Bridgewater Township Municipal Building 100 Commons Way, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 (908) 725-6300 Monday- Thursday: 9 AM - 5 PM Fridays: 8 AM - 5 PM

Zoning Department

The Zoning Enforcement Office is located in the lower level of the municipal building. The office hours are from 9AM – 5 PM. The office reviews construction application permits. It also issues utility shed (100 square feet or less) permits along with patio, fence, and gazebo permits. