Township of Hamilton, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 7-7-1997 by Ord. No. 1261-97; 6-5-2000 by Ord. No. 1367-2000; 11-15-2001 by Ord. No. 1417-2001]

§ 203-88 Purpose.

The purpose of a planned adult community is to facilitate rational planning of designated portions of the regional growth area and to encourage the use of Pinelands development credits while continuing to encourage innovations in residential development and supportive public or quasi-public uses that promote a sense of community for the benefit of the development's residents, minimize the proliferation of roadways, encourage functional open space and passive recreational facilities and, at the same time, encourage land development that is fiscally responsive to the community and yet environmentally sound. Clustered dwelling units are also promoted in order to achieve a hierarchy of open space through grouping dwelling units into social cells, orienting building mass to topography, providing a variety of architectural designs, and other innovative methods inherent to this type of design. The intent is to establish clusters that will become a social unit and then groups of clusters that will develop into a neighborhood. The following guidelines should be implemented in created cluster developments:
A. 
Individual clusters of dwelling units ranging in size from 20 to 40 dwelling units are encouraged. Apartment clusters up to 96 units are encouraged where permitted.
B. 
Individual clusters should be linked with a common pedestrian and vehicular circulation system.
C. 
Emphasis is placed on a comprehensive design scheme for each individual cluster and the development as a whole that will achieve a measure of similarity among buildings, resulting in a unified appearance for the entire development. Building designs should avoid a monolithic or sterile appearance.
D. 
Each cluster should be articulated through the massing of buildings, variation in building heights, building materials and colors, landscaping, lighting, and open space.
E. 
Each cluster should be linked with developed open space relating to the group of building units within the cluster.
F. 
The entrance of each primary cluster should be identified through a series of one or more design elements, such as, but not limited to, special plantings, sheltered pedestrian waiting areas, special ornamental lighting, signage, etc., to distinguish each cluster and to create a psychological sense of arrival through architectural design elements.
G. 
Every three to five clusters should be linked via developed open space that provides community-type recreational facilities designed to serve the needs of the resident population.

§ 203-89 Conditions prerequisite.

A. 
Any tract of land developed as a planned adult community shall be held in common ownership or, in the case of multiple ownership or where contiguous parcels are owned, shall be developed according to a single plan with common authority and common responsibility.
B. 
In order for a development to qualify as a planned adult community, the development shall contain a minimum of 50 contiguous acres; provided however, that a development of at least 25 contiguous acres may qualify as a planned adult community under the terms of this article if the following requirements are met:
(1) 
The site contains at least 500 feet of frontage on an arterial or collector road.
(2) 
That further, the assembly of land to increase the size of the development site is not possible due to physical constraints, existing land uses or existing ownership patterns.
(3) 
Development of the site as a PAC will not be inconsistent with the intensity of surrounding development as it currently exists or with anticipated future development for surrounding vacant lands as determined by zoning policy in existence at the time of the request.
C. 
The developer of a planned adult community will be required, pursuant to this chapter, and as a condition of any approval under this Article XI, to record a declaration or deed containing restrictions requiring that all residents must comply with the requirements of a planned adult community as set forth in Article III of this chapter, which such restrictions shall inure to the benefit of the Township of Hamilton. Such restrictions shall provide that no person may reside in any home in a planned adult community in violation of the age restrictions for such planned adult community. Such restrictions shall further require the developer, for the initial sale of homes, and any homeowners' association with regard to subsequent sales, to enforce such declaration or deed restrictions and to provide acceptable procedures for the disclosure to the developer or planned adult community's homeowners' association, prior to the entry into any agreement, of the name, address, and age of the prospective residents of a home in such community, together with evidence that all such proposed residents comply with the age restrictions set forth for a planned adult community, and the developer's or association's approval. Such restrictions shall further be made directly enforceable by the Township of Hamilton, which shall have and retain all rights and remedies available at law, in equity, or both, including without limitation against any developer, homeowners' association, or homeowner, in the event of any violation thereof. Each developer shall submit, as a condition of final approval for a planned adult community, a draft of such declaration or deed to the Planning Board for its review and approval, which deed or declaration shall further contain satisfactory procedures for monitoring and enforcing such restrictions in the event of any violation thereof. The declaration or deed shall be recorded in the County Clerk's office prior to the issuance of any building permit.
D. 
In addition to the foregoing conditions prerequisite, except as set forth in § 203-89D(2) below, in the regional growth area along the Black Horse Pike (U.S. Route 322) between Cologne Avenue (County Route 614) and U.S. Route 50, Planned Adult Communities. (PAC) shall be permitted subject to the following conditions:
[Added 11-4-2002 by Ord. No. 1441-2002]
(1) 
Parcels must have frontage on the Black Horse Pike.
(2) 
No minimum parcel size is required and § 203-89B shall not apply.
(3) 
Pedestrian and bike linkage to adjacent developments shall be provided.
(4) 
Neighborhood Commercial (NC) uses are permitted, up to a maximum of 10% of the land area. Residential density shall be calculated using the total net developable area of the site. The neighborhood commercial uses may not face the Black Horse Pike, but shall be internal and intended to serve this or adjacent development. A town square with the retail and public uses at the center of the development is preferred.
(5) 
The maximum net density for residential use shall not exceed 5.45 dwelling units per acre and shall require the use of PDCs at a rate of one right for every four units.

