Borough of Closter, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 12-17-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-852[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. IV, Historic Preservation Commission, adopted 6-10-1998 by Ord. No. 1998:762.

§ 35-49 (Reserved)

§ 35-50 Short title.

This article shall be known by and maybe referred to by this short title of "The Historic Preservation Ordinance of the Borough of Closter."

§ 35-51 Purposes.

The provisions of this article are intended to effect and accomplish the protection, enhancement, and perpetuation of especially noteworthy examples and elements of the Borough's environment in order:
A. 
To safeguard the heritage of Closter by preserving resources within the Borough which reflect elements of its cultural, social, economic, and architectural history;
B. 
To encourage the continued use of historic and/or noteworthy buildings, structures, objects, and sites and to facilitate their appropriate reuse;
C. 
To maintain and develop an appropriate and harmonious setting for the historic and architecturally significant buildings, structures, sites, and districts within the Borough;
D. 
To stabilize and improve property values within the Borough;
E. 
To foster civic pride in the history and architecture of the Borough;
F. 
To encourage proper maintenance of and reinvestment in the buildings and structures within the Borough;
G. 
To regulate appropriate alteration of historic sites as well as new construction within or near historic districts to ensure compatibility with the existing environment and the Master Plan of the Borough;
H. 
To discourage the unnecessary demolition or other destruction of historic resources;
I. 
To further the public's knowledge of the history and development of the Borough as well as its appreciation of the Borough's historic sites;
J. 
To enhance the visual and aesthetic character, diversity, and continuity, and interest in the Borough and its neighborhoods;
K. 
To encourage beautification and private investment in the Borough;
L. 
To promote the economic welfare of the Borough through the preservation of its historic sites and landscapes.

§ 35-52 Definitions.

