Improvements to your home or property may require separate permits from Zoning, Engineering and the Building Departments
The zoning office reviews all applications for compliance with municipal zoning regulations. This process normally takes 10 days.
The zoning ordinances are specific to Berkeley Heights and regulate things such as:
- Maximum building height
- Maximum lot coverage
- Other lot coverage
- Parking requirements
- How much impervious surface is allowable
- Setback requirements.
All proposed signs require a permit from the Zoning office. Zoning also reviews proposed accessory structures such as:
- Retaining walls and driveways
If a project does not comply with regulations, the applicant can either revise the application or seek a variance by applying to the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The Zoning Board of Adjustment is an independent group of citizens and professionals appointed by the Mayor who decide the merits of these appeals based on the authority of New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law.
When an application is approved, it is forwarded to the next department for their review and comments.
Tom Solfaro is the Township’s licensed Professional Engineer/Certified Municipal Engineer.
He is responsible for reviewing and approving grading and drainage plans for proposed projects. Large projects, such as in ground swimming pools, detached garages, and new homes may require soil moving permits. Landscape and retaining walls require review from the Engineer due to grading changes and how they may impact neighboring properties. Engineering approval must be obtained prior to the start of a project
The building department, led by the Construction Official, includes a team of licensed professionals whose function is to enforce the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code. Most construction permit applications are forwarded to the Zoning Office for review and approval prior to any action or review by the Building Department.
Area of Expertise
Each of the inspectors or Sub-Code Officials have their own area of expertise (Plumbing, Electrical, Building, Fire). They review plans and specifications before a project is started and perform periodic pre-determined inspections during the course of construction.
Every project requires permits. The Building Department has 20 business days to review applications, plans and specifications and either approve the project or provide the applicant with comments or questions on those plans before issuing permits.
Permits must be issued by the Zoning Officer for tree removal on private property for trees 8 inches in caliper or greater.
Development (COAH) Fee Ordinance Overview
As per “Article 4.7 - Affordable Housing Development Fees” of the Township Code, which is the Township’s Court approved Affordable Housing Development Fee Ordinance that was adopted on November 6, 2017, a development fee is imposed on residents looking to put additions on their homes, and on developers constructing residential developments. An overview of the collection of affordable housing development fees to be deposited in the Township’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund can be found here.
Sewer Connection Fee Ordinance Overview
As per Article 13.12.275 - Connection fees - of the Township Code, the connection fee for each new direct or indirect connection to the sewerage system shall be $6,335 per EDU. All sewer connection fees must be paid in full prior to the issuance of a construction permit for the premises.