Township of West Caldwell, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Editor's Note: The Land Subdivision Ordinance was adopted on December 21, 1982 by Ordinance No. 889. When the Township of West Caldwell codified the general and permanent ordinances in the 1993 Code, Ordinance No. 889 was added as Chapter 19. At the request of the Township Officials, the Land Subdivision Regulations have been included in the 1995 code as Chapter 19, using the original ordinance for the text and the source history.
[Ord. No. 889]
This chapter shall be known as the Subdivision of Land Ordinance of the Township of West Caldwell.
[Ord. No. 889]
The provisions of this chapter shall be held to be minimum requirements adopted for the promotion of the public health, safety and general welfare consistent with the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1, et seq.).
This chapter is to be construed jointly with the Land Use Procedures Ordinance, codified as Chapter 18A of the Revised General Ordinances of the Township of West Caldwell and, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, all the terms, definitions and procedures of the Land Use Procedures Ordinance shall have the same meanings and shall be applicable in the interpretation and scope of this chapter.
[Ord. No. 889]
Except as otherwise provided herein, the approval provisions of this chapter shall be administered by the Board pursuant to Section 19-4.
[Ord. No. 889]
The provisions of Section 18A-5 of the Land Use Procedures Chapter of the Revised General Ordinances of the Township of West Caldwell (hereinafter referred to as "Land Use Procedures Ordinance"), as well as Section 20-23 of the Zoning Chapter of the Revised General Ordinances of the Township of West Caldwell (hereinafter referred to as "Zoning Ordinance") shall apply to this chapter. For purposes of this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
AASHO
Shall mean the American Association of State Highway Officials. Unless otherwise indicated, design criteria for traffic shall be based upon AASHO standards.
AS-BUILT PLAN
Shall mean a plan showing specified items of completed construction pursuant to the provisions of Section 19-10.
BOARD
Shall mean the Planning Board of the Township of West Caldwell or, when acting pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-76b, the Board of Adjustment of the Township of West Caldwell.
CERTIFICATION OF IMPROVEMENTS
Shall mean the certification, prepared by a licensed professional engineer and/or registered architect, and signed by the developer, pursuant to the provisions of Section 19-10.
CLASSIFICATION COMMITTEE
Shall mean the committee of the Board appointed by the Board for the purpose, among other duties, of classifying subdivisions in accordance with this chapter.
ENGINEERING STANDARDS
Shall mean such engineering standards of the Township of West Caldwell as may be adopted pursuant to Section 19-10.
FINAL PLAT
Shall mean a final map of all or a portion of the subdivision submitted to the Board for consideration and final approval in accordance with this chapter.
PRELIMINARY PLAT
Shall mean a preliminary map indicating the proposed layout of the subdivision submitted to the board for consideration and preliminary approval in accordance with this chapter.
SIGHT DISTANCE
Shall mean the length of roadway, or the distance to an object on a roadway, visible to a driver or a pedestrian.
a. 
Shall mean the minimum visible length of roadway necessary to enable a vehicle traveling at or near the maximum permissible speed to safely stop before reaching an object in its path.
b. 
Shall mean the minimum visible length of roadway necessary to insure that a vehicle passing maneuver may be completed safely.
c. 
Shall mean the minimum distance of roadway visible in both directions to enable a vehicle on the minor roadway of the intersection to cross or enter the major roadway without requiring approaching traffic to slow down.
SKETCH PLAT
Shall mean a sketch map of a subdivision of sufficient accuracy to be used for the purpose of discussion and classification.
STANDARD DETAILS OF CONSTRUCTION
Shall mean those details, as shall be shown on maps, sketches, or written specifications, pursuant to the provisions of Section 19-10.
STREET
Shall mean any street, avenue, boulevard, parkway, viaduct, drive or other way pursuant to Section 18A-5 of the Land Use Procedures Ordinance. For purposes of this chapter, streets shall be classified as follows:
a. 
Shall mean those designed primarily for through traffic.
b. 
Shall mean those which carry traffic from minor streets to the major system of arterial streets, including the principal entrance streets of a residential development.
c. 
Shall mean those used primarily for access to abutting properties.
