Township of Clark, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
The Fire Chief and the Police Chief of the Township shall be ex officio advisory members of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment for the purposes of advising the Boards on any application that may come before them on the impact the granting of such applications may have upon the furnishing of police or fire-protection services, or any requirements that may be advisable in that regard.
B. 
Neither the Fire Chief nor the Police Chief shall vote on any matter coming before such Board, nor shall they be considered "regular" members of such Board as that term is used in the appropriate New Jersey statutes.
C. 
Both the Fire Chief and the Police Chief may, from time to time, appoint a member of their respective departments to attend any Board meeting in their place.
No member of the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment shall act on any matter in which he/she has either directly or indirectly any personal or financial interest. Whenever any such member shall disqualify himself/herself from acting on a particular matter, he/she shall not continue to sit with the Board on the hearing of such matter, nor participate in any discussion or decision relating thereto.
A. 
Meetings of both the Planning Board and 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.
B. 
Special meetings may be provided for at the call of the Chairperson or at the request of any two Board members. Such meetings shall be held on notice to its members and the public in accordance with all applicable legal requirements.
C. 
No action shall be taken at any meeting without a quorum being present.[1]
(1) 
If the Planning Board lacks a quorum because any of its regular or alternate members are prohibited by N.J.S.A. 40:55D-23 or 40:55D-23.1 from acting on a matter due to the member's personal or financial interests therein, regular members of the Board of Adjustment shall be called upon to serve, for that matter only, as temporary members of the Planning Board in order of seniority of continuous service to the Board of Adjustment until there are the minimum number of members necessary to constitute a quorum to act upon the matter without any personal or financial interest therein, whether direct or indirect. If a choice has to be made between regular members of equal seniority, the Chair of the Board of Adjustment shall make the choice.
(2) 
If the Board of Adjustment lacks a quorum because any of its regular or alternate members are prohibited by N.J.S.A. 40:55D-69 from acting on a matter due to the member's personal or financial interest therein, Class IV members of the Planning Board shall be called upon to serve, for that matter only, as temporary members of the Board of Adjustment. The Class IV members of the Planning Board shall be called upon to serve in order of seniority of continuous service to the Planning Board until there are the minimum number of members necessary to constitute a quorum to act upon the matter without any personal or financial interest therein, whether direct or indirect. If a choice has to be made between Class IV members of equal seniority, the Chair of the Planning Board shall make the choice.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
D. 
All actions shall be taken by majority vote of the members present, except as otherwise required by any provision of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
E. 
All regular meetings and all special meetings shall be open to the public. Notice of all such meetings shall be given in accordance with the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Law, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq. To the extent permitted by the Open Public Meetings Law, and in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-9, an executive session for the purpose of discussing and studying any matters to come before either Board shall not be deemed a regular or special meeting, and no actions requiring a vote shall be taken.
Minutes of every regular or special meeting shall be kept and shall include the names of the persons appearing and addressing the Board and of the persons appearing by attorney, the action taken by the Board, the findings, if any, made by it and reasons therefor. 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. Such interested party may be charged a fee for reproduction of the minutes for his/her use, as provided for in the rules of the Board.
A. 
Determination of fees. Fees for applications or for the rendering of any service by the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment, or 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 Board, and copies of such rules or of the separate fee schedule shall be available to the public. Fees shall be as set forth in § 195-51.
B. 
Application charges and escrow deposits. Every application for development shall be accompanied by two separate checks payable to the Township of Clark, one for the application charge and the other for the escrow account, in accordance with the schedule set forth in § 195-51.
C. 
Multiple applications. In the case of applications involving more than one category of application for development, such as an application for site plan or subdivision approval coupled with a variance, the application charge shall be the highest of the applicable charges, plus 50% of all other applicable charges.
D. 
Nonrefundability. The application charge is a nonrefundable flat fee to cover administrative expenses.
E. 
Determination of site plan charges. On applications for site plan approval, the applicant shall submit a statement in support of the calculation of the application charge, which statement shall be subject to review by the Board.
F. 
