[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Independence 3-10-1986 by Ord. No. 86-4 (Ch. 69 of the 1984 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Township Committee hereby finds that uniformity in the exterior design and appearance of dwellings erected in the same residential neighborhood tends to adversely affect the desirability of the immediate and neighboring areas for residential purposes; tends to impair the value of both improved and unimproved real property in such areas with attendant deterioration of conditions affecting the health, safety and general welfare of the inhabitants thereof and the Township at large; and it discourages the promotion of a desirable visual environment through creative development techniques and good civic design and arrangements. It is the purpose of this chapter to prevent these and other harmful effects of uniformity in the design and appearance of dwellings erected in any housing development in the same residential neighborhood and thus to promote and protect the health, safety and general welfare of the Township.
Except as provided in this chapter, not more than one building permit shall hereafter be issued for any dwelling to be erected in a housing development consisting of two or more houses if the dwelling is substantially the same in exterior design and appearance as any neighboring dwelling situated on the same or opposite side of the street within 150 feet of a dwelling then in existence or for which a building permit has been issued or is pending. The distance herein specified shall be construed to mean the distance between the side lines of each lot or parcel as extended and measured along the center line of the street.
Houses of the same model within the specified distance from each other shall be considered substantially the same in exterior design and appearance unless there is a substantial change in the exterior appearance, including the following:
Change in the silhouette which may include changes in the roof design, chimneys, overhangs, facias, porches, porticos, breezeways, orientation of the garage, detached garages, etc.
Change in the front entry design, approach and landscaping.
Change in fenestration.
Change in exterior finish material on all four sides.
But, under no circumstances may more than two houses of the same model be built on consecutive lots on the same side of the street or, in the alternative, opposite each other, regardless of the changes. No house to be constructed on a corner lot of the same street intersection shall be of the same model as any other house built on a corner lot of the same intersection.
For the purposes of this section, basic house design refers to split-level, ranch, bilevel, two-story, cape cod, colonial, etc., and model refers to a basic house design having substantially the same basic exterior dimensions and floor plan. Variation in room sizes or reversal of the floor plans, front to back or side to side, shall not constitute a separate floor plan.
In addition to the requirements specified in § 130-3, there shall be a variety of separate basic house designs in every housing development and in no event less than the following:
To ensure conformity with the provisions of this chapter, there shall be no issuance of a building permit for any lot forming part of a development of two or more houses until the Construction Official has determined that the proposed house or houses satisfies the requirements of this chapter. Prior to the issuance of any such building permit, the Construction Official shall request whatever information he deems reasonably necessary to satisfy him that the houses covered by the building permits requested conform to this chapter.