Borough of Upper Saddle River, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Upper Saddle River 3-12-2008 by Ord. No. 1-08. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Land use procedures — See Ch. 10.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 41.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 102.
Subdivision and site plan review — See Ch. 126.
Zoning — See Ch. 150.
The purposes of this chapter are:
A. 
To protect buildings listed on the Borough Inventory of Historic Sites from demolition or major alteration that would destroy historic value.
B. 
To encourage owners of those buildings to explore alternatives to demolition.
C. 
To foster pride in the community and our historic past.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BCCO
Borough Construction Code Official.
DEMOLITION
Pulling down, destroying, removing or razing a building or structure, in whole or part (including exterior walls or roof). Demolition shall not include ordinary maintenance, repair, or addition to a building.
DEVELOPER
Owner or other person or firm applying for demolition or building permits on an historic home.
A. 
Any property listed on the Upper Saddle River Inventory of Historic Sites that has enough of the original exterior remaining to be recognizable as historic as determined by the HPC.
B. 
Any property listed on the Upper Saddle River Inventory of Historic Sites that is located where the original structure was but has undergone so much alteration that it no longer contains enough of the original to be recognizable as historic as determined by the IIPC, or where the original structure has been razed.
HPC
Historic Preservation Commission.
MAJOR ALTERATION
A change to a structure that (one or more):
A. 
Involves extensive removal or covering up of original historic materials including but not limited to siding, rooflines, window and door surrounds, corner boards and moldings and/or significant changes to the structural frame.
B. 
Substantially changes the character of the building in terms of size, scale, mass and proportion.
C. 
Leaves no clear distinction between the original historic building and the new.
D. 
Is inconsistent with the predominant architectural style and historic qualities of the building.
E. 
Renders the building unrecognizable as an historic site.
RELOCATION
Moving of a building to a new location on the same or another lot.
A. 
Membership. The Commission shall consist of five regular members and two alternates, with at least one member in each of the following classes:
(1) 
Class A: a person knowledgeable in building design and construction or architectural history and who may reside outside the Borough.
(2) 
Class B: a person knowledgeable or with demonstrated interest in local history who may reside outside the Borough.
(3) 
Class C: citizens of the Borough who hold no other municipal office except they may be a member of the Planning Board or Board of Adjustment. At least one shall be owner of an historic site.
B. 
Terms of office: four years for regular members, two years for alternates. In the initial creation of the Commission, terms shall be distributed as follows: Regular members: two for four years, one each for one, two, and three years so that all terms do not expire at one time. Alternates: one for 2 years, one for one year. Regular members may be reappointed for four-year terms when initial terms expire. Alternates may be reappointed for two-year terms upon expiration of initial terms.
C. 
Appointment. The Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Council, shall appoint all members and alternates. The Mayor shall also appoint a Council member as liaison to the HPC.
D. 
Officers. The Commission shall elect a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson from its membership annually at its first meeting of the calendar year and elect a secretary who may or may not be a member of the Commission or a Borough employee.
E. 
Funding. The Borough shall make provision in its budget for appropriate funds for expenses of the HPC.
F. 
Rules.
(1) 
A quorum shall consist of three members of the Commission.
(2) 
Secretary. The secretary shall record minutes of all meetings and proceedings including voting records, attendance, resolutions, findings, determinations and decisions. All shall be public record.
(3) 
All meetings shall comply with the Open Public Meetings Act.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.
(4) 
Alternate members may participate in discussions, but not vote except in the absence of a regular member.
(5) 
No member of the Commission shall be permitted to act on any matter in which he or she or any family member has personal or financial interest.
(6) 
Members shall serve without compensation.
G. 
Powers and duties. The principal responsibility of the HPC shall be to work with developers to negotiate alternatives to major alteration or demolition of historic sites. The Commission also shall:
(1) 
Create and maintain an inventory of historic sites within Upper Saddle River based on the Bergen County Historic Sites Survey 1984, revised 9/01.
(2) 
Create and recommend to the Planning Board an historic preservation section for the Borough Master Plan.
(3) 
Contact owners of historic sites to discuss historic preservation and the benefits of protection under this chapter.
(4) 
Award historic site plaques and recognition to those sites deemed eligible by the HPC.
(5) 
Review applications for demolition or building permits for homes protected under this chapter, discuss alternatives with the developer, and render recommendations within 45 days of the receipt of the application.
(6) 
Carry out such other advisory, educational and informational functions as will promote historic preservation in the Borough.
