Borough of Fort Lee, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Existing zone lots of record. In any residential zone, only a one-family dwelling may be erected on a nonconforming zone lot or parcel of official record at the effective date of this chapter.
B. 
Lot width. The minimum lot width of any lot shall be measured at the minimum front yard setback line as required for the district in which it is located. In cases of irregular-shaped lots whose sides are not parallel, the lot frontage measured at the street right-of-way line shall not be less than 75% of the required minimum lot width.
C. 
Corner lots. At all street intersections, no obstruction to vision (other than an existing building, post or column) exceeding 30 inches in height above the established grade of the street at the property line shall be erected or maintained on any lot and such line drawn between points along such street lot lines 25 feet distant from their intersection. The determination of the front yard of a corner lot shall be at the option of the owner or developer and shall be so designated on all maps and official records.
D. 
Through lots. Where a single lot under individual ownership extends from one street to another, both street frontages of said lot shall be subject to the front yard requirements of this chapter.
(1) 
Where a single lot under individual ownership fronts upon three streets, the owner may select which street shall be the front of the building. If the owner selects one of the parallel streets to be the front, both parallel street frontages of said lot shall be subject to the minimum front yard requirements of this chapter and the perpendicular street frontage shall be subject to the minimum side yard requirements which may herein be imposed upon corner lots. If the owner selects the perpendicular street frontage as the front yard, said perpendicular street frontage shall be subject to the minimum front yard requirements and the parallel street frontages shall be subject to the minimum side yard requirements of this chapter; subject, however, to any additional requirements which may herein be imposed upon corner lots.
(2) 
Where a single lot under individual ownership comprises an entire block, two parallel frontages as selected by the owner shall comply with the front yard requirements of this chapter and the remaining frontages shall comply with the minimum side yard requirements of this chapter.
E. 
Required area or space cannot be reduced. The area or dimension of any zone lot, yard, parking area or other space shall not be reduced to less than the minimum required by this chapter; and, if already less than the minimum required by this chapter, said area or dimension may be continued and shall not be further reduced.
F. 
Minimum lot depth. The minimum lot depth of any zone lot of official record at the effective date of this chapter shall be in accordance with Schedule IV-2 herein.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Zoning Schedules are included at the end of this chapter.
G. 
Frontage upon a street. Every principal building or planned group development shall be built upon a lot with frontage upon an improved and approved street in accordance with the street standards established by the Borough.
A. 
General application. No building or structure shall have a greater number of stories or greater number of feet than are permitted in the district where such building is located.
B. 
Permitted exceptions. Height limitations stipulated elsewhere in this chapter shall not apply to church spires, belfries, cupolas and domes, monuments, chimneys, smokestacks, elevator towers and enclosures, flagpoles, fire towers, steeples, (occupying in the aggregate less than 10% of the roof area where they are located), television aerials or parapet walls, except that no parapet wall may extend more than four feet above the limiting height of the building. Mechanical appurtenances such as condensors, exhaust fans, elevator housing and other similar equipment are exempt from these height restrictions, provided they do not extend more than 15 feet above the maximum height limitation.
A. 
The permitted building height in the R-1, R-1A, R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-3A and R-4 Zones shall be limited to 28 feet. The maximum permitted height from the finished first floor to the grade plane shall be limited to three feet.
[Amended 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-45]
B. 
These height limitations shall be defined as the vertical distance from the grade plane to the finished first floor and to the midpoint of the roof. "Grade plane" shall be defined as a reference plane representing the average of finished ground level adjoining the building at all exterior walls. When the finished ground level slopes away from the exterior walls, the reference plane shall be established by the lowest point within the area between the building and the lot line or, when the lot line is more than six feet from the building, between the building and a point six feet from the building.
[Amended 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-45]
C. 
All measurements for purposes of height shall be to the peak of the proposed roof. All roofs shall have a minimum pitch of four inches vertical distance for each 12 inches of horizontal distance.
