Township of Cedar Grove, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The Township of Cedar Grove has determined that flexibility in design and land use planning is appropriate and needed in certain areas of the municipality, in order to protect environmentally sensitive lands and preserve remaining open space, to a encourage cohesively and efficiently designed development projects, and to provide additional housing options for senior citizens. To accommodate alternative methodologies that further these goals while at the same time, providing for growth that is compatible with the character of the community and with the intents and purposes of the Township Master Plan, this article provides procedures and substantive regulations governing permitted residential cluster developments and planned residential developments. Planned developments are permitted pursuant to this article to achieve the following objectives:
A. 
A development pattern in harmony with the objectives of the various plans, programs, and ordinances adopted or approved by the Township to guide its growth and development.
B. 
An efficient use of land resulting in smaller networks of utilities and streets and thereby lower development and housing costs.
C. 
The preservation of open space for recreation and aesthetic beauty, and of desirable natural site characteristics, including environmental and ecological systems and amenities.
D. 
Broadening of the uses permitted in residential developments and variation in the relationship of uses, structures, open spaces and heights of structures in developments conceived as cohesive unified projects.
Planned developments and all individual uses and lots contained therein, shall be subject to the provisions and submission requirements for site plan review (Article X) and where applicable, land subdivision (Chapter 234). No final approval shall be granted for any portion of a tract proposed for residential cluster or planned residential community development without a preliminary site plan for the development of the entire tract having first been approved.
Prior to approval of any preliminary or final site plan for any residential cluster development or planned residential community development, the Planning Board shall find the following facts and conclusions:
A. 
Any departures by the proposed development from zoning regulations otherwise applicable to the subject property, conform to the regulations set forth herein for such planned developments.
B. 
The proposals for maintenance and conservation of the common open space in the residential cluster or planned retirement community development application are reliable, and that the amount, location, and purpose of the common open space are adequate.
C. 
Provision through the physical design of the proposed development for public services, control over vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and the amenities of light and air, recreation, and visual enjoyment are adequate.
D. 
The proposed planned development will not have an unreasonably adverse impact upon the area in which it is proposed to be established.
E. 
In the case of a proposed development which contemplates construction over a period of years, the terms and conditions intended to protect the interests of the public and of the residents, occupants, and owners of the proposed development in the total completion of the development are adequate.
A. 
Ownership. No application for planned development approval shall be granted unless the Planning Board shall find that the entire tract proposed for planned development treatment is in single ownership or under such unified control as to ensure that the entire tract will be developed as a unified whole. All owners of the tract shall be included as joint applicants on all applications, and all approvals shall bind all owners. The violation of any owner as to any tract shall be deemed a violation as to all owners and all tracts.
B. 
Minimum tract size. No application for a planned development shall be granted unless the Planning Board shall find that:
(1) 
The tract in questions conforms to the minimum tract size designated for the type of planned development proposed; and
(2) 
The tract in question is of sufficient size and shape to accommodate the type and scope of development proposed and appropriate to be planned and developed as a unified whole.
C. 
Streets. Private streets may be utilized within any planned development, in accordance with the requirements of the Residential Site Improvement Standards (N.J.A.C. 5:21 et seq.).
D. 
Guarantees of completion. Any approval of a planned development shall be conditioned upon the applicant entering into a developer's agreement with the Township and posting performance guarantees pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, to ensure the installation and maintenance of all public improvements and other facilities required as a condition of any approval granted pursuant to this article.
E. 
Other regulations. No application for planned development approval shall be granted unless the Planning Board shall find that, in addition to complying with each of the standards applicable under this article, the proposed development complies with:
(1) 
All standards applicable to site plan approval;
(2) 
All standards applicable to subdivision plats;
(3) 
All standards, except to the extent waived, varied or modified pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, applicable in the zoning district in which the proposed development will be located; and
(4) 
All other standards applicable to the proposed development under other federal, state, county, and/or municipal laws, ordinances and/or regulations.
F. 
Common facilities and open space. No application for planned development approval shall be granted unless the Planning Board shall find that all of the requirements of this subsection are met as to all common open space and facilities, to be provided in connection with the proposed development:
(1) 
The amount and location of all common open space and facilities to be provided in a planned development shall be consistent with the minimum standards as established by the appropriate section of this article for the particular type of planned development.
(2) 
No private common open space shall be used for the construction of any structure or improvement, except such structures and improvements as may be approved as part of the final site plan/subdivision plat as appropriate to the intended aesthetic, leisure and recreational uses for which the open space is intended. As a condition of the approval of the planned development, adequate safeguards, including recorded covenants or dedication of development rights, shall be provided to prevent the subsequent use of the open space for any other structure, improvement or development.
(3) 
The approval of a planned development shall be conditioned upon the final site plan/subdivision plat, including such provisions for the ownership and maintenance of private common open space and facilities as are reasonably necessary to ensure their continuity, care, conservation, maintenance and operation, in accordance with predetermined standards, by a landowners' organization formed for the purpose and to ensure that remedial measures will be available to the Township if the open space or facilities are permitted to deteriorate or are not maintained by such organization in a condition consistent with the best interests of the planned development or the Township. Such organization shall not be dissolved and shall not dispose of any open space, by sale or otherwise, except to an organization which will own and maintain the open space for the benefit of the development in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. No such organization or successor organization shall dispose of any open space held by it except in compliance with the provisions of this chapter and except after having first offered to dedicate such open space to the Township.
(4) 
Common open space may be by mutual agreement of the developer and the governing body dedicated at any time to the Township for public use and maintenance, or to another appropriate governmental agency willing and able to accept the dedication and to maintain the open space for its intended purposes.
(5) 
Every landowners' organization, and the covenants and declarations creating and regulating every landowners' organization, formed or intended to own or maintain private common open space or facilities pursuant to the requirements of this chapter shall meet each of the following standards:
(a) 
The regulations governing the organization must be established prior to the sale of any property within the planned development or the area within the planned development designated to have the exclusive use or benefit of the proposed open space or facilities.
(b) 
Tentative bylaws and rules of the organization and all covenants and restrictions to be recorded must be available at the time of the application for final site plan/plat approval prior to becoming effective.
(c) 
The organization must be responsible for casualty and liability insurance, taxes and the maintenance of the open space and facilities to be deeded to it or maintained by it.
(d) 
Membership must be mandatory for each landowner and any successor buyer having a right to the use, enjoyment or benefit of the open space or facilities.
(e) 
Landowners having a right to the use, enjoyment or benefit of the open space or facilities must pay their pro rata share of the costs of the organization by means of an assessment, to be levied by the organization, which meets the requirements for becoming a lien on the property in accordance with the statutes of the State of New Jersey.
(f) 
The organization must have the right to adjust the assessment to meet changed needs. The membership vote required to authorize such adjustment shall be fixed at not more than 2/3 of the members voting on the issue.
(g) 
The open space restrictions must be permanent and not for a given period of years.
(h) 
The Township shall have the right to enforce the covenants.
(6) 
In the event that such organization shall fail to maintain the private open space or facilities in reasonable order and condition, the Zoning Officer may serve written notice upon such organization or upon the owners of the development, setting forth the manner in which the organization has failed to maintain the open space or facilities in reasonable condition and demanding that such maintenance deficiencies be cured within 35 days following the date of the notice. The notice shall state the date, time and place for a hearing, to be held with the Zoning Officer within 15 days following the date of the notice, for the purposes of considering any and all deficiencies in the maintenance of the open space or facilities and the formulation of a program to eliminate all such deficiencies. A copy of this subsection shall accompany each such notice. Upon the conclusion of the hearing, the Zoning Officer may modify the terms of the original notice as to deficiencies and may give a reasonable extension of time, not to exceed 65 days, within which they shall be cured.
(7) 
If the deficiencies set forth in the original notice or in the modification thereof shall not have been cured within said 35 days or any permitted extension thereof, the Township, in order to preserve and maintain the open space and facilities, may enter upon and maintain such land or facilities for a period not to exceed one year. The cost of such maintenance shall be assessed against the properties within the development that have a right of use, enjoyment or benefit of the open space or facilities and shall become a lien and tax on said properties, pro rata in accordance with their respective assessed valuations at the time the lien is imposed, and shall be added to and be a part of the taxes to be levied and assessed thereon and enforced and collected, with interest, by the same officers and in the same manner as other taxes.
(8) 
At least 30 days prior to the conclusion of the year of maintenance by the Township, or sooner at the request of the organization, the Township Council shall call a public hearing, upon 15 days' written notice to such organization and to the owners of the development, at which hearing the organization and the owners of the development shall show cause why the Township should not continue such maintenance for a succeeding year. If the Council shall determine that the organization is ready and able to maintain its open space and facilities in reasonable condition, the Township shall cease maintenance at the end of the year for which it had assumed maintenance responsibility or, by mutual agreement of the Council and the organization, at such other date as may be convenient. If the Township Council shall determine that such organization is not ready and able to maintain said open space or facilities in reasonable condition, the Township may, at its option, continue its maintenance during the next succeeding year and from year to year thereafter, subject to a similar hearing and determination in each succeeding year.
