Township of West Amwell, NJ
Hunterdon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended by Ord. No. 95-07]
Accessory apartments for affordable housing shall be permitted in all residential zones subject to the terms and conditions of the Accessory Apartment Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 109-121, Accessory apartments.
Accessory buildings shall be governed by the following:
A. 
The maximum height shall be 15 feet.
B. 
Accessory buildings shall not be located in a front yard, or between the house and the roadway.
C. 
Accessory buildings shall be permitted within the side yard and rear yard setbacks, but shall be a minimum of 10 feet from the property lines.
D. 
Except for the storage of vehicles in garages, accessory buildings shall be limited to a maximum of 500 square feet in size or may exceed 500 square feet in size to a maximum of 1,200 square feet in size if the required setbacks for a principal dwelling are met.
[Amended by Ord. No. 03-05]
E. 
Private garages shall have space for two motor vehicles for the first 10,000 square feet of lot area, and thereafter one garage space for each additional 15,000 square feet of lot area, up to a maximum of four spaces.
[Added 11-18-2015 by Ord. No. 10-2015]
A. 
Fences may be located in the front yard provided that they shall not exceed four feet in height, measured from the ground level, and shall be constructed so that at least 50% thereof is open.
B. 
Fences and walls located in any side or rear yard shall not exceed six feet in height measured from the ground level.
C. 
All fences or walls shall be symmetrical in appearance; shall have posts or columns separated by identical distances; shall consist of material conforming to a definite pattern or size; and shall be constructed so that the finished side faces outward away from the property on which it is constructed.
D. 
No fence or wall shall be constructed of any material harmful to humans or animals.
E. 
No fence or wall shall be erected along a property line without a construction permit, and no portion of a fence or wall shall be located within six inches of any property line. In considering applications for the erection of a fence or wall, the construction code enforcement official may require a survey showing the proposed location of the fence or wall with respect to the existing property lines.
F. 
Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this section, the following provisions shall be complied with:
(1) 
Screening and buffering shall be as specified in the design standards section.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Part 5, Design and Improvement Standards, of this chapter.
(2) 
Private swimming pools shall be fenced in as specified in this article.
(3) 
No fence or wall shall be located within a clear sight triangle.
A. 
No retaining wall shall be constructed in excess of four feet in height unless constructed of reinforced concrete.
B. 
No retaining wall shall be of a height greater than eight feet. In areas where greater height is required, it shall be accomplished by stepping the retaining walls horizontally one foot for every four feet of vertical height.
A. 
Area. The surface area of a private swimming pool hereafter constructed or enlarged shall not exceed 25% of the area of the rear yard.
B. 
Location.
(1) 
In all cases, the swimming pool shall not be located in the front yard, and shall comply with all setback requirements for principal buildings.
(2) 
In lieu of a survey, any person may file a certification with the construction code enforcement official certifying that the pool will be located in accordance with the requirements of this section. In the event of a complaint in writing to the construction code enforcement official by an adjoining property owner that the pool is not located according to the terms of this chapter, the owner shall furnish a survey by a licensed surveyor or engineer within 30 days after notice by the Township of the complaint.
(3) 
Fencing. The entire swimming pool area shall be fenced. The fence shall be a minimum of four feet in height and a maximum of six feet in height and shall be of such design that it controls access to the pool area. Where the pool is installed on a corner lot, and the fence is not a solid fence, the side nearest the street shall be screened with shrubs not less than four feet in height and forming a visual barrier.
(4) 
Drains. No pool shall drain into a public sanitary sewer or be located in such a manner that the water from the pool drains onto another property.
[Amended 12-4-1996 by Ord. No. 96-10; 7-19-2006 by Ord. No. 18-2006; 12-10-2008 by Ord. No. 23-2008]
A. 
Purpose.
(1) 
Accessory apartments are established in conjunction with the Township of West Amwell's affordable housing program, and the rules and regulations established herein shall be designed to ensure that each accessory apartment established hereunder shall be and remain creditworthy under the rules and regulations of the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). The Township reserves the right to rescind or repeal this section at any time after the satisfaction of the Township's affordable housing obligations as specified in its certified housing plan.
