Borough of Northvale, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Northvale 7-9-1975 as Ord. No. 409; amended in its entirety 12-10-1980 by Ord. No. 476 (Ch. 59 of the 1969 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Land use procedures — See Ch. 29.
Certificates of occupancy — See Ch. 80.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 84.
Fees — See Ch. 97.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 105.
Site work permits — See Ch. 162.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 178.
Zoning — See Ch. 200.

§ 159-1 Title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited and referred to as the "Site Plan Review Ordinance of the Borough of Northvale."

§ 159-2 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to exercise to the fullest extent the powers granted to the borough to manage land use through site plan review to the fullest extent permitted by the Municipal Land Use Law and the Constitutions of the United States and the State of New Jersey and to generally exercise the police power. To that end, without limiting the foregoing, the stated purpose of this chapter is the same as the Municipal Land Use Law and, in particular, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-2.

§ 159-3 Site plan approval required; application information. [1]

[Amended 12-10-1995 by Ord. No. 693-95]
A. 
In each case where an application for a zoning or building permit is made, a site plan, drawn to scale of not smaller than one inch equals 50 feet and showing the following in information shall be submitted (no fewer than 10 copies) with the application.
(1) 
All lot line dimensions, elevations and contours, five-foot intervals on ten-percent slopes and two-foot intervals on lesser slopes.
(2) 
Building setback, side line and rear yard distances.
(3) 
The location of all buildings.
(4) 
The location of off-street parking areas with dimensions showing parking spaces, loading docks, access drives, traffic circulation and location and description of any lighting in connection with the parking area.
(5) 
The location and description of all proposed lighting and signs.
(6) 
The type of surface paving, curbing, sidewalks, storm drainage facilities, water mains and sanitary sewer lines.
(7) 
All landscaping, fences, walls or similar facilities and the location of all shade trees to be provided in accordance with the Northvale Code.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 178, Subdivision of Land.
(8) 
The location of all structures within 200 feet of the property lines.
(9) 
The front elevation of all buildings.
(10) 
The proposed use of the site.
(11) 
The location, size and nature of all existing and proposed rights-of-way, easements, community areas, buffer zones and other encumbrances which may affect the lot or lots in question and the location size and description of any lands to be conveyed to the Borough of Northvale. There shall also be submitted a copy of any covenants or deed restrictions that are intended to cover all or any part of the tract.
(12) 
The location of all fire hydrants and potable water systems, existing and proposed.
(13) 
The name, title and address of the applicant and the owner and the name, title and address of the person preparing the plan or maps and appropriate seals of the professionals participating in the preparation of the same. Maps shall include a place for the signatures of the Chairman and Secretary of the approving authority, as well as a place for the signature and seal of the Borough Engineer of the Borough of Northvale. The Municipal Tax Map lot and block numbers of the lot or lots, tax sheet number and key location map for all properties shall be on the map or plan. The map shall include all dates of preparation and revised dates, as the case may be.
(14) 
Indication of proposed traffic access and ways showing alignment and visibility and safety consideration.
(15) 
A description of the structure or structures, including the architect's rendering and a description of all facing materials to be used. All facing materials shall be brick, stone or other material approved by the approving authority.
(16) 
The location and width of proposed driveways and curb cuts.
(17) 
A parking layout showing the number of stalls in each block.
(18) 
Such other information and data as may be required by the approving authority in order to determine that the details of the site plan are in accord with the standards of the zoning ordinances and other ordinances of the Borough of Northvale and, further, that the building or use will not be detrimental to the public interest.
B. 
The following applications shall not require a site plan:
(1) 
A one-family residence, or an accessory use thereof.
(2) 
Repairs or improvements which do not change the exterior dimensions of the structure or accessory use thereof.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B(3), which immediately followed this subsection, concerning uses which do not change the use of premises, was repealed 11-5-1997 by Ord. No. 721-97.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 200, Zoning, §§ 200-20 and 200-22B. Fees for site plan approval are as set forth in Ch. 97, Fees.

§ 159-4 Separate applications.

[Added 4-10-1985 by Ord. No. 530-85]
The developer may elect to submit a separate application requesting approval of a variance or direction of the issuance of a permit and a subsequent application for any required approval of a subdivision site plan or conditional use. The separate approval of the variance or direction of the issuance of a permit shall be conditioned upon grant of all required subsequent approvals by the Planning Board. No such subsequent approval shall be granted unless the approval can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantial impairment of the intent and purpose of Chapter 200, Zoning.

§ 159-5 Action on preliminary site plan.