The following planned residential developments are permitted pursuant to this article in the zoning districts indicated:
A. 
Residential Cluster (RC) developments in the R-18, R-30, R-40, and R-5A single-family residential zones, subject to the requirements herein.
B. 
Planned Retirement Community (PRC) developments in the SL/C Senior Living/Care Zone, subject to the requirements herein.
The standards of this section are intended to permit minor modifications of the yard and area requirements of the various zoning districts, exclusive of minimum lot area per unit and lot coverage requirements, in order to permit the grouping of structures pursuant to a preconceived plan of development.
A. 
Permitted uses.
(1) 
Uses permitted in the zoning district.
(2) 
Common open space.
(3) 
Developed common areas and recreational facilities.
B. 
Minimum tract area. The minimum permitted tract area for a residential cluster development is 10 acres.
C. 
Density and lot coverage. No permit for a residential cluster development shall authorize any increase in the overall density or intensity of development nor any increase in the overall lot coverage permitted by the district regulations applicable in the district in which such development is to be located.
D. 
Open space. No dwelling unit in a residential cluster development shall be located on a lot having less than the minimum lot area required by the regulations of the district in which it is located, unless an area at least equal to any deficiency below said minimum is provided and maintained as part of a common open space for the benefit of the inhabitants of said unit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
(1) 
Not less than 40% of the tract area of a residential cluster development shall be dedicated to contiguous, natural, undeveloped open space.
E. 
Other provisions and requirements.
(1) 
Open space shall be designed to preserve natural features such as woodlands and rock outcroppings, and to protect and/or buffer environmentally sensitive areas on the tract.
(2) 
Portions of the tract proposed for development shall be situated in the nearest feasible proximity to infrastructure connections, such as sewerage and water mains, needed for the project.
(3) 
No building shall be situated closer to a street line or tract boundary line than the applicable setback distance requirement for the front, side, or rear yard, as required in the zoning district.
(4) 
The minimum distance permitted between residential dwellings shall be 30 feet for side to front, side to rear, or side to side separations; 120 feet for front to front separations; and 70 feet for rear to rear separations.
(5) 
The standards set forth in this section are in addition to all other standards made applicable to the particular residential cluster development being proposed by the provisions of this chapter, and no application for approval of a residential cluster development shall be approved unless all such other standards, including but not limited to those relating to planned developments, site plan or subdivision approval, and to the district in which the proposed development will be located, have been met or, where permitted, waived pursuant to the applicable provisions of this chapter.
The standards applicable to planned retirement communities (PRC's) are intended to provide for senior citizen housing opportunities in the form of independent retirement communities. Such developments permit age-restricted multifamily residential structures designed for occupancy by senior citizens, as well as an array of amenities specifically designed to meet the physical and social needs of such households.
A. 
Permitted uses.
(1) 
Independent retirement communities consisting of multifamily residential buildings specifically designed and intended for and limited to occupancy by households composed of at least one adult 55 years of age or older, except as specifically provided herein, and with no children under the age of 19. Permitted residential buildings shall include any one of the following:
(a) 
Garden apartments.
(b) 
Quadriplexes with attached garages.
(c) 
Townhouses with attached garages.
B. 
Accessory uses.
(1) 
Recreational and social facilities for the use of residents and their guests, such as clubhouses, gymnasiums and health clubs, tennis courts, swimming pools, community meeting and party rooms.
(2) 
Storage facilities and utility or maintenance structures.
(3) 
Private garages attached to or constructed beneath residential dwelling units and outdoor off-street parking spaces.
C. 
Age restrictions. Through its corporation, association or owners, the land and buildings in any PRC shall be restricted by bylaws, rules, regulations, and restrictions of record, to use, ownership and occupancy by persons of 55 years of age or older, subject to the following exceptions, consistent with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act, as amended.
(1) 
A member of a couple under the age of 55 years who is residing with his/her partner, which partner is 55 years of age or over, may reside in a PRC.
(2) 
Twenty percent of units may be occupied by households whose oldest member is aged 45-55 years, provided that all other requirements of this section are met.