Special meetings. Whenever an applicant to the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall request the conduct of a special meeting by the Board in order to expedite review of its application, the applicant shall be required to post, in addition to those fees and escrows provided elsewhere, a sum to be determined by the Secretary of the appropriate Board, sufficient in amount so as to defray the cost of such a special meeting, which sum shall include, but not be limited to, anticipated attorneys' fees; secretarial fees; administrative fees, to be charged by the Township for providing facilities and security; and such other fees which shall be deemed necessary, reasonable and appropriate. The sum shall be posted by the applicant with the Secretary of the appropriate Board, simultaneous with the request for the special meeting, and shall be held in an escrow account in the office of the Township Treasurer until all charges in connection with the special meeting have been paid in full, with any balances remaining to be remitted to the applicant. Fees shall be as set forth in § 195-51.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
Reimbursement of Township expenses. In addition to the fees set forth in this Part 1 and § 195-51, Development fees, an applicant shall be responsible for reimbursing the Township for all necessary expenses of professional personnel incurred and paid by the Township to process an application for development before the approving Board, including, without limitation:
(1) 
Charges for reviews by professional personnel of applications and accompanying documents.
(2) 
Issuance of reports by professional personnel to the approving Board setting forth recommendations resulting from the review of any documents submitted by the applicant.
(3) 
Charges for any telephone conference or meeting requested or initiated by the applicant, his/her attorney or any of his/her experts.
(4) 
Review of documents submitted by the applicant not required by ordinance and issuance of reports relating thereto.
(5) 
Review or preparation of easements, developer's agreements, deeds or the like.
(6) 
Preparation for and attendance at special meetings.
(a) 
A "special meeting" shall be defined as any meeting held at the request of the applicant or approving Board which is not held during a regularly scheduled approving Board session.
(b) 
All meetings, whether regular or special, shall be in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Law, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.
(7) 
The preparation of extraordinary or specialized resolutions of memorialization, including, without limitation, resolutions pertaining to an application for general development plan approval and an application concerning which the resolution must contain a summary of more than two experts testifying on behalf of the applicant in order for the resolution to contain adequate findings of fact and conclusions based thereon pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-10c.
(8) 
Costs for all hearing transcripts.
B. 
Notice to applicant of intent to obtain additional expert advice. The approving Board shall give prior notice to the applicant of its intention to obtain additional expert advice or testimony and afford the applicant an opportunity to be heard as to the necessity for such additional advice or testimony and the definition of the limitations on the nature and extent thereto.
C. 
Exceptions. No applicant shall be responsible to reimburse the Township for any of the following:
(1) 
The cost of attendance, advice and/or testimony of any expert testifying at a regularly scheduled meeting of the approving Board in his/her capacity as a full-time Township employee; provided, however, that the Township shall be entitled to be reimbursed for attendance of its professional personnel at special meetings of the approving Board which are called at the applicant's request. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as requiring the approving Board to grant an applicant's request to hold a special meeting.
(2) 
Except as otherwise set forth in Subsection A(7) above, the preparation of a resolution or memorializing resolution setting forth the findings of fact and conclusions of the approving Board with respect to an application.
D. 
"Professional" defined. The term "professional personnel" or "professional services," as used herein, shall include the services of a duly licensed engineer, surveyor, planner, attorney, realtor, appraiser, certified shorthand reporter or other experts required by the approving Board who would provide professional services to ensure an application complies with the standards set forth in these regulations and other experts whose testimony is in an area testified to by any of the applicant's experts.
E. 
Escrow accounts.
(1) 
Each applicant, prior to the application being ruled complete pursuant to the provisions of the Municipal Land Use Act, shall submit the sum(s) as set forth in § 195-51B to be held in escrow in accordance with the provisions hereof.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(2) 
The sums hereinabove set forth are estimates and, during its review of an application for development, the approving Board may determine that such sums are sufficient, excessive or insufficient, based upon the following criteria:
(a) 
The presence or absence of public water and/or sewer servicing the site.
(b) 
Environmental considerations, including, without limitation, geological, hydrological and ecological factors.
(c) 
Traffic impact of the proposed development.
(d) 
Impact of the proposed development on existing aquifer and/or water quality.
(e) 
Impact on improvements which might require off-tract or off-site contributions.
(3) 
Time of submission; amount.
(a) 
All applicants shall be required to submit escrow deposits with their application. At the time of filing his/her application for development, the applicant shall execute an escrow agreement containing the terms set forth herein.
(b) 
In the event that the approving Board shall determine such amount is excessive, upon the prior written request of the applicant and by resolution, it shall specify the amount that shall be deemed sufficient, including a specification, if appropriate, that no escrow be posted, and the excess of the escrowed amount over the amount so determined shall be refunded to the applicant, together with such interest as allowed by Subsection F(2) below. In the event the approving Board shall determine the amount specified above is insufficient, or in the event the escrow has been depleted, it shall, by resolution, so specify and shall further set forth the additional amount required to be posted in light of the criteria specified herein. Such additional amount shall be paid by the applicant prior to advancing to the next step in the approval procedure.
