Township of Cedar Grove, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A site plan shall be required for any excavation, soil moving, or paving, and for any change or intensification of the use of any building, structure, or land, and for demolition, construction, alteration, relocation, enlargement, or reconstruction of any structure or improvement on any lot in any district in the Township, except as provided herein. No permit shall be issued for any such work unless approved by the Township Planning Board in accordance with a site plan that complies with all the applicable requirements of this article and as set forth in this chapter.
A. 
Exceptions.
(1) 
Detached residential dwellings. Subdivision or individual lot applications for detached one- and two-dwelling-unit buildings shall be exempt from site plan review and the requirements of this article.
(2) 
Maintenance. Maintenance and repair of existing systems or improvements are specifically exempt from site plan review and the requirements of this article.
B. 
Site plan waiver. The Planning Board at its discretion, may grant a waiver of site plan approval where the proposed improvement or change in use does not increase the demand for parking, impact the existing circulation features, increase stormwater runoff, intensify site lighting, is not in violation of any ordinance provisions, and does not pose an increased risk to the public health, safety, morals, or general welfare. Improvements eligible for site plan waivers include but are not limited to facade changes, freestanding signs, and alterations that do not increase the square footage or height of the existing building.
C. 
Application for site plan waiver. To apply for a waiver of site plan review, the applicant shall submit sufficient information to the Planning Board so as to facilitate its decision. The information shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, a survey or other suitable map, the date of and copies of any prior site plan approval affecting the property, a description of the proposed improvement or change in use, and a statement as to why no site plan review is necessary.
A. 
All site plan applications shall be filed with the Planning Board, or if the Board so designates, the Administrative Officer, for determination of administrative completeness pursuant to the duly adopted checklist. The Planning Board, or such designee, shall also determine whether the application is to be classified as a major or minor site plan.
B. 
The Board, or its designee, shall classify all site plans as either major or minor according to the following criteria. If determined to be a minor site plan, public notice and public hearing shall not be required. Approval of a minor site plan shall be deemed final approval, and such approval may, at the discretion of the Board, be conditioned pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-l et seq. In order to be classified as a minor site plan, an application must meet all of the following criteria:
(1) 
The proposed development does not involve a planned residential development.
(2) 
The proposed development does not involve any new street or any off-tract improvement which is to be prorated pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-l et seq.
(3) 
No more than 2,000 square feet of land will be disturbed.
(4) 
The floor area of any proposed addition to a structure will not exceed 20% of the floor area of the existing structure.
(5) 
The proposed development will not alter the site's vehicular ingress, egress, or traffic circulation pattern.
(6) 
The proposed improvements do not require changes to exterior light fixtures that will substantively alter the intensity or configuration of the site lighting pattern.
A. 
The Planning Board, or if the Board so designates, the Administrative Officer, shall determine within 45 days of filing of an application, whether the application is complete and shall notify the developer, in writing, of any deficiencies within such time. The Planning Board may waive submission of any required exhibits in appropriate cases and for specific site plans. Requests for such waiver(s) shall accompany a site plan application, stating the reasons why such waiver(s) is requested.
B. 
A complete application shall contain sufficient information so as to allow the Board to determine whether the requirements for minor site plan approval have been met. In addition, a complete minor site plan application shall contain those items required in the checklist.
C. 
Minor site plan approval shall be granted or denied within 45 days of the day the application is deemed complete, or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Any minor site plan application that includes a request for variance relief shall be acted upon within 120 days of the day it is deemed complete, or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Failure of the Board to act within this period shall constitute minor site plan approval. Developer's agreements are not required in conjunction with any minor site plan approval.
D. 
The zoning requirements and general terms and conditions upon which minor site plan approval was granted, whether conditional or otherwise, shall not be changed for a period of two years after the date of minor site plan approval.
A. 
