[Adopted by the City Council of the City of Hoboken 10-19-2016 by Ord. No. Z-438. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to:
Safeguard the cultural and historical heritage of the City of Hoboken by preserving resources that reflect elements of its architectural and historical heritage;
Encourage the continued use and adaptation of historical buildings and to prevent the unnecessary demolition of historic resources; and
Ensure the safety and preservation of structures immediately adjacent to a structure proposed for demolition.
This chapter shall apply to all properties located in Residential (R) Zones and the Central Business District (CBD) as identified on the Zoning Map of the City of Hoboken for the following applications:
All applications for demolition under the Uniform Construction Code (N.J.A.C. 5:23-1.1 et seq.) for structures that contain residential use and that share a property line with another building containing residential use; and/or
All applications for partial demolition of a structure under the Uniform Construction Code or Rehabilitation Subcode (N.J.A.C. 5:23-6) that include removal of or substantial deconstruction of the front facade. "Substantial deconstruction of the front facade" shall be defined as any alteration to the fenestration, entranceway, cornice, or material components of the facade which are visible from the public right-of-way. If the front facade of a partial demolition is to be preserved and shall remain unaltered, the structure shall not be subject to historic preservation review; however, the applicant for such partial demolition shall nevertheless be required to provide an engineering report as set forth in § 79A-4B(6) below, outlining the measures to be taken to stabilize and preserve the facade during partial demolition and rehabilitation, and any other structural evaluations deemed necessary by the Construction Code Official or City Engineer, to assure the safety and preservation of the immediately adjacent structures.
A structure, or portion thereof, to which this chapter would otherwise apply, that is identified by the City Building Inspector as unsafe or unsound so as to pose an immediate danger to public health or safety shall be exempt from the procedures set forth in this chapter. Upon identification of such an unsafe structure, the City Building Inspector shall so notify the Mayor, City Council and Historic Preservation Commission of the need for imminent demolition and provide a brief summary of the perceived public hazard.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit in any way the power of the City of Hoboken to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement, by summary proceedings or otherwise; nor is any provision of this chapter intended to limit the authority of the Construction Official under the State Uniform Construction Code Act, L. 1975, c. 217 (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq.) or any rules or regulations adopted thereunder.
Any building or buildings, or parts thereof, that have come into a state of disrepair through neglect, lack of maintenance or use, fire, accident or other calamities or through any other act rendering the building or buildings, or parts thereof, in a state of disrepair to the extent that the building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, shall be deemed inimical to the welfare of the residents of the City of Hoboken, and a Construction Official appointed pursuant to the provisions of L. 1942, c. 112 (N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.3 et seq.) may exercise his or her powers to repair or demolish the building or buildings, or parts thereof, pursuant to the provisions of Section 5 of L. 1992, c. 89 (N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.5b) and shall be exempt from the procedures set forth in this chapter. This subsection shall not apply to any building, buildings, or parts thereof which are found to have been deliberately neglected so as to avoid the requirements of this chapter.
No person shall be issued a permit to demolish any building or partially demolish the front facade of any building or structure to which this chapter applies unless said demolition or partial demolition is reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission or approved by the Zoning Board of Adjustment or Planning Board.
An application for demolition shall include, at a minimum, the following:
A map showing the location of the structure on its property with reference to neighboring properties;
Photographs of all street facade elevations on that block frontage;
A description of the subject structure, including the method and materials of construction, the condition, and an estimate of the cost of the proposed repairs or renovation;
The reason for the proposed demolition and data supporting the reason, including, where applicable, data sufficient to establish any economic justification for demolition;
A description of the proposed reuse of the property on which the subject structure is located;
A report, prepared by a professional engineer licensed in the State of New Jersey, on the subject structure and the buildings immediately adjacent to the subject structure that includes, but is not limited to, an evaluation of the foundations, footings, facades, and other structural elements of each building, and recommendations for assuring the safety and stability of the adjoining structures and any portions of the subject building to be retained in the case of partial demolition; and
Other documents specified by the checklist for a complete application.
