Township of Teaneck, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
(a) 
There is hereby established, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-69, a Zoning Board of Adjustment which shall consist of seven members and two alternate members, composed of and appointed as set forth herein.
(b) 
Eligibility and appointment. Members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be residents of the Township; all members shall be appointed by the Council. No member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment may hold any elective office or position in the Township.
[Ord. No. 3158, 7-26-1988, §§ 2-17.1, 2-17.2.]
[Ord. No. 3158, 7-26-1988, § 2-17.3.]
Members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be appointed to serve for a term of four years. The terms of the members first appointed under this article shall be so determined that, to the greatest practicable extent, the expiration of such terms shall be distributed evenly over the first four years after their appointment, provided that the initial term of any member shall not exceed four years. Thereafter, the term of each member shall be four years.
[Ord. No. 3158, 7-26-1988, § 2-17.4; Ord. No. 3174, 10-25-1988, § 4.]
Two alternate members shall be appointed by the Council to serve for a term of two years; provided, however, that the initial terms of such alternate members shall be one year and two years, respectively. Such alternate members shall be designated by the Council as Alternate No. 1 and Alternate No. 2 and shall serve during the absence or disqualification of any regular member or members. Alternate members may participate in discussions of the proceedings but may not vote except in the absence or disqualification of a regular member. 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.
[Ord. No. 3158, 7-26-1988, § 2-17.5.]
A vacancy occurring other than by expiration of term shall be filled by appointment of the Council for the unexpired term.
[Ord. No. 3158, 7-26-1988, § 2-17.6; Ord. No. 3950, 3-18-2003, § 2.]
The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall elect a Chairperson/man and Vice Chairperson/man from its members and shall select a Secretary who may or may not be a Board member or a municipal employee and shall create and fill such other offices as are established by ordinance, including the office of the Clerk of the Zoning Board of Adjustment hereby created by the Charter and which Clerk shall be a full time or part-time employee of the Township of Teaneck, who, as determined by the Municipal Manager, shall be assigned as an employee whose sole duties shall be to act as Clerk of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The Zoning Board of Adjustment may also employ, or contract for, and fix the compensation of legal counsel, other than the Township Attorney, and experts and other staff and services as it may deem necessary, not exceeding, exclusive of gifts or grants, the amount appropriated by the Council for its use.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry into effect the provisions and purposes of this article. In the issuance of subpoenas, administration of oaths and taking of testimony, the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2A:67A-1 et seq. shall apply. The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall have the powers prescribed by N.J.S.A. 40:55D-69 et seq., and any amendments and supplements thereto, and by the provisions of this article, to:
(a) 
Hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant that there is error in any order, requirement, decision or refusal made by an administrative official or agency based on or made in the enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 33, Development Regulations.
(b) 
Hear and decide requests for interpretation of the map or Zoning Ordinance or for decisions upon other special questions upon which such Board is authorized by the Zoning Ordinance to pass.
(c) 
Where by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness or shape of a specific piece of property, or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions or physical features uniquely affecting a specific piece of property or by reason of an extraordinary and exceptional situation uniquely affecting a specific piece of property or the structures lawfully existing thereon, the strict application of any regulation pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-62 et seq. would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties to, or exceptional and undue hardship upon, the developer of such property, grant, upon an application or an appeal relating to such property, a variance from such strict application of such regulation so as to relieve such difficulties or hardship; and where, in an application or appeal relating to a specific piece of property, the purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law[2] would be advanced by a deviation from the zoning ordinance requirements and the benefits of the deviation would substantially outweigh any detriment, grant a variance to allow departure from regulations pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-62 et seq.; provided, however, that no variance from those departures enumerated in Subsection (d). below shall be granted under this subsection and provided further that the proposed development does not require approval by the planning board of a subdivision, site plan or conditional use, in conjunction with which the planning board has power to review a request for a variance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-60.
[2]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
(d) 
Grant a variance to allow a structure or use in a district restricted against such structure or use in particular cases and for special reasons, but only by the affirmative vote of at least 2/3 of the full authorized membership of the board.
(e) 
No variance or other relief may be granted under the provisions of this section unless such variance or other relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the zone plan and Zoning Ordinance. Any application under any subsection of this may be referred to any appropriate agency or person, including the Planning Board, for its report, provided that such reference shall not extend the period of time within which the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall act.