Plans for site plan approval shall first be filed with the Planning and Zoning Coordinator. The Planning and Zoning Coordinator shall within five days after receipt of such plans or following any additional length of time as agreed to by the applicant, file said site plans with the Planning Board. For review and recommendation in seeking a variance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70d and § 38-16A(4) of the Code of the Township of Cedar Grove, the Zoning Board of Adjustment may entertain and grant site plan applications and approvals to the same extent and subject to the same restrictions as the Planning Board.
B. 
The site plan and any engineering documents to be submitted shall be required in tentative form for discussion purposes for preliminary approval. If any architectural plans are required to be submitted for site plan approval, the preliminary plans and elevations shall be sufficient. If an application for development is found to be incomplete, the developer shall be notified thereof within 45 days of the submission of such applications, or it shall be deemed to be properly submitted.
C. 
For a site plan for 10 acres of land or less, the Planning Board shall grant or deny preliminary approval within 45 days of the date the application is deemed complete, or within such further time as may be consented to by the developer. For a site plan of more than 10 acres, the Planning Board shall grant or deny preliminary approval within 95 days of the date the application is deemed complete, or within such further time as may be consented to by the developer. Otherwise the Planning Board shall be deemed to have granted preliminary approval of the site plan.
D. 
If the Planning Board requires any substantial amendment in the layout of improvements proposed by the developer than have been the subject of a hearing, an amended application for development shall be submitted and proceeded upon, as in the case of the original application for development.
E. 
If all the information and submission requirements of this article have been submitted and satisfied, the Planning Board shall schedule a public hearing thereon. Following the public hearing, the Planning Board shall, by resolution, grant preliminary approval of the site plan, grant preliminary approval of the site plan with modifications, or disapprove the site plan and shall notify the applicant of its decision and the reasons therefor. If the proposed development complies with this chapter, the Planning Board shall grant preliminary site plan approval.
A. 
The Planning Board shall grant final approval if the detailed drawings, specifications, and estimates of the application for final approval conform to the standards established for final approval and the conditions of preliminary approval.
B. 
Final approval shall be granted or denied within 45 days after the application is deemed complete, or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Failure of the Planning Board to act within the period prescribed shall constitute final approval and a certificate of the Administrative Officer as to the failure of the Planning Board to act shall be issued on request of the applicant, and it shall be sufficient in lieu of the written endorsement or other evidence of approval herein required.
C. 
Whenever review or approval of the application by the County Planning Board is required by Section 8 of P.L. 1968, c. 285 (N.J.S.A. 40:27-6.6), the Municipal Planning Board shall condition any approval that it grants upon timely receipt of a favorable report on the application by the County Planning Board or approval by the County Planning Board by its failure to report thereon within the required time period.
D. 
Should an applicant desire to make changes to a duly approved site plan, the procedure as set forth herein above shall be followed.
No application for a site plan approval shall be granted unless the Planning Board shall find that the proposed development will adequately address each of the following considerations:
A. 
Consistency of the layout or arrangement of the land development with the requirements of this chapter.
B. 
Streets in the land development of sufficient width, suitable grade, and configuration to accommodate prospective traffic, provide access for fire-fighting and emergency equipment, and provide a convenient layout consistent with the Official Map and the circulation element of the Master Plan, if any. No street of a width greater than 50 feet within the right-of-way lines shall be required unless said street constitutes an extension of any existing street of the greater width, or already has been shown on the Master Plan at the greater width, or already has been shown in greater width on the Official Map.
C. 
Adequacy of water supply, sewerage facilities, drainage, shade trees, and other utilities necessary for essential services to residents and occupants.
D. 
Adherence to the requirements of Chapter 140, Flood Damage Prevention, pertinent to lands designated as subject to flooding pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-65e to avoid danger to life or property.
E. 
Protection and conservation of soils from erosion by wind or water from excavation or grading. When the activities proposed include the movement of soil as defined in Chapter 226, Soil Removal, the applicant shall provide all information required pursuant to Chapter 226, and shall demonstrate compliance with the standards and requirements set forth therein.
F. 