§ 203-90 Permitted uses.

The following uses are permitted in a planned adult community within the growth area districts, provided that wastewater treatment facilities meet the standards of § 203-186 of this chapter.
A. 
Residential development as specified in Table 11.1.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Table 11.1 is located at the end of this chapter.
B. 
Churches, schools or similar facilities, subject to the additional requirements of Article XV of this chapter.
C. 
Community buildings, pools, and similar recreation facilities designed as part of the PAC, subject to any pertinent special regulations.

§ 203-91 Mixed-use regulations.

The mix of various uses is designed to encourage a mix of housing types to promote diversified population and housing.
A. 
Required housing mixes.
(1) 
GA-M District where proposed development is equal to or less than the permitted base density:
(a) 
Apartments and single-family attached housing types are not permitted.
(b) 
A minimum of 40% of all dwelling units shall consist of one or more of the following housing types: single-family detached, single-family lot line or single-family patio.
(2) 
GA-M District where proposed development exceeds the base density through the use of Pinelands development credits:
(a) 
No more than 25% of all dwelling units may consist of two-and-five-tenths-story apartments.
(b) 
A minimum of 20% of all dwelling units shall consist of one or more of the following housing types: single-family detached, single-family lot line, single-family attached or single-family patio.
(3) 
GA-I District where proposed development is equal to or less than the permitted base density:
(a) 
No more than 20% of all dwelling units may consist of two-and-five-tenths-story apartments.
(b) 
A minimum of 30% of all dwelling units shall consist of one or more of the following housing types: single-family detached, single-family lot line, single-family attached or single-family patio.
(4) 
GA-I District where proposed development exceeds the base density through the use of Pinelands development credits:
(a) 
No more than 50% of all dwelling units may consist of one or both of the following housing types: two-and-five-tenths-story apartments or three-story apartments.
(b) 
A minimum of 8% of all dwelling units shall consist of one or more of the following housing types: single-family detached, single-family lot line, single-family attached or single-family patio.

§ 203-92 Open space requirements.

Open space shall be designed as an integral part of all planned unit residential projects and shall provide a range of opportunities for active and passive recreation as well as protect and preserve the natural environment.
A. 
The minimum area of common open space in a PAC shall be 45% of the developable land within a PAC site.
B. 
Active recreational facilities shall be provided in accordance with § 203-158 as appropriate in relation to the number of dwelling units proposed in the project.
C. 
The developer shall be permitted to buy out of the active recreation obligation only in accordance with § 203.158I.
D. 
The distribution of developed and undeveloped common open space shall be designed to the maximum extent practicable to coincide with the orientation of the housing units and the user population in a manner that provides uninterrupted and easy access.
E. 
Linkage of developed open space shall, to the maximum extent practicable, be provided as a system of pathways (walkways, bikeways, etc.) which connect developed open spaces.
F. 
Development in the vicinity of undeveloped open space shall be designed to protect the site's natural resources, animal habitat, flood-prone areas, etc. The undeveloped open space shall be utilized to provide protection for critical ecosystems within the project site and to preserve in perpetuity the natural assets of the project area.
G. 
All open space shall be recorded in the master deed for each project to reflect its permanency for such space. Such document shall be submitted to the Planning Board prior to final approval.