[Ord. No. 889]
Every developer, when required by the Board, shall, in conjunction with the application for development, submit an environmental impact statement prepared by a duly qualified expert regarding the effect of the proposed subdivision and improvements upon the environment, which shall:
a. 
Describe all of the probable effects, both on and off-site, of the proposed development upon:
1. 
Natural resources of all kinds, including plant and wildlife; and
2. 
Hydrologic conditions and existing surface and storm water drainage patterns; and
3. 
Soil erosion and sedimentation in accordance with the then current standards for soil erosion and sediment control adopted by the New Jersey State Soil Conservation Committee; and
4. 
Water and air quality with reference to the then current standards established by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; and
5. 
Noise; and
6. 
Potable water supply; and
7. 
Traffic volume and flow; and
8. 
Municipal services required to serve the proposed development; and
9. 
Health, safety and welfare of the public.
b. 
Discuss alternative proposals for the proposed development which will reduce or eliminate any adverse on or off-site environmental effects, and, as to any which cannot be avoided, discuss the steps proposed to be taken before, during and after the development to minimize such adverse environmental effects.
[Ord. No. 889]
The Board may forward copies of the environmental impact statement to the township Environmental Commission or to other agencies for comments thereon, and the Board may require revision or supplementation of the environmental impact statement, may select among alternative proposals, and may establish conditions considered necessary to eliminate or minimize any temporary or permanent adverse on or off-site environmental effects of the proposed development.
[Ord. No. 889]
Where the application is classified as a minor subdivision, the Board may waive the requirement of an environmental impact statement.
[Ord. No. 889]
Every developer shall submit to the Board, pursuant to subsection 18A-8.1 of the Land Use Procedures Ordinance, copies of a sketch plat of the proposed subdivision for purposes of examination, classification and preliminary discussion.
[Ord. No. 889]
The sketch plat shall be based on tax map information or some other similarly accurate base at a scale [preferably not less than 400 feet to the one inch] to enable the entire tract to be shown on one sheet and shall show or include the following information:
a. 
The location of that portion which is to be subdivided in relation to the entire tract; and
b. 
All existing structures and wooded areas within the portion to be subdivided and within 200 feet thereof; and
c. 
The name of the property owner and of all adjoining property owners as disclosed by the most recent municipal tax records; and
d. 
The tax map sheet, block and lot numbers; and
e. 
All streets or roads and streams within 200 feet of the proposed subdivision.
[Ord. No. 889]
The Board shall classify the sketch plat as either a major or minor subdivision and a written notice to that effect shall be forwarded to the applicant for compliance with the procedures for major subdivisions or minor subdivisions as the case may be.
[Ord. No. 889]
The Board may, at the request of the applicant, waive the filing of a sketch plat in the case of a major subdivision.
[Ord. No. 889]
All preliminary plats shall comply with the applicable requirements and standards of Section 18A-9 of the Land Use Procedures Ordinance.
[Ord. No. 889]
All final plats shall comply with the applicable requirements and standards of Section 18A-9 of the Land Use Procedures Ordinance and the Map Filing Law, N.J.S.A. 46:23-9.8, et seq.
[Ord. No. 889]
The following standards shall be observed in the subdivision of land within the township and are intended to be consistent with the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance, Master Plan and Official Map, if any.
[Ord. No. 889; Ord. No. 1284]
a. 
In general, streets within any subdivision or land development shall be of sufficient width and suitable grade and suitably located to accommodate prospective traffic and to provide access for firefighting and emergency equipment to all buildings. No new street shall be located in such a manner as to create a nonconforming condition on adjacent or abutting property.
b. 
All streets shall be located and coordinated so as to compose a convenient system consistent with the Official Map, where formally adopted, the appropriate element of the Master Plan, and in accordance with sound engineering and planning principles.
c. 
Streets shall be oriented so as to permit, within the limits of practicability and feasibility, the maximization of solar gain for the buildings constructed thereon.
d. 
Right-of-Way and Pavement Width. The right-of-way width shall be measured from lot line to lot line and the paved width from curb to curb, and shall be not less than the following:
1. 
