Township of Washington, NJ
Gloucester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
A. 
Entrances.
(1) 
The main entrances of all structures, other than secondary dwelling units, second-floor dwelling units or accessory structures, shall open to the street.
(2) 
The front entrance to all structures shall be defined by architectural elements, which may include porches, gable roofs, hooded pediments, transom windows, setbacks into the building plane or similar features. Front porches and gable roofs are encouraged on structures facing local residential streets. If covered porches are utilized, they must be at least four feet wide, and may not be enclosed, but may encroach into the front setback area a maximum of 10 feet.
B. 
Building orientation for environmental efficiency.
(1) 
Whenever possible, buildings will be oriented and designed to receive passive solar heat in winter and be shaded from summer sun, except where photovoltaic panels require full solar exposure all year.
(2) 
Operable windows will be placed to maximize the potential for cross ventilation and natural cooling. Supplemental attic or roof venting is encouraged and will be allowed to exceed height limitations for functional and aesthetic considerations.
C. 
Architectural style.
(1) 
New structures may be constructed in any architectural style. However, if such structures are built using elements of Victorian, Craftsman or Bungalow, Colonial Revival or Cape Cod stylistic details, such elements shall be based upon an architectural inventory of the Township's existing historic structures. Stylistic details characteristic of other regions of the United States are discouraged. The same general types of building materials used in the original construction of these existing buildings shall be used to construct the exterior portions of new buildings.
(2) 
In the case of a vacant block, new buildings shall conform to the same general architectural types found within the surrounding two blocks.
(3) 
Buildings should be designed so that wall surfaces dominate over roof projections such as cantilevered canopies, long cantilevers that are unsupported by doorway openings, or nontraditional geometric roof planes.
D. 
Scale.
(1) 
A human scale should be achieved near ground level on all buildings and along street facades and entries through the use of such scale elements as windows, doors, columns, porches, gable roofs, cornices, and similar details, with height of building proportional to street width.
(2) 
Residential building size as viewed from the street, including building front facade area and building height, shall not exceed the average front facade area and height of buildings on the block by more than 50%, except by conditional use permit. Such conditional use may be granted based on the determination that the new building is of a size and scale compatible with surrounding buildings.
(3) 
Nonresidential buildings, as viewed from the street, including building front facade area and building height, shall have at least 50% of the front facade located as close to the front lot line as is allowed by the Chapter 285, Zoning. The placement of buildings shall reinforce the street wall, maximize natural surveillance and visibility, enhance the character of the surrounding area and facilitate pedestrian access and circulation.
(4) 
Building height and scale of new buildings shall be related to the prevailing scale of surrounding development and shall be compatible with surrounding buildings in roof form and pitch.
(5) 
If a larger building is proposed, the Planning Board may approve the increased height by requiring stepping back a portion of the building facade, or by emphasizing architectural elements of the roof, dormers, chimneys, turrets, gables, steeples and the like.
E. 
Building facades.
(1) 
Building facades shall provide architectural detail and shall contain windows at the ground level in order to create visual interest and maximize outdoor surveillance and visibility. Exterior materials and appearance shall be compatible with surrounding buildings.
(2) 
Long, monotonous, uninterrupted walls or roof planes shall be avoided. Buildings of 40 or more feet in width should be visually divided into smaller increments using any of the following techniques:
(a) 
Divisions or breaks in materials (although materials should be drawn from a common palette).
(b) 
Window bays.
(c) 
Separate entrances and entry treatments; porticoes.
(d) 
Variation in rooflines.
(e) 
Awnings.
(f) 
Building setbacks.
(g) 
Pilasters, half columns or other vertical elements suggesting structure.
(h) 
Turrets, stair towers, steeples or other accent elements.
(3) 
The exterior materials and appearance of the rear and side walls of any building shall be similar to and compatible with the front of the building. The use of plain-face concrete block as an exterior material shall be prohibited where visible from a public street or right-of-way or any residential district.