§ 203-93 Density.

The density of residential units shall be based upon net density as defined in this chapter to ensure that the concentration of dwelling units on the land reinforces design and environmental criteria.
A. 
Maximum net residential density without Pinelands development credits:
(1) 
GA-I District: 3.25 dwelling units per acre.
(2) 
GA-M District: 2.75 dwelling units per acre.
B. 
Maximum net residential density with Pinelands development credits:
(1) 
GA-I District: 5.45 dwelling units per acre.
(2) 
GA-M District: 4.30 dwelling units per acre.

§ 203-94 Area and bulk requirements.

A. 
Notwithstanding the requirements of § 203-169, Buffer landscaping requirements, no principal or accessory use shall be located within 40 feet of the property line of the site proposed for PURD development, within 50 feet of an off-site local or collector street nor within 150 feet of an arterial; provided, however, that the distance to an arterial may be reduced to 100 feet if such setback is comprised of a natural pine overstory.
B. 
The minimum lot area, minimum lot widths, minimum yard dimensions, minimum privacy yard areas and maximum lot coverage specified in Table 11.1[1] shall apply to all residential development in a PURD.
[1]
Editor's Note: Table 11.1 is located at the end of this chapter.

§ 203-95 Spacing between buildings.

A. 
The minimum distance between residential buildings of a similar type shall be as specified in Table 11.2.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Table 11.2 is located at the end of this chapter.
B. 
Building spacing for nonresidential structures, such as community buildings, etc., shall be no closer than:
(1) 
Fifty feet to any residential structure.
(2) 
Twenty-five feet to any street curb or property line, except as otherwise stipulated herein.

§ 203-96 Height.

A. 
The height of principal buildings shall not exceed 2.5 stories and 35 feet; provided, however, that three-story apartments shall be permitted in the GA-I District when Pinelands development credits are utilized to increase the density above that assigned in § 203-93A.
B. 
The height of accessory uses shall not exceed one story and 15 feet.

§ 203-97 Off-street on-site parking.

The following parking standards shall be required for the specified uses listed in a planned residential development:
A. 
See § 203-60 for on-site parking requirements.
[Amended 7-7-1997 by Ord. No. 1261-97]
B. 
Off-street on-site parking facilities shall be limited to passenger vehicles of permanent residents. Storage of trucks, boats, trailers, etc., in multifamily projects shall be prohibited.
C. 
Design controls applicable for off-street parking facilities are set forth in the site plan and subdivision regulations of this chapter.
D. 
Parking for community buildings, if any, shall be based upon one off-street on-site space per 120 square feet of building area.
E. 
Bike racks permanently in place shall be provided at all recreational facilities based upon estimated user demand.
F. 
Parking for recreational facilities shall be provided based upon the need generated by individual facilities.

§ 203-98 Landscaping.

