Borough of Fort Lee, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 8-21-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-34]
A. 
Purpose.
(1) 
The purpose of this article is to establish regulations to ensure that development within the Borough's Downtown Overlay District, including any building additions, reconstructions, and infill developments, is compatible in form, arrangement, scale, materials, character and overall aesthetic appearance with the area's historic and visual traditions.
(2) 
The regulations are designed to revitalize the Downtown Overlay District; preserve and protect the traditional value of buildings and other structures; stabilize and improve property values; foster civic beauty; and strengthen the local economy. The regulations shall encourage renovations and improvements with minimum economic burden.
(3) 
The regulations are intended generally to implement the directives contained in the document "Design Guidelines: Facade Improvement Program for the Main Street Commercial District of the Borough of Fort Lee, New Jersey," dated 2006, and incorporated herein by reference.
B. 
Applicability.
(1) 
Any development application within the Downtown Overlay District concerning rehabilitation of existing structures, additions to existing structures, and construction of new buildings that requires site plan approval shall comply with the specifications incorporated herein. The applicant shall be subject to review and approval by the Planning Board of the Borough, except wherever the Board of Adjustment has jurisdiction over a site plan pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-76, then and in that case, by the Board of Adjustment. Hereafter, "municipal agency" shall mean either the Planning Board or the Board of Adjustment of Fort Lee.
(2) 
These regulations shall be used by applicants in preparing a development plan and by the municipal agency in reviewing same. The municipal agency may approve the proposed design, conditionally approve the design, or deny an application based upon its review of the design submitted and any additional relevant information.
(3) 
To the extent that the provisions of § 410-52 change or modify any other ordinance or Code section of the Borough of Fort Lee, said change or modification shall only apply to the Downtown Overlay District and shall not otherwise change or modify other ordinances or Code provisions. Except as otherwise set forth herein, all provisions of Chapter 410, Zoning, of the Borough of Fort Lee and the Code of the Borough of Fort Lee shall govern.
C. 
Definitions. As used in this article, the terms set forth below shall be defined as follows:
BAY
A structural division of a building that extends upwards through all levels. While related to structure, it may also be used to break up the massing and bulk of buildings and facades. Bays may be distinguished through elements such as changes in facade plane; columns, pilasters, gutters or expansion joints; size and rhythm of window spacing; or variation in surface material and pattern. Typical traditional bays range from 15 feet to 30 feet wide.
BULKHEAD
The opaque part of a storefront that forms a base for one or more display windows.
CANOPY
A metal frame clad with fabric that projects from a building entrance over the sidewalk to the curb, where it is supported on vertical posts.
CORNICE
A horizontal molded projection that completes the top of a wall, facade, building or storefront.
FACADE
An entire exterior face of a building.
LINTEL
The horizontal member or element above a door or window opening.
PIER
A vertical supporting member or element (usually of stone, brick or metal) which frames a storefront opening or separates storefront openings within a single building.
SIGN BAND
The flat, horizontal area on the facade usually located in the spandrel area immediately above the storefront and below the second-story windowsill where signs were historically attached. A sign band may also occur within a decorative bandcourse above a storefront.
SKIRT
A bottom finishing piece that hangs from the lower edge of an awning.
STOREFRONT
The area of the ground floor consisting of all storefront openings, bays, entranceways and storefront infill associated with a single commercial occupant, and including, without limitation thereof, the piers, lintels, sign band, signs, awnings, lighting and security gates.
TRANSOM
A glazed area above a display window or door separated from the display window or door by a horizontal framing member (the "transom bar"). The glazing in the transom may be fixed or operable.
D. 
Development regulations for buildings.
(1) 
Compatibility and appropriateness. New buildings should be designed to be compatible with surrounding buildings. New construction should strike a proper balance between the existing architecture and appropriate contemporary designs that pay attention to scale and harmony rather than superficial details.
(2) 
Building orientation. Buildings in this zone shall face public streets. Building entries shall face a public street. For buildings at corners, the building may have an angled entrance at the corner of the two streets or include its main entrance on the primary street for shopping. A secondary street-facing facade shall be articulated in a manner compatible with the design of the front facade. Window glazing on both facades shall be of similar percentage.