Compliance with Township standards and specifications governing the design of site improvements including grading, improvement and construction of streets, drives, and walkways, curbs, gutters, streetlights, shade trees, fire hydrants, water, drainage and sewerage facilities, and other improvements as shall be found necessary, and provisions ensuring that such facilities shall be completed either prior to or subsequent to final approval of the site plan.
G. 
Provisions for off-tract water, sewer, drainage, and street improvements which are necessitated by a land development, subject to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-42.
H. 
Preservation of existing natural resources on the site.
I. 
Safe and efficient vehicular and pedestrian circulation, parking and loading.
J. 
Screening, landscaping, site lighting, signage, and location of structures.
K. 
Conformity with provisions and standards of Chapter 146, Article III, Recycling, applicable municipal and county access management codes, the State Highway Access Management Act [P.L. 1989, c. 32 (N.J.S.A. 27:7-91)], and public safety regulations concerning stormwater detention facilities.
L. 
Inclusion of facilities for collection and storage of source separated recyclable materials in new multifamily housing developments pursuant to applicable requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Community Affairs.
All site plans and supporting documents informally or formally presented shall comply with requirements hereinafter set forth and shall contain the following information and data pursuant to their classification as either a minor or major site plan.
A. 
Eighteen copies of the application form inclusive of a brief description of the project and the proposed use or uses of the land and buildings, the site plan checklist, the landscape plan checklist, the environmental questionnaire, and the required fees.
B. 
Eighteen copies of the site plan of a size in conformity with the requirements of the New Jersey Map Filing Law, but not exceeding 24 by 36 inches. Plans shall be folded with the title block revealed. All information appearing shall be legible and the scale of the drawing shall not be less than one inch equals 50 feet. All boundary distances shall be in feet and decimals of a foot, and all bearings shall be given to the nearest 10 seconds. The error of closure shall not exceed one to 10,000.
C. 
Project title, names and addresses of applicant(s) and owner(s) of record, North arrow, scale, Tax Map block and lot numbers, name, title, address and license number of professional(s) who prepared the plan, plan preparation date and the date(s) of any subsequent revisions, and signature block for the Chairman and Secretary of the Board and the Township Engineer.
D. 
An area map, showing the zone in which the property in question is located, and the zone district of adjoining properties and all properties within a two-hundred foot radius of the property in question, including Tax Map lot and block numbers and owners. Said area map may be drawn at a scale of one inch equals 400 feet.
E. 
The entire property in question, even though only a portion of said property may be involved in the site plan; provided, however, that where it is physically impossible to show the entire property on the required sheet, multiple equally sized sheets may be submitted, together with a key map.
F. 
The location of all existing watercourses, wooded areas and major trees, easements, rights-of-way, streets, roads, highways, utilities, railroads, rivers, buildings, structures, or any other features having an effect on the use of the subject property whether directly on the tract or off-tract.
G. 
The location of existing buildings, whether proposed to remain or be removed, or partially removed. The outline of buildings to be removed shall be indicated by a dashed line and those that are to remain shall be shaded.
H. 
Lot acreage to the nearest tenth and the location and ground area of each proposed building, sign, structure or any other land use.
I. 
The location and design of off-street parking areas and loading areas, showing the size, number, and configuration of parking spaces, the traffic circulation plan, and the size and location of bays, aisles, and barriers, in accordance with standards set forth herein.
J. 
All means of vehicular access and egress to and from the site onto public streets, showing size and location of driveways, curb cuts, and sidewalks.
K. 
The location and design of landscaping including planting plan, buffer areas, and screening devices.
L. 
All lot lines, setbacks, and yard dimensions, and for applications including signs, details including the proposed materials, lighting if any, dimensions, sizes, and setbacks applicable to such signs.
[Amended 4-21-2003 by Ord. No. 03-589]
M. 
A zoning comparison chart listing the standards of the Schedule of Requirements table for the district in which the property is located and providing the figures for each standard, as they are proposed within the site plan application.
N. 
