Village of Ridgewood, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The following fees shall be required to be filed with any application, appeal or other matter pursuant to this chapter. Fees shall be nonrefundable and shall be paid by cashier's check, certified check, bank money order or cash to the Board Secretary. The filing fee shall be used to defray the administrative costs of processing the application or appeal. In the case of proposals requiring a combination of approvals, such as subdivision, site plan and/or variance(s), the applicant shall pay a fee equal to the sum of the fees for each required approval.
[Amended 10-9-2002 by Ord. No. 2802]
In addition to those established elsewhere in this chapter, all applicants or appellants to the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Building Inspector or Village Council shall pay the applicable fees as set forth in Chapter 145, Fees. The filing fee for a concept plan for development shall be credited against the filing fee otherwise required for subdivision or site plan approval after review by the Planning Board of the concept plan. In addition, a special fee to fund affordable housing activities in the Village shall be required of certain development applications as set forth in § 145-8.
[Amended 5-9-2007 by Ord. No. 3059]
The Chief Financial Officer of the Village shall pay professionals for all services rendered to the Village or approving authority for review of applications for development, review and preparation of documents, inspection of improvements or other purposes under the provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law and this chapter. At the time of filing of an application for development, appeal or other matter pursuant to this chapter, the applicant shall pay to the Secretary of the Board of Adjustment or the Planning Board, as applicable, a deposit, in accordance with the schedule in Subsection A below, to be used to reimburse the Village for said professional services. Deposits shall be paid by cashier’s check, certified check, bank money order or cash and shall be placed by the Village in an escrow account if required pursuant to § 190-26. In the case of proposals requiring a combination of approvals, such as subdivision, site plan and/or variance(s), the applicant shall deposit an amount equal to the sum of the deposits required for each application. Notwithstanding the above, if the Board determines that professional services are not required in order to process and review the application, no deposit shall be required. Professionals whose services may be subject to reimbursement from escrow accounts established pursuant to this chapter may include, but are not necessarily limited to, legal counsel for the Board of Adjustment, Planning Board or Village, as applicable, professional engineers and inspectors, professional planners, architects, landscape architects, traffic consultants, environmental consultants, surveyors, real estate appraisers and financial analysts, but shall not include the administrative or clerical staff of such professionals.
A. 
Schedule of deposits. The initial deposit for payment of professional services shall be as set forth on the schedule set forth in Chapter 145, Fees, provided that if the Board Secretary determines that a greater initial deposit than indicated on the schedule is necessary to reimburse the anticipated cost of professional services on a particular application, such as circulation-intensive sites requiring the services of a traffic engineering consultant, the applicant shall be required to deposit said greater amount.
B. 
Depletion of deposits. If an escrow account or deposit contains insufficient funds to enable the Village or approving authority to perform required application reviews or improvement inspections, the Chief Financial Officer of the Village shall provide the applicant with a notice of the insufficient escrow or deposit balance. In order for work to continue on the development or the application, the applicant shall within a reasonable time period post a deposit to the account in an amount to be agreed upon by the Village or approving authority and the applicant. In the interim, any required health and safety inspections shall be made and charged back against the replenishment of funds.
C. 
Failure to maintain adequate deposit. No application shall be deemed complete and no formal action shall be taken by the Board until the initial deposit required by Subsection A above has been submitted. If the funds required by Subsection B above for professional services are not deposited in a timely manner, the Board Secretary shall notify the board having jurisdiction over the application. No further action shall be taken on the application unless the deposits have been made by the applicant as required above. In the event that the time for action by the Board or any extension thereof as required by this chapter shall expire prior to the payment of the required deposits, the Board may, at its discretion, dismiss the application.
D. 
Eligible charges against deposit. All professional charges for review of an application for development review and preparation of documents or inspection of improvements shall be reasonable and necessary, given the status and progress of the application or construction. The following provisions shall apply:
(1) 
Application review and inspection charges shall be limited only to professional charges for review of applications, review and preparation of documents and inspections of developments under construction and review by outside consultants when an application is of a nature beyond the scope of the expertise of the professionals normally utilized by the Village.