(3) 
Building setbacks. Buildings (except for recessed entries) shall be aligned with the adjacent building or the prevailing building setback and shall not contain a setback more than 10 feet. A slightly deeper setback may be allowed to match setbacks of adjacent buildings. Sidewalks shall be provided on the lot and/or within the right-of-way of any street located adjacent to a lot and must maintain a minimum six-and-one-half-foot sidewalk width and conform to the "Borough of Fort Lee Streetscape Improvement - Sidewalk Paving for Downtown District" manual dated March 2008.
(4) 
Building height. The floor-to-floor height of new or altered buildings should match that of neighboring structures. Buildings which are either significantly lower or significantly taller than the adjacent structures should be discouraged, except for the purpose of historic preservation.
(5) 
Vertical articulation. New or altered buildings should respect the characteristics of the traditional facade. The traditional central business district building facade has three parts as follows:
(a) 
Ground-level facade. See § 410-52E below.
(b) 
Upper facade. The typical upper facade consists of three window bays on each floor, evenly spaced and with heavy lintels. Window bays on the upper facades should be vertically proportioned. Alternately, vertically proportioned windows may be grouped side by side, to create wider horizontal window bays. Windows shall comprise 25% to 50% of the upper facade area.
(c) 
Roof cornice and rooflines. Roof cornice and rooflines should be similar to surrounding buildings.
[1] 
Roof cornice. Roof cornices shall be provided to reinforce the roofline. They may be constructed of sheet metal, wood, masonry, cast iron, copper, synthetic composite trim or Fypon® (high-density polyurethane molding). A typical cornice extends out from the facade by approximately six inches to 1.5 feet and is two feet to three feet in height.
[2] 
Rooflines. The preferred roofline in this district is a flat roof with a cornice. However, front-gabled rooflines are also acceptable above the second floor and side gabled rooflines are also acceptable above the third floor. In the instance of sloped roofs visible from public areas, the roof should be of slate, tile, standing seam metal or other high-quality materials.
(6) 
Horizontal articulation. In a sequence of structures along a street, the spacing of buildings, building bays and openings (such as windows, doors and display windows) define the observer's perception of rhythm. Buildings should reflect the rhythm of the traditional facade. New buildings shall be constructed as a series of bays each 15 feet to 30 feet wide. Ground-level facades shall be broken up into individual bays that are 15 feet to 30 feet wide.
(7) 
Materials. The materials, color and texture of facades should harmonize with adjacent buildings. Desirable materials for new or renovated facades shall include brick, concrete, stucco, marble, granite, tile, terra cotta, synthetic composite trim and Fypon® (high-density polyurethane molding). If siding is used, the seams should be concealed to avoid an appearance of obvious paneling. Wood, aluminum, steel, copper, or bronze should be used for window frames and sashes. Exterior metallic, mesh, or glass facade cladding systems that cover the architectural details of buildings are prohibited.
(8) 
HVAC equipment. Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning units and other outside equipment shall be concealed from view of public streets.
(9) 
Rehabilitations and additions. During alterations, removal of original materials and architectural features such as railings, balusters, columns, brackets, and cornice decorations is discouraged. It is recommended that restoration and repair of existing traditional elements be employed. In the event replacement is necessary, the new material shall match the material being replaced in composition, design, color, texture and other visual qualities.
E. 
Regulations for ground-level facades. Design for ground-level facades should reflect the rhythms and proportions of traditional architectural elements found within the Downtown Overlay District, such as large display windows of clear glass, bulkheads, recessed entries surrounded by framing piers, transom windows, storefront cornices and suitable locations for signs. The ground-level facade has a higher floor-to-floor height than the upper floors to enhance views into the store. A ground-level facade should be visually separated from the upper floors or the top of the building by a horizontal architectural component, such as a cornice, masonry lintel or sign band. These guidelines are intended to promote ground-level facades which are functional and traditional.
(1) 
Well-defined opening. The traditional facade consists of a cornice, vertical piers, and bulkhead which enframe the storefront. The facade should be designed to fit within the originally intended opening.