(3) 
An adult under 55 years of age may reside in the PRC if it is established that the presence of such person is essential to the physical care of one or more of the adult occupants of the same unit, which adult occupant(s) shall be 55 years of age or older.
(4) 
Children under the age of 19 shall not be permitted to reside in any unit in the PRC, regardless of the age(s) of the parent(s) with whom they reside.
(5) 
One unit in any such development may be occupied by a resident manager and family not meeting the above criteria.
(6) 
A PRC shall comply with all applicable requirements of the Federal Fair Housing Act and all amendments thereto and all applicable rules and regulations of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regarding such use, ownership, and occupancy, and shall further comply with all applicable HUD rules and regulations for self-certification of compliance with the Act and with HUD's rules and regulations. The residency restriction applicable to the development may be reviewed by the Township Attorney for compliance with this section.
D. 
Development standards.
(1) 
Minimum tract area. The minimum gross tract area for a PRC development is 10 acres.
(2) 
Maximum density.
(a) 
The maximum density of development for a PRC consisting of garden apartments shall not exceed 10 units per gross acre.
(b) 
The maximum density of development for a PRC consisting of quadriplexes shall not exceed eight units per gross acre.
(c) 
The maximum density of development for a PRC consisting of townhouses shall not exceed six units per gross acre.
(3) 
Lot coverage. The maximum principal building coverage on the tract shall not exceed 25%, while the maximum total impervious coverage shall not exceed 50%.
(4) 
Street line setbacks. No building shall be located closer to a public street right-of-way line than 50 feet. The minimum distance to the curbline of any private street shall be 15 feet.
(5) 
Yard and area requirements. The PRC development shall conform to the standards of the Schedule of Requirements table, as delineated therein under the category "SL/C-PRC," appended to this chapter.
(6) 
Distance between structures. The minimum distance between multifamily structures in a PRC shall be 25 feet for side to front, side to back, or side to side separations; 40 feet for front to front, back to back, or front to back separations; and 50 feet for any separation in which an access drive, other than an emergency access drive, is located between the buildings. Separation distances shall be measured from building wall to building wall; however, bay windows, steps, and chimneys may intrude into the space, provided that such intrusion is not greater than two feet.
(7) 
Length of structures. No principal building shall exceed 160 feet in length in its longest dimension.
(8) 
Height of structures.
(a) 
Principal buildings having no underground parking garages. The maximum height of any principal building shall not exceed 2 1/2 stories above grade nor 35 feet.
(b) 
Principal buildings having underground parking garages. In the case of apartment buildings wherein parking is provided underneath the building (with an entrance at grade), the maximum height shall not exceed 44 feet, without limitation to the number of stories. For purposes of this provision, such height shall be measured from the average elevation of the pre-construction grade, as measured at all the proposed building corners, to the highest elevation of the roof surface or ridgeline on pitched roofs.
(c) 
Accessory buildings. The maximum height of any accessory building shall not exceed 15 feet, except that one accessory building devoted exclusively to use as a clubhouse shall be permitted to consist of a maximum 2 1/2 stories above grade and not more than 35 feet in height.
(9) 
Unit maximums. No more than 20 dwelling units shall be contained in any one continuous structure, and there shall be no more than 12 dwelling units in any unbroken building line. A setback of not less than four feet shall be deemed a satisfactory break in the building line.
E. 
Architectural design. The design of buildings and accessory structures within the PRC shall be coordinated to complement one another and to reflect a common architectural theme that is visually compatible with the surrounding area. The design theme shall address at minimum, building facades, rooflines, construction materials and colors, finish details, entryways, and all accessory site elements such as light fixtures, street furniture, signs, and fencing. Buildings shall be residential in appearance, designed to achieve a human scale through the use and placement of such elements as windows, doors, columns, and canopies. All buildings shall have pitched roofs as an integral component of their design.
F. 
Landscaping. The overall site design shall include a comprehensive landscaping plan providing a variety of trees, shrubs, and ground cover(s) designed to shade parking and recreation areas, reduce stormwater runoff and soil erosion, offer visual screening of trash/recycling areas and utility installations, accent and complement buildings, and soften the lines of paved roadways on the interior and exterior of the site. The preservation of existing natural features such as rock outcroppings, woodlands, and topographic elements shall be an integral part of the site planning process, and at its discretion, the reviewing board may waive additional screening requirements where such features are present within a required buffer area.
G. 
Open space. A planned retirement community shall provide developed and undeveloped open space and common recreational or community facilities for the exclusive use of residents.