(2) 
Review fees shall be charged only in connection with an application for development presently pending before the approving authority or upon review of compliance with conditions of approval or review of requests for modification or amendment made by the applicant. A professional shall not review items which are subject to approval by any state governmental agency and not under Village jurisdiction except to the extent consultation with a state agency is necessary due to the effect of state approvals in the subdivision or site plan.
(3) 
Inspection fees shall be charged only for actual work shown on a subdivision or site plan or required by an approving resolution. Professionals inspecting improvements under construction shall charge only for inspections that are reasonably necessary to check the progress and quality of the work and such inspections shall be reasonably based on the approved development plans and documents.
(4) 
The only costs that shall be added to any such charges in Subsection D(1) through (3) above shall be actual out-of-pocket expenses of any such professionals or consultants including normal and typical expenses incurred in processing applications and inspecting improvements.
(5) 
The Village or approving authority shall not bill the applicant or charge any escrow account or deposit authorized herein for any Village clerical or administrative functions, overhead expenses, meeting room charges or any other Village costs and expenses except as provided for in this section, nor shall a Village professional add any such charges to his bill.
(6) 
If the Village retains a different professional or consultant in the place of the professional originally responsible for development application review or inspection of improvements, the Village or approving authority shall be responsible for all time and expenses of the new professional to become familiar with the application or the project, and the Village or approving authority shall not bill the applicant or charge the deposit or the escrow account for any such services.
E. 
Rates of payment for professional services. If the salary, staff support and overhead for a professional are provided by the Village, the hourly rate charged to the deposit from said professional shall be at 200% of the sum of the products resulting from multiplying the hourly base salary, which shall be established annually by ordinance, of each of the professionals by the number of hours spent by the respective professional upon review of the application for development or inspection of the developer’s improvements, as the case may be. For other professionals, the charge shall be at the same rate as all other work of the same nature by the professional for the Village when fees are not reimbursed or otherwise imposed on applicants or developers. Rates for professional services shall be in accordance with a schedule of professional fees filed annually with the Secretary of the Board of Adjustment or Planning Board, as applicable, and maintained in the office of the Village Clerk for public inspection.
[Amended 6-9-2010 by Ord. No. 3251]
F. 
Vouchers for payment of professional services. Each payment charged to a deposit for the review of applications, review and preparation of documents and inspection of improvements shall be pursuant to a voucher from the professional. The processing of vouchers shall be in accordance with the following:
(1) 
The voucher shall identify the personnel performing the service and, for each date the services are performed, the hours spent to one-fourth-hour increments, the hourly rate and the expenses incurred.
(2) 
All professionals shall submit vouchers to the chief financial officer of the Village on a monthly basis in accordance with the schedules and procedures established by the Chief Financial Officer of the Village.
(3) 
If the services are provided by a Village employee, the Village employee shall prepare and submit to the Chief Financial Officer of the Village a statement containing the same information as required on a voucher, on a monthly basis.
(4) 
The professional shall send an informational copy of all vouchers or statements submitted to the Chief Financial Officer of the Village simultaneously to the applicant.
(5) 
The Chief Financial Officer of the Village shall prepare and send to the applicant a statement which shall include an accounting of funds listing all deposits, interest earnings, disbursements and the cumulative balance of the escrow account. This information shall be provided on a quarterly basis, if monthly charges are $1,000 or less, or on a monthly basis if monthly charges exceed $1,000.
G. 
Appeals of charges. An applicant shall notify in writing the Village council, with copies to the Chief Financial Officer of the Village, the approving authority and the professional, whenever the applicant disputes the charges made by a professional for service rendered to the Village in reviewing applications for development, review and preparation of documents, inspection of improvements or other charges made pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law.[1] The following shall apply:
(1) 
An applicant shall file an appeal within 45 days from receipt of the informational copy of the professionals voucher required by § 102-23F(4), except that if the professional has not supplied the applicant with an informational copy of the voucher, then the applicant shall file his appeal within 60 days from receipt of the Village statement of activity against the deposit or escrow account required by § 102-23F(5).