(2) 
Recessed entry. In order to keep the display windows at the sidewalk, to emphasize the ground-floor entry, to allow for an enclosed and sheltered doorway and to leave space for doors to open without extending into the sidewalk, the entrance door should be recessed between three feet to five feet from the facade.
(3) 
Windows. At least 75% of facades shall be glazed with plate glass windows. All windows shall be at least six feet in height and shall contain a windowsill no more than three feet above grade. Any coverings on existing transom windows should be removed. Tinted or mirrored glass is prohibited.
(4) 
Materials. Materials for ground floors can be different from those used on the upper facade. As the most visible portion of the facade to pedestrians, they should have the greatest level of detailing of the building. Bulkheads should be faced with tile, wood, stone or synthetic composite trim and Fypon® (high-density polyurethane molding). Window frames should be made of wood, aluminum, steel, copper or bronze.
(5) 
Doors. Designs for doors shall comply with the following:
(a) 
The front entry door should be compatible with the facade's style and material.
(b) 
All primary commercial entrance doors shall have clear glazing over at least 75% of the surface area.
(c) 
The entry door shall be either wood or metal. If metal is chosen, a dark, anodized finish, rather than a light, metallic color, is preferred.
(d) 
Over-decoration of the entry door is discouraged. The door should reinforce the character of the building, as well as attract customers inside.
(e) 
The use of subtle door elements is encouraged. These include doorknobs or pulls, brass kick plates or attractive painted signs on the glass.
(f) 
The entrances to ground floor spaces should be clearly distinguished from entrances to upper floors through the use of architectural treatments and materials selection.
(6) 
Cornice. All ground-level facades should have a cornice line which emphasizes the distinction between the ground-level and the upper facade.
(a) 
The cornice should be made of wood, metal, masonry units or Fypon® of ornate detail.
(b) 
The shape and material of the cornice should be sensitive to the main body of the building.
(c) 
Subtle color variation can add to the prominence of belt courses, but the color should maintain the harmony of the building as a whole.
(7) 
Transom windows. Historic glazing should be preserved where possible. Transoms should be provided on ground-level facades. The transom frame above the entrance doors and display windows shall match the ground-level material and finish, and the transoms shall be of a consistent size and configuration. The transparency of the transom glazing may be blocked by backpainted glass or a solid finished panel installed behind the glass where such blocking is necessary to conceal a dropped ceiling or mechanical equipment.
(8) 
Awnings. Dark, solid-color awnings are encouraged. The style of awning should complement a building's architectural style and be compatible with its scale, materials, colors and details. The awning should not intrude upon the facade composition. Awnings attached to the same building shall be the same shape, color and height, and shall be compatible with other awnings nearby.
(a) 
Awnings may be fixed or retractable. Awnings should have a straight slope, and side panels are discouraged.
[Amended 10-8-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-32]
(b) 
Both retractable and fixed awnings may have an awning skirt. Awning skirts are encouraged to be unframed. The skirt height should be proportional to the height and size of the awning. The skirt height should not exceed one foot.
[Amended 10-8-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-32]
(c) 
Canvas is the preferred material for awnings. Awnings with water-repellant canvas, a matte finish or other fabric of a similar appearance are encouraged. Awning fabric shall consist of a solid color that harmonizes with the historic color palette of the building. Vinyl, fiberglass, plastic, wood, glass or metal awnings are discouraged.
[Amended 10-8-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-32]
(d) 
The awning shall be installed at or directly below the ground-floor lintel or transom bar, except that the awning may be attached up to eight inches above the lintel if:
[1] 
An existing roll-down security gate makes it impossible to install the awning at the lintel or transom bar; or
[2] 
Installing the awning at the lintel or transom bar will result in the lowest framed portion of the awning being less than eight feet above the sidewalk.
(e) 
No awning sign shall be erected above the first level of a building, except for commercial buildings that contain tenants on the upper floors. Regulations for upper-floor awnings are indicated within Subsection E(8)(e)[1] through [4] below:
[Amended 10-8-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-32]
[1] 
Awnings shall not extend beyond two feet from the side of the building.