A. 
After a public hearing, the approving authority shall take formal action either approving or disapproving the preliminary site plan within the time required by N.J.S.A. 40:55D-46.
B. 
The approving authority shall grant preliminary approval, provided that the applicant has complied with the requirements of § 159-3 of this chapter.
C. 
Approval of any preliminary application shall be conditioned on certification by the Northeast Soil Conservation District of a plan for soil erosion and sediment control pursuant to the provisions of P.L. 1975, c. 251.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
D. 
If the approving authority acts favorably on a preliminary site plan, the Chairman of the approving authority shall affix his signature to the plan with a notation that it has received tentative approval, and he shall then return the same to the applicant for compliance with final approval requirements.
E. 
A copy of the resolution setting forth the action taken by the approving authority shall be forwarded forthwith to the Borough Clerk, the Construction Official, the applicant and the applicant's attorney.
F. 
The zoning requirements applicable to the preliminary approval first granted and all other rights conferred upon the developer pursuant to Section 37 of Chapter 291 of the Laws of 1975,[2] whether conditionally or otherwise, shall not be changed for a period of two years after the date of final approval. Thereafter, the rights granted thereunder shall expire. However, if the developer has followed the standards prescribed for final approval and has duly recorded the plat as required in Section 42 of Chapter 91 of the Laws of 1975,[3] the Planning Board may extend such period of protection for an extension up to one year. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the granting of final approval terminates the time period of preliminary approval pursuant to Section 37 of Chapter 291 of the Laws of 1975[4] for the section granted final approval.
[Amended 9-9-1992 by Ord. No. 647-92]
[2]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-49.
[3]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-54.
[4]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-49.

§ 159-6 Performance and maintenance guaranties.

[Amended 11-10-1987 by Ord. No. 583-87]
A. 
In order to assure compliance with this chapter, all business and industrial property owners will deliver to the Mayor and Council a permanent maintenance guaranty in an amount not to exceed 1% of the assessed value of the real property at the time of application, to a maximum of $25,000
B. 
Before a recording of or as a condition of final site plan approval or as a condition to the granting of a zoning permit pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-65, the municipal agency may require and shall accept in accordance with the standards adopted by this chapter for the purpose of assuring the installation and maintenance of on-tract improvements a permanent maintenance guaranty in an amount not to exceed 1% of the assessed value of the subject property at the time of application to a maximum of $25,000.
C. 
For the purposes of this section, "assessed value" shall mean a predetermined valuation of the subject real estate, including a valuation of the estimated cost of the proposed construction/renovation to any existing structure as if it were completed in conformance with the subject site plan.
D. 
Should the funds represented by the bond be attached or otherwise depleted by the borough to cover expenses it has incurred in fulfilling the property owner's obligation to maintain the subject property, the property owner or obligor must then restore the full value of the bond to the amount of 1% of the assessed value of the subject property at the time of application. Any such deficiency may also be restored to the borough by a lien on the subject property, if necessary.
E. 
The amount of performance guaranty may be reduced by the governing body, by resolution, when portions of the maintenance and upkeep of the improvements have been certified by the Construction Code Official or the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works to have been completed. The time allowed for the maintenance and upkeep of the improvements for which the performance guaranty has been provided may be extended by said body by resolution.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
F. 
When all of the required maintenance and upkeep of the improvements have been completed, the obligor shall notify the governing body, in writing, by certified mail addressed in care of the Borough Clerk, of the completion of said maintenance and upkeep on the improvements and shall send a copy thereof to the Construction Code Official or the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works. Thereupon, the Construction Code Official or the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works shall inspect all of the maintenance and upkeep of the improvements and shall file a detailed report, in writing, with the governing body, indicating either approval, partial approval or rejection of the maintenance and upkeep of the improvements with a statement of reasons for any rejection. If partial approval is indicated, the value of the maintenance and upkeep of the improvements rejected shall be set forth.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
G. 
The governing body shall either approve or reject the maintenance and upkeep of the improvements on the basis of the reports of the Construction Code Official or the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works and shall notify the obligor, in writing, by certified mail, of the contents of said report and the action of said municipal agency with relation thereto, not later than 65 days after receipt of the notice from the obligor of the maintenance and upkeep of the improvements. Where partial approval is granted, the obligor shall be released from all liability pursuant to its performance guaranty, except for the portion adequately sufficient to secure provisions of the maintenance and upkeep of the improvements not yet approved. Failure of the governing body to send or provide such notification to the obligor within 65 days shall be deemed to constitute approval of the maintenance and upkeep of the improvements, and the obligor and surety, if any, shall be released from all liability, pursuant to such performance guaranty.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
H. 
If any portion of the required maintenance and upkeep of the improvements are rejected, the municipal agency may require the obligor to complete such maintenance and upkeep of the improvements, and upon completion, the same procedure of notification as set forth in this section shall be followed.
I. 
Nothing herein, however, shall be construed to limit the right of the obligor to contest by legal proceedings any determination of the Construction Code Official or the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
J. 
In the event that final approval is by stages or section of development pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-38, the provisions of this subsection shall be applied by stage or section.
K. 
Inspection by the borough of the maintenance and upkeep of improvements and utilities by the site plan applicant shall not operate to subject the borough to liability for claims, suits or liability of any kind that may at any time arise because of defects or negligence during the construction or any time thereafter, it being recognized that the responsibility to maintain safe conditions at all times during construction and to provide proper utilities and improvements is upon the site plan applicant and his contractors, if any.
L. 
The obligor shall reimburse the borough for all reasonable inspection fees paid to the Construction Code Official or the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works for the foregoing inspection of the maintenance and upkeep of the improvements.[5]
[5]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.