[Ord. No. 3158, 7-26-1988, § 2-17.7; Ord. No. 3174, 10-25-1988, § 5.]
(a) 
It it the intent of this article to confer upon the Zoning Board of Adjustment as full and complete powers as may lawfully be conferred upon such Board, including but not limited to the authority, in connection with any case, action or proceeding before the Board, to interpret and construe the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance[1] or any term, clause, sentence or word thereof and the Zoning Map, in accordance with general rules of construction, applicable to legislative enactments.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 33, Development Regulations.
(b) 
The Board may, in appropriate cases and subject to appropriate conditions and safeguards, grant variances from the terms of the Zoning Ordinance in accordance with the general or specific rules contained herein and with the general rules hereby laid down, that equity shall be done in cases where the strict construction of the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance would work undue hardship. The powers and duties of the Board having been delegated to and imposed upon it by statute, the Board shall in all cases follow the provisions applicable to it in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., or subsequent statutes in such cases made and provided, and it shall, from time to time, furnish to any person upon request a copy of its rules and information as to how appeals or applications may properly be filed with the Board for its decision thereon.
(c) 
In the exercise of its powers, the Board may, in conformity with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., or amendments thereto or subsequent statutes applying, reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from, and make such other requirement, decision or determination as ought to be made, and, to that end, the Board shall have all the powers of the administrative officer from whom the appeal was taken.
(d) 
The Board may direct issuance of a permit, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-34, for a building or structure in the bed of a mapped street or public drainageway, flood control basin or public area reserved on the Official Map.
(e) 
The Board may direct issuance of a permit, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-36, for a building or structure not related to a street.
(f) 
The Board shall have the power to grant, to the same extent and subject to the same restrictions as the Planning Board, subdivision or site plan approval, pursuant to Article 6 of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., or conditional use approval, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-67, whenever the Board is reviewing an application for approval of a use variance pursuant to this article.
[Ord. No. 3158, 7-26-1988, § 2-17.8.]
(a) 
Right to appeal; notice. Appeals to the Zoning Board of Adjustment may be taken by any person aggrieved or by any officer, department, board or bureau of the Township affected by any decision of an administrative officer of the Township based upon or made in the enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance or Official Map. Such appeal shall be taken within 20 days, as prescribed by the statutes, by filing a notice of appeal with the officer from whom the appeal is taken and with the Secretary of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Said notice of appeal shall specify the grounds for the appeal. The officer from whom the appeal is taken shall forthwith transmit to the Board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from is taken.
(b) 
Filing; documents required. Applications addressed to the original jurisdiction of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, without prior application to an administrative officer, shall be filed with the Clerk of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. At the time of the filing of the appeal or application, but in no event less than 10 days prior to the date set for hearing, the applicant shall file with the Clerk of the Zoning Board of Adjustment 10 copies of all plot plans, maps or other papers required by virtue of any provision of this article or rule of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The Clerk of the Board shall inform the applicant of the steps to be taken to initiate proceedings and of the regular meeting dates of the Board.
(c) 
Effect. An appeal stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action in respect to which the decision appealed from was made, unless the officer from whose action the appeal is taken certifies to the Zoning Board of Adjustment after the notice of appeal is filed with him that, by reason of facts stated in the certificate, a stay would, in his opinion, cause immediate peril to life or property. In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by an order of the Superior Court of the state, upon notice to the officer from whom the appeal is taken and on due cause shown.
[Ord. No. 3158, 7-26-1988, § 2-17.9; Ord. No. 3174, 10-25-1988, § 6.]
(a) 
The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall render its decision not later than 120 days after:
(1) 
The date an appeal is taken from the decision of an administrative officer; or
(2) 
The submission of a complete application for development to the Board, pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70b.
(b) 
Failure of the Board to render a decision within such one-hundred-twenty-day period or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant shall constitute a decision favorable to the applicant.
[Ord. No. 3158, 7-26-1988, § 2-17.10.]
[Ord. No. 3158, 7-26-1988, § 2-17.11.]