(2) 
Accessory apartments shall be a permitted use in all zones in West Amwell that permit single-family residential uses.
B. 
For the purpose of this section "accessory apartment" shall be defined as follows: "Accessory apartment" means a second dwelling unit located on a lot containing a single-family dwelling. Such a dwelling may be located within the principal structure, added to a principal structure, or located in a detached accessory building. The creation of such a dwelling unit shall be clearly accessory to the primary use of the property as a single-family dwelling and shall in no way confer upon the property owner any future rights to subdivide the existing lot in order to place each unit on a separate lot. Apartments shall be established and maintained in a manner consistent with the rules and regulations of the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing.
C. 
Minimum standards.
(1) 
Lot Area. Accessory apartments shall be permitted on lots of 20,000 square feet or greater. Accessory Apartments can be established on lots of less than 20,000 square feet, where an existing structure already exists that can be modified or altered to create an accessory apartment as long as all other standards of this chapter are met.
(2) 
Unit size and type. Accessory apartments shall contain at least 500 square feet of gross floor area and no more than 1,200 square feet, excluding garage space. Each unit must contain a minimum of two rooms plus a bathroom and provide living/sleeping and kitchen facilities. Units attached to a principal dwelling must have and maintain a separate entrance and shall not have its entrance located within the principal structure. A deed restriction shall be applied to properties with accessory apartments specifying that such units may not be subdivided off in the future.
(3) 
Parking. A minimum of one off-street parking space shall be provided for an accessory apartment. In no case can the parking provided for an accessory apartment result in a reduction of the existing parking for a principal dwelling below two spaces.
(4) 
Building setbacks. No new accessory apartment shall be located in any front yard setback. Building setbacks should be consistent within the zoning district and be within the building envelope.
D. 
Maximum regulations.
(1) 
Building height. Notwithstanding the building height limitations that apply to accessory structures elsewhere in the Township's Zoning Regulations, structures containing an accessory apartment which is developed in a manner consistent with this section shall be permitted to build up to 2 1/2 stories and not exceeding 35 feet.
E. 
Other regulations.
(1) 
Accessory apartments shall have at least one bedroom.
(2) 
Accessory apartments shall provide off-street parking spaces consistent with the number of bedrooms, provided that no more than two spaces shall be required in addition to existing on-site parking, and that they shall be reserved for use by the occupants of the accessory apartment.
(3) 
Building permits.
(a) 
Prior to the issuance of a building permit for an accessory apartment, a site plan and architectural plans shall be submitted to the Zoning Officer for review. Plans shall accurately depict the location, size and appearance of the proposed structure. Any construction relative to the creation of an accessory apartment shall be architecturally treated in a manner which is consistent with the appearance of other structures on site.
(b) 
In addition, before a building permit is issued, the applicant shall have entered into and recorded an agreement with the Township specifying that the proposed accessory apartment will be constructed, occupied and maintained in a manner consistent with the requirements of the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing, including the appropriate length of deed restriction, the status of the units as low- or moderate-income units, the method and timing of payments/subsidies being paid by the Township and any other relevant or pertinent items consistent with the intent and purpose of this section and this program in general.
(4) 
Where new paved or gravel driveways or parking areas are proposed, a minimum five-foot setback from any side or rear property line shall be maintained. Landscaping and/or solid fencing shall be provided to screen such areas from adjacent properties and shall be depicted on the proposed site plan.
(5) 
Accessory apartments shall be developed for the housing of low- and moderate-income persons and shall conform to all requirements of the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing and the Township of West Amwell. Such units shall be marketed in a manner consistent with the affirmative marketing requirements of the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing.
(6) 
There shall be no more than one accessory apartment on any lot.
(7) 
The buildings shall be in full compliance with all applicable health and construction codes.
(8) 
The owner must submit an affidavit of continuing use every two years.
(9) 
The rents for accessory apartments shall be consistent with COAH rules.
Other accessory structures shall be governed by the requirements of § 109-117 above except for the exceptions listed in the height exceptions subsection.