(4) 
The administrative officer shall determine the status of all escrow accounts. Where additional funds are required, it shall be the obligation of the administrative officer to notify the applicant of the amounts needed.
F. 
Refund of escrow; interest.
(1) 
If the amount of the deposit exceeds the actual cost as approved for payment by the Township Council, the applicant shall be entitled to a return of the excess deposit, together with such interest as allowed by Subsection F(2) herein.
(2) 
Deposits received from an applicant pursuant to this section shall be deposited in a banking institution or savings-and-loan association in this state insured by an agency of the federal government, or in any other fund or depository approved for such deposits by the state, in an interest-bearing account at no less than the minimum rate currently paid by the institution on deposits on time or savings deposits. The Township shall notify the applicant, in writing, of the name and address of the institution or depository in which the deposits are made and the amount of the deposits. The Township shall not be required to refund any amount of interest paid on a deposit which does not exceed $100 for the year. If the amount of interest exceeds $100, that entire amount shall belong to the applicant and shall be refunded to him/her by the Township annually, or at the time the deposit is repaid, or applied to the purposes for which it was deposited, as the case may be, except that the Township may retain for administrative expenses a sum equivalent to no more than 33 1/3% of the accrued interest on the escrow amount, which shall be for custodial administrative expenses.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Original Sec. 31-3.6g, Rate of professional charges, which immediately followed this subsection, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). See now § 195-51C.
G. 
Payment of all reimbursable costs prior to final approval or issuance of any permit or certificate. No subdivision plat or deed or site plan shall be signed, nor shall any zoning permits, building permits, certificates of occupancy or any other types of permits be issued with respect to any approved application for development, until:
(1) 
All bills for reimbursable services have been received by the Township from professional personnel rendering services in connection with such application.
(2) 
Payment of such bills has been approved by the Township Council.
(3) 
The applicant has reimbursed the Township the excess of such bills over the escrow amount otherwise herein provided for.
A. 
Rules. The Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment may make rules governing the conduct of hearings 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 Part 1.
B. 
Oaths. The officer presiding at the hearing, or such person as he/she may designate, shall have power to administer the 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, N.J.S.A. 2A:67A-1 et seq., shall apply.
C. 
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 represented, or directly, if not represented, subject to the discretion of the presiding officer and to reasonable limitations as to time and number of witnesses.
D. 
Evidence. Technical rules of evidence shall not be applicable to the hearing, but the Board may exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence.
E. 
Records. Each Board shall provide for the verbatim recording of the proceedings by either a stenographer or by mechanical or electronic means. The Board shall furnish a transcript, or duplicate recording in lieu thereof, on request to any interested party, at his/her expense.
F. 
Absences; eligibility to vote. When any hearing shall carry over two or more times, a member of the Board who was absent for one or more of the meetings shall be eligible to vote on the matter, provided that the member has available to him/her a transcript or recording of the meeting or meetings from which he/she was absent and certifies in writing to the Board that he/she has read the transcript or listened to the recording.
Whenever a hearing shall be required on an application for development, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., the applicant shall give notice thereof as follows:
A. 
By publication in the official newspaper of the Township at least 10 days prior to the date of hearing.
B. 
Notice shall be given to the owners of all real property, as shown on the current tax duplicate, located within 200 feet in all directions of the property which is the subject of such hearing and whether located within or without the Township.
(1) 
Notice shall be given by:
(a) 
Serving a copy thereof on the owner of the real property, as shown on the current tax duplicate, or his/her agent in charge of the real property; or
(b) 
Mailing a copy thereof by certified mail to the real property owner at his/her address, as shown on the current tax duplicate. A return receipt shall not be required. Notice shall be deemed complete upon mailing.
(2) 
Notice to a partnership owner may be made by service upon any partner. Notice to a corporate owner may be made by service upon its president, vice president, secretary or other person authorized by appointment or by law to accept service on behalf of the corporation. Notice to a condominium association, horizontal property regime, community trust or homeowners' association, because of its ownership of common elements or areas located within 200 feet of the property which is the subject of the hearing, may be made in the same manner as to a corporation, without further notice to unit owners, co-owners or homeowners on account of such common elements or areas.