Any variance granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment, pursuant to this article, permitting the erection or alteration of any structure or structures or permitting a specified use of any premises shall expire by limitation unless such construction or alteration shall have been actually commenced or unless such permitted use has actually been commenced within one year from the date of publication of the notice of the judgment or determination of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, except, however, that the running of the period of limitation herein provided shall be stayed from the date of filing an appeal from the decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment to the Council or to a court of competent jurisdiction until the termination in any manner of such appeal.
(a) 
Conflicts. No member of the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment shall act on any matter in which he has, either directly or indirectly, any personal or financial interest. Whenever any such member shall disqualify himself from acting on a particular matter, he shall not continue to sit with the Board on the hearing of such matter, nor participate in any discussion or decision relating thereto. The Township Code of Ethics contained in the Charter is specifically applicable herein.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Appendix II of this chapter.
(b) 
Meetings. Meetings of both the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be scheduled no less often than once a month, and any meeting so scheduled shall be held as scheduled unless canceled for lack of applications for development to process.
(c) 
Special meetings. Special meetings may be provided for at the call of the Chairman or on the request of any two Board members and shall be held on notice to the Board members and the public in accordance with applicable statutes.
(d) 
Quorum needed. No action shall be taken at any meeting without a quorum being present. A quorum shall be defined as a majority of the regular appointed members of the board.
(e) 
Vote needed. All actions shall be taken by majority vote of a quorum, except as otherwise required by any provision of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
(f) 
Public meetings. All regular meetings and all special meetings shall be open to the public, and notice shall be given as required under the Open Public Meetings Law.[2] By majority vote of each respective Board, a meeting or part of a meeting may be closed to public participation, but the public shall nevertheless be permitted to observe the proceedings.
[2]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 10:4-1 et seq.
(g) 
Minutes. Minutes of every regular or special meeting shall be kept and shall include the names of persons appearing and addressing the Board and persons appearing by attorney; the action taken by the Board; the findings, if any, made by it and the reasons therefor; and the votes of all members. The minutes shall thereafter be made available for public inspection during normal business hours at the office of the Township Clerk. Any interested party shall have the right to compel production of the minutes for use as evidence in any legal proceeding concerning the subject matter of such minutes. A fee may be charged for the reproduction of the minutes, as provided in the ales of the respective Boards.
(h) 
Fees. Fees for applications or for the rendering of any service by the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment or by any member of their administrative staffs, which are not otherwise provided by ordinance, may be provided for and adopted as part of the rules of the respective Boards, and copies of said rules or of the separate fee schedule shall be available to the public.
(i) 
Hearings.
(1) 
Rules. The Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall make rules governing the conduct of hearings and meetings before such bodies, which rules shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., or of this article, and shall be consistent with the Rules of the Council set forth in the Charter.
(2) 
Oaths. The officer presiding at the hearing or such person as he may designate shall have power to administer oaths and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant evidence, including witnesses and documents presented by the parties, and the provisions of the County and Municipal Investigations Law, Chapter 38 of Public Laws of 1953,[3] shall apply.
[3]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 2A:67A-1 et seq.
(3) 
Testimony. The testimony of all witnesses relating to an application for development shall be taken under oath or affirmation by the presiding officer, and the right of cross-examination shall be permitted to all interested parties through their attorneys, if so represented, or personally, if not represented, subject to the discretion of the presiding officer and to reasonable limitations as to time and number of witnesses.
(4) 
Public participation. At a reasonable hour during each regular or special meeting of each Board, and at approximately 9:00 p.m., the public shall be permitted to speak for a reasonable time on any subject, whether on or not on the agenda.
(5) 
Evidence. Technical rules of evidence shall not be applicable to Board hearings, but the presiding officer may exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence.
(6) 
Records. Applicants to each Board shall, at the applicant's own expense, furnish a stenographer to provide for the verbatim reporting of the proceedings before the Board for all hearings, unless otherwise waived by the Board. The applicant shall, upon the Board's request, furnish the Board with a transcript of the hearing.
(7) 
Notice. Whenever a hearing is held on an application for development, or pursuant to the determination of the municipal agency in question, the applicant shall give notice thereof as follows:
a. 
Public notice shall be given by publication in the official newspaper of the Township at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing.
b. 
Notice shall be given to the owners of all real property located within 200 feet in all directions of the property which is the subject of such hearing, whether or not located within the Township. Such notice shall be given by either serving a copy thereof on the owner, as shown on the current tax rolls, or upon his agent in charge of the property, or mailing a copy thereof, by certified mail, to the property owner at his address as appears on the current tax rolls.