As used in this article:
ADDITION
An extension or increase in building size, floor area or height.
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER
The Construction Code Official.
ALTERATION
Any change in the exterior of architectural features or of any improvement or addition.
APPLICATION
A request to the Commission made pursuant to this article for the purposes of obtaining a certificate of appropriateness or other action by the Commission hereunder specified.
APPLICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT
The application to the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Borough for the approval of a major or minor subdivision plat, site plan, planned development, conditional use, zoning variants, or the direction of the issuance of a permit pursuant to Section 25 or 27 of P.L. 1975, c. 291 (N.J.S.A. 40:55d-34 or 40:55D-36).
BUILDING
Any man-made structure, its site and appurtenances created to shelter any form of human activity.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS (or C/A)
That document issued by the Historic Preservation Commission required before work commences on any landmark or building, structure, site, or object located within a landmark district.
COMMISSION
The Historic Preservation Commission pursuant to the provisions of this article.
CONSTRUCTION OFFICIAL
The officer in charge in the granting of building or construction permits in the Borough.
DEMOLITION
The partial or total razing, dismantling, or destruction, whether entirely or in significant part, of any building, structure, object or site. Demolition includes the removal of a building, structure or object from its site or the removal or destruction of the facade or surface.
DESIGNATED PROPERTY or DISTRICT
An individual building, structure, site, object, or district which has been designated as having historical, architectural, cultural, aesthetic, or other significance pursuant to the provision of this article.
DEVELOPMENT
The division of a parcel of land into two or more parcels, construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alterations, relocation or enlargement of any building or other structure, or of any mining excavation or landfill, and any use or change in the use of any building or other structure, or land extension of use of land for which permission may be required pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law.
DISTRICT
See "landmark district."
EVALUATION
The process of determining whether identified properties meet defined criteria of historical, architectural, archeological, or cultural significance.
HISTORIC DISTRICT
One or more historic sites and certain intervening or surrounding property significantly affecting or affected by the quality and character of historic site or sites as specifically designated herein.
HISTORIC RESOURCE
Any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in the Borough Historic Site's Survey, or eligible for inclusion in the National Register (of Historic Places); such term includes artifacts, records, and remains which are related to such a district, site, building, structure, or object.
HISTORIC SITE
Any real property, man-made structure, natural object, or configuration or any portion or group of the foregoing which has been designated in the Master Plan as being of historic, archeological, cultural, scenic or architectural significance at the national, state, or local level, as specifically designated herein, or any property which is located in a historic district. The designation of a historic site or landmark shall be deemed to include the Tax Map lot on which it is located as well as the right-of-way contiguous thereto.
IMPROVEMENT
Any structure or any part thereof installed upon real property by human endeavor and intended to be kept at the location of such construction or installation.
IN-KIND
Construction or construction materials that match construction or construction materials being replaced on a designated structure or object, thereby maintaining historic composition, design, color, texture and other visual qualities.
[Added 2-14-2007 by Ord. No. 2007:980]
INTEGRITY
The ability of a property or element to convey its historic significance; the retention of those essential characteristics and features that enable a property to effectively convey its significance.
INTERESTED PARTY
Any person whose right to use, acquire or enjoy property is affected by any action taken under this article or whose rights to use, acquire or enjoy property under this article or under any other law of this state or of the United States have been denied, violated or infringed by an action or a failure to act under this article.
INVENTORY
A list of historic properties determined to meet criteria of significance specified herein.
LANDMARK
A building, structure, site, or object which has a special character or special historical or aesthetic interest as part of the development, heritage, or cultural characteristics of the Borough, state, or nation, and which has been designated as a landmark pursuant to the provisions of this article.
LANDMARK DISTRICT or DISTRICT
A geographic area with distinctly definable boundaries composed of several buildings or sites which:
A. 
Has acquired a unity of character through the interrelationships of the component buildings and sites; and
B. 
Has been designated as having historical, archeological, cultural, scenic, architectural or other significance pursuant to the provisions of this article.
MASTER PLAN
The Master Plan of the Borough of Closter, as amended from time to time, compiled pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law.
MINOR APPLICATION
Any application for certificate of appropriateness which:
A. 
Does not involve demolition, relocation, or removal of a historic site;
B. 
Does not involve an addition to an individual property or a property in a historic district or new construction in a historic district;
C. 
Is a request for approval of fences, signs, lighting, paving, or streetscape work which will comply with the adopted design guidelines for the improvement proposed and which will not substantially affect the characteristics of the historic site or the historic district.
MUNICIPAL LAND USE LAW
The Municipal Land Use Law of the State of New Jersey, P.L. 1975, c . 291 (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.), as amended from time to time.
NATIONAL REGISTER CRITERIA
The established criteria for evaluating the eligibility of properties for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
NONCONTRIBUTING BUILDINGS
A building, site, structure, or object that does not add to the historic or architectural qualities, historic associations or archaeological values for which a property is significant because: it was not present during the period of significance; due to alterations, disturbances, additions, or other changes, it no longer possesses historic integrity reflecting its character at that time or is incapable of yielding important information about the period.
OBJECT
A material thing of functional, aesthetic, cultural, historic, scenic, or scientific value that may be, by nature or design, movable, yet related to a specific setting or environment.
ORDINANCE
A legislative act of the governing body of a municipality adopted in accordance with statutory requirements as to notice, publicity, and public hearing as required by law.
ORDINARY MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR
The repair of any deterioration, wear, or damage to a structure or any part thereof in order to return the same as nearly practicable to its original condition prior to the occurrence or such deterioration, wear, or damage with in-kind material and replacement of exterior elements or accessory hardware, including signs, using the same materials and workmanship and having the same appearance.
OWNER
Any person having a right, title, or interest in any property so as to be legally entitled, upon obtaining such permits and other authorizations as may be required pursuant to law, to perform construction, alteration, removal, demolition, or other work with respect to such property.
PERMIT
Any required approval for exterior work to any improvement or property in a historic district or on a historic site. Permit shall include, but is not limited to, a building permit, a demolition permit, a permit to move, convert, relocate, or remodel, or to change the use or type of occupancy of any improvement or property in a historic district which involves exterior changes to the structure or the property on which it is located.
PRESERVATION
The act or process of applying measures to sustain the existing form, integrity and material of a building or structure, and the existing form of vegetative cover of a site. It may include initial stabilization work, where necessary, as well as ongoing maintenance of the historic building materials.
PROTECTION
The act or process of applying measures designed to preserve the physical condition of a property by guarding it from deterioration or loss.
RECONSTRUCTION
The act or process of reproducing by new construction the exact same form and detail of a vanished or nonsurviving building, structure, or object, or any part thereof, as it appeared at a specific period of time when documentary and visible evidence is available to permit accurate reconstruction.
REHABILITATION
The act or process of returning a property to its state of utility though repair or alteration which makes possible an efficient contemporary use while preserving those portions or features of the property which are significant to its historical, architectural and cultural values.
REPAIR
Any work done on an improvement that is not an addition and does not change the exterior appearance of any improvement; provided, however, that any such repairs must be done with materials and workmanship of the same quality as the existing materials and workmanship of the improvement.
RESTORATION
The act or process of accurately recovering the form and details of a property and its setting as it appeared at a particular period of time by means of the removal of a later work or by the replacement of missing earlier work.
SITE
Any real property, whether public or private, with or without improvements, which is the location of a significant event or series of events, a prehistoric or historic occupation or activity, or a building, structure, or object, or any configuration, portion, or group of forgoing, which has been designated by the Commission as having historical, archeological, cultural, scenic, or architectural significance pursuant to the provisions of this article.
STREETSCAPE
The visual character of the street including, but not limited to, the architecture, building setbacks and height, fences, storefronts, signs, lighting, parking areas, materials, sidewalks, curbing and landscaping.
STRUCTURE
A combination of materials to form a construction for occupancy, use or ornamentation whether installed on, above, or below the surface of a parcel of land. The word "structure" shall also include any building or improvement with a roof.
SURVEY
A process of identifying and gathering data on a community's historic resources. It includes a field survey which is the physical search for and recording of historic resources on the ground, preliminary planning and background research before the field survey begins, organization and presentation of survey data as the survey proceeds, and the development of inventories.
SURVEY DATA
The raw data produced by the survey; that is, all the information gathered on each property and area investigated.
VIEW or PUBLIC VIEW
The view by the public of a building, structure, object, or site from any point on a street or walkway which is used as a public thoroughfare, either vehicular and/or pedestrian.

§ 35-53 Historic Preservation Commission.

