Township of Union, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The Zoning Board of Adjustment heretofore created is continued and is hereby established pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law[1] as the Board of Adjustment for the municipality. It shall consist of seven members, who shall be appointed by the governing body for terms of four years, each computed from January 1 of the year of their appointment, except that full terms filled for the first time under this section shall be so fixed (for four or fewer years) and so arranged that, to the greatest practicable extent, the expiration of all terms will be distributed evenly over the first four years after the initial appointment.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
Any vacancy on said Board occurring other than by expiration of term shall be filled by appointment by the governing body to serve for the unexpired term of the member whose term shall become vacant. A member may, after public hearing if he requests it, be removed by the governing body for cause.
Yearly, the Board of Adjustment shall organize by selecting from among its regular members a Chairman and Vice Chairman. The Board shall also employ such other staff as it deems necessary, within the restrictions of the budget appropriated by the Township Committee.
The governing body shall make provisions in its budget and appropriate funds for the expenses of the Board of Adjustment.
The office of the Board of Adjustment Attorney is hereby created. The Board of Adjustment may annually appoint to such office and fix the salary and/or rate of compensation of such attorney. The term of office of said Attorney shall be for one year from January 1 of each year.
A. 
Two alternate members to said Board of Adjustment shall be appointed by the governing body and shall be designated at the time of appointment as Alternate No. 1 and Alternate No. 2.
B. 
The terms of alternate members shall be for two years, except that the terms of the alternate members shall be such that the term of not more than one alternate member shall expire in any one year; provided, however, that in no instance shall the terms of the alternate members first appointed exceed two years. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled by the governing body for the expired term only. All appointments of alternates, regardless of the date of appointment, shall run from January 1 of the year of appointment.
C. 
Alternates appointed to said Board of Adjustment shall receive a salary as provided by ordinance for each meeting at which they are required to participate in their capacity as an alternate.
The Board of Adjustment shall have the following powers:
A. 
Error or refusal. Hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant that there is error in any order, requirement, decision or refusal made by an administrative officer based on or made in the enforcement of Part 3, Zoning.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Exceptions or interpretations. Hear and decide requests for interpretation of the Zoning Map[2] or Part 3, Zoning, or for decisions upon other special questions upon which such Board is authorized to pass by any Zoning or Official Map Ordinance, in accordance with this chapter.[3]
[2]
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is on file and available for inspection in the office of the Township Clerk.
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
Variance of area or yard requirements.[4]
(1) 
Where, by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness or shape of a specific piece of property, or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions or physical features uniquely affecting a specific piece of property, or by reason of an extraordinary and exceptional situation uniquely affecting a specific piece of property or the structures lawfully existing thereon, the strict application of any regulation pursuant to Part 3, Zoning, would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties to, or exceptional and undue hardship upon, the developer of such property, grant, upon an application or an appeal relating to such property, a variance from such strict application of such regulation so as to relieve such difficulties or hardship.
(2) 
Where, in an application or appeal relating to a specific piece of property, the purposes of this chapter would be advanced by a deviation from the zoning requirements and the benefits of the deviation would substantially outweigh any detriment, grant a variance to allow departure from regulations pursuant to Part 3, Zoning, of this chapter; provided, however, that the fact that a proposed use is an inherently beneficial use shall not be dispositive of a decision on a variance under this subsection and provided that no variance from those departures enumerated in Subsection D of this section shall be granted under this subsection; and provided further that the proposed development does not require approval by the Planning Board of a subdivision, site plan or conditional use, in conjunction with which the Planning Board has power to review a request for a variance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-60a.
[4]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
D. 
