Township of Bernards, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. #585, § 901A; Ord. #1018; Ord. #1433, 12-26-2000, amended]
Filing fees for applications and escrow deposits for the rendering of services by the Board, members of the Township administrative, in-house technical and professional staff and consulting or outside professional personnel or services shall be as follows:
a. 
Filing Fees. All applications shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee, as set forth in Table 901,[1] which shall be used to cover the costs associated with review of the application by Township administrative staff. Costs for inspection of buildings or improvements, or for issuance of construction permits and certificates of occupancy, are payable by the developer in addition to the filing fees and escrows under this Subsection 21-58.1.
[1]
Editor's Note: The table referred to herein can be found at the end of this chapter.
b. 
Escrow Deposits.
1. 
All applications shall be accompanied by an escrow amount, as set forth in Table 901,[2] to cover costs associated with the review and processing of the application by technical and professional staff and consultants. The applicant shall be responsible to reimburse the Township for:
(a) 
All expenses of in-house Township technical and professional staff and outside consulting and professional personnel for services necessary to review and process an application for development before a Township agency; such as:
(1) 
The cost of reviews by in-house Township technical and professional staff and outside consulting and professional personnel of applications and accompanying documents.
(2) 
Issuance of reports by in-house Township technical and professional staff and outside consulting and professional personnel to the Township agency setting forth recommendations resulting from the review of any documents submitted by applicant.
(3) 
Charges for any telephone conference or meeting requested or initiated by an applicant, applicant's Attorney or any of the applicant's experts.
(4) 
Review of additional documents submitted by applicant and issuance of reports relating thereto.
(5) 
Review or preparation of easements, developers' agreements, deeds or the like.
(6) 
Preparation of resolutions of approval and memorializing resolutions.
(b) 
The cost of independent expert advice or testimony obtained by the Township agency, provided that the agency gives prior notice to the applicant of its intention to obtain such additional independent expert advice or testimony and affords the applicant an opportunity to be heard as to the necessity for such additional advice or testimony and definition of the limitations on the nature and extent thereof.
[2]
Editor's Note: The table referred to herein can be found at the end of this chapter.
2. 
No applicant shall be responsible to reimburse the municipality for any in-house Township administrative and secretarial work.
3. 
The term "technical and professional personnel" or "technical and professional services" as used herein shall include the services of a duly licensed engineer, surveyor, planner, Attorney, realtor, appraiser, environmentalist, fire official or other experts and their employees or staff who would provide technical and professional services to insure an application meets performance standards set forth in the ordinance and generally accepted standards for the particular professional field. Professional personnel or professional services shall also mean experts whose testimony is in an area in which the applicant has presented expert testimony.
4. 
No plat or site plan shall be signed, nor shall any zoning permits, building permits, certificates of occupancy or any other types of permits be issued with respect to any approved application for development until all bills for reimbursable services have been received by the Township from outside professional personnel rendering services in connection with such application and payment has been approved by the governing body. If all bills have not been submitted, the applicant shall deposit with the Township an estimated amount agreed to by the applicant and the municipal agency as sufficient to cover all reimbursable items which shall include the cost of work performed by in-house Township technical and professional personnel in connection with the application. Upon posting said deposit with the Township, the appropriate maps or permits may be signed and released or issued to the developer. If the amount of the deposit exceeds the actual cost as approved for payment by the governing body, the developer shall be entitled to a return of the excess deposit, together with such interest as allowed by N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.1; but if the charges submitted to and approved by the governing body exceed the amount of the deposit, the developer shall make payment of such deficiency upon receipt of written notice of the deficiency.
[Ord. #2164, 6-28-2011, amended]
5. 