A. 
Establishment; composition. It is hereby established, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-107 et seq., in the Borough of Closter, a Historic Preservation Commission, "H.P.C." The Commission shall consist of seven members appointed by the Mayor and Council with the advice and consent of the Council.
[Amended 3-12-2008 by Ord. No. 2008:1004]
(1) 
The seven members of the H.P.C. shall fall within three classes as follows:
(a) 
Class A: A person who is knowledgeable in building design and construction or architectural history.
(b) 
Class B: A person who is knowledgeable of the local history or has demonstrated interest in local history.
(c) 
Class C: A citizen of the municipality who shall hold no other municipal office, position, or employment except for membership on the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment.
(2) 
Class C members are regular members who are not designated as Class A or B.
(3) 
Class A and Class B members may reside outside the Borough, with preference given to residents of the Borough.
(4) 
There shall be at least one Class A and at least one Class B member.
B. 
Alternate members. There shall be two alternate members who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council and shall be designated at the time of the appointment as "Alternate No. 1 and Alternate No. 2." Alternate members shall meet the qualification of Class C members.
C. 
Terms.
(1) 
The initial terms of the regular members first appointed under this article shall be determined to the greatest practicable extent so that the expiration of the terms shall be distributed evenly over the first four years of their appointment, provided that the initial term of no regular member shall exceed four years. Thereafter, the term of a regular member shall be for four years. Notwithstanding any other provisions, the term of any member common to the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Board shall be for the terms of the membership on the Planning Board, and the term of any member common to the Historic Preservation Commission and the Board of Adjustment shall be for the term of membership on the Board of Adjustment.
(2) 
In the case of alternate members, the initial terms shall be distributed evenly over the first two years after their initial appointment, provided that the initial term of no alternate member shall exceed two years. Thereafter, the term of an alternate member shall be two years.
D. 
Vacancies. Vacancy in any class, including alternate members, occurring otherwise than by an expiration of term, shall be filled for the unexpired term only.
E. 
Organization; officers.
(1) 
The Historic Preservation Commission shall elect a Chairman and a Vice Chairman from its members and shall select a Secretary who may or may not be a member of the Historic Preservation Commission or a municipal employee.
(2) 
Alternate members may participate in discussions of the proceedings. They 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.
F. 
Funding; staff.
(1) 
The Borough Council shall make provisions in its budget and appropriate funds for the expenses of the Historic Preservation Commission.
(2) 
The Historic Preservation Commission may employ, contract for, and affix the compensation of experts and other staff and services as it shall deem necessary within its budget. The Commission shall obtain its legal counsel from the Municipal Attorney at the rate of compensation to be determined by the governing body. Expenditures pursuant to this section shall not exceed, exclusive of gifts or grants, the amount appropriated by the governing body for the Commission.
G. 
Rules and organization of the Commission. The Commission shall have the authority to adopt all rules and regulations necessary to carry out its functions under the provisions of this article, including, but not limited to, maintenance of records and procedures subject to the following:
(1) 
No Commission member shall be permitted to act on any matter in which he or she has, either directly or indirectly, any business interest. Mere ownership of and occupation of an historic residence shall not be deemed a personal or financial interest.
(2) 
The Commission shall establish a regular schedule of meetings. The Commission shall meet no less than once every month to address the current agenda, otherwise the Commission shall meet once every two months. Additional meetings may be called by the Chairperson or Vice Chairperson as required to fulfill its obligations to advise the Planning Board, Zoning Board, or Borough Council as deemed necessary.
(3) 
All Commission minutes and records as kept and maintained by the Commission's Secretary shall be public records, and all Commission meetings shall comply with the Open Public Meeting Act (N.J.S.A. 10:4-7 et seq.).
(4) 
A member of the Borough Council and a member of the Planning Board shall be designated as liaison between those bodies and the Commission. The role of such liaisons should be informational only, and shall possess no voting rights with regard to action taken by the Commission.
(5) 
The Commission shall adopt written rules for the transaction of its business and for the consideration of applications for certificates of appropriateness for the designations of historic districts and sites.
(6) 
When the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment refers an application to the Historic Preservation Commission, then the referring Board shall receive a copy of the Commission's Report.
(7) 
The Construction Official shall maintain and display an up-to-date map showing the historic districts, as well as a current listing of historic sites.
(8) 
A member of the Commission may, after a public hearing, if requested, be removed by the governing body for cause.
(9) 
Meetings; quorum.
(a) 
The Historic Preservation Commission shall establish and post in Borough Hall a schedule of meetings. Regular meetings shall be held as scheduled unless canceled for a lack of applications to process.
(b) 
Three members shall constitute a quorum. A majority vote of those present and voting shall prevail and shall be sufficient to grant or deny a certificate of appropriateness, change a historic site or district designation or to grant a demolition permit.
(c) 
The Historic Preservation Commission shall prepare an annual report to the governing body which shall be available to the public and placed on file in the Borough Hall. The report shall detail all activities, including problem solving, advice and support given.
H. 
Powers and duties of the Commission. The power and duties of the Commission shall be as follows:
(1) 
To survey buildings, structures, objects, sites, and districts located within the Borough, and to research and evaluate them for their significance in accordance with the criteria established as set forth in § 35-54A;
[Amended 7-10-2002 by Ord. No. 2002:869]
(2) 
To maintain and expand when appropriate a comprehensive inventory of such buildings, structures, sites, objects and districts which are worthy of designation under the provisions of this article;
(3) 
To propose to the Borough Council those buildings, structures, objects, sites and districts located within the Borough which it has found to be worthy of landmark designation and hence should be subject to provisions of this article. Actual nomination to a finding of eligibility for or listing on the National or State Register of Historic Places is not necessary for the provisions of this article to take effect once a property has been designated as significant by the Commission;
(4) 
To nominate buildings, structures, objects, sites and districts for the inclusion in the National and/or the State of New Jersey Registers of Historic Places;
(5) 
To make recommendations to the Planning Board and Borough Council in the preparation and periodic updating of the Historic Preservation Element of the Master Plan for the Borough, including, but not limited to, the addition or deletion of historic sites and districts identified in the Borough's Master Plan;
(6) 
To make recommendations to the Planning Board and Borough Council on the historic preservation implications of any proposed or adopted zoning or development ordinance(s) or proposed or adopted elements of the Borough's Master Plan;
(7) 
To advise and assist Borough officers, employees, boards, and other bodies, including those at the county, state or federal levels, on all matters which have potential impact on the historic buildings, structures, objects, sites or districts in the Borough or on the physical character and ambience of any portion of the Borough or region;
(8) 
To approve or disapprove applications for certificates of appropriateness and minor applications pursuant to the provisions of this article;
(9) 
To draft and/or recommend to the Borough Council and the Planning Board ordinances or amendments to existing ordinances that would resolve any conflicts which may exist between the design standards of this article and the building or zoning regulations of the Borough;
(10) 
To advise the Borough Council and the Planning Board on the relative merits or proposals involving the use of public funds to restore, preserve and protect historic buildings, structures, objects, and sites, including the preparation of the long-range plan; therefore, to advise the Borough Council and Planning Board on securing state, federal, and/or other grants or assistance in support of such projects; and to monitor such projects once under way;
(11) 
To increase public awareness to the value of historic, architectural, and cultural preservation by developing and participating in public information programs;
(12) 
To cooperate with local, county, state, or national historical societies, governmental bodies, and organizations to maximize the contributions of the Commission in accordance with the intent and purposes of historic preservation;
(13) 
To make information available to residents of historic buildings or districts concerning guidelines for rehabilitations and design criteria for new construction established under this article;
(14) 
To seek any benefits which may be granted under the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, or any other state or federal legislation, including, but not limited to, the benefits which flow to communities under the Certified Local Government Program with regard to training, grant funding, and technical assistance; and, in furtherance thereof, to take any steps necessary to assist the Borough of Closter in the preparation and submission of any documents needed for certification of the Borough as a Certified Local Government under the National Historic Preservation Act.

§ 35-54 Designation of buildings, structures, objects, sites and districts as historic.

A. 
Criteria for designation. The Commission shall consider as worthy of designation those buildings, structures, objects, sites, and districts that have integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and that meet one or more of the following criteria:
(1) 
That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the Borough of Closter by reflecting or exemplifying the broad cultural, political, economic, or social history of the nation, state, or community;
(2) 
That are associated with historic personages important in national, state, or local history;
(3) 
That is the site of an historic event which had a significant effect on the development of the nation, state or community;
(4) 
That embody distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction; that represent the work of a master; that possess high artistic values; or that represent a significant distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction;
(5) 
That are otherwise of particular historic significance to the Borough of Closter by reflecting or exemplifying the broad cultural, political, economic or social history of the nation, state, or community.
B. 
Procedures for designation. Proposals to designate a property as historic pursuant to this article may be made by the Borough Council, the Commission, the Planning Board, or by the verified (sworn) application of the owner(s) or authorized agent(s) of the individual property to be designated, or, in the case of a proposed district, by the verified (sworn) application of 10% of the owners of record or persons residing within the district, or by a verified (sworn) application of any organization with a recognized interest in historic preservation, in accordance with the following procedures:
[Amended 7-10-2002 by Ord. No. 2002:869]
(1) 
Nomination proposals. The party proposing property for designation under this section shall prepare and submit to the Commission a nomination report for each proposed property, site, or district. For historic district designations, the report shall include a building-by-building inventory of all properties within the district; photographs of representative properties within the districts; a property map of the district showing boundaries and a physical description and statement of significance for the district. For individual landmark designations, the report shall include one or more photographs; the tax lot and block number of the property as designated on the official Tax Map of the Borough; and a physical description and statement of significance and proposed utilization of the site.
(2) 
Moratorium on applications for alteration or demolition during pendency of designation action. No applications for a permit to construct, alter or demolish any structure or any feature of a proposed landmark or property located within a proposed landmark district, filed subsequent to the date that an application has been filed or a resolution adopted to initiate designation of a proposed landmark or landmark district, shall be approved by the administrative officer or other municipal agency without review by the Commission of such applications and the granting of a C/A. Commission review of such applications shall be conducted as if the property related to such applications had already been designated as a landmark property or district, and thereby are subject to the same criteria, standards, and procedures which govern similar applications concerning properties designated as landmarks or properties within a landmark district. After the expiration of 180 days from the date of the initial filing of the designation proposal with the Commission, the permit application may be approved without Commission review in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Municipal Code of the Borough.
(3) 
Notice. The Commission shall schedule a public hearing on the proposed designation of a landmark or landmark district at least 20 days prior to the hearing and the Commission shall, by personal service or by certified mail:
(a) 
Notify the owner(s) of record of a property that has been proposed for designation, or of a property within a district that has been proposed for designation, that the property is being considered for such designation and the reason therefor;
(b) 
Advise the owner(s) of record of the significance and consequences of such designation and the rights of the owner(s) of record to contest such designation under the provisions of this article;
(c) 
Notify the owner(s) of record of the date, time, and location of the hearing concerning the proposed designation of the property; and
(d) 
Serve any notices further required under the provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law.
(4) 
Public notice of hearing. Public notice of hearing shall be given at least 20 days prior to the hearing by publication in the official newspaper of the Borough. A copy of the nomination report shall also be made available for public inspection in the Borough Clerk's office at least 20 days prior to the hearing.
(5) 
Hearing. At a public hearing scheduled in accordance with this article, the Commission shall review the nomination report and accompanying documents. Interested persons shall be entitled to comment on the proposed nominations for designation. Those persons who intend to file a formal protest against a proposed designation under § 35-54B(6) of this article must submit their protest in writing to the Commission in accordance with the provisions of that section of this article.
[Amended 7-10-2002 by Ord. No. 2002:869]
(6) 
Protests. Protests against landmark designation signed by the owner(s) of record of a proposed landmark may be filed with the Commission 10 days prior to the scheduled hearing date of the proposed designation before the Commission.
[Amended 2-14-2007 by Ord. No. 2007:980]
(7) 
Commission report. Upon Commission review and public hearing, the Commission shall forward the Borough Council its report which shall contain a statement of its recommendations and the reasons therefor with regard to proposed designations considered at the hearing, including a list and map of properties approved for designation.
(8) 
Referral to the Planning Board. The Borough Council shall refer the report to the Planning Board, which in turn shall report to the Borough Council as soon as possible but within 60 days. Failure of the Planning Board to transmit its report within the sixty-day period provided herein shall relieve the Borough Council of its obligations relating to the referral of such a report to the Planning Board. Borough Council action on a landmark or landmark district designations shall be otherwise subject to those procedures and statutes that apply to a change of a zoning designation and the adoption, revision, or amendment of any development regulation.
(9) 
Final designation. As soon as possible after its receipt of the report of the Planning Board or the expiration of the period allowed for the Planning Board comment on designations pursuant to this article, the Borough Council shall act upon the proposed designation list and map, and may approve, reject, or modify by ordinance any designation recommendations made by the Planning Board. In the event that the Borough Council votes to reject or modify any Planning Board recommendations for a proposed designation, the Borough Council shall record in its minutes the reasons for not following such recommendation. All action taken by the Borough Council on proposed designations shall become effective upon a favorable vote of a majority of the eligible members of the governing body.
[Amended 2-14-2007 by Ord. No. 2007:980]
(10) 
Public notice of designation. Notice of designation shall be made public by publication in the official newspaper of the Borough and by distribution to the municipal agencies reviewing development applications and permits. A certificate or letter of designation shall be sent to the owner(s) of record.
(11) 
Incorporation of designated landmarks into Borough records. Upon adoption, the designation list and map shall be incorporated by reference into the Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance of the Borough as required by the provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law. Designated properties shall also be noted as such on the records for those properties maintained by the offices of the Borough Tax Assessor and the Borough Clerk.
(12) 
Amendments. Landmark and landmark district designations may be amended in the same manner as they were adopted in accordance with the provisions of this article.
(13) 
A property that has been designated as historic pursuant to this section of the Code is subject to the zoning requirements outlined in Chapter 200, Limiting Schedule A.[1]
[Added 12-12-2012 by Ord. No. 2012:1136]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said schedule is included at the end of Chapter 200, Zoning.

§ 35-55 Review of applications; informal review of concept plans.

A. 
Actions requiring review.
(1) 
All permits and development applications involving the development activities that affect a historic landmark or an improvement within a historic district shall be reviewed by the Commission. Such review shall be required for the following actions:
(a) 
Demolition of a historic landmark or an improvement within a historic district.
(b) 
Relocation of any structure within a historic district or of any historic landmark.
(c) 
All changes in the exterior architectural appearance of any improvement within a historic district or of any historic landmark in the public view as defined in this section of the Code by addition, alteration, or replacement.
[Amended 6-22-2011 by Ord. No. 2011:1097]
(d) 
Any new construction of an improvement in a historic district.
(e) 
Site plans or subdivisions affecting a historic landmark or an improvement within a historic district.
(f) 
Zoning variances affecting a historic landmark or an improvement within a historic district.
(g) 
New paint applied to historically unpainted exterior surfaces.
[Added 2-14-2007 by Ord. No. 2007:980]
(2) 
Within 60 days of receiving an application for review, the Commission shall submit in writing to the Planning Board its recommendation with respect to the application. The report shall include findings and conclusions which are based on evidence in the record. Final determination of the appropriateness of the application shall be made by the Commission, which decision shall be binding on the administrative officer.
B. 
Actions not requiring review.
(1) 
When a historic landmark requires immediate emergency repair to preserve the continued habitability of the landmark and/or health and safety of its occupants or others. Emergency repairs shall be performed only in accordance with the following procedure:
[Amended 7-10-2002 by Ord. No. 2002:869]
(a) 
When, a historic landmark or key or contributing historic district resource requires immediate repair to preserve its continued habitability and/or the health and safety of its occupants or others, emergency repairs may be performed in accordance with the applicable construction codes immediately upon approval of the Construction Official, who shall certify that a bona fide emergency of the type described herein exists, without first obtaining a certificate of appropriateness from the Commission. Under such circumstances, the repairs performed shall be only such as are necessary to preserve the continued habitability of the building or structure and/or health and safety of its occupants or others. Where feasible, temporary measures to prevent further damage shall be used, provided these measures are reversible without damage to the building or structure.
(b) 
Simultaneously with the commencement of the emergency work, the property owner shall make a request for a certificate of appropriateness from the Commission memorializing the approval of said emergency work. This request shall be made pursuant to the procedures set forth in this article.
(c) 
It should be noted that the procedures outlined in this section should be strictly limited to those circumstances which, in the opinion of the Construction Official, rise to the level of a bona fide emergency of the type referenced above. No work in addition to the emergency repairs shall be performed until an appropriate request for approval has been granted by the Construction Official and the Commission.
(2) 
Changes to the interior of structures.
(3) 
For ordinary repairs and maintenance which do not constitute a change to the appearance to the structure. The following are the only activities which do not require Commission review according to this criteria:
(a) 
Repair of existing windows and doors using the same material. Installation of storm windows that are compatible with the architectural period or design of the subject structure.
(b) 
Maintenance and repair of existing roof material, involving no change in the design, scale, material, or appearance of the structure.
(c) 
Repair of existing roof structures such as dormers and chimneys using the same materials which will not alter the exterior architectural appearance of the structure.
(d) 
Replacement in kind of existing shingles, clapboards, or other siding maintaining the architectural integrity of the structure.
(e) 
Maintenance and repair of existing shingles, clapboards or other siding using the same materials that are being repaired or maintained.
(f) 
Repairs to existing signs, shutters, outdoor displays, fences, hedges, street furniture, awnings, off-street driveway and parking material and sidewalks using the same material for those items noted above being repaired.
(g) 
New paint applied to historically painted exterior surfaces.
[Added 2-14-2007 by Ord. No. 2007:980]
C. 
Informal review of concept plan for proposed undertakings. At the request of the applicants considering action that may require Commission review, the Commission shall grant an informal review of a concept plan for the proposed undertaking. Neither the applicant not the Commission shall be bound by any informal review.

§ 35-56 Standards for review.

