The City of Northfield, by Ordinance, has established a combined Planning and Zoning Board of Adjustment. The Board's decisions are governed by The Land Use and Development Ordinance and a Master Plan has been adopted. The Board has power to grant variances after hearing testimony from applicants for development or use changes and can decide whether or not to grant approval or disapproval.
The Planning Board consists of the Mayor, an elected official of City Council and an Official of the City. There are six Board members who are appointed by the Mayor and who serve four year terms. There can be up to four alternates also appointed by the Mayor who serve two year terms.
According to "Planning and Zoning in New Jersey", Planning Boards are necessary because governments must plan not just for today, but for the future. Planning is required by law and also can involve the local citizens in obtaining the type of community they want.
Residents and businesses seeking a variance or approval are recommended to first seek the advice of a lawyer, architect and/or professional planner licensed in the state of New Jersey.
The next step is to contact the Northfield Building Department and request a permit for construction or for a certain use that is not permitted in the zone.
If denied a permit, the applicant should download and complete the Planning Board Application to appear before the Board. A list of the types of variances can be found on the Planning Board Fee Schedule (PDF).
The Planning Board Planning Board Application is a step-by step process that needs to be followed explicitly and is clearly outlined in the application.
Coming soon: A "C" Variance checklist.
The process is:
- Either download or request an Planning Board Application from the Board Secretary in the Tax Office.
- If the property is a business, they need to be represented by a lawyer. Professional plans should be drawn by a planner or architect.
- Three copies of the completed application, plans and fees (fees and escrow check separately) are submitted to the Secretary.
- A confirmation date is mailed to the applicant.
- Packets containing a copy of the application and all plans, elevations and pictures are mailed to all members, the Engineer and the Solicitor on the list at least 10 days before the hearing.
- A list of properties within 200 feet needs to be obtained from the Tax Assessor (fee $10). The applicant is required to notify all property owners by certified mail within 200 feet of the property in question at least 10 days prior to the hearing. Signatures can be obtained along with the mailing of the notice by regular mail.
- An advertisement notifying the public must be placed in The Press of Atlantic City a minimum of 10 days before the hearing.
- A certification of current taxes and sewer needs to be obtained from the Tax Collector.
Once the above is complete, the applicant submits an Affidavit of Service to the Board Secretary as proof that the application is complete.
The next step is the hearing. If approved, the Solicitor has 45 days to prepare the Resolution of Decision.
Questions should be directed to the Secretary of the Board:
City of Northfield
1600 Shore Road
Northfield, NJ 08225
(609) 641-2832, ext. 127
Fax (609) 646-7175
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