[Added by Ord. No. 02-04]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of the elder cottage housing opportunity (ECHO) unit is to provide extended family housing as a residential accessory structure on a lot with a principal residential structure. ECHO housing shall provide an alternative to nursing home and boarding home care so that immediate elderly relatives (62 years of age or older), or disabled relatives over the age of 18, may live nearby but not in the same housing unit. This housing is provided so that it may be installed in an affordable manner and removed easily at a later date when it is no longer needed. It is the intent of ECHO housing to provide for the continuing need for mutual support within the family while maintaining individual independence and financial security.
B. 
Dimensional standards and building standards.
(1) 
An ECHO unit shall be considered to be an accessory use to an existing residential structure and use. However, the ECHO unit shall meet the side yard and rear yard requirements of the principal structure.
(2) 
Minimum lot area shall be 1.0 acres.
(3) 
Maximum square footage of the unit shall be 720 square feet.
(4) 
The ECHO unit shall be placed within the rear yard and not within the area of the front and side yards. If requested by the applicant, the Township Planning Board may grant a waiver to permit a unit in the side yard if it can be shown that the placement of the unit will have no negative impact upon adjacent properties.
(5) 
The ECHO unit shall be positioned on the lot in such a way as to minimize its visibility from other nearby and abutting lots. Additional buffering may be required by the Township Planning Board to meet this criterion.
(6) 
The ECHO unit shall be located only upon a lot with a single-family detached dwelling.
(7) 
Only one ECHO unit shall be permitted per lot, and it shall contain a bathroom, kitchen, living and sleeping facilities. There shall not be more than two bedrooms.
(8) 
The ECHO unit shall be self-contained, barrier-free, energy-efficient and capable of being moved to another site. The applicant shall be responsible for preparing the site for installation of the ECHO unit. It shall be located on masonry block or wooden piers with adequate tie downs, not on a concrete slab, and shall comply with the definition of "dwelling."
(9) 
If requested by the applicant, and if it can be shown that the granting of the waiver shall not have a negative impact upon adjacent properties, the Township Planning Board shall have the right to grant a waiver to any of the above dimensional standards and building standards.
C. 
Health Department requirements. Written approval of existing well and septic systems by the County Department of Health must be submitted along with the application to the Township Planning Board. The existing system may be expanded if necessary, but a separate septic system shall not be created for the unit.
D. 
Occupancy standards.
(1) 
An ECHO unit is for the use and occupancy by not more than two persons who are related by blood, marriage or adoption to the owner of the primary dwelling, who must occupy the primary residence on the premises. The unit may also house one professional caregiver if the unit is only occupied by one qualified individual. One of the ECHO unit related occupants shall be 62 years of age or older or disabled over the age of 18 as defined in Section 223 of the Social Security Act. The caregiver and/or nonqualified occupant must vacate the unit within 60 days of the qualified occupant vacating the unit.
(2) 
In the event of the death or permanent change of address of the occupant(s) of the ECHO unit, the owner of the primary dwelling shall give written notice to the Zoning Officer within 15 days of the change.
(3) 
Within 90 days of the death or permanent change of address of the occupant(s) of the ECHO unit, the ECHO unit shall be removed from the premises and written notification of such shall be given to the Zoning Officer. To facilitate this requirement the unit shall either be part of an ECHO Housing Unit Program sponsored by a governmental unit or agency or nonprofit program; or the municipal agency shall be satisfied that adequate provisions (such as bonding to ensure the removal of the unit) have been made guaranteeing the removal of the ECHO unit at the end of the term of the subject occupancy.
(4) 
Within 60 days of the removal of the ECHO unit, the lot shall be restored by the owner of the primary dwelling to the status prior to the installation of the unit. The owner of the primary dwelling shall give written notification of such to the Zoning Officer within this time period, or bonds shall be posted with the Township to ensure the restoration.
(5) 
Application and approval for an ECHO unit shall be considered a minor site plan subject to the review and approval of the Planning Board. Upon submission of the application and checklist, the applicant shall pay an application fee of $100 and establish an escrow in the amount of $500 for professional review, subject to the requirements of Part 2, Article III, of this chapter. Notice of an application for an ECHO unit shall be given in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-12.
(6) 
The owner of the primary dwelling shall file an annual letter with the Township Housing Committee certifying the continuing compliance by the permittee with the conditions of the original permit issuance.