(2) 
The Village Council or its designee shall within a reasonable time period attempt to remediate any disputed charges.
(3) 
If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the applicant, the applicant may appeal to the county Construction Board of Appeals established under Section 9 of P.L. 1975, c. 217 (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-127) any charge to an escrow account or a deposit by any Village professional or consultant. An applicant or his authorized agent shall submit the appeal, in writing, to the County Construction Board of Appeals. The applicant or his authorized agent shall simultaneously send a copy of the appeal to the Village, approving authority and any professional whose charge is the subject of the appeal. The procedures followed by the County Construction Board of Appeals shall be as set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.2b and c.
(4) 
An applicant may file an appeal for an ongoing series of charges by a professional during a period not exceeding six months to demonstrate that they represent a pattern of excessive or inaccurate charges. An applicant making use of this provision need not appeal each charge individually.
(5) 
During the pendence of any appeal, the Village or approving authority shall continue to process, hear and decide the application for development and to inspect the development in the normal course and shall not withhold, delay or deny reviews, inspections, signing of subdivision plats or site plans, the reduction or the release of performance and maintenance guaranties, the issuance of construction permits or certificates of occupancy or any other approval or permit because an appeal has been filed or is pending under this subsection. The Chief Financial Officer of the Village may pay charges out of the appropriate escrow account or deposit for which an appeal has been filed.
(6) 
If a charge is disallowed after payment, the Chief Financial Officer of the Village shall reimburse the deposit or escrow account in the amount of any such disallowed charge or refund the amount to the applicant. If a charge is disallowed after payment to a professional or consultant who is not an employee of the Village, the professional or consultant shall reimburse the Village in the amount of any such disallowed charge.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
The developer shall reimburse the Village for all reasonable inspection fees paid to the Director of Public Works for the inspection of improvements required pursuant to this chapter. Prior to the initiation of any construction approved pursuant to this chapter, the developer shall deposit with the Board Secretary sufficient funds to reimburse the Village for inspection fees paid to the Director of Public Works. Deposits shall be paid by cashier's check, certified check, bank money order or cash. The Director of Public Works shall not perform any inspection if sufficient funds to pay for those inspections are not on deposit. Deposits shall be as set forth in Chapter 145, Fees. The following additional provisions shall apply to inspection fees:
A. 
Payment of inspection fee deposits by installment.
(1) 
For those developments for which the reasonably anticipated inspection fees are less than $10,000, inspection fee deposits may, at the option of the developer, be paid in two installments. The initial amount deposited by a developer shall be 50% of the reasonably anticipated inspection fees. When the balance on deposit drops to 10% of the reasonably anticipated inspection fees because the amount deposited by the developer has been reduced by the amount paid to the Director of Public works for inspection, the developer shall deposit the remaining 50% of the anticipated inspection fees.
(2) 
For those developments for which the reasonably anticipated inspection fees are $10,000 or greater, inspection fee deposits may, at the option of the developer, be paid in four installments. The initial amount deposited by a developer shall be 25% of the reasonably anticipated fees. When the balance on deposit drops to 10% of the reasonably anticipated fees because the amount deposited by the developer has been reduced by the amount paid to the Director of Public works for inspection, the developer shall make additional deposits of 25% of the reasonably anticipated fees.
B. 
Appeals of amount of deposit or amount of fee. Appeals of the amount required to be deposited for the payment of inspection fees or the amount charged for the inspection of improvements shall follow the procedures in § 190-23G.
Before recording of final subdivision plats or as a condition of final site plan approval or as a condition to the issuance of a zoning permit, the Village agency may require and shall accept performance and maintenance guaranties for the purpose of assuring the installation and maintenance of on-tract improvements. Such performance and maintenance guaranties shall be in accordance with the following provisions:
A. 
