There is hereby established pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-69 et seq., in the Township of Cedar Grove, a Zoning Board of Adjustment consisting of seven residents of the Township appointed by the Township Council. No member may hold any elective office or position in the Township except that one member may also be a member of the Planning Board.
There shall be two alternates to serve on the Board, to be designated "Alternate No. 1" and "Alternate No. 2" by the Chairman of the Board.
[Added 10-2-1978 by Ord. No. 78-78]
The term of each member shall be for four years, provided that nothing herein shall be construed to affect the term of any member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment serving as such on the effective date of this chapter, all of whom shall continue in office until the completion of the terms for which they were appointed. The initial terms of the members appointed under this chapter shall be determined so that expiration of their terms shall be distributed evenly over the first four years after their appointment, provided that the initial term of no member shall exceed four years. All terms shall run from July 1 to June 30, except initial terms as hereinbefore provided.
The terms for alternates shall be two years.
[Added 10-2-1978 by Ord. No. 78-78]
Any member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, after a public hearing if he requests one, may be removed by the Township Council for cause.
If a vacancy shall occur otherwise than by expiration of a term, it shall be filled by appointment as above provided for the unexpired term.
No member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be permitted to act on any matter in which he has, either directly or indirectly, any personal or financial interest.
All members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall serve without compensation.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman from its membership and select a Secretary who may or may not be a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment or a Township employee. The Zoning Board of Adjustment may employ or contract for and fix the compensation of legal counsel, other than the Municipal Attorney, and experts and other staff and services as it shall deem necessary, not exceeding, exclusive of gifts or grants, the amount appropriated by the Township Council for its use.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall have the following powers:
To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant that there is error in any order, requirement, decision or refusal made by an administrative officer based on or made in the enforcement of Chapter 268, Zoning.
To hear and decide requests for interpretation of the Zoning Map or Chapter 268, Zoning, or for decisions upon other special questions upon which such Board is authorized to pass by any Zoning or Official Map Ordinance in accordance with the Municipal Land Use Act.
Where, by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness or shape of a specific piece of property or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions or by reason of other extraordinary and exceptional situation or condition of such piece of property, the strict application of any regulation in Chapter 268, Zoning, would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties to or exceptional and undue hardship upon the owner of such property, to grant, upon an application or an appeal relating to such property, a variance from such strict application so as to relieve such difficulties or hardship; provided, however, that no variance shall be granted under this subsection to allow a structure or use in a district restricted against such structure or use, and provided further that the proposed development does not require approval by the Planning Board of subdivision, site plan or conditional use in conjunction with which the Planning Board shall review a request for a variance pursuant to § 38-8A(6) and N.J.S.A. 40:55D-60a.
To grant a variance to allow a structure or use in a district restricted against such structure or use in particular cases and for special reasons, but only by the affirmative vote of at least 2/3 of the full authorized membership of the Board.
No variance or other relief may be granted under the terms of this section unless such variance or other relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the zone plan Chapter 268, Zoning. The Zoning Board of Adjustment may refer any application under this section to any appropriate person or agency, including the Planning Board, for its report. No such reference shall extend the period of time within which the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall act.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall, in addition to the powers specified in § 38-16 of this chapter and subject to the procedures set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-72 to 55D-75 and §§ 38-18 through 20 of this chapter, have power:
To direct issuance of a permit pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-34 for a building or structure in the bed of a mapped street or public drainageway, flood control basin or public area reserved on the Official Map.
To direct issuance of a permit pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-36 for a building or structure not related to a street.
To grant, to the same extent and subject to the same restrictions as the Planning Board, land subdivision or site plan approval in accordance with the Land Subdivision Ordinance or Site Plan Review Ordinance and N.J.S.A. 40:55D-37 et seq. or conditional use approval pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-67 whenever the Board is reviewing an application for approval of a use variance pursuant to § 38-16A(4).
Whenever an application for development requests relief pursuant to Subsection A herein, the Board of Adjustment shall grant or deny approval of the application within 120 days after submission by a developer of a complete application to the administrative officer or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-76c.
An application under this section may be referred to any appropriate person or agency, including the Planning Board, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-26, for its report, provided that such reference shall not extend the period of time within which the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall act.
Appeals to the Board of Adjustment may be taken by any interested party affected by any decision of an administrative officer of the Township based on or made in the enforcement of Chapter 268, Zoning, or Official Map. Such appeal shall be taken within 65 days by filing a notice of appeal with the officer from whom the appeal was taken, together with three copies of said notice with the Planning and Zoning Coordinator. Said notice of appeal shall specify the grounds for said appeal. The officer from whom the appeal is taken shall forthwith transmit to the Board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.
A developer may file an application for development with the Zoning Board of Adjustment for action under any of its powers without prior application to an administrative officer. Applications addressed to the original jurisdiction of the Zoning Board of Adjustment without prior application to an administrative officer shall be filed with the Planning and Zoning Coordinator. Three copies of the application shall be filed. At the time of filing the application the applicant shall also file all plot plans, maps or other papers required by virtue of any provision of this chapter or any rule of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The applicant shall obtain all necessary forms from the Planning and Zoning Coordinator. The Planning and Zoning Coordinator shall inform the applicant of the steps to be taken to initiate proceedings and of the regular meeting dates of the Board.
An appeal to the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action in respect to which the decision appealed from was made, unless the officer from whom the appeal was taken certifies to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, after the notice of appeal shall have been filed with him, that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would, in his opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property. In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by court order pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-75.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall render its decision not later than 120 days after the date an appeal is taken from the decision of an administrative officer or not later than 120 days after the date of the submission of a complete application for development to the Board pursuant to the provisions of § 38-18.
Failure of the Board to render a decision within such one-hundred-twenty-day period or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant shall constitute a decision favorable to the applicant.
In exercising the above-mentioned power of appeal the Zoning Board of Adjustment may reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, or may modify the action, order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination appealed from and to that end have all the powers of the administrative officer from whom the appeal was taken.
[Amended 4-4-1977 by Ord. No. 77-41]
Subject to other provisions of this chapter, all exceptions or variances granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment or Planning Board, pursuant to § 38-16A(3) and (4) hereof, shall expire one year from the date granted unless the applicant secures a building permit and commences necessary construction within that period and shall expire two years after the date granted unless the applicant has completed said construction, alteration or improvement within said two-year period. If the work has not commenced within one year or if all work is not completed within two years, the variance and any permit issued pursuant thereto shall be null and void. Where the applicant fails to complete all necessary work within two years of the grant of the variance, the Zoning Officer shall give the applicant 10 days' notice in writing that he shall enforce the two-year limitation and revoke the applicant's building permit. However, for good cause shown, the Zoning Board of Adjustment or Planning Board, upon written application, may extend the time limitations in this section. Upon failure of the applicant to demonstrate good cause for an extension of the time to complete all necessary work or a finding by the Board that conditions have materially altered or changed since the date the variance was granted, the Board shall declare said variance null and void. Construction is deemed to have commenced when the applicant has performed substantial physical work to commit the land to the improvement or alteration which was the subject of the variance, beyond mere preparatory work, such as surveying or excavation, and has shown an intent to continue the construction.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry into effect the provisions and purposes of this chapter.