[2] 
Awnings shall be the same shape and color as awnings attached to the same building.
[3] 
All windows of the second floor must be similarly installed with such awnings.
[4] 
Awnings shall not extend more than six inches from either side of a window, nor extend more than 12 inches below the top of the window frame, nor extend more than 12 inches above the top of the window frame.
(f) 
The length of the awning should be aligned as closely as possible with the inside face of the principal piers of the storefront or window opening.
(g) 
The underside of the awning shall be open.
(h) 
The following types of awnings are discouraged:
[Amended 10-8-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-32]
[1] 
Box awnings.
[2] 
Fluted and carved awnings.
[3] 
Translucent or transparent or lightly shaded awnings illuminated from within or beneath.
[4] 
Metal and aluminum awnings.
(i) 
Canopies are not permitted.
(j) 
Awning signage is subject to § 410-51E(6).
[Amended 10-8-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-32]
(9) 
Storefront lighting.
(a) 
External light fixtures shall illuminate only the storefront and/or ground-level signs and shall be shielded to avoid direct glare into adjacent uses.
(b) 
The number and size of light fixtures should be modest and proportional with the scale of the storefront. Gooseneck lights or other incandescent fixtures appropriate to the style and period of the district are encouraged. Light fixtures shall not exceed two feet in height.
(10) 
Storefront security gates.
(a) 
Security grilles and tracks shall only be installed inside a storefront opening, display window or door carefully integrated into the storefront design and should be completely concealed when not in use.
(b) 
Roll-down grilles shall be see-through mesh rather than solid grates so as to provide views of the interior when stores are closed.
F. 
Sidewalks and streetscape. Each commercial property owner within the Downtown Overlay District seeking site plan approval shall provide sidewalk and streetscape improvements within the street right-of-way that shall fully comply with the specifications set forth in the "Borough of Fort Lee Streetscape Improvement — Commercial Streetscape and Sidewalk Guidelines" manual dated May 2008. Such sidewalk shall be designed in accordance with those Borough specifications and shall be subject to the review and recommendation of the Sign/Facade Committee and the Construction Official and at the Borough's discretion, the Streetscaping Engineer. In order to minimize the additional financial cost of compliance with the terms of this article respecting streetscaping compliance, any property owner subject to the provisions of the enhanced sidewalk improvement specifications shall not be compelled to post a performance guaranty for that portion of the estimated cost of the sidewalk and the appurtenant improvements allocated to the enhanced requirements.
(1) 
A bench, street tree, planter or other special landscaped feature shall be provided for every 20 feet of blank facade wall to mitigate the impact of blank walls and provide for pedestrian enjoyment.
G. 
Signs. All development within the Downtown Overlay District shall comply with the signage requirements set forth in § 410-51 of the Borough of Fort Lee Zoning Ordinance.
H. 
Americans with Disabilities Act. All construction shall meet or exceed the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
[Added 9-25-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-42]
A. 
Development regulations for buildings.
(1) 
Compatibility and appropriateness. New buildings should be designed to be compatible with surrounding buildings. New construction should strike a proper balance between the existing architecture and appropriate contemporary designs which pay attention to scale and harmony.
(2) 
Building orientation. Buildings shall have their prime orientation toward the street rather than the parking area. Building entrances shall be oriented toward the street and shall be accessed from a sidewalk and crosswalks through parking areas.
B. 
Applicability.
(1) 
Any development application within the Commercial Nodes and Corridors Overlay District concerning rehabilitation of existing structures, additions to existing structures, and construction of new buildings that also requires site plan approval shall comply with the specifications incorporated herein. The applicant shall be subject to review and approval by the Planning Board of the Borough, except wherever the Board of Adjustment has jurisdiction over a site plan pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-76, then and in that case, by the Board of Adjustment. Hereafter, "municipal agency" shall mean either the Planning Board or the Board of Adjustment of Fort Lee.
(2) 
These regulations shall be used by applicants in preparing a development plan and by the municipal agency in reviewing same. The municipal agency may approve the proposed design, conditionally approve the design, or deny an application based upon its review of the design submitted and any additional relevant information.