Performance guaranties. The following provisions shall apply to the administration of performance guaranties:
(1) 
Amount of performance guaranty. The performance guaranty for the installation of those improvements required shall be in favor of the Village of Ridgewood in an amount equal to 120% of the cost of such improvements. The cost of said improvements shall be determined by the Village Engineer based on documented construction costs for public improvements prevailing in the general area of the Village. The Village Engineer shall prepare an itemized cost estimate of the improvements covered by the performance guaranty, which estimate shall be appended to each performance guaranty posted by the obligor.
(2) 
Appeal of disputed performance guaranty amounts. The developer may appeal the Village Engineer's estimate of the cost of improvements for purposes of furnishing a performance guaranty. Such appeal shall be made in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 190-23G.
(3) 
Form of guaranty. At least 10% of the performance guaranty shall be in the form of cash or a certified check made payable to the Village of Ridgewood. The balance of the performance guaranty shall be in the form of any security issued by an institution authorized to issue such securities in the State of New Jersey and which may be accepted by the Village and approved by the Village Attorney, including but not limited to surety bonds, cash and letters of credit, provided that the Village shall only accept an irrevocable letter of credit if it:
(a) 
Constitutes an unconditional payment obligation of the issuer running solely to the Village for an express initial period of time in the amount determined pursuant to this chapter;
(b) 
Is issued by a banking or savings institution authorized to do and doing business in the State of New Jersey;
(c) 
Is for a period of at least one year; and
(d) 
Permits the Village to draw upon the letter of credit if the obligor fails to furnish another letter of credit which complies with the provisions of this section 30 days or more in advance of the expiration date of the letter of credit or such longer period in advance thereof as is stated in the letter of credit.
(4) 
Time allowed for completion of improvements. The performance guaranty shall state the time period within which all improvements are to be installed by the developer. No performance guaranty shall run for a term longer than 18 months, except as provided otherwise by this chapter.
(5) 
Extension of time allowed for completion of improvements. The time allowed for installation of the improvements for which the performance guaranty has been provided may be extended by the Village Council by resolution. As a condition or as part of any such extension, the amount of any performance guaranty shall be increased or reduced, as the case may be, to an amount not to exceed 120% of the cost of the installation at the time of the resolution. The cost of installation shall be determined by the Village Engineer as provided herein for the initial cost determination.
(6) 
Failure to complete improvements within time specified. If the required improvements are not completed or corrected in accordance with the performance guaranty, the obligor and surety, if any, shall be liable thereon to the Village for the reasonable cost of the improvements not completed or corrected. The Village may, either prior to or after receipt of the proceeds thereof, complete such improvements or use said funds to restore the property to a safe condition so that the subject property in its unfinished development state does not adversely affect the public safety or adversely impact the environment. Such completion or correction of improvements shall be subject to the public bidding requirements of the Local Public Contracts Law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq.
(7) 
Release of performance guaranty. Release of performance guaranties shall be in accordance with the following procedure:
(a) 
Upon substantial completion of all required street improvements (except for the top course) and appurtenant utility improvements and the connection of the same to the public system, the obligor may request of the Village Council that the Village Engineer prepare a list of all uncompleted or unsatisfactory completed improvements. The request to the Village Council shall be made in writing by certified mail addressed to the Village Clerk, with a copy of the request to be sent to the Village Engineer. The request shall indicate which improvements have been completed and which improvements remain uncompleted in the judgment of the obligor.
(b) 
Upon receiving the obligor's request, the Village Engineer shall inspect all improvements covered by the obligor's request and shall file a detailed list and report, in writing, with the Village Council and shall simultaneously send a copy thereof to the obligor not later than 45 days after receipt of the obligor's request.
(c) 
The detailed list prepared by the Village Engineer shall be in accordance with the itemized cost estimate prepared by the Village Engineer, which estimate shall have been appended to the performance guaranty as required herein. The list prepared by the Village Engineer shall state, in detail, with respect to each improvement deter mined to be incomplete or unsatisfactory, the nature and extent of the incompleteness of each incomplete improvement or the nature and extent of and remedy for the unsatisfactory state of each completed improvement determined to be unsatisfactory.