Existing contours shall be indicated by dashed lines at intervals of two feet where slopes are less than 5% and at intervals of five feet where slopes are 5% or more and shall refer to United States Coast and Geodetic Survey datum where possible, or to assumed datum as provided and/or approved by the Township Engineer. Where any changes in contours are proposed, finished grades should be shown as solid lines.
O. 
The finished floor elevations of existing structures and all proposed new structures to be erected on the property. Spot elevations at all building corners shall also be provided.
P. 
Preliminary architectural plans for the proposed building addition or structure, indicating typical floor plans, elevations, height and general design and architectural styling.
Q. 
Copies of the application, when same is required, to the Essex County Planning Board for approval of the site plan.
R. 
The applicant shall supply certification from the Township Tax Collector that all property taxes and assessments are paid and current.
S. 
Such other information or data as may be required by the Planning Board in order to determine that the details of the site plan are in accordance with the standards of the ordinances of the Township and all other general laws.
In addition to those items required for minor site plans above, the following are to be provided:
A. 
The names of all owners of record of all properties within 200 feet of the subject parcel(s) as they appear on the Tax List prepared by the Township Tax Assessor and the block and lot numbers of the properties.
B. 
A copy of any covenants or deed restrictions that are intended to cover all or any part of the tract.
C. 
A written description of the proposed operations in sufficient detail to indicate the effects of the operation in producing traffic congestion, noise, glare, air pollution, fire hazards or safety hazards; in addition, a description of the proposed number of shifts, if shift-work operation is contemplated, together with a projection of the maximum number of employees per shift or, where shift work is not contemplated, a projection of the proposed hours of operation for the commercial use.
D. 
A survey prepared by a licensed land surveyor of the State of New Jersey shall accompany the site plan and shall show the boundaries of the parcel and the limits of all proposed streets, recreational areas and other property to be dedicated to public use. The site plan shall further be accompanied by such other exhibits of an architectural or planning nature as shall be submitted by the applicant or as shall be required by the Planning Board pursuant to any ordinance now in existence or any ordinance hereinafter enacted in the Township.
E. 
Boundaries of the property, building or setback lines, and lines of existing streets, lots, reservations, easements, and areas dedicated to public use.
F. 
The location of all driveways within 200 feet of the subject property.
G. 
The proposed location of lighting, direction of illumination and amount of illumination, expressed in average horizontal footcandles, in conformance with applicable standards of the Township.
H. 
Proposed stormwater drainage system, including off-site drainage, in conformance with the applicable standards of the Township.
I. 
The location, size, and type of existing natural features, including trees having a caliper of four inches or more. The location, size, and type of proposed landscaping improvements, including seeded or sodded areas, planting areas of trees and shrubs and natural features to be preserved.
J. 
A determination of the presence/absence of wetlands on the subject property, certified by a professional qualified to provide such determination. In the event wetlands are present on the property, a delineation of same, if available, or the general location and size as determined at the time of the application, and proof of submission to the appropriate state regulatory agency, as applicable, of a request for letter of interpretation.
K. 
In the event the application for development entails the moving of 300 cubic yards or more, of soil, the applicant shall provide all information required for submission of a soil moving permit application, under Chapter 226 of the Township Code, and such information shall coincide with that required for a major or a minor soil moving permit, depending upon the volume of soil moving in question.
L. 
In addition to the foregoing requirements, any applicant seeking approval of a site plan of 10 acres or more shall furnish the following information:
(1) 
Existing school, zoning and special district boundaries and the approximate location of all buildings and the pertinent topography within a radius of 200 feet of the premises in question. Such features shall be shown on a separate map or as a key map on a special detailed map itself.
(2) 
The location of all existing structures, such as walls, fences, culverts, bridges, and roadways, with spot elevations of such structures. The outline of structures to be removed shall be indicated by a dashed line, and those that are to remain shall be shaded.
(3) 
Approximate location of all storm drainage structures and utility lines, with grades and direction of flow, and, if any existing utility lines are underground, the estimated location of said lines shall be shown. The approximate location of hydrant or fire stations within 600 feet of the premises shall be indicated in a written notation on the maps submitted.