Arterial Street: 80 feet right-of-way and paved width based upon a traffic study and as determined by the Board.
2. 
Collector Street: 60 feet right-of-way and paved width of 36 feet.
3. 
Minor Street: 50 feet right-of-way and paved width of 30 feet.
4. 
The right-of-way width and pavement width for internal streets in an industrial development shall be determined by the Board on an individual basis, and shall be of sufficient width to safely accommodate the maximum traffic, parking and loading needs, as well as access for firefighting equipment.
5. 
No street right-of-way shall be less than 50 feet in width.
e. 
Relation to Adjoining Street System. The arrangement of streets in new subdivisions shall make provision for the continuation of existing streets in adjoining areas. New subdivisions that adjoin or include existing streets that do not conform to widths as shown on the Master Plan or Official Map, shall dedicate additional width along either one or both sides of said street. If the subdivision is along one side only, 1/2 of the required additional width shall be dedicated.
f. 
Projection of Streets. Where adjoining areas are not subdivided, the arrangement of streets in new subdivisions shall make provision for the proper projection of streets.
g. 
Street to Be Carried to Property Lines. When a new subdivision adjoins lands which have a reasonable potential of being subdivided, new streets shall be carried to the boundaries of the tract proposed to be subdivided. The street arrangement shall be such as not to cause hardship to owners of adjoining property when platting their own lands and shall provide convenient access to those lands.
h. 
Street Jogs Prohibited. Street jogs with centerline offsets of less than 125 feet shall be prohibited.
i. 
Dead-end Street or Cul-de-sac. Dead-end streets or cul-de-sacs, designed to be permanent, shall not be longer than 600 feet, and shall be provided at the closed end with a turn-around having a right-of-way radius of not less than 50 feet. If a dead-end street is of a temporary nature, a similar turn-around having a curb radius of 25 feet shall be provided and provision made for future extensions of the street into adjoining properties.
j. 
Intersections. Street intersections shall be at an angle of 90°, and curb returns shall have a radius of not less than 20 feet. All intersections shall be designed and located to provide adequate intersection sight distance in accordance with the following minimum criteria:
Intersection Sight Distances
Design Speed or 85th Percentile Speed, whichever is higher, Major Road, in MPH
Minimum Sight Distance in each Direction*, in feet
60
600
50
500
40
400
30
300
20
200
*Measured from a point on the minor road at least 15 feet from the edge of the major road pavement, and in accordance with current AASHO "height of eye" and "height of object" dimensions.
The above referenced distances are minimums. Additional distances may be required to compensate for road gradient, conditions of pavements, locations of traffic conflicts or other localized conditions that could impact upon the time available to a driver to clear or enter the major roadway.
[Ord. No. 889]
a. 
Street grades shall be not less than 3/4 of 1% on any street, nor more than 4% on arterial streets, 6% on collector streets and 8% on minor streets.
b. 
The maximum grade at an intersection, for a distance of 100 feet from the centerline of the intersection of two roads, shall be 2%. To the greatest extent practicable, streets shall be designed with overall positive grade, and "sumps" or low points shall be avoided.
c. 
Vertical Curves. All changes in grade shall be connected by vertical curves of sufficient length to provide adequate stopping sight distances, in accordance with the following criteria:
Minimum Stopping Sight Distance, In Feet
Design Speed
20
30
40
50
60
Sight Distance *K value for:
150
200
300
450
650
Crest Vertical Curve
16
28
65
145
300
Sag Vertical Curve
24
35
60
100
155
*Note: K value is a coefficient by which the algebraic difference in grade may be multiplied to determine the length in feet of the required minimum vertical curve.
d. 
Horizontal Curves. All offsets in the horizontal alignment of any street shall be connected by a horizontal curve of such length to provide for the safe negotiation of the curve at the design speed, and to provide adequate stopping sight distance. The minimum centerline radius shall be not less than 125 feet for cul-de-sacs, 250 feet for minor streets and 500 feet for collector and arterial streets. A tangent at least 100 feet long for collector and arterial streets and 50 feet for minor streets shall be introduced between reverse curves of arterial and collector streets.