(3) 
To the extent that the provisions of § 410-53 change or modify any other ordinance or Code section of the Borough of Fort Lee, said change or modification shall only apply to the Commercial Nodes and Corridors Overlay District and shall not otherwise change or modify other ordinances or code provisions. Except as otherwise set forth herein, all provisions of Chapter 410, Zoning, of the Borough of Fort Lee and the Code of the Borough of Fort Lee shall govern.
C. 
Regulations for facades.
(1) 
Commercial facades 100 feet in length or greater, measured horizontally, shall incorporate wall plane projections or recesses having a depth of at least 3% of the total length of the facade. All projections or recesses shall be equivalent to at least 20% of the length of the facade. No uninterrupted length of any facade shall exceed 100 horizontal feet.
(a) 
Small retail stores. Where large retail developments contain additional, separately owned stores with separate, exterior customer entrances, the street-level facade of such stores shall be transparent between the height three feet and eight feet above the walkway grade for no less than 60% of the horizontal length of the building facade of such additional stores.
(2) 
Commercial facades less than 100 feet in length, measured horizontally, shall incorporate varied building bays within the design of the facade. Building bays shall be a maximum of 30 feet in width and shall be visually established by architectural features such as columns, ribs or pilasters, piers and fenestration pattern.
(a) 
No wall that faces a street or connecting walkway shall have a blank, uninterrupted length exceeding 30 feet without including at least two of the following: change in plane, change in texture or masonry pattern, windows, or an equivalent element that subdivides the wall into human-scale proportions.
(3) 
Ground floor facades for all commercial buildings that face public streets shall have arcades, display windows, entry areas, awnings or other such features along no less than 60% of their horizontal length. If the facade of the building facing the street is not the front, it shall provide the same features in scale with the facade. All sides of the building shall include materials and design characteristics consistent with those on the front. Side or rear walls that face walkways may include false windows and door openings defined by frames, sills and lintels, or similarly proportioned modulations of the wall, only when actual doors and windows are not feasible because of the nature of the use of the building.
(a) 
All commercial building facades must include a repeating pattern that includes no less than three of the following elements. At least one of the elements within Subsection C(3)(a)[1], [2] or [3] below shall be utilized horizontally. All elements shall repeat at intervals of no more than 30 feet either horizontally or vertically.
[1] 
Color change;
[2] 
Texture change;
[3] 
Material change;
[4] 
Variation in architectural or structural bays through a change in plane no less than 12 inches in width, such as an offset, column, pilaster, fenestration pattern, reveal or projecting rib;
[5] 
A specific architectural element proposed by the applicant that is acceptable to the Signage/Facade Review Committee.
(4) 
Awnings within the Commercial Nodes and Corridors Overlay District shall conform with the requirements of § 410-52E(8).
D. 
Roofs. All roofs shall have no fewer than two of the following features:
(1) 
Parapets concealing flat roofs and rooftop equipment from public view. The average height of such parapets shall not exceed 15% of the height of the supporting wall, and such parapets shall not at any point exceed 1/3 of the height of the supporting wall. Such parapets shall feature three-dimensional cornice treatment, other than just colored "stripes" or "bands," with textured materials such as stone or other masonry or differently colored materials. Parapets may be stepped to provide differentiation to the roofline.
(2) 
Overhanging eaves, extending no less than three feet past the supporting walls.
(3) 
Sloping roofs that do not exceed the average height of the supporting walls, with an average slope greater than or equal to one foot of vertical rise for every three feet of horizontal run, and less than or equal to one foot of vertical rise for every one foot of horizontal run.
[Amended 10-8-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-32]
(4) 
Three or more roof slope planes.
E. 
Entryways.
(1) 
Each building shall have clearly defined, highly visible customer entrances featuring no less than three of the following: overhangs, recesses/projections; arcades; raised corniced parapets over the door; peaked roof forms; arches; outdoor patios; display windows; architectural details such as tile work and moldings which are integrated into the building; integral planters or wing walls that incorporate landscaped areas and/or places for sitting.
(2) 
Where additional stores will be located in the large retail establishment, each such store shall have at least one exterior customer entrance, which shall conform to the above requirements.