C. 
Notice of all hearings on applications for development involving property located within 200 feet of an adjoining municipality shall be given to the Clerk of the municipality, which notice shall be in addition to the notice required to be given, pursuant to Subsection B of this section, to the owners of real property in such adjoining municipalities which are located within 200 feet of the property which is the subject of the hearing.
D. 
Notice shall be given to the County Planning Board of a hearing on an application for development of property adjacent to an existing county road or proposed road, as shown on the Official County Map or on the County Master Plan, adjoining other county land or situate within 200 feet of a municipal boundary.
E. 
Notice shall be given to the Commissioner of Transportation of a hearing on an application for development of property adjacent to a state highway.
F. 
Notice shall be given to the Director of the Division of State and Regional Planning in the Department of Community Affairs of a hearing on an application for development of property which exceeds 150 acres or 500 dwelling units. Such notice shall include a copy of any maps or documents required to be on file with the Clerk pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-10.
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 Board holding the hearing on the application for development.
H. 
All notices required to be given, pursuant to the terms in this section, 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 lot and block numbers, as shown on the current tax duplicate in the Township Tax Assessor's Office, and the location and times at which any maps and documents for which approval is sought are available, as required by law.
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-12c, the administrative officer shall, within seven days of receipt of a request therefor and upon receipt of payment of a fee as specified in § 195-51, Development fees, provide a list certified by the Tax Assessor from the current tax duplicate of names and addresses of owners in the Township to whom the applicant is required to give notice, pursuant to § 195-30B.
A. 
Findings of fact and conclusions. The Board shall include findings of fact and conclusions based thereon in each decision on any application for development and shall reduce the decision to writing. Failure of a motion to receive the number of votes required to approve an application for development pursuant to the exceptional vote requirements of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-34 or § 195-18D shall be deemed an action denying the application. The Board shall provide the findings and conclusions through:
(1) 
A resolution adopted at a meeting held within the time period provided in N.J.S.A. 40:55D for action by the Board on the application for development; or
(2) 
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 of the Board 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 pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-9, resulting from the failure of a motion to approve an application, shall be memorialized by 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 the mailings, filings and publication required by N.J.S.A. 40:55D-10h and 40:55D-10i.
B. 
Conditional decisions; County Planning Board approval. Where required by law, N.J.S.A. 40:27-6.6, the application shall be submitted to the County Planning Board for review or approval, and, in such cases, the Township Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment shall condition any approval that each grants upon timely receipt of a favorable report from the County Planning Board or upon the County Planning Board's failure to report within the required time period. Decisions may also be conditioned on approval by other governmental agencies.
C. 
Mailing. A copy of the decision shall be mailed by the Board within 10 days of the date of decision to the applicant or, if represented, then to his/her attorney, without separate charge. A copy of the decision shall also be mailed to all persons who request it and who have paid the prescribed fee. A copy of the decision shall also be filed in the office of the administrative officer, who shall make a copy of such filed decision available for public inspection during his/her office hours and a copy available to any interested party upon payment of a fee, calculated in the same manner as those established for copies of the other public documents in the Township.
D. 
Publication. A brief notice of every final decision on an application for a variance or development shall be published in the official newspaper of the Township. Such publication shall be arranged by and be the responsibility of the applicant. Notice shall be sent to the official newspaper for publication within 10 days of the date of any such decision. The applicant shall file an affidavit of publication with the Board making the decision on the application for development.
E. 
Time for appeal. The period of time in which an appeal of the decision may be made shall run from the date of publication of the decision.
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-39 and N.J.S.A. 40:55D-65, every application for development submitted to the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be accompanied by proof that no taxes or assessments for local improvements are due or delinquent on the property which is the subject of such application, or, if it is shown that taxes or assessments are delinquent on the property, any approvals or other relief granted by either Board shall be conditioned upon either the prompt payment of such taxes or assessments or the making of adequate provision for the payment thereof in such manner that the Township shall be adequately protected.
Immediately upon adoption of this Part 1, the Township Clerk shall file a copy with the County Planning Board, as required by law. The Clerk shall also file with the County Planning Board copies of all other Township land use ordinances.