D. 
No rear yard shall be filled in excess of two feet above the existing grade prior to construction.
E. 
No person or entity shall, without a building permit, construct a retaining wall in excess of two feet in height, as measured from the original mean ground grade level along the nearest property line and which existed at the time of the issuance of the building permit.
F. 
All basements shall be a minimum of two feet into the existing ground level at the front building line, prior to construction, whenever a building exceeds two stories. This provision shall not be applicable if the grade at the building line is two feet or more lower than the street grade.
G. 
All horizontal eave lines shall not be higher than 21 feet above the grade plane. The only exceptions shall be architectural features such as dormers, turrets, cupolas and bay windows, all of which shall be limited to 10 feet in width.
[Added 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-45]
H. 
The garage and/or porte cochere eave line along the side property line shall be limited to 10 feet six inches above the grade plane.
[Added 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-45]
[Added 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-45]
A. 
Attached garages in R-2, R-2A, R-3 and R-3A Zones shall be limited to 25 feet in length and width.
B. 
In R-2, R2-A, R-3, R-3A and R-4 Zones, the minimum setback from the side lot line shall be three feet, with an eave height limited to 10 feet six inches above grade.
C. 
Garages which adjoin the rear yard shall have a setback of no less than 20 feet from the rear property line in R-1, R1-A, R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-3A and R-4 Zones.
D. 
On interior, noncorner lots, garages with doors facing the street shall be set back a minimum of 37 feet from the front lot line in R-1, R-1A, R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-3A and R-4 Zones.
E. 
If any garage wall is the closest wall of a dwelling to the front lot line, then the garage door(s) shall not face the street.
F. 
Any garage located at the front of a dwelling must have fenestration which faces the street in an amount of no less than 10% of the wall area facing the street.
A. 
General.
(1) 
Required yards shall be open to the sky, unobstructed except for the ordinary projection of parapets, window sills, door posts, rainwater leaders, belt courses and ornamental fixtures which may not project more than six inches into such yards.
(2) 
Cornices and eaves may project no more than two feet six inches into any required yard. The only exception shall be that side yards adjacent to an attached garage which are less than five feet may have cornices and eaves which project no more than 12 inches into the side yard.
[Amended 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-45]
(3) 
In residential districts, an open porch one story in height may project not more than six feet into the required front yard, nor shall such projection be nearer than the side yard requirements. In no instance shall an open porch be located closer than 10% to a front lot line, including any steps thereto, and in no case shall it extend further than three feet beyond the majority of the houses on the street. Covered porches shall not be erected in the front yard setback.
[Amended 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-45]
(4) 
In residential apartment districts, an entrance vestibule shall not exceed one story in height or 10 feet in width and shall project not more than four feet into the required front yard.
(5) 
The provision of a wholly underground parking facility in conjunction with a planned group development or any structure shall not be subject to the prevailing yard requirements as established for principal and accessory structures.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection A(6), concerning open fire escapes or open stairways or balconies, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-45.
B. 
Front yard exception.
(1) 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B(1), concerning front yards in residential districts, was repealed 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-45.
(2) 
No principal residential building shall extend within the specified distance from the front lot line indicated in Zoning Schedule IV-2,[3] except that an uncovered porch may extend within six feet of the required front yard in the R-1, R-1A, R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-3A, and R-4 Zones and within five feet of the required front yard in the R-5, R-6, R-7, R-8, R-9, R-10 and R-11 Zones.
[Amended 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-45]
[3]
Editor's Note: The Zoning Schedules are included at the end of this chapter.
C. 
Front yard requirements affected by Official Map or Master Plan. Where any lot fronts upon a street right-of-way which is proposed to be widened as indicated on the Official Map of the Borough or in the adopted Master Plan of the Borough or by the Bergen County Master Plan or Official Map as provided by law, the front yard or front side yard in such district shall be measured from such proposed future right-of-way line.
D. 
Side yard exception.