§ 159-7 Submission of final site plan application.

A. 
A final plan shall be submitted to the Secretary of the approving authority as provided in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-49 and any supplements thereto.
B. 
Prior to final approval, the approving authority shall have received the following:
(1) 
A letter containing a list of all items to be covered by a performance guaranty (cash or certified check), the quantities of each item, the cost of each of them and the total amount of all items.
(2) 
A letter from the Borough Engineer stating that the required improvements have been installed to his satisfaction in accordance with the applicable borough specifications and that the performance guaranty is adequate to cover the cost of the remaining improvements.
(3) 
A letter from the developer's engineers stating that the final plan conforms to the preliminary plan as submitted and approved. The developer shall be liable for additional engineering fees incurred by the borough where such certification is found to be incorrect.
C. 
Where the approving authority deems it appropriate, a combined preliminary and final application may be submitted simultaneously.

§ 159-8 Minimum requirements for site plan approval.

A. 
In reviewing a site plan application, the approving authority shall ascertain that the following minimum requirements are complied with:
(1) 
That the provisions of this chapter with respect to height, minimum lot areas, mandatory open spaces and the like are complied with.
(2) 
That adequate provision is made for off-street parking in accordance with the revised ordinances of the Borough of Northvale and that adequate traffic circulation and protection to adjoining properties are provided.
(3) 
That adequate provision is made for disposal of stormwater as approved by the Borough Engineer.
(4) 
That the location, design or construction of any building is not likely to involve risks of traffic congestion, public safety or hazard.
(5) 
That the design or construction of any building will not be so markedly incongruous with the character of the neighborhood as to materially affect the value of adjacent or nearby property.
(6) 
That all other applicable provisions of the Northvale ordinances are met.
(7) 
That the applicant has obtained necessary approvals of any state, county or municipal agencies or that the approving authority conditions any approval upon the applicant obtaining such necessary approvals.
(8) 
That the proposed plan is suitable as to appearance and nature of use in relation to the district in which it is located and that the impact of the proposed use upon other properties in the area is considered.
(9) 
That consideration is given to environmental protection for the health, safety and welfare of the community.
(10) 
That the landscaping plan as submitted by the applicant is suitable and that shade trees are provided for as set forth in any regulation of the Northvale Shade Tree Committee.
(11) 
That the approving authority shall give consideration to such other elements or aspects of the site plan and proposed use as may relate to the design of the plan, the general environment of the area or the health, safety and general welfare of the public and in so doing may refer the application to such other agencies as may be desirable for report and recommendation.
B. 
Exceptions. The foregoing are intended as minimum requirements applying to site plans involving property improvements and new building construction. If it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the approving authority that, because of peculiar conditions relating to the property or proposed construction, such details are not necessary to properly evaluate the site plan, the approving authority may modify or waive any of the specific site plan details.

§ 159-9 Site Plan Committee.

The Chairman of the approving authority may appoint a Site Plan Committee consisting of three members, which Committee shall review all site plans and by majority vote recommend a procedure to be followed by the approving authority in its review.

§ 159-10 Minor site plan.

A. 
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MINOR SITE PLAN
A development plan which does not involve a planned unit development or any new street or extension of any off-tract improvement which is to be prorated pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-42 and which contains the information reasonably required in order to make an informed determination as to whether the requirements established by this chapter for approval have been met. A "minor site plan" shall additionally mean a site plan for a development or building alteration requiring fewer than 10 parking spaces as required in the Northvale Code, containing less than 2,500 new or additional square feet of floor area and not having more lot coverage than 50%. The approving authority, upon receipt of a site plan application, shall, by a vote or a majority of its members, decide whether or not to treat said application as a "minor site plan."
B. 
The approving authority may waive notice in public hearing for application for development if it finds that such application conforms to the definition of a minor site plan.
C. 
Minor site plan approval shall be deemed to be final approval of the site plan by the approving authority, provided that the approving authority may condition such approval on terms ensuring the provision of improvements pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-38, 40:55D-39, 40:55D-41 and 40:55D-53.