(4) 
Larger buildings, such as institutional, where permitted, shall be designed to reflect the same architectural massing and style as other buildings within a two block area. If no other single, large buildings are present in the area, then the facade of the new building shall be designed to reflect the form, mass and shape of several contiguous smaller buildings within the two-block area.
(5) 
At least 30% of the first-floor facade that faces a public street or sidewalk shall be windows or doors of clear or lightly tinted glass that allow views into and out of the building. The windows shall be distributed in a more or less even manner.
(6) 
All dwellings other than zero-lot-line dwellings separated from any other dwelling by a distance greater than 12 feet shall have at least two window openings, measuring at least two feet by four feet in size, on every wall. Dwellings on corner lots shall have window openings on each habitable level of the structure on both sides facing the streets. Windows may be part of doorway openings. For commercial buildings, a minimum of 30% of the front facade on the ground floor shall be transparent, consisting of window or door openings of clear or lightly tinted glass allowing views into and out of the interior.
F. 
Permitted materials.
(1) 
New buildings erected within Washington Township shall be of masonry construction for commercial, industrial and institutional buildings, and residential structures over three stories in height shall be of an equivalent, or better.
(2) 
Exterior surfaces of all such buildings shall be faced with face brick, stone, glass, architectural concrete or precast concrete units, provided that surfaces are molded, serrated examples or treated with a textured material in order to give the wall surface a three-dimensional character. Decorative block may be acceptable if incorporated into a building design that is compatible with other development throughout the area.
(3) 
Roofs, especially when flat, shall be of heat-reflective colors and materials, unless surfaced with photovoltaic panels or a similar energy conversion system.
G. 
Colors.
(1) 
Colors used for exterior surfaces shall be harmonious with surrounding development and shall visually reflect the traditional concept of the town center. Examples of incompatible colors include metallics, neons, and/or primary colors, which shall be limited to accents. Masonry walls shall not be painted; color shall be integral to the masonry materials.
(2) 
The use of a variety of architectural features and building materials is encouraged to give each building or group of buildings a distinct character. When accent colors are proposed, the number of colors should be limited to prevent a gaudy appearance.
H. 
Prohibited materials. No buildings shall be constructed of sheet aluminum, asbestos, iron, steel, corrugated metal, plastic or fiberglass siding. Face materials that rapidly deteriorate or become unsightly, such as galvanized metal or unfinished structural clay tile, are not permitted. No asphaltic compounds or other black or dark finish materials will be allowed on flat roofs.
I. 
Mechanical equipment and utilities. All mechanical equipment, such as furnaces, air conditioners, elevators, transformers, and utility equipment, whether on the roof or mounted on the ground, shall be completely screened from contiguous properties and adjacent streets by minimum four-foot parapets, landscaping, or by materials compatible with the architectural treatment of the principal structure.
J. 
Accessory structures. All accessory structures, screen walls, and exposed areas of retaining walls shall be of a similar type, quality, and appearance to that of the principal structure.
K. 
Loading and service areas. Loading and service areas must be completely screened, except as access points, from ground-level view from contiguous property and adjacent streets and rights-of-way.
L. 
Outdoor storage. There shall be no outdoor storage of either materials or products except through the issuance of a conditional use permit.
M. 
Trash handling and recycling.
(1) 
All trash handling and related equipment, and all areas for holding materials for recycling, shall be completely enclosed and screened from adjoining properties and public streets in materials compatible with the architectural treatment of the principal structure.
(2) 
Trash collection and storage areas shall be located to the rear or side of buildings.
N. 
Fire escapes. Fire escapes shall be located to the rear of buildings.
O. 
Signage. Signage should be integrated as an architectural element, with attention given to the color, scale and orientation of all proposed signs in relation to the overall design of the building in compliance with Article XXXVI, Signs, of Chapter 285, Zoning.
A. 
Existing structures within Washington Township are encouraged to be retained as part of the new development and may be adapted to appropriate uses.