(d) 
The report prepared by the Village Engineer shall identify each improvement determined to be complete and satisfactory together with a recommendation as to the amount of reduction to be made in the performance guaranty relating to the completed and satisfactory improvement. The recommended reduction shall be in accordance with the itemized cost estimate prepared by the Village Engineer, which cost estimate shall have been appended to the performance guaranty as required herein.
(e) 
The Village Council, by resolution, shall either approve the improvements determined to be complete and satisfactory by the Village Engineer or reject any or all of these improvements. The cause for any rejection shall be stated in the Council's resolution. If any portion of the required improvements is rejected, the approving authority may require the obligor to complete or correct such improvements and, upon completion or correction, the same procedure of notification as required herein shall be followed.
(f) 
For accepted improvements, the Village Council' shall approve and authorize the amount of reduction to be made in the performance guaranty relating to the improvements accepted. Any authorized reduction shall be in accordance with itemized cost estimate prepared by the Village Engineer, which cost estimate shall have been appended to the performance guaranty as required herein. The resolution shall be adopted not later than 45 days after receipt of the list and report prepared by the Village Engineer.
(g) 
Any partial reduction granted in the performance guaranty as provided herein shall be applied to the cash deposit in the same proportion as the original cash deposit bears to the full amount of the performance guaranty.
(h) 
Upon adoption of the resolution by the Village Council, the obligor shall be released from all liability pursuant to its performance guaranty, with respect to those approved improvements, except for that portion adequately sufficient to secure completion or correction of the improvements not yet approved, provided that 30% of the amount of the performance guaranty posted may be retained to ensure completion and acceptability of all improvements.
(8) 
Failure of Village Engineer or Council to act. If the Village Engineer or Village Council fails to act on the request for release of a performance guaranty within the time required herein, the obligor may apply to the court in the manner provided below; provided that nothing herein shall be construed to limit the right of the obligor to contest by legal proceedings any determination of the Village Council or the Village Engineer.
(a) 
If the Village Engineer fails to send or provide the list and report as requested by the obligor as required herein within 45 days from receipt of the request, the obligor may apply to the court in a summary manner for an order compelling the Village Engineer to provide the list and report within a stated time. The cost of applying to the court, including reasonable attorney's fees, may be awarded to the prevailing party.
(b) 
If the Village Council fails to approve or reject the improvements determined by the Village Engineer to be complete and satisfactory or reduce the performance guaranty for the complete and satisfactory improvements within 45 days from the receipt of the Village Engineer's report, the obligor may apply to the court in a summary manner for an order compelling, within a stated time, approval of the complete and satisfactory improvements and approval of a reduction in the performance guaranty for the approvable complete and satisfactory improvements in accordance with the itemized cost estimate prepared by the Village Engineer, which cost estimate shall have been appended to the performance guaranty as required herein. The cost of applying to the court, including reasonable attorney's fees, may be awarded to the prevailing party.
B. 
Maintenance guaranties. After final acceptance of required improvements, a maintenance guaranty shall be required to be posted with the Village. Except as specifically provided otherwise below, maintenance guaranties shall be administered in the same manner as performance guaranties as provided by this chapter.
(1) 
Amount of maintenance guaranty. The maintenance guaranty shall be in favor of the Village of Ridgewood in an amount equal to 15% of the cost of such improvements. The cost of said improvements shall be determined by the Village Engineer in the same manner as provided herein for performance guaranties.
(2) 
Appeal of disputed maintenance guaranty amounts. The developer may appeal the Village Engineer's estimate of the cost of improvements for purposes of furnishing a maintenance guaranty. Such appeal shall be made in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 190-23G.
(3) 
Form of guaranty. The maintenance guarantee shall be in the form of any security issued by an institution authorized to issue such securities in the State of New Jersey and which may be accepted by the Village and approved by the Village Attorney, including but not limited to surety bonds, cash and letters of credit, provided that acceptance of irrevocable letters of credit shall be subject to the same conditions as provided herein for performance guaranties.