A return receipt is not required. Notice to a partnership owner may be made by service upon any partner; notice to a corporate owner may be made by service upon one of its officers or other person authorized by appointment or by law to accept service on behalf of the corporation.
c. 
If the subject property is located within 200 feet of an adjoining municipality, notice of hearing shall be given by personal service or by certified mail to the Clerk of such municipality, which notice shall be in addition to the notice given to the owners of lands in such adjoining municipality pursuant to Subsection (i)(7)b above.
d. 
If the subject property is located adjacent to an existing county road or proposed road shown on the Official County Map or on the County Master Plan or adjoins other county land or is situate within 200 feet of a municipal boundary, notice shall be given by personal service or by certified mail to the County Planning Board of the county.
e. 
If the subject property is adjacent to a state highway, notice shall be given by personal service or certified mail, to the Commissioner of Transportation of the state.
f. 
If the subject property exceeds 150 acres or 500 dwelling units, notice shall be given, by personal service or certified mail, to the State Planning Commission. Such notice shall include a copy of any maps or documents required to be on file with the Township Clerk pursuant to Section 6b of Chapter 291 of Public Laws 1975.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-10b et seq.
g. 
All notices hereinabove specified in this section shall be given at least 10 days prior to the date fixed for hearing, and the applicant shall file an affidavit of proof of service with the appropriate Board.
h. 
Any notice made by certified mail, as hereinabove required, shall be deemed to be complete upon mailing, in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-14.
i. 
All notices required to be given, pursuant to the terms of this article, shall state the date, time and place of the hearing, the nature of the matters to be considered and identification of the property proposed for development by street address, if any, or by reference to block and lot numbers as shown on the current Tax Map in the Tax Assessor's office and the location and times at which any maps and documents for approval is sought are available as required by law.
(j) 
List of property owners. Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-12c, the Township Clerk shall, within seven days after receipt of a request therefor and payment of a fee of $10, make and certify a list from the current tax rolls of names and addresses of owners to whom the applicant is required to give notice pursuant to this article.
(k) 
Decisions. Each decision on any application for development shall be set forth in writing as a resolution of the Board, which shall include findings of fact and legal conclusions based thereon. A copy of the decision shall be mailed by the Board, within 10 days of the date of the decision, to the applicant or, if represented, to his attorney, without charge. A copy of the decision shall also be mailed to all persons who have requested it and who have paid the fee which may be prescribed by the Board for such service. A copy of the decision shall also be filed in the office of the Township Clerk, who shall make a copy of such filed decision available to any interested party upon payment of a fee calculated in the same manner as are those established for copies of other public documents in the Township. A brief notice of every final decision shall be published in the official newspaper of the Township, without charge to the applicant, and shall be sent to the newspaper for publication within 10 days of the decision.
(l) 
Payment of taxes by applicant. Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-39 and 40:55D-65, an applicant shall, at or prior to the hearing, submit to the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Adjustment proof that no taxes or assessments for local improvements are due or delinquent on the property which is the subject of the application. Any approvals or other relief granted by either Board shall be conditioned upon either the prompt payment of any due or delinquent taxes or assessments or the making of adequate provision for the payment thereof in such a manner as to adequately protect the Township.
(m) 
(Reserved)[5]
[5]
Editor's Note: Former § 2-110(m), Appeals from Board decisions, was repealed by Ord. No. 3591, 5-25-1999, § 1.
(n) 
Definitions. Whenever a term used in this article is defined in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., such term is intended to have the meaning set forth in said statute, unless a contrary intention is clearly expressed from the context of this article.
(o) 
Applicable law. The Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall function pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq. and this Charter and Code, and any amendments thereto. To the extent that the local ordinance varies from the state statute, the state statute shall apply. To the extent that this Charter is at variance with any provision of the Code or any ordinance or amendments thereto, this Charter shall apply, and the sections of the Code or ordinance at variance with the Charter shall be deemed as repealed.
[Ord. No. 3158, 7-26-1988, § 2-17A; Ord. No. 3174, 10-25-1988, §§ 7, 8; Ord. No. 3523, 12-2-1997, § 1.]