Sketch site plan review is intended to eliminate unnecessary detailed plan preparation for those plans eligible for waiver and to provide applicants ineligible for waiver with Planning Board recommendations before required detailed plan preparation. However, an applicant may, at his or her option, omit this review stage and proceed directly to preliminary site plan review.
Any applicant for sketch site plan review shall first file with the Secretary of the Planning Board a completed application form and six copies of proposed site and building plans. The completed application and plans must be submitted at least 15 days prior to the public meeting of the Board at which applicant desires to be heard. Such plans should be preliminary in nature, but should nevertheless indicate the size, shape and location of existing and proposed buildings, parking areas and drives; the location of proposed plantings, fences, signs, utilities and other important features; and a key map showing the entire project and its relation to surrounding properties and the existing buildings thereon.
At a public meeting of the Planning Board and within 45 days of sketch site plan filing, the Board shall, by formal vote, either waive site plan approval requirements or conditionally approve the sketch plan for preliminary review. If site plan approval requirements are waived, the sketch plan shall be so validated, and notification of such waiver shall be sent to the Borough Construction Code Official, together with one copy of the validated plan.
If no action is taken within 45 days of sketch plan filing or if the sketch plan is conditionally approved for preliminary review, the application shall prepare a preliminary site plan for submittal to the Planning Board. In its conditional approval of a sketch plan, the Planning Board may direct the applicant to make changes in the preliminary plan in conformance with the design standards and related standards of §§ 163-20 and 163-21.
Applications for preliminary site plan review shall be filed, on forms provided, with the Secretary of the Planning Board at least four weeks prior to a Planning Board public meeting at which the applicant wishes to be heard. All applications shall include 18 copies of the information required in § 163-18 and be accompanied by the required fee.
[Amended 9-2-1986 by Ord. No. 430]
The time for preliminary site plan review shall not begin to run until the submission of a complete application and fee. Unless the applicant is informed in writing by the Secretary of the Planning Board within 45 days of the actual submission of the application that said application is incomplete, said application shall be deemed complete on the date submitted.
No application for preliminary site plan review shall be deemed complete in the absence of a) proof that a plan for soil erosion and sedimentation control has been submitted to the Mercer County Soil Conservation District, pursuant to the requirements of N.J.S.A. 4:24-39, et seq., or proof that such a plan is not required for the particular application; and b) a statement whether any state or federal environmental investigation or enforcement action affecting the site has been initiated or ongoing within the most recent five years. Nothing in the latter statement shall be construed to authorize any action by the Board which conflicts with preemptive state or federal jurisdiction.
[Amended 11-4-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-12]
The Secretary of the Planning Board shall immediately transmit copies of such plans and request comments from the following:
Planning Board Site Plan Review Committee.
Construction Code Official.
County Planning Board.
Board of Health.
Consulting Sanitary Engineer.
Borough Water Company.
At a public meeting the Planning Board shall consider these comments and shall consider the site plan submission and the comments of the above referrals. The Planning Board shall be guided in its action by the design and related standards of §§ 163-20 and 163-21 of this chapter. The applicant shall have the right to appear before the Planning Board and be heard with respect to the submission.
After completion of its review, the Planning Board shall approve or disapprove the submission, stating its findings and the reasons for its actions in writing. Approval may be made conditional upon the applicant's adoption of specified changes in the site plan and submission of an amended site plan indicating the changes.
The action of the Planning Board shall be noted on the site plan. If the Planning Board disapproves a site plan, the stated reasons for disapproval shall be remedied prior to further consideration. If the Planning Board requires a substantial change in layout, the applicant may be required to submit a new site plan which shall be proceeded on as in the case of the original filing, except that an additional fee will not be required.
Preliminary approval of a site plan shall confer upon the applicant the following rights for a three-year period from the date of preliminary approval:
That the general terms and conditions on which preliminary approval was granted shall not be changed, including but not limited to use requirements; layout and design standards for streets, curbs and sidewalks; lot size; yard dimensions and off-tract improvements; natural resources to be preserved on the site; vehicular and pedestrian circulation, parking and loading; screening, landscaping and location of structures; exterior lighting both for safety reasons and streetlighting, except that nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the borough from modifying by ordinance such general terms and conditions of preliminary approval as relate to public health, welfare and safety.
That the applicant may submit for final approval on or before the expiration date of preliminary approval the whole or a section or sections of the preliminary site plan.
That the applicant may apply for and the reviewing Board may grant extensions on such preliminary approval for additional periods of at least one year but not to exceed a total extension of two years, provided that if the design standards have been revised by ordinance, such revised standards may govern at the discretion of the reviewing Board.
Where review or approval of the application by the County Planning Board is required by N.J.S.A. 40:27-6, the reviewing Board shall condition any approval that it grants upon the timely receipt of a favorable report from the County Planning Board. The absence of a report from the County Planning Board within the review period shall be considered an approval by the County Planning Board.
No building or construction permits shall be issued, nor shall any work be undertaken on the proposed development without the prior final approval of the site plan by the appropriate Board. The Planning Board shall grant final approval if the Board finds that the detailed drawings, specifications and estimates of the application for final approval conform to ordinance requirements for final approval and the conditions of the preliminary approval. Final approval shall be granted or denied within 45 days after submission of a complete application for final approval to the Secretary of the Planning Board, or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant.
Failure of the Planning Board to act within the period prescribed shall constitute final approval as submitted. If requested by the applicant, the Secretary of the Planning Board shall furnish a certificate attesting to the failure of the Planning Board to act, and such certificate shall be sufficient evidence of approval.
A complete application for final approval shall consist of the following:
A properly completed final site plan application form and the required fee.
Final site plans that are substantially the same as the approved preliminary site plans.
Proof that all taxes and assessments for local improvements on the property have been paid.
Bonds posted to ensure the installation of all on-site and off-tract improvements, in a form suitable to the Borough Attorney and Engineer.
The Planning Board may grant final approval at the time of preliminary approval if it finds that all of the requirements for final approval are met at the time of preliminary approval.
The zoning requirements applicable to the preliminary approval first granted and all other rights conferred upon the applicant pursuant to § 163-11 of this chapter, whether conditionally or otherwise, shall not be changed for a period of two years after the date of final approval. If the Board finds that the applicant has followed the standards prescribed for final approval, the reviewing Board may extend such period of protection for extensions of one year but not to exceed three extensions. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the granting of final approval terminates the time period of preliminary approval pursuant to § 163-11 of this chapter for the section granted final approval.