All planned residential developments are required to submit a detailed landscaping plan, prepared by a professional landscape architect, pursuant to requirements established in Article XIV, Environmental Review and Site Analysis.
A. 
Landscaping objectives and uses of plants. Landscape design is an important element in creating a well-conceived planned residential development; accordingly, in site design it has a role greater than just screening and aesthetic function. Thus, the following elements are set forth to identify the areas of landscaping design required as part of any planned residential development.
(1) 
Architectural uses. Plants, singly or in groups, form walks, canopies or floors of varying heights and densities creating walls of privacy, plant canopies, plant floors, etc.
(2) 
Engineering uses. Engineers are concerned with such items as glare, traffic, noise control, soil erosion, etc. Utilizing well-chosen and properly placed plant material, noise, soil erosion, glare, etc., can be reduced.
(3) 
Climate control uses. Shade trees, windbreak trees and snowfence plants are examples of plants used for climate control.
(4) 
Aesthetic uses. Plants can be used to blend together various unrelated elements such as buildings, utility structures or inharmonious land uses. Landscaping can be very effectively used to improve a building design by complementing a building's design through color, texture, seasonal configurations, highlighting areas of interest using landscaping creatively with lighting and signage, etc.
(5) 
Water as landscape. Water areas can be a handsome and often functional addition to a site design by utilizing detention basins, serving engineering purposes, as part of the landscaping element. Through creative engineering and good landscape design, such areas can add substantially to the quality of any planned residential development.
(6) 
Wildlife habitat. Wildlife habitat is an important element in large tract development where large areas of open space are to remain undisturbed. Designs must inventory this habitat and assure its continuity, either through supplementing habitat, preserving it or both. Accordingly, the design for development must address such concerns with concrete alternatives.
B. 
Planting requirements. All areas not covered by roadways, pedestrian walkways, parking areas, etc., shall be landscaped with natural materials according to a landscaping plan submitted as part of the site plan application process. The minimum number of trees planted in lots as buffers or in parking areas shall be as follows:
(1) 
Canopy trees. There shall be a minimum number of five canopy trees two to three inches in caliper measured six inches from the top of the root ball per each proposed residential unit. (NOTE: A two- to three-inch caliper canopy tree shall be at least 12 feet in height at the time of planting. Clump or flowering trees incapable of being measured six inches from the top of the root ball shall be at least 12 feet high at the time of planting.)
(2) 
Shrubs and ornamental planting. (NOTE: The developer shall select all plant material in this category from approved Pinelands plant material. To assure variation, plant material shall include at least four distinct categories of plants. Such plant material shall be at least 40% mature at the time of planting.) The minimum number of this type of plant material shall be 20 plants per dwelling unit for townhouses and single-family housing types and 15 plants per unit for garden apartments. The intent, however, is to assure the proper uses of understory plant material along the edges of buildings, walkways, bases of signs, bases of streetlights, creation of plant walls, highlighting entranceways, restricting entry to certain areas, basic ornamental planting, etc.
C. 
Special landscaping emphasis. The following standards shall be supplemental to those requirements of Subsection B above in cases where the Board determines that such requirements have not been met through the minimum standards set forth in Subsection B.
(1) 
Parking lots. All parking lots in a planned unit development shall be landscaped in the following fashion:
(a) 
At a minimum, every sixth parking space shall be interrupted with a canopy tree two or three inches in caliper measured six inches from the top of the root ball. Such tree shall be planted at least four feet into an island perpendicular to the curb so that it is clear of vehicle overhang and opening doors. The tree shall be so positioned and the island designed so that the landscaping will not interfere with pedestrian circulation.
(b) 
All overhang areas shall be designed with a hard surface from the outside edge of the wheel bumper (head of parking stall to a distance of three feet beyond that point).
(c) 
The remainder of the landscape islands shall be planted with native shrubs, planted at a minimum size of two to 2.5 feet, herbaceous material and groundcover. Mowed turf areas and large areas of mulch in parking islands are discouraged.
[Added 5-4-2009 by Ord. No. 1647-2009]
(d) 
Where underlying soils may not be conducive to infiltration, bioretention areas should be incorporated into the parking lot as concaved landscaped areas and situated below the grade of the parking spaces and driving aisles so that stormwater runoff is directed as sheet flow into the bioretention area trapped by such islands. Bioretention areas can be used in concert with pervious paving surfaces to maximize the attenuation of runoff. Spacing and layout of the bioretention area should be designed so runoff is maintained as sheet flow from the driving surfaces into the bioretention area. (See Figure 7, Appendix A.[1])
[Added 5-4-2009 by Ord. No. 1647-2009]