[Ord. No. 889]
In addition to the requirements contained herein, the developer shall demonstrate that all applicable sight distances, pursuant to Section 19-4, are adequate to provide safe vehicular movement through and adjacent to the proposed subdivision.
[Ord. No. 889]
No subdivision showing reserve strips controlling access to public ways, or to other potentially subdividable lands, shall be approved by the Board except where the control and disposal of such strips are placed within the jurisdiction of, and under conditions approved by, the Governing Body.
[Ord. No. 889]
The dedication of street rights-of-way to the township, and all new street names shall be subject to the approval of the Governing Body.
[Ord. No. 889]
The developer shall plant shade trees, of a species and size as determined by the Board, every 50 feet on both sides of the street along a line five feet behind the right-of-way line. No easement shall be required for this shade tree planting; all such trees shall be maintained and replaced, if necessary, by the individual property owner; and no tree may be removed, unless immediately replaced in similar kind, without the permission of the Board.
[Ord. No. 889]
a. 
Where a parcel is subdivided, the blocks shall be of such size and shape and be so divided as to provide for the opening of future streets as shall be determined by the Board.
b. 
The block length between through-street intersections shall not be less than 600 feet nor more than 1,200 feet. Where the block exceeds 1,000 feet in length, foot paths not less than 10 feet wide and extending across the depth of the block may be required at appropriate locations.
c. 
No block shall be less than 280 feet deep.
[Ord. No. 889]
a. 
All lots shall abut an approved street for their entire frontage. Side lot lines shall be substantially at right angles to straight street lines or radial to curved street lines. Where additional width has been dedicated for widening of existing streets, lots shall begin at such additional width line, and all setbacks shall be measured from such line.
b. 
Lot dimensions and area shall not be less than the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance for the zone district in which the lot is located.
c. 
All lots shown on a subdivision plat shall be suitable for permitted purposes pursuant to the Zoning Ordinance, particularly without danger to health or peril from flood, fire, erosion or other menace. No lots shall be platted for residential occupancy within flood hazard areas, nor for such other uses as may increase danger to health, life or property pursuant to Chapter 21 of the Revised General Ordinances of the Township of West Caldwell. Such land within the plat shall be set aside for such uses as shall not be endangered by periodic or occasional inundation or as shall not produce unsatisfactory living conditions.
d. 
Where a proposed subdivision is traversed by a watercourse, there shall be provided a conservation easement conforming to the stream encroachment line as determined by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection or the limit of the floodway as defined in the above referenced Chapter 21. Unless otherwise provided, it shall be the property owner's responsibility to maintain the watercourse within the conservation easement and to the line and grade established by the approved subdivision plan.
e. 
Double frontage lots having a depth of less than 300 feet shall not be permitted.
f. 
Lot and block numbers shall conform to the tax maps, and house or building numbers shall be shown for each lot.
[Ord. No. 889]
Due regard shall be shown, in all subdivisions, for the conservation of all natural features such as large trees, natural groves, watercourses, scenic points and similar community assets.
[Ord. No. 889]
Provision for a sanitary sewage collection system shall be indicated on all subdivision plans, and where the topography requires, a subsurface easement for sanitary and storm water drainage shall be provided.
[Ord. No. 889]
Monuments shall be provided in accordance with the Map Filing Law, N.J.S.A. 46:23-9.11q. Prior to the signing of the final plat, the developer shall post a monument bond equivalent to $200 for each monument to be set.
[Ord. No. 889]
The sales office and the model home, if any, for all major subdivisions shall at all times display the following: West Caldwell Zoning Map, Final Subdivision Plat, and Site Grading Plan.
[Ord. No. 889]
All subdivisions shall conform to the engineering standards of the Township of West Caldwell, including, but not limited to, construction standards, as-built plan standards and certification of improvement standards. Such standards as may, from time to time, be adopted shall be:
a. 
Recommended and prepared by the Township Engineer;
b. 
Adopted, and amended, by resolution of the Board pursuant to subsection 18A-8.1 of the Land Use Procedures Ordinance;
c. 
Maintained in the office of the Township Engineer; and
d. 
