What is a zoning permit?
A zoning permit is an approval issued by the Zoning Officer stating that the purpose for which a building or land is to be used is in conformity with the uses permitted and all other applicable requirements of the Elizabeth Township Zoning Ordinance for the zoning district in which it is to be located.
When is a zoning permit required?
A zoning permit shall be required prior to ( 1) a change in use of land or structure, (2) the erection, construction, improvement or alteration of any structure or any portion of a structure, (3) the alteration or development of any improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations, or (4) the erection or alteration of any signs specified in Section 314.C.2. of the Zoning Ordinance. Zoning permits shall also be required for the construction or installation of animal waste impoundments, lakes, ponds, dams, or other water retention basins.
When is a zoning permit not required?
A zoning permit shall not be required for repairs or maintenance of any structure or land provided such repairs do not change the use or the exterior dimensions of the structure, or otherwise violate the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.
What is a building permit?
A building permit is an approval issued by the Elizabeth Township Building Code Official stating that the construction or modifications to a building or the change in use of a building is in conformity with the specific construction and occupancy criteria stated in the Elizabeth Township Construction Code Ordinance.
When is a building permit required?
A building permit is required for ( 1) the construction of any new principal residential or non-residential building or structure, excluding agricultural buildings as exempted by the Construction Code, (2) additions to any residential or non-residential building or structure, excluding agricultural building additions as exempted by the Code, (3) the construction, erection, or placement of any accessory structure which is equal to or greater than 400 square feet, whether or not such accessory structure is connected to any utility, (4) the construction, erection, or placement of any accessory structure which is less than 400 square feet if such accessory structure is provided with any utility service, or (5) any change in occupancy of a non-residential structure which involves a change in the use classification as defined in the Code.
When is a building permit not required?
A building permit is not required for (1) the replacement of windows and doors when there is no change in the size of the existing opening, (2) the re-roofing of less than 25% of the total existing roof square footage, (3) the replacement of a hot water heater, boiler, or furnace, or the replacement of any part of a hot water heater, boiler or furnace with the same efficiency rating, electrical and plumbing requirements, (4) the addition or replacement of siding on the exterior of the residential structure, (5) the repair or replacement of any nonstructural portion of a deck, porch, or stoop, (6) the replacement of an appliance switch or receptacle with a switch or receptacle which is the same or has a like rating, (7) the addition of one appliance switch or receptacle, (8) the repair or replacement of any nonstructural member, or (9) the repair or replacement of any sink, toilet, tub, shower or similar plumbing fixture without relocation of any drain or venting device.
What is the zoning hearing board?
The Elizabeth Township Zoning Hearing Board is a three (3) member board appointed by the Elizabeth Township Board of Supervisors to hear and decide requests for ( 1) variances from specific provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, (2) approval of a special exception which is a use that is generally compatible with a particular zone once specified criteria have been met, and (3) appealing a determination made by the Zoning Officer. The Zoning Hearing Board does not meet unless an application has been submitted. Meeting dates and times and general procedural information are provided on the Board’s application available elsewhere on this website.
What is a variance?
A variance is a modification or relief from any provision of the Zoning Ordinance, such as a setback variance to allow construction closer to a property line than what would be required by the Zoning Ordinance. It is important that anyone submitting a request for a variance become familiar with the criteria for the receipt of a variance, as the Zoning Hearing Board is not obligated to approve a variance request.
The criteria for the receipt of a variance is cited in Section 604.0. of the Zoning Ordinance, and it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide applicable documentation and testimony at the hearing to support the variance request.
What is a special exception?
A special exception is a use of land permitted within a particular zoning district upon approval by the Zoning Hearing Board that would not be appropriate generally or without restrictions throughout the district, but which, if controlled as to number, area, location, and/or relation to the neighborhood would be a suitable use for the district. The applicant requesting the special exception is responsible for providing testimony at the hearing that would address all applicable general criteria for a special exception and for all applicable specific criteria for the specific land use being sought as stated in the Zoning Ordinance.