Any variance hereafter granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment or the Planning Board, permitting the erection or alteration of any structure or structures or permitting a specified use of any property, shall expire by limitation unless such construction or alteration shall have been actually commenced on each and every structure permitted by the variance, or unless such permitted use has actually been commenced, within one year from the date of entry of the approval of the variance, except that the running of the period of limitation herein provided shall be tolled from the date of filing an appeal from the decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment to the Township Council, or to a court of competent jurisdiction, until the termination in any manner of such appeal or proceeding.
A. 
Authority. This section is adopted pursuant to the authority granted to the Township under N.J.S.A. 40:55D-10.3.
B. 
Applicability. This checklist shall apply to all applications for development in all zones within the Township.
C. 
Determination of completeness; no bearing on merits. A determination of completeness, pursuant to the terms and conditions hereof, is in no way to be interpreted or understood as an evaluation of the adequacy or acceptability of the information submitted and shall not be construed as diminishing the applicant's obligation to prove in the application process that he/she is entitled to approval of the application.
D. 
Additional information. The approving Board may subsequently require correction of any information found to be in error and submission of any additional information not specified in this Part 1 or any other ordinance of the Township, or any revisions thereof, as is or may be reasonably necessary to make an informed decision as to whether the requirements necessary for approval of the application for development have been met.
E. 
Checklist. For the purposes of determining that an application for any development within the Township is complete, pursuant to the terms of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-10.3, an applicant shall be required to furnish the following information, documents and fees:
(1) 
A completed application form, as supplied by the Secretary of the appropriate Board, containing full and complete responses and answers to all requirements and questions contained thereon.
(2) 
All required fees and charges pursuant to a schedule of fees to be supplied to the applicant by the Secretary of the appropriate Board.
(3) 
Certificate of Tax Collector that taxes have been paid.
(4) 
An appropriate sketch plat, subdivision map or site plan, prepared in accordance with the terms and conditions of the appropriate Township ordinances as follows:
(a) 
Subdivisions, minor and major; preliminary and final. Any application for a minor subdivision or a major subdivision, either preliminary or final, presented to either the Zoning Board of Adjustment or the Planning Board shall comply with all of the terms and conditions of Part 2, Subdivision and Site Plan Review, and subsequent amendments thereto and, if necessary, all of the terms and conditions of Chapter 310, Streets and Sidewalks, and all of the terms and conditions of any other applicable ordinance of the Township.
(b) 
Site plans, preliminary and final. Any application for a preliminary or final site plan, presented to either the Zoning Board of Adjustment or the Planning Board, shall comply with all of the terms and conditions of Part 2, Subdivision and Site Plan Review, dealing with Article XIV, Site Plans, and amendments thereto, and all of the terms and conditions of any other applicable ordinance of the Township.
(c) 
Variances; use variances; conditional uses. All applications for variances, use variances and/or conditional uses shall comply with the various and miscellaneous sections of Part 3, Zoning, and amendments thereto, as may be required, depending upon the nature of the variance, use variance or conditional use requested, and all of the terms and conditions of any other applicable ordinance of the Township.
(d) 
Site plan or plan of survey. The site plan or plan of survey shall contain an area map and shall include the following:
[1] 
Lot lines, with dimension.
[2] 
Tax block and lot numbers.
[3] 
Zoning district.
[4] 
Name of road or roads on which the property fronts.
[5] 
Easements, rights-of-way, if any, and zone boundaries.
[6] 
Location of streams, if any.
[7] 
Location of all existing buildings, if any, and of proposed structures or changes showing front, rear and side yard dimensions and distance from buildings to property lines.
[8] 
Building area allowed, draw lines showing required front, rear and side yard setbacks.
[9] 
Location, arrangement and dimensions of parking area, driveway, patios, etc.
[10] 
Names of adjoining property owners.
[11] 
Location of all buildings on all adjoining properties, including setbacks. The area map may be copied from the Tax Maps in the assessment office. It must show the applicant's plot and the properties within 200 feet in outline, including properties outside the Township, where necessary. It must indicate lot and block numbers on each plot within the two-hundred-foot area within or without the Township.
F. 
Additional requirements. In addition to the above, any application for development shall be subject to any rules and regulations as adopted, from time to time, by either the Zoning Board of Adjustment or the Planning Board, copies of which shall be supplied to the applicant along with the application form.
Whenever the Environmental Commission has prepared and submitted to the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment an index of the natural resources of the Township, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall make available to the Environmental Commission an informational copy of every application for development submitted to either. Failure of the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Adjustment to make such informational copy available to the Environmental Commission shall not invalidate any hearing or proceeding.