(4) 
Time required for maintenance guaranty. The maintenance guaranty shall be required to run for a period of two years, which shall be stated in the guaranty.
C. 
Exception for improvements related to other jurisdictions. In the event that other governmental agencies or public utilities automatically will own the utilities to be installed or the improvements are covered by a performance or maintenance guaranty to another governmental agency, no performance or maintenance guaranty, as the case may be, shall be required by the Village for such utilities or improvements.
D. 
Final approval by stages or sections of development. In the event that final approval is by stages or sections of development as provided by this chapter, the provisions Of this section shall by applied by stage or section of development.
Deposits received for professional services employed by the Village to review applications for development, for Village inspection fees in accordance with this chapter or to satisfy the guaranty requirements of this chapter shall be administered in accordance with the following provisions:
A. 
Deposits to be held in escrow. Whenever an amount of money in excess of $5,000 shall be deposited by an applicant with the Village, the money, until repaid or applied to the purposes for which it is deposited, including the applicant's portion of the interest earned thereon, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, shall continue to be the property of the applicant and shall be held in trust by the Village. Deposits received pursuant to this article shall be held in escrow and deposited in a banking institution or savings and loan association in New Jersey insured by an agency of the federal government, or any other fund or depository approved for such deposits by the State of New Jersey. Such deposits shall be placed in an account bearing interest at the minimum rate currently paid by the institution or depository on time or savings deposits. The Village shall notify the applicant in writing of the name and address of the institution or depository in which the deposit is made and the amount of the deposit.
B. 
Refund of deposits; interest. Any of the funds remaining in the deposit upon completion of the purpose for which the deposit was made shall be returned to the applicant and the account shall be terminated. For deposits over $5,000 placed in an interest bearing account pursuant to this chapter, refunds of interest shall be made as follows:
(1) 
The Village shall not be required to refund an amount of interest paid on a deposit which does not exceed $100 for the year.
(2) 
If the amount of interest exceeds $100 for the year, that entire amount shall belong to the applicant and shall be refunded to him by the Village annually or at the time the deposit is repaid or applied to the purposes for which it was deposited, as the case may be; except that the Village may retain for administrative expenses a sum equivalent to no more than 1/3 of that entire amount, which shall be in lieu of all other administrative and custodial expenses.
C. 
Procedure for closing of deposits and escrow accounts. The following close-out procedure shall apply to all deposits and escrow accounts established under the Municipal Land Use Law[1] and this chapter:
(1) 
In the case of application review escrows and deposits, the close-out of deposits and escrow accounts shall commence after the approving authority has granted final approval and signed the subdivision plat or site plan, or after the authority has denied the application or after the applicant has formally withdrawn the application.
(2) 
In the case of improvement inspection escrows and deposits, the close-out of deposits and escrow accounts shall commence after the improvements have been approved as provided in § 190-25.
(3) 
The applicant shall send written notice by certified mail to the Chief Financial Officer of the Village and the approving authority and to the relevant Village professional that the application is completed, denied or withdrawn or the improvements are completed, as the case may be.
(4) 
After receipt of such notice, the professional shall render a final bill to the Chief Financial Officer of the Village within 30 days and shall send a copy simultaneously to the applicant.
(5) 
The Chief Financial Officer of the Village shall render a written final accounting to the applicant on the uses to which the deposit was put within 45 days of receipt of the final bill. Any balances remaining in the deposit or escrow account, including interest in accordance with Subsection B above, shall be refunded to the developer along with the final accounting.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
A. 
Approvals contingent upon payment of fees. All approvals granted by the Village pursuant to this chapter shall be conditional upon the payment of the fees and other payments required herein. If, after the date of an approval, the applicant shall fail to pay any and all outstanding fees and other payments, the Village may, at its discretion, void any approval which may have been granted.
B. 
Projects of the Village of Ridgewood and the Village of Ridgewood Board of Education shall be exempt from the provisions of this article.