[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Lumberton 1-20-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-1. (This ordinance also repealed former Chapter 49, Planning Board, and former Chapter 85, Zoning Board of Adjustment, both adopted 12-20-1976 by Ord. No. 1976-13.) Amendments noted where applicable.]
Development regulations — See Ch. 130.
There is hereby established within the Township of Lumberton a Land Development Board, to consist of nine members, whose membership and terms of office shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., specifically 40:55D-23, and 259(c)(1) as amended.
[Amended 2-2-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-5]
There shall be four alternate members of the Land Development Board, who shall be appointed by the Mayor, and who shall meet the qualifications of Class IV members under N.J.S.A. 40:55D-23. They should be designated at the time of their appointment by the Mayor as "Alternate No. 1," "Alternate No. 2," etc. The terms of two of the alternate members shall be for one year and the terms of two of the alternate members shall be for two years, except that the terms of the alternate members shall be such that the term of not more than two alternate members shall expire in any one year; provided, however, that in no instance shall the terms of the alternate members exceed two years. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled by the Mayor for the unexpired term only. No alternate member shall be permitted to act on any matter in which he has either directly or indirectly any personal or financial interest, and an alternate member may, after public hearing if he requests one, be removed by the governing body for cause. Alternate members may participate in discussions of the proceedings but may not vote except in the absence or disqualification of a regular member of any class. A vote shall not be delayed in order that a regular member may vote instead of an alternate member. In the event that a choice must be made as to which alternate member is to vote, Alternate No. 1 shall vote.
Leadership. The Land Development Board shall elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman from the members of Class IV and shall also select a Secretary, and if it so chooses, an assistant secretary, both of whom may or may not be members of the Board or municipal employees.
Attorneys, engineers, experts and staff. The Board may annually appoint and fix the compensation of an attorney, who shall be other than the municipal attorney, and may also employ or contract for a Board engineer and for such other experts and other staff and services as may be necessary, except that no expenditures under this subsection shall exceed, exclusive of the gifts or grants, the amount appropriated for same by the governing body.
Rules and regulations. The Board shall adopt such rules and regulations necessary to carry out its duties.
Conflicts of interest. All members, professionals and staff of the Board shall be governed by the provisions of the Local Government Ethics Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.1 et seq. Whenever any member of the Board shall be disqualified, he shall not continue to sit with the Board on the hearing of such matter, nor may he participate in any discussion or decision relating thereto except as a member of the public.
The Board shall follow the provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law and shall accordingly exercise its power:
To make, adopt, and amend a Master Plan for the physical development of the municipality pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-28 et seq.;
To establish and administer subdivision control and site plan review through the various subdivision and site plan provisions of this chapter and pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-37 et seq.;
To act upon zoning ordinance issues including conditional uses pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-62;
To participate in the preparation and review of programs or plans required by state or federal law or regulation;
To assemble data on a continuing basis as part of a continuous planning process;
To consider and report to the governing body within 35 days after referral of any proposed development regulation submitted to it pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D- 26(a), and to pass upon other matters referred to it by the governing body pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-26(b);
To address variances and certain building permits in conjunction with subdivision, site plan and conditional use approval pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-60 et seq.;
To assume all of the powers otherwise vested in a zoning board of adjustment, pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70, -70.1, -70.2, -72, -76, and any other sections of the Municipal Land Use Law that may vest authority in a zoning board of adjustment;
Perform such other advisory duties as are assigned to it by ordinance or resolution of the governing body for the aid and assistance of the governing body or other agencies or officers;
To review and make recommendations on the location, character, or extent of capital projects in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-31;
In reviewing applications for approval of subdivision plats, site plans, or conditional uses:
Where a "bulk" variance is requested, to be governed by the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D- 70(c)(1) and/or (2);
To direct the issuance of a permit for a building or structure either not related to a street (N.J.S.A. 40:55D- 35), or in the bed of a mapped street or public drainageway, flood control basin or public area reserved on the Official Map (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-32);
Whenever an application for approval of a subdivision plat, site plat, or conditional use includes a request for a variance of the issuance of a permit, to grant or deny approval of the application within 95 days after submission of a complete application to the administrative officer or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. In the event that the developer elects to submit separate consecutive applications, the aforesaid provisions shall apply to the application for approval of the variance or direction for issuance of a permit. The period for granting or denying subsequent approvals of a subdivision, site plan or conditional uses shall be as otherwise provided in this chapter. Failure of the Board to act within this period shall constitute approval of the application.