(4) 
All proposed easements and public and community areas, all proposed streets, together with profiles including grade of said streets and cross sections showing width of roadways, location and width of sidewalks and location and size of utility lines. All proposed streets, sidewalks and utility lines and on- and off-site drainage facilities shall be constructed in accordance with the standards and specifications established by this chapter and/or such other ordinances of the Township establishing such standards and specifications.
(5) 
The location of all proposed waterlines, valves and hydrants and of all sewer lines or alternative means of water supply or sewage disposal and treatment.
M. 
Architectural details to accurately reflect the scale, proportion, elevations, style and character of proposed buildings and structures. Information shall include proposed building materials and facade finishes, roofing plans, fenestration, decorative or accent trim, awnings, overhangs, porches, and any wall-mounted light fixtures or signs.
[Added 4-21-2003 by Ord. No. 03-589[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the redesignation of former Subsection M as Subsection N.
N. 
Such other information or data as may be required by the Planning Board in order to determine that the details of the site plan are in accordance with the standards of the ordinances of the Township and all other general laws.
Such parcel mapping data and information as may feasibly be provided in a digitized format or in a format allowing for conversion to a digitized format (i.e., state plane coordinates) for integration and manipulation under Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology.
A. 
Preliminary approval of a site plan pursuant to this article shall, except as provided in Subsection B of this section, confer upon the applicant the following rights for a three-year period from the date of the preliminary approval:
(1) 
That the general terms and conditions on which preliminary approval was granted shall not be changed, including but not limited to use requirements; layout and design standards for streets, curbs and sidewalks; lot size; yard dimensions and off-tract improvements; and any requirements peculiar to site plan approval pursuant to this article, except that nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the municipality from modifying by ordinance such general terms and conditions of preliminary approval as relate to public health and safety.
(2) 
That the applicant may submit for final approval on or before the expiration date of preliminary approval, the whole or a section or sections of the preliminary site plan.
(3) 
That the applicant may apply for and the Planning Board may grant extensions on such preliminary approval for an additional period of at least one year but not to exceed a total extension of two years, provided that if the design standards have been revised by ordinance, such revised standards may govern.
B. 
In the case of a site plan for an area of 50 acres or more, the Planning Board may grant the rights referred to in Subsection A(1), (2) and (3) above for such period of time, longer than three years, as shall be determined by the Planning Board to be reasonable, taking into consideration the number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area permissible under preliminary approval, economic conditions and the comprehensiveness of the development. The applicant may apply for thereafter and the Planning Board may thereafter grant an extension to preliminary approval for such additional period of time as shall be determined by the Planning Board to be reasonable, taking into consideration the number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area permissible under preliminary approval, the potential number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area of the section or sections awaiting final approval, economic conditions, and the comprehensiveness of the development, provided that if the design standards have been revised, such revised standards may govern.
A. 
The zoning requirements applicable to the preliminary approval first granted and all other rights conferred upon the developer pursuant to this article, whether conditionally or otherwise, shall not be changed for a period of two years after the date of final approval. If the developer has followed the standards prescribed for final approval, the Planning Board may extend such period of protection for an extension of one year but not to exceed three such extensions. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the granting of final approval terminates the time period of preliminary approval pursuant to this article.
B. 
In the case of a site plan for 150 acres or more, the Planning Board may grant the rights referred to in Subsection A of this section for such period of time, longer than two years, as shall be determined by the Planning Board to be reasonable, taking into consideration the number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area permissible under final approval, economic conditions and the comprehensiveness of the development. The developer may apply for thereafter and the Planning Board may thereafter grant an extension of final approval for such additional period of time as shall be determined by the Planning Board to be reasonable, taking into consideration the number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area permissible under final approval, the number of dwelling units and nonresidential floor area remaining to be developed, economic conditions, and the comprehensiveness of the development.
