeding year.
f. 
The Mayor and Township Council shall pay over funds from the special account to the Management Corporation quarterly on the first day of March, June, September and December of each year.
[Ord. #18-2008, § 10]
The District Management Corporation shall cause an annual audit of its books, accounts and financial transactions to be made and filed with the Mayor and Township Council. The annual audit shall be completed and filed with the governing body within four months after the close of the fiscal year of the Corporation, and a certified duplicate copy of the audit shall be field with the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs within five days of the filing of the audit with the Mayor and Township Council.
[Ord. #18-2008, § 11]
The District Management Corporation shall, within 30 days after the close of each fiscal year, make an annual report of its activities for the preceding fiscal year to the Mayor and Township Council.
[Ord. #18-2008, § 12]
Notwithstanding the creation of a Business Improvement District, the Township of Scotch Plains expressly retains all of its powers and authority over the area designated as within the Business Improvement District. No improvements or modifications shall be made to any public property without the prior, formal approval of the Township's governing body.