In reviewing applications for use variances, pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D- 70(d), to follow the criteria of said statute, and the case law enacted thereunder, with regard to the issuance or denial of said use variance. Whenever a use variance application is considered by the Board, the Board shall grant or deny approval of that application within 120 days after submission of a complete application to the administrative officer, or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. In the event the developer elects to submit consecutive or simultaneous applications, the one-hundred-and-twenty-day provision shall apply to the application for approval of the entirety of the application. Failure of the Board to act within this period shall constitute approval of the application.
Applications to the Board shall conform to the appropriate provisions of this chapter.
The Board may request any agency or individual to review and comment on any matter before the Board.
Meetings. Meetings shall be scheduled monthly, or more frequently as the Board may determine. Special meetings may be called by the Chairman or any two members of the Board, provided that there is notice to the members and public in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.
Minutes. Minutes shall be kept in accordance with the provisions of the aforesaid Open Public Meetings Act, shall be available for public inspection during normal business hours at the office of the Township Clerk, and shall be made available to any interested party who has the right to compel production of the minutes and be charged a fee for their reproduction.
Rules. The Board may make rules governing the conduct of hearings consistent with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq. and this chapter. The Board may waive the required notices and hearing for minor and exempt subdivisions and minor and exempt site plans except where a variance or conditional use is part of the application.
Oaths. The presiding officer or such person as he may designate shall have power to administer oaths or issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant evidence, including witnesses and documents presented by the parties. The provisions of the County and Municipal Investigations Law of 1953 (N.J.S.A. 2A:67A-1 et seq.) shall apply.
Testimony. All testimony shall be taken under oath or affirmation by the presiding officer. The right of cross-examination shall be permitted to all interested parties, subject to the discretion of the presiding officer and to reasonable limitations as to time and number of witnesses.
Evidence. Technical rules of evidence shall not be applicable, but irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded.
Records. The Board shall provide for the verbatim recording of the proceedings by either stenographer, mechanical or electronic means. The Board shall furnish a transcript or duplicate recording in lieu thereof on request to any interested party at his expense. The charge for a copy of the transcript shall not be more than the maximum permitted in N.J.S.A. 2A:11-15, and the transcript shall be certified, in writing, by the transcriber to be accurate.
Certified court reporter. If an applicant desires a certified court reporter, the cost of taking testimony and transcribing it and providing a copy of the transcript to the Board shall be at the expense of the applicant, who shall also arrange for the reporter's attendance.
When any hearing shall carry to two or more meetings, a member who was absent for one or more meetings shall be eligible to vote, notwithstanding his absence, provided that such Board member certified, in writing, to the Board that he has read the transcript or listened to the recording of the hearing(s) he missed.
An application for development shall be complete for purposes of commencing the applicable time period for action when the application is certified complete by the approving authority. In the event that the application is not certified to be complete within 45 days of the date of its submission, the application shall be deemed complete upon the expiration of the forty-five-day period for purposes of commencing the applicable time period, unless:
The applicant may request that one or more of the submission requirements be waived, in which event the Board shall grant or deny the request within 45 days.
Nothing herein shall be construed as diminishing the applicant's obligation to prove in the application process that he is entitled to approval of the application.
The Board may subsequently require the correction of any information found to be in error and submission of additional information not specified in this chapter or any revisions in the accompanying documents as are reasonably necessary to make an informed decision as to whether the requirements necessary for approval of the application have been met. The application shall not be deemed incomplete for lack of any such additional information or revisions in the accompanying documents so required by the Board.
Each decision on any application for development shall be reduced to writing, including findings of fact and conclusions thereon, through:
A resolution adopted at a meeting held within the required time period for action on the application.
A memorializing resolution adopted at a meeting held not later than 45 days after the date of the meeting at which the Board voted to grant or deny approval. Only the members who voted for the action taken may vote on the memorializing resolution, and the vote of a majority of such members present at the meeting at which the resolution is presented for adoption shall be sufficient to adopt the resolution.
An action resulting from the failure of a motion to approve an application shall be memorialized by a resolution as provided above, with those members voting against the motion for approval being the members eligible to vote on the memorializing resolution.
The vote on any such resolution shall be deemed to be a memorialization of the action of the Board and not to be an action of the Board. However, the date of the adoption of the resolution shall constitute the date of the decision for purposes of mailings, filings and publications. If the Board fails to adopt a resolution or memorializing resolution, any interested party may apply to the Superior Court in a summary manner for an order compelling the municipal agency to reduce its findings and conclusions to writing within a stated time, and the cost of the application, including attorneys' fees, shall be assessed against the municipality.