F. 
Storefront lighting.
(1) 
External light fixtures shall illuminate only the storefront and/or ground-level signs and should be shielded to avoid direct glare into adjacent uses.
(2) 
The number and size of light fixtures shall be proportional with the scale of the storefront. Gooseneck lights or other incandescent fixtures appropriate to the style and period of the district are encouraged.
G. 
Sidewalks.
(1) 
Except for portions of a property fronting along Routes 1, 4, 46, 63 and 80, each commercial property owner within the Commercial Nodes and Corridors Overlay District seeking site plan approval shall provide sidewalk and streetscape improvements within the street right-of-way that shall fully comply with the specifications set forth in the "Borough of Fort Lee Streetscape Improvement — Commercial Streetscape and Sidewalk Guidelines" manual dated May 2008. Such sidewalk shall be designed in accordance with those Borough specifications and shall be subject to the review and recommendation of the Sign/Facade Committee and the Construction Official and at the Borough's discretion, the Streetscaping Engineer. In order to minimize the additional financial cost of compliance with the terms of this article respecting streetscaping compliance, any property owner subject to the provisions of the enhanced sidewalk improvement specifications shall not be compelled to post a performance guaranty for that portion of the estimated cost of the sidewalk and the appurtenant improvements allocated to the enhanced requirements.
(2) 
Except for portions of a property fronting along Route 1, 4, 46, 63 and 80, sidewalks shall be provided at least 6.5 feet in width along all sides of the lot that abut a public street or five feet if a landscaped buffer is provided and trees are planted within paving.
H. 
Landscaping.
(1) 
All applicants for site plan approval must provide trees and/or plants in all areas of the site not used for buildings, parking, vehicular and pedestrian use areas, sidewalk cafes and plazas.
(a) 
Landscaping shall include at least a seven-foot wide irrigated buffer adjacent to the public right-of-way. The landscaped buffer shall be planted with a mixture of dense shrubbery no greater than three feet in height and include one street tree for every 25 feet of linear frontage. Optional decorative fencing is permitted no more than four feet in height and no closer than six feet from the street line.
I. 
Signs. All development within the Commercial Nodes and Corridors Overlay District shall comply with the signage requirements set forth in § 410-51 of the Borough of Fort Lee Zoning Ordinance.
J. 
Americans with Disabilities Act. All construction shall meet or exceed the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
[Added 9-25-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-42]
A. 
Applicability.
(1) 
On and after the effective date of this subsection, a new certificate of occupancy shall be required for any new tenant or occupant of any structure in the Downtown Overlay District or the Commercial Nodes and Corridors Overlay District to be occupied as a nonresidential establishment taking possession after a prior tenant or occupant has vacated the premises.
[Amended 10-8-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-32]
(2) 
On and after the effective date of this subsection, no such new certificate of occupancy or building permit, in the event one is required, shall be issued by the Borough Construction Official unless and until the proposed exterior design of said premises shall have been referred to the Sign/Facade Review Committee. Prior to the issuance of any certificate of occupancy, the Construction Official shall forward the application materials to the Sign/Facade Review Committee, and the applicant shall be required to appear before said Committee for review and recommendation. Said Sign/Facade Review Committee shall review and provide recommendation to the Construction Official, with a copy to be delivered to the applicant. A new certificate of occupancy may be issued upon compliance with § 410-50C(3) of this chapter.
[Amended 10-8-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-32]
(3) 
These regulations apply to any rehabilitation, construction or alteration of a building, sign and/or structural facade within the Downtown Overlay District or the Commercial Nodes and Corridors Overlay District, and are subject to prior review and recommendation by the Sign/Facade Review Committee to assure compliance with the applicable standards contained within § 410-53.1. The Sign/Facade Review Committee is hereby authorized to review and provide recommendation for the construction or alteration of signage and facades.
(4) 
Any affected party may appeal to the Zoning Board of the Borough of Fort Lee with recommendation of the Sign/Facade Review Committee.