(1) 
Corner lot. The side street setback line of any corner lot shall not be less than 1/2 of the depth of the minimum front yard required on any adjoining lot fronting on a side street, but, in any case, shall not be less than 12 feet. Any corner not delineated by subdivision or subject to site plan approval after the adoption of this chapter shall provide a side street setback line which shall not be less than the minimum front yard required on any adjoining lot fronting on the same street, as provided in this chapter.
(2) 
Projections into required yards. Certain features may project into required yards in the R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-3A and R-4 Zones as follows:
[Amended 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-45]
(a) 
In R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-3A and R-4 Zones, attached garages may extend to within three feet of a side lot line, provided that the garage is no longer than 25 feet in length or width. The second floor portion of a dwelling over any such garage shall have a minimum setback of eight feet from the property line.
(b) 
One-story projections for a total of 14 feet in length may project up to one foot six inches into the required side yard opposite the garage side of the dwelling.
(c) 
In R-2 and R-2A Zones, a porte cochere roof structure may be erected to within three feet of a side lot line, provided that such structure is open at ground level on a minimum of three sides. The porte cochere shall be a maximum of 15 feet in length measured along the side yard line, and any second floor portion of a dwelling over the porte cochere shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from the side lot line.
(d) 
Accessory patios may be located in side and rear yards, provided that they are not closer than three feet to any property line.
E. 
Rear yard exceptions.
[Amended 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-45]
(1) 
In R-1, R-1A, R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-3A and R-4 Zones, attached garages may extend to within 20 feet of rear lot lines and shall be a maximum of 10 feet six inches in height from eave line to grade. The second floor must be set back 25 feet from rear lot lines.
(2) 
In R-1, R-1A, R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-3A and R-4 Zones, one-story projections for a total 14 feet in length may project up to two feet into the required rear yard but may not exist on a garage wall at a twenty-foot setback.
F. 
Yard requirements in apartment zones PCR-1, R-5, R-6, R-7, R-8, R-8A, R-9, R-10, R-11.
(1) 
Minimum yard requirements.
(a) 
All apartment buildings governed by this subsection in the PCR-1, R-5, R-6, R-7, R-8, R-8A, R-9, R-10 and R-11 Zones shall provide minimum front and rear yards equal to 50% of the height in feet of the building or structure or as defined by the following formula, whichever is greater:
RY = 10 + 2S + (L/15)
Where:
RY=the required front or rear yard in feet in accordance with the definition of a yard provided herein.
S=the height in stories of the building or structure.
L=the length in feet or the horizontal prolongation of the building or structure or portion thereof perpendicular to the lot line.
(b) 
Side yard requirements shall be equal to a minimum of 25% of the height of the building or structure or a minimum of 25 feet, whichever is greater.
(2) 
Modification to yard requirements. The minimum yard requirements may be modified where one or more parcels abut or lie adjacent to a roadway where the right-of-way width exceeds 50 feet; where the parcel or parcels abut a publicly owned recreational facility or is situated adjacent to a bluff or escarpment. In such cases, the minimum yard requirement may be reduced one foot for every two feet of roadway width in excess of 50 feet; or one foot for every two feet of depth of recreational land perpendicular to the subject building; or one foot for every two feet of horizontal prolongation of bluff or escarpment, provided that the minimum yard requirements are not reduced to less than 25% of the height of the building or structure or less than 20 feet whichever is greater.
G. 
Yard requirements in the PCR-1, C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4 and C-6 Zones.
(1) 
Minimum front yard requirements in the PCR-1, C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-6 and C-7 Zones.
(a) 
The minimum front yard requirements in the PCR-1, C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-6 and C-7 Zones shall be in accordance with the following formula:
RFY = 3/4 (B.H.) - 1/2 (R.O.W.)
Where:
RFY=the minimum required front yard in feet.
B.H.=building heights in feet.
R.O.W.=the right-of-way width of the adjacent street in feet.