Variance of use regulations. In particular cases for special reasons, grant a variance to allow departure from regulations pursuant to Part 3, Zoning, of this chapter to permit a use or principal structure in a district restricted against such use or principal structure; an expansion of a nonconforming use; deviation from a specification or standard pursuant to Section 54 of P.L. 1975, c. 291 (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-67) pertaining solely to a conditional use; an increase in the permitted floor area ratio as defined in Section 3.1 of P.L. 1975, c. 291 (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-4); an increase in the permitted density as defined in Section 3.1 of P.L. 1975, c. 291 (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-4), except as applied to the required lot area for a lot or lots for detached one- or two-dwelling unit buildings, which lot or lots either an isolated undersized lot or lots resulting from a minor subdivision; or a height of a principal structure which exceeds by 10 feet or 10% the maximum height permitted in the district for a principal structure. A variance under this subsection shall be granted only by affirmative vote of at least five members.[5]
[5]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
E. 
General provision. No variance or other relief may be granted under the terms of this section, including a variance or other relief involving an inherently beneficial use, without a showing that such variance or other relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and the purpose of the zone plan and Part 3, Zoning. In respect to any airport safety zones delineated under the Air Safety and Zoning Act of 1983, P.L. 1983, c. 260 (N.J.S.A. 6:1-80 et seq.), no variance or other relief may be granted under the terms of this section, permitting the creation or establishment of a nonconforming use which would be prohibited under standards promulgated pursuant to that act, except upon issuance of a permit by the Commissioner of Transportation. An application under this section may be referred to any appropriate person or agency for its report; provided that such reference shall not extend the period of time within which the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall act.[6]
[6]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
F. 
Other powers. The Board of Adjustment shall have such other powers as prescribed by law, including but not limited to the following:
(1) 
Direct issuance of a building permit for the construction of a building or structure within the bed of a mapped street or public drainageway, flood-control basin or public area, as shown on a duly adopted Official Map ordinance of the municipality, whenever one or more parcels of land within said bed cannot yield a reasonable return to the owner unless a building permit is granted. The Board may grant such relief only by an affirmative vote of a majority of the full authorized membership of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, ensuring that such relief will tend to cause a minimum change of the Official Map and will not significantly add to the cost of opening any proposed street. The Board shall impose reasonable requirements as a condition of granting the building permit so as to promote the health, morals, safety and general welfare of the public.
(2) 
Direct issuance of a building permit for the construction of a building or structure on a lot not abutting a street which is shown on a duly adopted Official Map of the municipality or which is an existing state, county or municipal street or highway; a street shown upon a plat approved by the municipal Planning Board; or a street on a plat duly filed in the office of the County Recording Officer. The Board may grant such relief only where the enforcement of the statute requirement that a building lot abut a street would entail practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship or where the circumstances of the case do not require the building or structure to abut a street. The Board shall impose requirements or conditions that will provide adequate access for fire-fighting equipment, ambulances and other emergency vehicles necessary for the protection of the health and safety and will protect any future street layout shown on the Official Map or on the general circulation plan element of the municipal Master Plan.
(3) 
The Board of Adjustment shall have the power to grant, to the same extent and subject to the same restrictions as the Planning Board, subdivision or site plan approval pursuant to Part 4 of this chapter whenever the proposed development requires approval by the Board of Adjustment of a variance pursuant to Subsection d of Section 57 of the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70d).
(a) 
The developer may elect to submit a separate application requesting approval of the variance and a subsequent application for any required approval of a subdivision of site plan. The separate approval of the variance shall be conditioned upon the granting of all required subsequent approvals by the Board of Adjustment. No such subsequent approval shall be granted unless such approval can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantial impairment of the intent and purpose of the zone plan and Part 3, Zoning. The number of votes of Board members required to grant any such subsequent approval shall be as otherwise provided in the act for the approval in question, and the special vote pursuant to the aforesaid Subsection d of Section 57[7] shall not be required.
[7]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70d.
(b) 
Whenever an application for development requests relief pursuant to Subsection b of Section 57 of the Municipal Land Use Law,[8] the Board of Adjustment shall grant or deny approval of the application within 120 days after submission by a developer of a complete application to the administrative officer or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. In the event that the developer elects to submit separate consecutive applications, the aforesaid provision shall apply to the application for approval of the variance. The period for granting or denying any subsequent approval shall be as otherwise provided in the act. Failure of the Board of Adjustment to act within the period prescribed shall constitute approval of the application and certificate of the administrative officer as to the failure of the Board of Adjustment to act shall be issued on request of the applicant, and it shall be sufficient in lieu of the written endorsement or other evidence of approval herein required and shall be so accepted by the County Recording Officer for purposes of filing subdivision plats.