A. 
General criteria for review. In reviewing an application for its effect on a landmark or a building, structure, or site located within the landmark district, the following criteria shall be used by the Commission, the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Borough Council and all other officials and agencies of the Borough responsible for the administration of this article. The criteria set forth in this subsection relate to all projects affecting landmarks and any buildings, structures, objects, and sites located within landmark districts; and, with regard to such proposed projects, the following factors shall be considered:
(1) 
The impact of the proposed change on the historic, architectural, and/or cultural significance of the landmark or landmark district;
(2) 
The importance of the landmark or the building, structure, object, or site to the nation, state, region, or municipality, and the extent to which its historic or architectural interest would be adversely affected to the detriment of public interest;
(3) 
The use of any landmark or landmark district involved in the proposed change;
(4) 
The extent to which the proposed action would adversely affect the public's view from the street of a landmark, building, structure, object, or site located within a landmark district;
(5) 
The impact that the proposed change would have on the architectural or historic significance of the landmark or landmark district and the visual compatibility of the proposed change with adjacent buildings, structures, objects and sites in accordance with the requirements for design compatibility set forth herein.
B. 
Rehabilitation of existing buildings, structures, objects, and sites. In reviewing any application, the Commission shall make its recommendation as to whether any application should be approved, approved with conditions, or denied on the basis of the purposes and the provisions of this article and the following standards for review, which are identical to the Secretary of the Interior's "Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings" as hereafter may be amended:
[Amended 2-14-2007 by Ord. No. 2007:980]
(1) 
Every reasonable effort shall be made to provide a compatible use for a property which requires minimal alteration of the building, structure, object, or site and its environment, or to use a property for its originally intended purpose.
(2) 
The distinguishing original qualities or character of a building, structure, or site and its environment shall not be destroyed. The removal or alteration of any historic material or distinctive architectural features should be avoided when possible.
(3) 
All buildings, structures, objects and sites shall be recognized as products of their own time. Alterations that have no historical basis and which seek to create an earlier appearance shall be discouraged.
(4) 
Changes which may have taken place in the course of time are evidence of the history and development of a building, structure, object, or site and its environment. These changes may have acquired significance in their own right, and this significance shall be recognized and respected.
(5) 
Distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craftsmanship which characterize a building, structure, object or site shall be treated with sensitivity.
(6) 
Deteriorated architectural features shall be repaired rather than replaced, whenever possible. In the event replacement is necessary, the new material should match the material being replaced in composition, design, color, texture, and other visual qualities. Repair or replacement of missing architectural features should be based on accurate duplication of features, substantiated by historic, physical, or pictorial evidence rather than on conjectural designs or the availability of different architectural elements from other buildings or structures.
(7) 
The surface cleaning of structures shall be undertaken with the gentlest means possible. Sandblasting and other cleaning methods that will damage the historic building materials shall not be undertaken.
(8) 
Every reasonable effort shall be made to protect and preserve archeological resources affected by or adjacent to any project.
(9) 
Contemporary design for alterations and additions to existing properties shall not be discouraged when such alterations and additions do not destroy significant historical, architectural or cultural material, and such design is compatible with the size, scale, color, material, and character of the property, neighborhood or environment.
(10) 
Whenever possible, new additions or alterations to structures shall be done in such a manner that if such additions or alterations were to be removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the structure would be unimpaired.
C. 
Design criteria-new construction.
(1) 
In assessing the design of any proposed addition or new construction, the Commission shall consider the following design criteria in conjunction with the standards of rehabilitation and review criteria set forth above. These design criteria shall be used to analyze the appropriateness of new construction in the form of additions and alterations to the landmarks or new construction, additions, or alterations to buildings, structures, objects, or sites located within landmark districts.
(a) 
Height. The height of the proposed structure shall be visually compatible with adjacent buildings.
(b) 
Proportion of facade. The relationship of the width of the building to the height of the front elevation shall be visually compatible with buildings and places to which it is visually related.
(c) 
Proportion of the openings. The relationship of the width of windows to the height of windows in a building shall be visually compatible with buildings and places to which it is visually related.
(d) 
Rhythm of solids. The relationship of solids to voids in the facade of a building shall be visually compatible with buildings and places to which it is visually related.
(e) 
Rhythm of spacing. The relationship of the building to the open space between it and adjoining buildings shall be visually compatible with buildings and places to which it is visually related.
(f) 
Rhythm of entrances. The relationship of entrances and porches to the street shall be visually compatible to buildings and places to which it is visually related.
(g) 
Relationship of materials. The relationship of materials, texture, and tone to the facade and roof of a building shall be visually compatible with the predominant materials used in buildings to which it is visually related.
(h) 
Roof. The roof shape of a building shall be visually compatible with buildings to which it is visually related.
(i) 
Continuity of walls. Walls and open fencing shall maintain visual compatibility with buildings and places to which it is visually related.
(j) 
Scale. The size of a building mass in relation to open spaces, window and door openings, porches and balconies shall be visually compatible with buildings and places to which it is visually related.
(k) 
Exterior features. A structure's related exterior features, such as lighting, fences, sidewalks, driveways and parking areas, shall be compatible with the features of those structures to which it is visually related and shall be appropriate for the historic period for which the structure is significant. New signage shall also abide by any supplemental historic design or graphic standards that may be developed by the Commission for the district.
(2) 
It is not the intent of this article to discourage contemporary architectural expression or to encourage new construction which emulates existing buildings or historical architectural interest or of a certain period architectural style, but rather to preserve the integrity and authenticity of a historic preservation district and to ensure the compatibility of new structures therein.
D. 
Review criteria for demolition. With regard to applications to demolish a landmark or any building, structure, object or site located within a landmark district, the following matters shall be considered:
(1) 
Its historical, architectural, cultural, and aesthetic significance in relation to the criteria set forth in this article.
(2) 
Its use, its intended use, and/or the use for which the buildings, structure, object, or site was originally designed and the feasibility of the continuation of its designed use.
(3) 
Its importance to the Borough and the extent to which its historical or architectural value is such that its removal would be detrimental to the landmark district and/or to the public interest.
(4) 
The extent to which it is of such old, unusual, or uncommon design, craftsmanship, texture, or material that it could not be reproduced or could be reproduced only with great difficulty.
(5) 
The extent to which its retention would promote business, create new positions, attract tourists, students, writers, historians, artists, or artisans, encourage study and interest in American history, stimulate interest and study in architecture and design, educate citizens in American culture and heritage or make the Borough a more attractive and desirable place in which to live.
(6) 
The probable impact of its removal upon the ambience of the landmark district.
(7) 
The structural soundness and integrity of the building, structure, object, or site and the economic feasibility for its restoration or rehabilitation so as to allow for its reasonable use.
(8) 
The threat to the public health and safety as a result of deterioration or disrepair of the building, structure, object, or site.
(9) 
The technological feasibility of structural rehabilitation.
(10) 
The interference with the charitable purposes of any nonprofit or charitable organization if demolition is not permitted.
E. 
Criteria regarding the relocation of historic buildings or structures. The following factors shall be considered with regard to an application to move to a new location or site any landmark or any building, structure, or object located within a landmark district:
(1) 
The impact of the loss of integrity suffered as a result of the removal from the original and/or historic location; and, if located within a historic district, the impact of that loss integrity upon the district as a whole.
(2) 
The reasons for not retaining the landmark or structure at its present site.
(3) 
The compatibility, nature, and character of the areas adjacent to both the present site and the proposed site as they relate to the protection of historic properties and districts as regulated by this article.
(4) 
In the event that a proposed new location is in a historic district, the impact on the visual compatibility of adjacent buildings, structures, objects or sites as set forth herein.
(5) 
The likelihood of significant damage to the physical integrity of the building, structure or object itself.