B. 
Existing structures, if determined to be historic or architecturally significant, shall be protected from demolition or encroachment by incompatible structures or landscape development.
C. 
The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings shall be used as the criteria for renovating historic or architecturally significant structures.
A. 
Residential areas:
(1) 
For permitted single-family dwellings, two off-street parking and loading spaces shall be provided and maintained.
(2) 
No off-street parking spaces shall be located within the front yard.
(3) 
The front facades of all attached or detached garages shall be recessed behind the facade of the principal building by a minimum of 10 feet.
B. 
Commercial areas:
(1) 
On-street parking, either diagonal (angled or parallel) shall be provided along all public streets.
(2) 
Plans for off-street parking and loading facilities in commercial areas shall be reviewed by the Planning Board. In general, no off-street parking shall be required for any permitted use within these districts. However, the Planning Board may require such off-street parking and loading spaces as deemed appropriate for the proposed use.
(3) 
Parking areas shall be located to the side or rear of the principal building or use served, at the interior of the lot or underground. The Planning Board may approve alternatives to this requirement, provided that any adverse effects shall be mitigated by a masonry wall, decorative fence or plant materials that reinforce the street wall.
(4) 
Upon review, the Planning Board shall make a recommendation to the Township Council for final review and approval.
(5) 
The Planning Board may recommend and the Township Council may require a contribution toward community parking facilities in lieu of off-street parking facilities.
(6) 
Required off-street parking shall not be located within any front yard setback or in front of the principal building. Parking areas shall be landscaped in accordance with Article VI, Landscaping.
A. 
Pedestrian sidewalks, paths and walkways shall be provided within the community and shall constitute an integral element of the overall site design. They shall provide safe, convenient and attractive connections to, from and among community focal points, including residential neighborhoods, town and neighborhood centers, transit stops, schools, parks and recreation areas, municipal buildings, and other public facilities. Where feasible, any existing pedestrian routes through the site shall be preserved and enhanced.
B. 
Sidewalks shall be provided along both sides of all streets, except for residential access lanes, which may have sidewalks on one side only.
C. 
Pedestrian paths shall be landscaped to provide scale, enclosure and shade.
D. 
Intersections of pedestrian paths with streets shall have clearly defined edges. Crosswalks shall be well lighted and defined with contrasting paving materials or striping.
E. 
All sidewalks and pedestrian paths shall be handicapped accessible.
F. 
Sidewalks and paths shall be a minimum of four feet in width in residential areas and eight feet within town center and civic areas where practicable. Where less space is available, use the maximum practicable width.
G. 
All sidewalks and walkways shall be clear and well lighted.
H. 
Where transit service is available or planned, site plans shall provide pleasant and convenient access to transit stops. Where transit shelters are provided, they shall be placed in locations that promote security through natural surveillance and visibility and shall be well lighted and weather-protected.
A. 
Purpose. Site design guidelines are established to promote development that is attractive, convenient and compatible with nearby properties, neighborhood character and natural features, to minimize pedestrian and vehicular conflict, to promote street life and activity, to reinforce public spaces, to promote public safety, and to visually enhance development. These guidelines are intended to be general in nature and not to restrict creativity, variety or innovation. However, unless site characteristics or conditions dictate otherwise, the community's expectation is that these guidelines be adhered to. In cases where building and site design standards are specific to zoning districts, those standards are noted within Chapter 285, Zoning.
B. 
Procedures. Site design guidelines will be applied through the site plan review process. Site plan review shall apply to all new construction, remodeling or expansion of the following uses:
(1) 
All civic, institutional, commercial and office uses, with the following exceptions:
(a) 
The use is in an existing storefront building.
(b) 
The use is established in an existing building that has received site plan approval, and the establishment of the use does not alter the approved site plan for the property.
(c) 
Modifications, additions or enlargements to a building which do not increase the gross floor area by more than 500 square feet or 10%, whichever is less, and which do not require a variance from the provisions of this chapter.
(d) 
Grading or site preparation that results in minor modifications to the existing site, as approved by the Washington Township Engineer.
(2) 
All residential uses, with the exception of single-family detached dwellings.
C. 
Site plan requirements.
(1) 
Except as specified in the Subsection B, Procedures, site plan approval is required prior to issuance of a building permit for any proposed construction or issuance of a zoning certificate for any proposed use. When a site plan is required in support of a request for a conditional use permit or variance approval, such plan shall also be subject to site plan review requirements.
(2) 
Required information. All site plans shall be drawn to scale and shall contain the following information, unless otherwise specifically waived by the Zoning Administrator:
(a) 
A vicinity map, to include locations of any public streets, railroads, major streams or rivers and other major features within 500 feet of the site, with North arrow and scale noted.
(b) 
Boundaries, bearings and dimensions shown graphically, along with a written legal description of the property.
(c) 
Present and proposed topography of the site and adjacent areas within 50 feet, by contour lines at intervals of no more than two feet vertically, and directional arrows showing proposed flow of stormwater runoff from the site.
(d) 
Existing and proposed public streets or rights-of-way, easements, or other reservations of land on the site.
(e) 
The location and dimensions of existing and proposed structures.
(f) 
Phasing plans, where applicable.
(g) 
Location and dimensions of existing and proposed curb cuts, aisles, off-street parking and loading spaces, and walkways.
(h) 
Location, height and material for screening walls and fences.
(i) 
Location of all existing and proposed water and sewer facilities and storm drainage systems.
(j) 
Location and size of all proposed signage.
(k) 
Location and height of proposed lighting facilities.
(l) 
Location and size of all existing trees, shrubs and other vegetation on the site, indicating which will remain and which will be removed.
(m) 
Location and size of all proposed landscape materials shown graphically, as located on a landscape plan prepared by a certified landscape architect.
D. 
Site layout using existing features. Site design shall incorporate existing topography and natural features, such as hillsides, wooded areas and greenways. Important vistas and viewpoints, both from the site and into the site, should be protected and enhanced.
(1) 
Building arrangement. When multiple buildings are proposed for a site, care should be taken to provide maximum street exposure for all buildings.
(2) 
Service and docking facilities. Loading, delivery and service bays should be oriented away from existing residences and public streets. When this is impractical, service and docking areas shall be screened from view through the provisions of walls, fencing or landscaping.
(3) 
Drive-through facilities, where permitted, shall be designed with safe and easily understood traffic patterns and shall provide sufficient stacking space. Drive-through windows should not face public streets; and loudspeakers will not be allowed to create nuisances for adjacent properties.
E. 
Stormwater management. Site design shall utilize best management practices to minimize off-site stormwater runoff, increase on-site filtration, and minimize the discharge of pollutants to ground and surface water as described in the Stormwater Ordinance. Natural topography and existing land cover should be incorporated into stormwater management systems.
F. 
Shadowing. Where possible, buildings shall be located so that they minimize shadowing on adjacent properties. A sun and shadow study may be required for any building that is more than 2 1/2 stories or 35 feet in height.
Vehicular circulation shall be designed to minimize conflicts with pedestrian access and circulation, and with surrounding residential uses.
A. 
Site design should maintain the existing street grid, where present, and restore any disrupted street grid where feasible.
B. 
Access for service vehicles shall be provided that does not conflict with pedestrian use. Access points for such vehicles should provide as direct a route as possible to service and loading dock areas, while avoiding movement through parking areas.
C. 
Snow storage and removal. Site design shall include areas for snow storage unless the applicant provides an acceptable snow removal plan.
D. 
Reduction of impervious surfaces through the use of interlocking pavers or plastic pavers with voids for vegetation is strongly encouraged for areas that serve low-impact parking needs, such as remote parking lots, parking areas for periodic uses and parking in natural amenity areas.