Unless an applicant has otherwise applied for relief from the Zoning Board of Adjustment or the Planning Board for the proposed activities necessitating demolition or partial demolition, an application for demolition or partial demolition shall be submitted directly to the Historic Preservation Commission on the standard form available in the office of the Historic Preservation Commission. A complete application shall include the application form, the checklist, all documents set forth on the checklist, and the application and escrow fees. Within 10 business days of the submission, the Commission Secretary in consultation with the Administrative Officer, shall either certify the application as complete, and the applicant shall be so notified, or if the application is found to be incomplete shall provide written notice of the deficiency to the applicant.
After certification that an application is complete, the Historic Preservation Commission shall hold a public hearing on the application and, pursuant to the review criteria for an historical building or structure as set forth in § 42-27A of the City of Hoboken Municipal Code, to the extent relevant to the application before it, shall issue its findings and decision within 60 days. Public notice shall be given by the applicant in accordance with the notice provisions set forth in § 44-307 of the City of Hoboken Municipal Code.
If the Historic Preservation Commission concludes that the structure need not be preserved or fails to file its findings and recommendation within 60 days, the Construction Official may issue a demolition permit.
When demolition or partial demolition is proposed in conjunction with an application for development before the Zoning Board of Adjustment or Planning Board, the relevant reviewing board shall assume jurisdiction for approving demolition, and the time of decision for the approval shall be that of the associated application for development. The relevant reviewing board shall apply the same review criteria for demolition or partial demolition of an historical building or structure as set forth in § 42-27A of the City of Hoboken Municipal Code, to the extent relevant to the application before it. The relevant reviewing board may also, at its discretion, refer an application to the Historic Preservation Commission, pursuant to § 44-304, for its recommendations.
If the Historic Preservation Commission concludes that the subject structure should be preserved and it files its findings and recommendation within the required sixty-day period, the applicant may appeal the recommendation to the Zoning Board of Adjustment in accordance with the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.) and then to a court of competent jurisdiction as permitted under applicable laws.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.1 and 40:55D-53.2, the City is further entitled to offset the costs of professional services engendered by a development application from escrow deposits.
Escrow deposits shall be in addition to the application fees and shall be used by the Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Adjustment to pay professionals for services rendered for review of applications for demolition, review and preparation of documents, inspection of premises, or other purposes under the provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law. Those application review and inspection charges shall be limited only to professional charges for review of applications, review and preparation of documents, inspections of buildings proposed for demolition of any degree, adjacent structures as may be required, and the contextual surroundings of the building proposed for demolition, and review by outside consultants when an application is of a nature beyond the scope of expertise of the professionals normally utilized by the City. The only cost that shall be added to any such charges shall be actual out-of-pocket expenses of such professionals or consultants, including normal and typical expenses incurred in processing applications and inspecting improvements. No applicant shall be charged, from escrow, for any municipal, clerical or administrative functions, overhead expenses, meeting room charges or any of the municipal costs and expenses except as provided for specifically by statute; nor shall a municipal professional add any such charge to his or her bill.
The City shall be entitled to be reimbursed for the following: for the review of applications, both as to completeness and as to content; and for the review and preparation of documents, such as, but not limited to, drafting resolutions, developer's agreements and necessary correspondence with the applicant or applicant's professionals.
If review costs exceed the escrow deposited, the applicant shall pay the additional amount within 15 days of the request for additional funds. Failure to remit the additional required deposit within the requested timeline shall render the application incomplete, and no further action or proceedings shall be taken by the Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment until after compliance. Where the review costs are less than the amount of the escrow deposit, the difference shall be returned to the applicant within 120 days of final disposition of the application.
An application shall be deemed to be incomplete until all application fees and escrow deposits are submitted. Fees and escrow shall be submitted as separate checks, payable to the City of Hoboken, in the amounts indicated on the fee schedule set forth in Appendix A. Where more than one fee category applies, the fee shall equal the combined total of fees required for each type of application.
Editor's Note: Appendix A is on file in the City offices.