§ 35-57 Certificates of appropriateness.

A. 
When required. A certificate of appropriateness issued by the Commission shall be required before a permit is issued or before work can commence for any of the following activities within a historic district(s) or on a historic site designated on a zoning map:
(1) 
Demolition of any building, improvement, site, place, or structure.
(2) 
Change in the exterior appearance of any building, improvement, site, place or structure by addition, reconstruction, alteration or maintenance. Exterior change for all primary and accessory buildings shall include special consideration of character-defining features visible from the public right-of-way.
(3) 
Relocation of a principal or accessory building or structure.
(4) 
Any addition to or new construction of a principal or accessory building or structure.
B. 
When not required.
(1) 
A certificate of appropriateness shall not be required before a permit is issued by the Construction Code Official for changes to the interior of structure or which strictly meet the standards for ordinary maintenance and repair as defined in this article.
(2) 
The Construction Official shall review all permit applications to determine if the application proposes work which constitutes ordinary maintenance or repair as defined in this article. The Construction Official may issue a permit if he/she finds that the work strictly meets the standards for ordinary maintenance and repair as defined in this article. The Construction Official shall refer the application to the Historic Preservation Commission if he finds that the proposed work does not meet the standards for ordinary maintenance and repair.
C. 
Application procedures.
(1) 
The administrative officer shall refer all applications for permits pertaining to regulated activities involving landmarks or any buildings, structures, objects, and sites located within landmark districts to the Commission for a written report on the application of the Zoning Ordinance provisions concerning historic preservation to any of those aspects of the changes proposed which were not determined by approval of an application for development by a municipal agency pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law. A certificate of appropriateness (hereinafter "C/A"), issued by the Commission in accordance with the procedures of this article, is required prior to the commencement of any activities involving landmarks or properties within landmark districts which are governed by the provisions of this article.
(2) 
Applications shall be made on forms available in the office of the administrative officer in the Closter Borough Hall. Completed applications shall be delivered or mailed to the administrative officer at the Closter Borough Hall or may be submitted directly to the Commission for review and approval.
(3) 
Upon receipt of an application for a C/A, the Commission shall schedule a hearing for the purpose of reviewing said application and shall advise the applicant(s) in writing of the time, date, and place of said hearing.
(4) 
Applications shall include a completed application form which contains a precise written description of the proposed work or activity and any of the following as may be required by the Commission:
(a) 
Photographs of the existing structure or lot;
(b) 
Scaled drawings showing site plan layout, facade elevations, and specifications for materials;
(c) 
For new construction applications, a streetscape elevation drawn to scale, showing the new structure in the context of neighboring buildings, structures and sites;
(d) 
For large projects, working drawings;
(e) 
The Commission may require the submission of additional information reasonably necessary to reach an informed decision on the application.
D. 
Commission review of applications for permits (N.J.S.A. 40:50D-111).
(1) 
The Commission shall review applications for a C/A at a public hearing. The applicant(s) shall not be required to appear or to be represented at any meeting of the Commission at which the Commission will consider his or her (their) application for a C/A, regardless of the ultimate findings and a report of the Commission.
(2) 
As soon as practicable but no later than 45 days after the administrative officer has referred the application to the Commission, the Commission shall return to the administrative officer its written report recommending granting or denying the application, which report may be stated in resolution form. The Commission shall file a second report with the Planning Board within 10 days of the Commission's decision on the application.
(3) 
Appeals from determinations of the Construction Official pursuant to referral to the Historic Preservation Commission may be made by the applicant to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, according to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70a. Nothing herein shall be deemed to limit the right of judicial review of the action after an appeal is concluded by the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The appellant shall pay all costs for copies of any transcript(s) required for appeal.
(4) 
The owner shall post the certificate of appropriateness on a conspicuous spot on the site visible to the public during the entire process of work.
(5) 
Issuance of an approval of a permit shall be deemed to be final approval pursuant to this article. Such approval shall neither cause nor prevent the filing of any collateral application. The denial of a permit shall be deemed to preclude the applicant from undertaking the activity applied for.
(6) 
When a C/A has been issued, the administrative officer or his appointee shall, from time to time, inspect the work approved by such certificate and shall regularly report to the Commission the results of such inspections, listing all work inspected and reporting any work not in accordance with such certificate.
(7) 
Except as hereafter provided, a C/A shall be valid for a period of two years from date of issue unless reasonable extensions are requested by the applicant or the Commission. In cases where demolition is permitted, the C/A shall be valid for one year from the date of the Historic Preservation Commission approval of the application. The one-year period shall not be extended.
E. 
Minor applications. The Chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission, or a committee of Commissioners appointed by him/her and acting on his/her behalf, may review applications for minor work, without holding a public hearing. If the Chairman finds the application appropriate, he/she may act in place of the full Commission and issue a certificate for minor work to the Construction Official, who may then issue a building permit. If the Chairman does not find the application appropriate, the application should be scheduled for a public hearing before the full Commission.
[Amended 7-10-2002 by Ord. No. 2002:869]
F. 
Assignment. No assignment of the rights granted by a certificate of appropriateness shall be permitted.