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A, Stormwater Landscape Illustrations, Figure 7, Bioretention Cell at Parking Lot with Curb Cuts, is included at the end of this chapter.
(e) 
Parking lot drainage design, such that all surface runoff (both piped and overland flow) is conveyed through a vegetated swale, vegetated filter strip, created wetlands, rain gardens or detention basins with biofiltration prior to allowable discharge downstream. There shall be no direct discharge of stormwater runoff from any point or nonpoint source to any wetland or wetlands transition area of surface water body. In addition, stormwater runoff shall not be directed in such a way as to increase the volume or rate of discharge into any surface water body from that which existed prior to development of the parcel.
[Added 5-4-2009 by Ord. No. 1647-2009]
(f) 
Parking lots that incorporate bioretention areas into the landscaped portions of the parking lot should use wheel stops or bollards (in or adjacent to pedestrian accessways) where direct overland flow or curb cuts are utilized to drain runoff to a vegetated open channel or bioretention area behind the curb to protect the area from traffic intrusion while also allowing the parking lot runoff to flow by. (See Figure 1, Appendix A.[2])
[Added 5-4-2009 by Ord. No. 1647-2009]
[2]
Editor's Note: Appendix A, Stormwater Landscape Illustrations, Figure 1, Parking Island Bioretention Cell Cross Section, is included at the end of this chapter.
(2) 
Dwelling unit to edge of parking. The area extending between the wall of a dwelling unit to the edge of any parking area shall be landscaped to achieve a visual separation with a combination of hedges, shrubs, bollards or other similar techniques.
(3) 
Dwelling unit to edge of street. The area extending between any dwelling unit and street edge shall be landscaped with screen, buffer or ornamental planting as required to provide an appropriate transition between the two elements.
(4) 
Privacy areas. The patio and similar areas designated for privacy shall be landscaped with screen, canopy and ornamental planting.
(5) 
Maintenance, storage and refuse collection areas. These areas shall be landscaped with buffer and screen plantings to provide visual physical separation of such elements from contiguous areas.
(6) 
Landscaping for energy conservation. Landscape planting generally throughout the site shall be utilized to provide buildings with summer shade canopies, maximum winter exposure to sun, windbreaks, etc.
(7) 
Wildlife habitat. The utilization of landscape planting to promote the creation and/or preservation of wildlife habitat must take form at two levels. The first effort is required in the areas referred to as "developed common open space." These include parks, playgrounds, backyards, walkways, etc., in which plant material selected to satisfy the needs of the human population can also have food and shelter value for bird and small game species. The second effort lies in the protection of the habitat value of the undeveloped open space and augmenting such habitat with plant material that further promotes food and shelter values.
(8) 
Developed common open spaces. The developed open spaces throughout any project area shall be landscaped according to an overall plan incorporating existing plant material and supplementing it.
(9) 
Utility fixtures, such as transformers, heat pumps, etc., throughout the site shall be screened with a combination of fencing and landscaping.
(10) 
The rear yard and first floor of the rear outside wall of any single-family dwelling, attached or detached, must be buffered/screened from the view of any street classified as a collector, arterial, freeway or expressway as set forth in § 203-169.
[Added 7-7-1997 by Ord. No. 1261-97]
(11) 
Culs-de-sac. A planted island with a bioretention landscaped area where runoff can be directed shall be required at the discretion of the Township Landscape Architect in the center of the cul-de-sac to encourage low-impact development. If provided, the planted island shall be 40 feet (mininum) in diameter. Ownership and maintenance of the planted island shall be designated on the approved final plan of the subdivision or land development.
[Added 5-4-2009 by Ord. No. 1647-2009]
D. 
Buffer areas. Except as provided in § 203-94A of this article, the minimum standards for buffer areas and their relationship to various land use associations are set forth in § 203-169, Buffer landscaping requirements.
E. 
Maintenance of landscaped areas.
(1) 
All landscaped areas shall be maintained in a neat and professional manner throughout the life of the project, to include the replacement of plant material as required.
(2) 
The agency, office or person charged with such responsibility shall be designated. All areas of the site plan to be under a common association responsibility shall be designated on the site plan.
F. 
Retention of native plant material. All efforts shall be made to retain natural plant material. Clearing shall be limited to roadways and building sites (NOTE: and other areas essential for the development) pursuant to those sections relating to fire management and vegetation.
G. 
Substitutions of existing plant material for required landscaping. Subsequent to construction of each project phase, the developer may request the Planning Board to verify the acceptability of existing native plant material and its suitability as a substitute for any proposed landscape plan.
H. 
Location of landscape material. All landscape material shall be located so as not to obstruct vision in parking areas, along roadways or in other areas accessible to motorized vehicles.
I. 
In the Pinelands Area, landscaping plans shall incorporate the elements set forth in § 203-185A(4).
[Added 8-4-1997 by Ord. No. 1280-97]