To any extent not specifically provided herein, the procedures for site plan review before the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be those set forth in Chapter 38, Land Use Procedures, and the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
For purposes of this section, the term "public improvements" shall include streets, grading, pavement, gutters, curbs, sidewalks, streetlighting, shade trees, surveyor's monuments, water mains, culverts, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, drainage structures, erosion and sedimentation control devices, and public improvements of open space.
Subsequent to every final approval of a site plan application requiring the installation, expansion, or modification of any on-tract public improvements, and prior to any land disturbance or construction on the property which is the subject of same, the developer shall enter into a developer's agreement with the Township. Such agreement shall be authorized by the governing body and shall require installation and maintenance by the developer and its successors in interest, of the public improvements, imposing such limitations upon the development of the site as are necessary to ensure proper construction of the public improvements, and assuring the installation of said improvements on or before an agreed date by filing of a performance guarantee as stipulated herein.
The Township Engineer shall prepare an itemized cost estimate of the improvements covered by the performance guarantee including the cost to the Township to undertake and complete such installations, if necessary. The performance guarantee shall be payable and deposited to the Township in an amount equal to 100% of the Township Engineer's estimated cost, and shall be in the form of cash, irrevocable letter of credit, certified check, or a surety. The Township Engineer's estimate shall be appended to each performance guarantee posted by the obligor. In the event that other governmental agencies or public utilities automatically will own the utilities to be installed or the improvements are covered by a performance or maintenance guarantee to another governmental agency, no performance or maintenance guarantee, as the case may be, shall be required by the Township.
A. 
At least 10% of the amount of the approved performance guarantee shall be deposited by the developer in cash with the Township. The remaining 90% may be in cash, irrevocable letter of credit, or surety bond. In the event of a default, the 10% required cash deposit may be applied first to the completion of the required improvements and any bidding and legal costs associated therewith, and the remaining 90% portion may thereafter be resorted to, if necessary, for the completion of the required improvements and any additional bidding and legal costs associated therewith.
B. 
An irrevocable letter of credit shall be acceptable if it:
(1) 
Constitutes an unconditional payment obligation of the issuer running solely to the Township for an express initial period of time in the amount prescribed;
(2) 
Is issued by a banking or savings institution authorized to do so and doing business in this state;
(3) 
Is for a period of time of at least one year; and
(4) 
Permits the municipality to draw upon the letter of credit if the obligor fails to furnish another letter of credit which complies with the provisions of this section 30 days or more in advance of the expiration date of the letter of credit, or such longer period in advance thereof as is stated in the letter of credit.
C. 
In the case of surety bonds, the developer shall be the principal and the bond shall be provided by a surety company operating pursuant to a valid certificate of authority issued pursuant to N.J.S.A. 17:17-1 et seq. Such bond shall be approved as to form by the Township Attorney and posted with the Township Clerk.
D. 
The Township shall issue its receipt, as applicable, for such deposits and shall cause the same to be deposited in the name of the Township to be retained as security for completion of all required improvements and to be returned to the applicant on completion of required work in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:44D-53, or in the event of a default on the part of the developer, to be used by the Township to pay the cost and expense of completing all required improvements.
The Township Council shall have the power to waive the requirement for a developer's agreement, by resolution, in the event that it determines the matter is of such a nature that an agreement is not necessary for purposes of enforcement of the decision of the municipal agency and the protection of the public health, safety or welfare.
The Construction Official may issue certificates of occupancy even though site work required by the Planning Board under this article remains incomplete, provided that the applicant for same first deposits with the Construction Official cash, sufficient in the opinion of the Construction Official to pay the cost of completion of the required work. When such cash is deposited, the Construction Official shall obtain from the applicant a written commitment setting forth the date upon which the applicant shall have completed the required work and stating that, if the said work is not then so completed, the Township shall be entitled to complete said work using the cash deposit to pay for same, returning the unused portion to the applicant or holding the applicant responsible for any completion costs in excess of such deposit. On-site inspection fees will be charged for all commercial and industrial site plan inspections for engineering time in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.