[8]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70b.
A. 
Appeals to the Board of Adjustment may be taken by an interested party affected by any decision of an administrative officer of the municipality based on or made in the enforcement of Part 3, Zoning, or the Official Map. Such appeal shall be taken within 20 days by filing a notice of appeal with the officer from whom the appeal is taken, specifying the grounds of such appeal. The officer from whom the appeal is taken shall immediately transmit to the Board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.
B. 
Applications addressed to the original jurisdiction of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, without prior application to the administrative officer, shall be filed with the Secretary of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. At the time of filing the appeal or application, but in no event less than 10 days prior to the date set for hearing, the applicant shall also file all plot plans, maps and other papers required by virtue of any provision of this chapter or any rule of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. An applicant shall obtain all necessary forms from the Secretary of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, who shall inform the applicant of the steps to be taken to institute proceedings and of the meeting dates of the Board.
C. 
An appeal to the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action in respect of which the decision appealed from was made, unless the officer from whom the appeal is taken certifies to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with him, that, by reason of facts stated in the certificate, a stay would, in his opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property. In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order, which may be granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment or by the Superior Court of New Jersey on application or notice to the officer from whom the appeal is taken and on due cause shown.
A. 
Whenever an application for development requests relief pursuant to § 170-26F(3), the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall grant or deny approval of the application within 120 days after submission by a developer of a complete application to the Secretary of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant.
B. 
In the event that the developer elects to submit separate consecutive applications, the aforesaid provision shall apply to the application for approval of the variance. The period for granting or denying any subsequent approval shall be as otherwise provided in this chapter or in the Municipal Land Use Law.
C. 
Failure of the Zoning Board of Adjustment to act within the period prescribed shall constitute approval of the application, and a certificate of the Secretary of the Board of Adjustment as to the failure of the Board to act shall be issued upon the request of the applicant and shall be sufficient in lieu of the written endorsement or other evidence of approval herein required, and such certificate shall be so accepted by the County Recording Officer for purposes of filing subdivision plats.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment may reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, or may modify the action, order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination appealed from and may make such other requirement, decision or determination as should be made, in its opinion, and to that end the Board shall have all the powers of the administrative officer from whom the appeal was taken.
A. 
Any variance hereafter granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment permitting the erection or alteration of any structure or structures or permitting a specified use of any premises shall expire by limitation unless such construction or alteration shall have been actually commenced on each and every structure permitted by said variance, or unless such permitted use has actually been commenced, within one year from the date of entry of the determination of the Zoning Board of Adjustment; provided, however, that the running of the period of limitation hereby established shall be tolled from the date of the filing of an appeal from the decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment to a court of competent jurisdiction until the termination in any manner of such appeal or proceeding.
[Amended 1-26-1999 by Ord. No. 4575]
B. 
Whenever any variance hereafter granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment or the Planning Board is related to subdivision or site plan approval, such variance shall remain in effect so long as the related final subdivision or final site plan approval remains in effect in accordance with the provisions of § 170-224, whereupon such variance shall expire by limitation unless such construction or alteration shall have been actually commenced on each and every structure permitted by said variance or unless such permitted use has actually been commenced.
An application under this article may be referred to any appropriate person or agency, including the Planning Board, pursuant to Section 17 of P.L. 1975, c. 291,[1] for its report, provided that such reference shall not extend the period of time within which the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall act.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-26.
The final disposition of any matter by the Board shall require the concurring vote of a majority of a quorum, except as provided in § 170-26D and as provided in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-32 and 40:55D-34.
Inquiries as to whether a proposed land use is permissible under Part 3, Zoning, or the Official Zoning Map[2] shall be submitted in writing to the administrative officer, who shall issue a written response within 10 days.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[2]
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is on file and available for inspection in the office of the Township Clerk.