A. 
Eligibility. Properties listed on the USR Inventory of Historic Sites are eligible either as historic structures or historic locations. The USR Inventory is based on the Bergen County Historic Sites Survey, 1984, revised 9/01 (with one or two exceptions, all properties listed were built before 1900). Other sites as determined by the HPC can be eligible, provided they are:
(1) 
Significant examples of an architectural style or period or architecture native to the area.
(2) 
Associated with important persons or groups.
(3) 
Important to cultural and historic heritage of the area.
B. 
Application. Owners of historic structures or historic locations may decline protection under this chapter in writing to the HPC, in which case the application shall be granted by the HPC.
C. 
Transfer of title. In the event there is a change in ownership or transfer of legal title to a property previously accorded, protection under this chapter, the new owner or transferee may accept or decline such protection. If an owner has declined protection under this chapter, a future owner of the property may apply for such protection.
D. 
Implications of historic site status. Historic Site Status does not:
(1) 
Require a home be open for tours.
(2) 
Restrict sale of property.
(3) 
Prohibit improvements or restoration provided they are compatible with the style of the historic building as determined by the HPC.
(4) 
Require approval of interior alterations.
(5) 
Require approval of ordinary repair or maintenance.
The HPC shall be issued copies of any application for demolition or alteration of an historic site protected under this chapter. The HPC shall present an opinion on the application in 45 days from the date the completed application is received, during which time no work is to be done on the property.
A. 
During this review period, the HPC may work with the developer to explore alternatives to extensive alteration or demolition so that they are not the first or only alternatives considered when the home is sold. If the developer is unable to meet with the HPC during this period, the HPC shall request that the BCCO hold issuance of permits until the developer has met with the HPC.
B. 
If agreement is reached between the HPC and the developer, the HPC shall issue a letter stating the terms of the agreement. Upon receipt of the letter, the developer may proceed with obtaining permits for the proposed demolition/relocation/alteration. Copies of the HPC letter shall be forwarded to the BCCO, the developer, and all Borough agencies involved in review of the project. All work on the building shall be done in accordance with the agreement.
C. 
If the application is unacceptable to the HPC, the HPC shall state its reasons and recommendations in writing within 45 days and forward copies to the BCCO, the developer, and all Borough agencies involved in review of the project. The applicable Borough agencies will then determine whether to accept or deny the application, or to request that the developer make changes that would be in line with HPC recommendations.
D. 
The developer shall grant the HPC access to the premises to take photographs for historical record should demolition or major alteration be planned.
Alternatives may include:
A. 
Historically accurate restoration.
B. 
Expansion or addition to the building which is compatible historically with the original building.
C. 
Relocation.
[Amended 11-12-2008 by Ord. No. 15-08]
At the end of the forty-five-day review period (§ 62A-5), if no action has been recommended by the HPC, the developer shall be entitled to apply for demolition and/or building. Upon expiration of said forty-five-day review period, the Zoning Enforcement Official may approve such demolition and/or building permit application.
All agreements between the HPC and the developer (§ 62A-5) shall expire two years from the date of the written agreement if the work authorized has not commenced.
Nothing in this chapter shall restrict or prevent the BCCO from ordering the immediate demolition of any building which is determined to be imminently dangerous or unsafe to the public.
A. 
The BCCO shall be authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter and to institute any and all actions and proceedings as may be necessary and appropriate to obtain compliance with the same, including injuctive relief to enjoin and restrain any violations and threatened violations.
B. 
No building permit shall be issued for a period of up to five years after completion of demolition by intentional or grossly negligent disregard of the sections of this chapter.
C. 
The remedies and enforcement procedures set forth in this section may be applied separately or in conjunction with one another at the discretion of the BCCO.
A. 
Fifty-percent reduction in building permit fees at the discretion of the Mayor and Council.
B. 
Special zoning variance consideration may be recommended by the HPC in special circumstances, including when the owner agrees to write a deed restriction preventing future demolition and stating that all alterations must be done preserving the historic integrity of the building.
C. 
General guidance on acquiring low-interest loans will be provided by the HPC.
D. 
General guidance for obtaining grants will be provided by the HPC.
If any section, sentence or any other part of this chapter is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this chapter but shall be confined in its effect to the section, sentence or other part of this chapter directly involved in the controversy which such judgment shall be rendered.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances which are inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter are hereby repealed, but only to the extent of such inconsistencies.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon final passage and publication as provided by law.