(b) 
In cases where the right-of-way width is less than 60 feet, a minimum front yard equal to 1/2 the difference of the present right-of-way and 60 feet shall be utilized unless a greater front yard is required by the formula.
(c) 
The provisions of §§ 410-25C and 410-28C and D shall also be adhered to where applicable.
(d) 
The front yard requirements indicated herein are the minimum requirements of this chapter. Other municipal, county or state regulations may require additional setbacks in specific circumstances which shall then be held to be the minimum requirements.
(2) 
Minimum side yard requirements in the PCR-1, C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-6 and C-7 Zones. Except as required for corner lots by § 410-28D(1) or where abutting a residential zone, no side yards are required in the PCR-1, C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-6 or C-7 Zones for principal or accessory buildings which do not exceed 30 feet in height. When abutting a residential zone or where the principal or accessory building or structure exceeds 30 feet in height, minimum side yard of 15 feet or a distance equal to 1/4 the height of the building or structure, whichever is greater, shall be required. Where side yards are provided, they shall be sufficiently wide to permit two-way ingress and egress for automotive and emergency vehicles to the rear of said property in accordance with the Fort Lee Site Plan Ordinance[4] and shall be equal to 1/4 the height of the building or structure as may be modified by the Planning Board but shall not be less than 15 feet except in the case of a corner lot or a through lot. Corner lots and through lots shall be deemed to provide adequate access to the rear of said property and any side yards provided, whether or not required, shall not be subject to any minimum dimension.
[Amended 9-28-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-35]
[4]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 345, Site Plan Review.
(3) 
Rear yard requirement in the PCR-1, C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-6 and C-7 Zones. A rear yard equal to 1/3 the height of the building or 15 feet, whichever is greater, shall be required in all PCR-1, C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-6 and C-7 Zones. When abutting a residential zone, a minimum rear yard equal to 1/2 the height of the building or 15 feet, whichever is greater, shall be required.
(4) 
Side and rear yard exception in the C-3 Zone. Any parcel directly abutting the Bridge Plaza and its approach ramps shall not be required to maintain a side or rear yard on the side or sides abutting said plaza or approach ramps.
A. 
Maximum lot coverage. Land coverage by principal buildings or structures on each zone lot shall not be greater than is permitted in the district where such principal buildings are located. The provision of an underground parking area in conjunction with a planned group development or a singular building shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.
B. 
Maximum improved lot coverage. The maximum improved lot coverage, as defined herein shall be limited as follows:
(1) 
C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-6 and C-7 Zones. In the C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-6 or C-7 Zones, the maximum improved lot coverage for all uses shall not exceed 85% of the lot area.
(2) 
Apartment buildings in the R-5, R-6, R-7, R-8, R-9, R-10, R-11 Zones. Any apartment building or planned multiple-family development group in the R-5, R-6, R-7, R-8, R-9, R-10 and R-11 Zones, shall not exceed an improved lot coverage of 75% of the lot area.
There shall not be more than one principal dwelling structure and one accessory structure on each zone lot or parcel in any district except as provided in §§ 410-34 and 410-37.
A. 
Street requirements. Where the Planning Board, after public hearings, has adopted portions of the Master Plan, with proposals regarding the street system within a proposed subdivision or development requiring site plan approval, the Planning Board, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55-1.20, may require that the street or streets shown conform in design and in width to the proposals shown on the Master Plan. No street of a width greater than 50 feet within the right-of-way lines may be required unless said street already has been shown on such Master Plan at a greater width or already has been shown in greater width on the Official Map.
B. 
Safety and health requirements. The Planning Board shall also require that all lots shown on the plats of a subdivision and all details required for site plan approval shall be adaptable for their intended purposes without danger to health or peril from flood, fire, erosion or other menace.
C. 