There is a junked vehicle on my neighbor’s property. It is unsightly, and can anything be done about that?
The Zoning Ordinance is clear in not allowing a property owner to have such vehicles on a property, and classifies that when there is such a vehicle on a property, a junkyard exists.
This interpretation is based upon the definition of the term “junkyard” in Section 113 of the Zoning Ordinance, which states that “the deposit or storage on a lot (other than in a licensed salvage yard) of one or more unlicensed, wrecked, or disabled vehicles, or the major part thereof, shall be deemed to constitute a ”junk yard.” (A disabled vehicle is a vehicle intended to be self-propelled that shall not be operable under its own power for any reason, or a vehicle that is required to and does not have a valid current registration plate or a certificate of inspection which is more than 60 days beyond the expiration date.) Unlicensed vehicles and equipment routines used in agricultural operations and/or construction operations on the property on which they are parked or stored shall not constitute a “junk yard.”
The Board of Supervisors recognizes that from time-to-time a property owner may be in the process of restoring a vehicle, and until that process is completed, the vehicle may be inoperable or unlicensed. To allow this to occur without the strict enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance, the Board permits a property owner to have an unlicensed/unregistered vehicle for restoration purposes only provided it is completely covered with a suitable tarp.
Other than the above, property owners are encouraged to make certain that all of their vehicles are fully operational with current registration and current inspection. Failure to comply with the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance may result in the issuance of an enforcement notice which would begin a legal process to mandate compliance with the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance and which may lead to fines and penalties if the property owner fails to comply with a time period specified in the enforcement notice.
What is the nuisance ordinance?
A nuisance ordinance can provide Township residents with assurance that specific activities by inconsiderate neighbors that could be deemed as nuisances, would allow corrective action to be taken to eliminate the nuisances. The Elizabeth Township Board of Supervisors adopted its first nuisance in 2008.
The ordinance defines a nuisance as “an inconvenience or troublesome offence that annoys the whole community in general, and not merely some particular person, and produces no greater iT?jury to one person than to another; an act that is against the well-being of the community. ” The ordinance lists specific activities that upon investigation by the Township’s Code Enforcement Officer could be deemed as nuisances. These activities include …
- The storage, accumulation or depositing of any abandoned or junked vehicles or parts thereof.
- The storage, accumulation or depositing of any abandoned or used building materials of any kind.
- The storage, accumulation or depositing of garbage, ashes, rubbish or other refuse matters.
- The storage, accumulation or depositing of any upholstered furniture manufactured primarily for indoor use, including mattresses, outside of a fully enclosed building. This shall include the storage, accumulation or depositing of any upholstered furniture manufactured primarily for indoor use, including mattresses, on an unenclosed porch.
- The maintenance of any dangerous structure, including buildings or parts of buildings in a state of dilapidation or disrepair.
- The growth of grass or weeds in excess of twelve (12) inches in height.
- The filling up or stopping of any Township swale or drainage ditch.
- Any use of land or a structure which is unreasonable or unlawful and causes injury. Damage or substantial discomfort to the residents of the township in the legitimate enjoyment of their reasonable rights.
In addition, the nuisance ordinance addresses barking dogs, stating that “it shall be unlawful for any owner, handler, custodian or keeper to keep or harbor any dog or any other animal maintained as a pet which continuously and habitually barks, howls, yelps, cries or otherwise makes noise in such a manner as to materials disturb or annoy persons in the surrounding neighborhood. ”
When the Code Enforcement Officer determines that any of the above activities or a barking dog is deemed to be a nuisance, he must follow the enforcement procedures outlined in the ordinance. The ordinance also specifies corrective remedies and penalties should the offending resident fail to adequately address and correct the specific nuisance.
Copies of the Nuisance Ordinance are available at the Township office
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.