(5) 
In the event that any rehabilitation, construction, addition or alteration of building or structure facades within the Downtown Overlay District or the Commercial Nodes and Corridors Overlay District requires site plan approval, the matter shall sent to the Planning Board, except wherever the Board of Adjustment has jurisdiction over a site plan pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-76, then and in that case, by the Board of Adjustment.
(6) 
To the extent that the provisions of § 410-53.1 change or modify any other ordinance or Code section of the Borough of Fort Lee, said change or modification shall only apply to the Downtown Overlay District or the Commercial Nodes and Corridors Overlay District and shall not otherwise change or modify other ordinances or code provisions. Except as otherwise set forth herein, all provisions of Chapter 410, Zoning, of the Borough of Fort Lee and the Code of the Borough of Fort Lee shall govern.
B. 
Facade renovations.
(1) 
During alterations, removal of original materials and architectural features such as railings, balusters, columns, brackets, and cornice decorations is discouraged. It is recommended that restoration and repair of existing traditional elements be employed. In the event replacement is necessary, the new material shall match the material being replaced in composition, design, color, texture and other visual qualities.
(2) 
Color and materials.
(a) 
The materials, color and texture of facades should harmonize with adjacent buildings. The architectural style and era of the building should be taken into account when determining a color scheme. The color scheme chosen for the individual building should maintain a cohesive pattern, generally consisting of to two to three colors. The main color for the body of the building should harmonize with the colors chosen for the trim, other secondary architectural features or building details, signs and awnings. For example, subtle color variation of the cornice line separating a ground-level and upper-level facade can add to the prominence of belt courses, but the color should maintain the harmony of the building as a whole.
(b) 
All building projections, including, but not limited to, chimneys, flues, vents, gutters, and downspouts, shall match or complement the background or secondary facade colors utilized on the building. Any mechanical equipment that cannot be hidden within the building or on top of a roof shall match the prominent background color of a building.
(c) 
The use of fluorescent, black, or day-glow colors is prohibited. Garish and ostentatious colors that contrast from surrounding buildings should not be utilized. Use of a single facade color scheme is prohibited.
(d) 
Desirable materials for new or renovated facades shall include brick, concrete, stucco, marble, granite, tile, terra cotta, synthetic composite trim and Fypon® (high-density polyurethane molding). If siding is used, the seams should be concealed to avoid an appearance of obvious paneling. Wood, aluminum, steel, copper, or bronze should be used for window frames and sashes. Exterior metallic, mesh, or glass facade cladding systems that cover the architectural details of buildings are prohibited.
(e) 
Materials for ground floors can be different from those used on the upper facade. As the most visible portion of the facade to pedestrians, they should have the greatest level of detailing of the building. Bulkheads should be faced with tile, wood, stone or synthetic composite trim and Fypon® (high-density polyurethane molding). Window frames should be made of wood, aluminum, steel, copper or bronze.
C. 
Doors.
(1) 
Over-decoration of the entry door is discouraged. The door should reinforce the character of the building, as well as attract customers inside.
(2) 
The use of subtle door elements is encouraged. These include door knobs or pulls, brass kick plates or attractive painted signs on the glass.
(3) 
The entrances to ground floor spaces should be clearly distinguished from entrances to upper floors through the use of architectural treatments and materials selection.
D. 
Awnings shall conform with the requirements of § 410-52E(8).
E. 
Storefront lighting.
(1) 
External light fixtures shall illuminate only the storefront and/or ground-level signs and shall be shielded to avoid direct glare into adjacent uses.
(2) 
The number and size of light fixtures should be modest and proportional with the scale of the storefront. Gooseneck lights or other incandescent fixtures appropriate to the style and period of the district are encouraged. Light fixtures shall not exceed two feet in height.
F. 
Storefront security gates.
(1) 
Security grilles and tracks shall only be installed inside a storefront opening, display window or door and should be completely concealed when not in use.
(2) 
Roll-down grilles shall be see-through mesh rather than solid grates so as to provide views of the interior when stores are closed.
G. 
Signs. All development within the Downtown Overlay District shall comply with the signage requirements set forth in § 410-51 of the Borough of Fort Lee Zoning Ordinance.
H. 
Americans with Disabilities Act. All construction shall meet or exceed the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
[Added 9-25-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-42]