Schools, parks and drainage rights-of-way. If portions of the Master Plan contain proposals for drainage rights-of-way, schools, parks or playgrounds within the proposed subdivision or site plan area or in its vicinity or if standards for the allocation of subdivisions or site plan areas for drainage rights-of-way, school sites, park and playground purposes have been adopted, before approving such subdivision or site plan, the Planning Board may further require that such drainage rights-of-way, school sites, parks or playgrounds be shown in locations and sizes suitable for their intended purposes.
D. 
Reservation rights. The governing body shall be permitted to reserve the location and extent of such school sites, public parks and playgrounds shown on the Master Plan or any part thereof for a period of one year after the approval of the final subdivision plat or site plan or within such further time as agreed to by the applicant party. Unless during such one year period or extension thereof, the municipality shall have entered into a contract to purchase, has instituted condemnation proceedings according to law or has otherwise obtained title or other interest in lands for said school site, park or playground, the applicant shall not be bound by the proposals for such areas shown on the Master Plan. This provision shall not apply to the streets and roads and drainage rights-of-way required for final approval of any subdivision plat or site plan approval which are deemed essential to the public welfare.
A. 
Enclosed uses. Any enclosed use required by any Borough ordinance to be landscaped shall provide a fence or a visual screen as may be required by the Planning Board, designed to produce a dense cover consisting of evergreen or evergreen-type hedges or shrubs, spaced at intervals of not more than six feet, located and maintained in good condition within 10 feet of the property line.
B. 
Unenclosed uses. Any use which is not conducted within a completely enclosed building, including but not limited to storage yards, lumber and building materials yards and parking lots, shall be entirely enclosed by a fence as may be required by the Planning Board. This subsection shall not apply to nurseries or to automobile or trailer sales areas, except when abutting a residential zone.
C. 
Maintenance. Any fencing or landscaping installed in accordance with this section shall be maintained in good order to achieve the objectives of this section. Failure to maintain fencing or to replace dead or diseased landscaping shall be considered a violation of this chapter.
A buffer zone shall be established in the following manner and subject to terms and conditions as provided herein:
A. 
No principal or accessory use nor any off-street parking or loading areas or other use shall be permitted within a required buffer zone.
B. 
No access or driveways or streets shall be permitted within the required buffer zone except for an existing driveway.
C. 
Said buffer zone shall be kept in its natural state where wooded and when natural vegetation is sparse, plant material at least six feet in height and a solid or tightly woven fence or a masonry wall may be required by the Planning Board so as to provide a year-round visual screen. Said planting may be placed in suitable areas in the buffer zone as shall be required by the Planning Board.
D. 
Within said buffer zone, underground utility easements shall be permitted.
E. 
The area encompassed in the buffer zone may be utilized for the purpose of computing lot coverage but not yard setbacks.
F. 
A buffer zone at least 50 feet in depth shall be provided along Lot 8 in Block 6401 of the Fort Lee Tax Maps parallel to the Fort Lee-Englewood municipal boundary line.
G. 
A buffer zone of at least 25 feet in depth shall be provided between the C-7 Special Business Zone and the R-3 One- and Two-Family Residential Zone, more particularly following the easterly boundary of Lot 1 in Block 5804 and the easterly and southerly boundary of Lot 2 in Block 5804; Lots 1-19 in Block 5801 and Lots 1-4 in Block 5102.
[Added 6-12-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-18]
Except on a one- or two-family home, all mechanical equipment and utility equipment located on the roof of any building shall be positioned and/or screened so that said equipment is not visible from any public street nor from any adjacent property. All mechanical equipment and utility equipment shall be:
A. 
Set back a sufficient distance from the building edge so as to prevent visibility from all street rights-of-way and adjacent property; and/or
B. 
Enclosed by outer building walls, parapet walls or architectural screening which shall have the same color, texture, quality and materials used on the exterior of the building. Such screening shall form a continuous enclosure around the equipment at least one foot above the highest point of the equipment which is enclosed. The approving authority may, at its discretion, approve screening which uses different colors, textures or materials if it determines that said screening would be visually compatible with the building.