No outside technical or professional personnel submitting charges to the municipality for any of the services referred to in paragraph b1 of this subsection shall charge for any of the services contemplated by that paragraph at any higher rate or in any different manner than would normally be charged the Township for similar work as ascertained by the professional's professional service contract of employment with the Township. A professional whose only professional service contract with the Township is for services related to the particular application shall not charge at any higher rate or in any different manner than such professional would normally charge for work for any municipal agency. Payment of any bill rendered by a professional to the Township with respect to any service for which the Township is entitled to reimbursement under this subsection shall in no way be contingent upon receipt of reimbursement by developer, nor shall any payment to a professional be delayed pending reimbursement from a developer.
6. 
Where one application for development includes several approval requests, the sum of the individual required fees shall be paid.
[Ord. #2164, 6-28-2011, amended]
7. 
Any applicant who desires a certified court reporter shall be solely responsible for arranging for the reporter's attendance and paying the reporter's fees, including the cost of a transcript for the Township, except that the cost of a transcript requested by any other party shall be the responsibility of such other party.
[Ord. #585, § 901B; Ord. #1018; Ord. #1103, § 48]
a. 
All required improvements and utility installations shall be inspected during the time of their installations under the supervision of the Township Engineer to insure satisfactory completion. The cost of said inspection shall be the responsibility of the developer who shall agree in writing to pay all reasonable costs for inspections.
b. 
For the purpose of establishing the required initial deposit in the escrow account, the developer shall deposit with the Township Treasurer a sum not to exceed, except for extraordinary circumstances, the greater of $500 or 5% of the amount of the estimate of the cost of improvements. The Township Treasurer shall, in turn, deposit such funds in an interest-bearing account as required by law.
For those developments for which the reasonably anticipated fees are less than $10,000, fees 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 fees. When the balance on deposit drops to 10% of the reasonably estimated fees because the amount deposited by the developer has been reduced by the amount paid to the Township Engineer for inspection, the developer shall deposit the remaining 50% of the anticipated inspection fees.
For those developments for which the reasonably anticipated fees are $10,000 or greater, fees 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 Township Engineer for inspection, the developer shall make additional deposits of 25% of the anticipated inspection fees.
In the event that actual inspection fees exceed the reasonably anticipated fees, the developer shall be required to reimburse the Township for all additional reasonable inspection fees. The developer may also, at its option, deposit additional funds with the Township Treasurer in an amount not to exceed the initial deposit which established the escrow account or make payment in advance for any inspection for which sufficient funds are not on deposit in escrow. The Township Engineer shall not perform any inspection if sufficient funds to pay for those inspections are not on deposit.
c. 
The Township shall assess the cost of inspections monthly against the account, and unless the developer should elect to pay inspection fees in installments as set forth in Paragraph b above, the developer shall be invoiced monthly for the replacement of funds drawn on the account. The cost for the Township personnel shall include direct salary costs and fringe benefits. Inspection by other than Township personnel, as well as other expenses directly related to inspection, shall be charged at the actual cost to the Township. All bills shall be payable within 30 days of rendering. Failure on the part of the developer to make payment within 30 days shall entitle the Township to revoke buildings permits, issue a stop work order to take such legal action as may be necessary to secure invoiced inspection fees, except that no such action shall be taken until 15 days after completion of an appeal, if such appeal is undertaken as provided in Paragraph e, below.
d. 
No certificates of occupancy shall be issued unless all inspection fees are paid. All sums not utilized for the inspection of improvements shall be returned to the developer within 30 days of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy.
e. 
If, within 30 days or receipt of an invoice for inspection fees, the developer is of the opinion that inspection fees, as invoiced, are unreasonable, the developer may, within that thirty-day period, appeal the reasonableness of the costs of inspection to the Township Administrator. Notice of such an appeal shall be made in writing to the administrator officer and a hearing before the Township Administrator shall be held within 45 days of receipt of such written request. Failure on the part of the Township to hold the hearing within 45 days shall result in the granting of the relief requested by the developer. After the conclusion of the hearing, the Township Administrator shall render a decision within 15 days. This decision may determine if the fees charged are reasonable, or if unreasonable, result in a reduction in the inspection fee charged to the developer. The results of the hearing shall in no way preclude the developer from such alternate course(s) of action that the developer may deem appropriate.