§ 203-99 Signs.

Signs permitted in a planned residential development are identified in Article XIII, Signs, of this chapter. All signs utilized in a planned residential development shall, at a minimum, be consistent with the above section, as well as:
A. 
Be constructed of natural materials in architectural character with the project.
B. 
Be landscaped at their base in a manner to highlight the immediate area around the base of the sign.

§ 203-100 Lighting.

A. 
A lighting plan shall be required for a planned residential development which adheres to the submission standards in Article XIV, Environmental Review and Site Analysis.
B. 
At a minimum, lighting shall be provided for the following functions and areas within a planned residential project. Types of lighting required:
(1) 
Streetlighting along all project streets.
(a) 
Cutoff luminaire: not to exceed 25 feet in height. Such luminaires are to be limited to the collector streets in project areas.
[Amended 7-7-1997 by Ord. No. 1261-97]
(b) 
No-cutoff luminaire: not to exceed 15 feet in height. Such luminaires are to be limited to minor or local streets.
(c) 
Luminaire with less than 90% cutoff: not to exceed 25 feet in height.
[Amended 7-7-1997 by Ord. No. 1261-97]
(d) 
The average maintained illumination measured at the pavement shall be 1.2 footcandles.
(2) 
Pedestrian lighting shall be provided along all walkways and areas frequented by pedestrian traffic that are not adequately reached by other lighting sources. Pedestrian lighting shall:
(a) 
Not exceed three feet in height.
(b) 
Be vandalproof and relatively maintenance free.
(c) 
Be in architectural character with building design.
(d) 
Be embodied into an overall landscape design whenever possible.
(3) 
Security lighting shall be provided throughout the site which shall:
(a) 
Light all security-sensitive areas, such as but not limited to areas between buildings, community buildings, pool areas, recreational areas, etc., when not in use.
(b) 
Light portions of bikepaths not lighted by other sources.
(c) 
Light addresses for individual buildings.
(d) 
Light any areas deemed to require lighting for unforeseen security purposes as recommended upon inspection of site plans by the Hamilton Township Police Department.
(4) 
Ornamental lighting shall be provided to highlight key areas of projects, such as but not limited to entry points, landscape clusters, etc.
(5) 
Recreational area lighting shall be provided for all recreational facilities incorporated as part of the recreational plan for any project. Such lighting, at a minimum, shall be installed to provide adequate illumination by which each designated recreational activity can be safely carried out. In such cases, luminaires may extend to a height of 50 feet as an exception to any regulations stated herein.
(6) 
All luminaires provided shall be vandalproof and be oriented in such a fashion to preclude glare upon surrounding properties or roadways, both in and contiguous to the site.

§ 203-101 Fences.

Fences permitted in a planned adult community are identified in § 203-173, Maximum height requirements for fences, walls and hedges.

§ 203-102 Waiver of density provisions.

In the event that an applicant is unable to achieve the densities set forth in § 203-93 of this article because of the requirements of the section relating to wetlands protection, the Planning Board shall waive or vary such requirements of this article regarding distances between buildings and the required housing mixes as are necessary to allow the developer to achieve the densities authorized in § 203-93. In administering this provision, the applicant shall have the burden of demonstrating that the assigned densities are not achievable, and the Planning Board shall have discretion to determine which requirements of this section shall be waived or modified.