§ 159-11 Off-site improvements.

A. 
Prior to the granting of final approval, the developer shall have installed or shall have furnished a cash guaranty as herein provided for the ultimate installation of the following:
(1) 
Final surface cost of the streets and pavements.
(2) 
Storm sewers, culverts, water mains, sanitary sewers and hydrants.
(3) 
Monuments.
(4) 
Sidewalks and curbs.
(5) 
Street signs and streetlights.
(6) 
Shade trees.
(7) 
Topsoil protection.
(8) 
Inspection and approval. All improvements shall be subject to inspection and approval by the Borough Engineer, who shall be notified at least 48 hours prior to the time when inspection will be required of embankments, drainage facilities, waterlines, sewers, pavements or sidewalks. No underground installation shall be covered until inspected and approved by the Borough Engineer.
B. 
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-39 and 40:55D-42, construction of or contributions for off-tract water, sewer, drainage and street improvements may be required in accordance with the following criteria:
(1) 
Improvements to be constructed at sole expense of applicant. In cases where reasonable and necessary need for an off-tract improvement or improvements are necessitated or required by the proposed development application and when no other property owners receive a special benefit thereby, the approving authority may require the applicant, as a condition of site plan approval, at the applicant's sole expense, to provide for and construct such improvements as if such were on-tract improvements in the manner provided hereafter and as otherwise provided by law.
(2) 
Contributions by applicant toward required off-tract improvements.
(a) 
In cases where the need for any off-tract improvement is necessitated by the proposed development application and where the approving authority determines that properties outside the development will also be benefited by the improvements, such determination shall be made by the approving authority, in writing. Said resolution or determination of the approving authority shall specify the off-tract improvements which are necessary and the terms and conditions which shall be imposed upon the applicant to ensure the successful and reasonable implementation of the same. In its deliberation as to whether off-tract improvements are required, the approving authority shall be guided by the rules and regulations specified in any of the ordinances of the Borough of Northvale, as well as this chapter. The approving authority may also be guided by counsel from its attorney, the Borough Engineer and any consultant or other qualified experts and municipal officials relative to the subject matter.
(b) 
In the event that the approving authority determines that one or more improvements constitute an off-tract improvement, the approving authority shall notify the Mayor and Council of the same, specifying the approving authority's recommendation relative to the estimated cost of the same, the applicant's prorated share of the cost and possible methods or means to implement the same, including but not limited to performance and maintenance guaranties, cash contributions, development agreements and other forms of surety.
(c) 
The approving authority shall not grant final approval on the application until all aspects of such conditions have been mutually agreed to by both the applicant and the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Northvale and a written resolution to that effect by the Mayor and Council has been transmitted to the approving authority.
(3) 
Methods of implementation. Where a performance or maintenance guaranty or other surety is required in connection with an off-tract improvement, the applicant shall be required to follow the same procedures and requirements as specified in this chapter for other improvements.
(4) 
Development agreement. Where a development agreement is required governing off-tract improvements or other conditions as may be required by this chapter or by the approving authority, said agreement shall be approved as to form, sufficiency and execution by the approving authority's attorney and the Borough Attorney. Said agreement shall specify the amount of cash contributions, if any, the method of payment of the same, the relative timing of such payment and the obligation or obligations to be undertaken by the Borough of Northvale.
(5) 
Pro rata formula for determining applicant's share for off-tract improvements.
(a) 
Where an off-tract improvement is required, in order to determine the proportionate share of such improvement to the applicant, the approving authority is to apply the current construction costs to a comparison of the increase in value of off-site properties by the off-site improvement as compared to the increase in value of the proposed development.
(b) 
In determining the pro rata amount of the cost of any required off-tract improvement which shall be borne by the applicant, the approving authority shall also determine the pro rata amount of cost to be borne by other owners of lands which will be benefited by the proposed improvements.

§ 159-12 Enforcement; violations and penalties.

This chapter shall be enforced by the Zoning Officer of the Borough of Northvale, and all violations and penalties thereof shall be governed in accordance with Chapter 200, Zoning, § 200-23, of the Northvale Code.

§ 159-13 Interpretation.

A. 
In interpretating and applying the provisions of this chapter, all terms contained herein shall be held to be minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the borough.
B. 
Whenever the requirements of this chapter are at variance with the requirements of any other lawfully adopted rules, regulations, ordinances, deeds, restrictions or covenants, the more restrictive or that comprising the higher standard shall govern.
C. 
As used herein, the terms "off-tract" and "off-site" shall be considered one and the same, and the terms "applicant" and "developer" shall be considered one and the same, as the case may be.