(1) 
Not less than 40% of the tract area of a PRC development shall be dedicated to common open space and recreation facilities. Such space may include required buffers, setback areas, stormwater management facilities, active recreational areas, as well as natural, undeveloped areas.
(2) 
Of the tract area dedicated to common open space and recreation facilities, at least 1/2 (or 20% of the tract area) shall consist of natural, undeveloped open space.
(3) 
Remaining areas set aside for such purposes shall be utilized to provide facilities for active and passive recreation particularly suitable for adults aged 55 years or older. Such recreation may include such amenities as a swimming pool, a multipurpose clubhouse building, tennis, boccie, shuffleboard or horseshoe courts, chipping and putting greens, outdoor sitting areas, walking paths, exercise trails, and other similar appropriate active and passive recreational areas and facilities.
(4) 
Open space shall be designed to preserve natural features such as woodlands and rock outcroppings, and to protect and/or buffer environmentally sensitive areas on the tract.
H. 
Signs. Planned retirement communities shall be permitted one double-faced monument type sign identifying the development at each of up to two entrances to the development, provided that only one such sign shall be permitted for each street frontage, and that such sign shall not exceed 32 square feet in area nor six feet above the ground level. The sign shall be set back from all street and/or property lines a minimum of 10 feet.
I. 
Lighting. Exterior lighting in accordance with § 268-7, with the exception that the maximum height of a fixture shall not exceed 20 feet or the height of the soffit line of the principal building, whichever is the lesser, measured from the ground level to the top of the light source.
J. 
Roadways and parking standards.
(1) 
The requirements of the Residential Site Improvement Standards (RSIS) shall apply to the development of a PRC.
(2) 
All requirements of Article VI pertaining to parking, driveways and loading shall apply to the PRC, except where such requirements may be, or may become, in conflict with the requirements of the RSIS.
(3) 
No parking of recreational vehicles, including boats, shall be permitted on the site.
(4) 
Eighty percent of required parking spaces for multifamily structures shall be provided within garages.
(5) 
Street trees shall be provided along interior roadways consisting of deciduous trees, having at the time of planting, a minimum caliper of two to 2 1/2 inches, as measured at four to 4 1/2 feet above the ground. Placement of trees in relation to street curbing, sidewalks, and/or right-of-way lines shall be subject to the review of the Township Engineer and approval by the Planning Board at the time of an application.
K. 
Buffers. Along the length of any property line adjacent to a single-family residential property, a landscaped buffer of a minimum of 50 feet in width shall be provided, consisting of massed evergreen trees and/or shrubs having a minimum height of six feet at the time of planting. Such buffer areas may also be required upon site plan review to have walls and/or fences to ensure year-round visual screening. No building or other structure, parking area, driveway or storage area shall encroach upon such buffer area, with the exception of an emergency access road, utility easement, or unpaved pedestrian trail.
L. 
Utilities. All electric and telephone utilities for the PRC shall be placed underground.
M. 
Recycling. There shall be included in any new multifamily housing development an indoor or outdoor recycling area for the collection and storage of residentially generated recyclable materials.
(1) 
The recycling area shall be of sufficient size to accommodate bins or containers of adequate size and number consistent with anticipated usage and current collection methods in the area in which the project is located.
(2) 
The recycling area shall be conveniently located for residential disposition of source separated recyclable materials, preferably near, but clearly separated from, a refuse dumpster. No recycling area shall be located within a front yard nor shall be situated less than five feet from any side or rear yard property line.
(3) 
The recycling area shall be well lit, and shall be safely and easily accessible to recycling vehicles and personnel.
(4) 
Recycling bins shall be provided with lids or covers, and the recycling area shall be screened from view by means of a maximum seven-foot high fence or wall enclosure, and shall be landscaped as required by the Board.
N. 
Solid waste collection and storage areas shall be similarly provided for the facility, and may be indoors or outdoors. Outdoor areas shall be screened from view by a maximum seven-foot high fence or wall enclosure compatible with the architectural style of the building, and landscaped as required by the reviewing board.
O. 
The standards set forth in this section are in addition to all other standards made applicable to the particular development being proposed by the provisions of this chapter, and no application for approval of a planned residential community development shall be approved unless all such other standards, including but not limited to those relating to planned developments, site plan or subdivision approval, and to the district in which the proposed development will be located, have been met or, where permitted, waived pursuant to the applicable provisions of this chapter.