Made available to any person upon request for a reasonable fee as may be established by subsection 18A-8.8 of the Land Use Procedures Ordinance.
[Ord. No. 889]
The Board shall have the right to change, alter or modify any of the plans and specifications for the construction of the work after final approval where conditions are encountered which, on the recommendation of the Township Engineer, require change, alteration or modification, without in any way imposing any obligation on the township to pay for any additional expense which may be sustained by the developer by reason thereof.
[Ord. No. 889]
After final approval by the Board, the Governing Body may, at its option, require the execution, by resolution of the Governing Body, a formal contract in writing with the developer providing the following.
[Ord. No. 889]
All work shall be performed at the entire cost and expense of the developer, under the jurisdiction of the Township Engineer and in conformity with the maps, plans, and specifications approved by the township. It shall also provide that the Township Engineer may order the suspension of any and all work to be performed if the same is not in accord with the approved plans and specifications.
[Ord. No. 889]
The township shall not be construed to accept any street by reason of the making of said contract.
[Ord. No. 889]
The contract shall be subject to all ordinances of the township relating to the operation and maintenance of the sanitary sewer system, storm drain system and water distribution system and any and all other ordinances in any way affecting the operation and maintenance of the sanitary sewer and water distribution systems.
[Ord. No. 889]
All improvements and any part thereof shall be and become the property of the township upon completion and acceptance of the work in accordance with the terms of the contract.
[Ord. No. 889]
All improvements shall be completed in accordance with the requirements of the approved plan.
[Ord. No. 889]
The electrical and gas services shall be installed, subject to the jurisdiction of the applicable agency of the State of New Jersey.
[Ord. No. 889]
The contract shall be executed by any and all mortgagees of the property.
[Ord. No. 889]
The developer shall indemnify and save and hold harmless the township, its officers and employees from all damages, loss, or claims for liability whatsoever arising out of the work performed under the contract, and from any loss or damages arising from any default or negligence by the developer in the performance of the said work.
[Ord. No. 889]
The township may withhold the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for any structure within the subdivision until such time as all work deemed necessary for the safe occupancy of the property is completed.
[Ord. No. 889]
Prior to acceptance, the developer shall furnish to the Township Engineer one complete set of reproducible Mylar tracings and three sets of signed and sealed prints of the as-built plan pursuant to Section 19-10 showing each improvement, all grading and all structures in the exact manner as actually constructed.
[Ord. No. 889]
A timetable for completion of all requirements stated therein.
[Ord. No. 889]
The developer shall submit a certification of improvements pursuant to Section 19-10 which shall be prepared by a licensed professional engineer, certifying that all improvements have been completed in accordance with the requirements of the approved plan, and further certifying that all construction and materials are in conformance with good engineering practices.
[Ord. No. 889]
The township may require the developer to provide soils and pavement testing prior to the acceptance of any roadway.
[Ord. No. 889]
The township may require the developer to provide guarantees pursuant to subsection 18A-9.8 of the Land Use Procedures Ordinance.
[Ord. No. 889]
When acting upon an application for subdivision approval, the Board shall have the power, pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-51), to grant such exceptions from the applicable regulations and standards of this chapter as it may deem reasonable and within the general purpose and intent of this chapter, upon written application therefor by the applicant which sets forth the nature and extent of the exceptions requested and the pertinent facts upon which the applicant will rely to support the request, provided however that no such exception shall be granted unless the Board finds:
a. 
That the literal enforcement of one or more of the provisions of this chapter, in the particular application before the Board, is impracticable or will exact undue hardship because of peculiar conditions pertaining to the land in question; and
b. 
That the granting of the requested exception will not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare nor injurious to property in the area.
[Ord. No. 889]
If the provisions of any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph or clause of this chapter shall be judged invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such order or judgment shall not affect or invalidate the remainder of any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph or clause of this chapter and, to this end, the provisions of each section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph or clause of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable.
[Ord. No. 889]
This chapter being necessary for the welfare of the township and its inhabitants shall be considered liberally to effect the purposes thereof.
[Ord. No. 889]
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon adoption and publication according to law.