§ 35-58 Development in historic zoning districts or sites; informational copies of applications from Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment. (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-110)

The Planning Board and Board of Adjustment shall refer to the Commission every application submitted to either Board for development in historic zoning districts or on historic sites designated on the Zoning or Official Map, or identified in any component element of the Master Plan. The referral shall be made when the application for development is deemed complete or is scheduled for a hearing, whichever occurs sooner. Failure to refer the application as required shall not invalidate any hearing or proceeding. The Commission may provide its advice, which shall be conveyed through its delegated members or staff, who shall testify orally at the hearing and explain any written report which may have been submitted by the Commission regarding the application. The Commission shall make available to the applicant a copy of its written report concerning said application for development.

§ 35-59 Violations and penalties; enforcement.

A. 
Violations defined. Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to the penalties herein. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues. Any person who shall undertake an activity without approvals required by this article shall be deemed to be in violation hereof.
B. 
Notice of violations. Upon learning of the violation, the administrative officer shall personally serve upon the owner of the property whereon the violation is occurring a notice describing the violation in detail and giving the owner 10 days to abate the violation by restoring the building, structure, or site to its condition prior to the violation. If the owner cannot personally be served within the Borough with said notice, a copy shall be posted on the property and a copy shall be sent to the owner at his or her last known address.
C. 
Injunctive relief. In the event that the violation is not abated within 10 days of service or posting on site, whichever is earlier, the administrative office shall cause to be instituted any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent such unlawful activity, to restrain, correct, or abate such violation, to prevent the occupancy of said building, structure, or site, or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business, or use in or about such premises as follows:
(1) 
If any person shall undertake any activity requiring permit and report of the Commission without first having obtained approval, he or she shall be required to immediately stop the activity, apply for approval, and take any necessary measures to preserve the affected premises pending such approval. If the work is denied, he or she shall immediately restore the building, structure, object, or site to its condition prior to any such activity. The administrative officer is hereby authorized to seek injunctive relief regarding a stop action or restoration in the Superior Court not less than 10 days after the delivery of notice pursuant to Subsection B hereof.
(2) 
In the event of the threat of imminent action for which the necessary approvals have not been granted, and which action would permanently and adversely change a landmark or any building, structure, object, or site located within a landmark district, the administrative office is empowered to apply to the Superior Court of New Jersey for injunctive relief as is necessary to prevent such actions.
D. 
Penalties. In addition to the remedies provided above, a person convicted of a violation of this article before a court of competent jurisdiction shall be subject to penalties as follows:
(1) 
For each day up to 10 days, not more than $100 per day.
(2) 
For each day between 11 days and 25 days, not more than $250 per day.
(3) 
For each day beyond 25 days, not more than $500 per day.
(4) 
For each day beyond 25 days, a jail term, not to exceed 90 days may be imposed.

§ 35-60 Preventative maintenance; violations.

A. 
Priority. Recognizing the need for preventive maintenance to insure the continued useful life of historic buildings, structures, objects, and sites, the Borough Council hereby declares that code enforcement for such designated properties is a high municipal priority.
B. 
Notice of violation. In the event that any landmark or any building, structure, object, or site located within a landmark district deteriorates to the point that, in the best estimate of the administrative officer, the cost of correcting the outstanding code violations equals more than 10% of the cost of replacing the entire building, structure, object, or site on which the violation occurs, the administrative officer shall serve personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, a notice on the owner of the property listing the violations, the estimate for their abatement, and the replacement costs of the improvements, and stating that if the owner does not take all necessary remedial action within 60 days, or such extensions as the administrative officer shall grant for good cause, the Borough of Closter's designated official may, at the expiration of said 60 days, enter upon the property and abate such violations and cause the cost thereof become a lien on the property.
C. 
Hearing. Upon receipt of such notice, the owner may, within 20 days after such receipt, notify the administrative officer of his or her intentions to have a hearing as to the allegations and estimates set forth in the notice. Such a hearing shall be conducted by the Commission and shall, so far as possible, be a formal adversary proceeding in which the administrative officer shall establish matters alleged in the notice by the preponderance of the evidence. If a hearing is requested, the administrative officer will, within 10 days following the hearing, serve on the owner an opinion in writing setting forth his or her conclusions and the reasons therefor.
D. 
Action without a hearing. If the owner does not request a hearing, the findings of the Administrative Officer set forth in the notice issued in § 35-59B shall be binding, and the administrative officer may take such necessary action as granted by the provisions of this article.
E. 
Right of abatement. If the owner does not comply with the findings of the administrative officer, the administrative officer may enter onto the premises and, by use of municipal labor or outside contractors, or both, perform such work as is necessary to abate all violations.
F. 
Costs. The administrative officer shall then certify to the Borough Council the cost of such work performed, plus all administrative, clerical and legal costs and overhead attributable thereto and shall present the same to the Borough Council.
G. 
Lien. The Borough Council may, by resolution, vote to cause the sum so certified to become a lien upon the property, payable with the next quarter's property taxes, and, if not then paid, bearing interest at the same rate as delinquent taxes.

§ 35-61 Municipal responsibility.

It shall be the duty of all municipal officials of the Borough of Closter reviewing all permit applications involving any real property or improvements thereon to determine whether such application involved any activity which should also be the subject of an application for a permit, and if it should be, to inform the Secretary of the Commission, the administrative officer, and the applicant of the same.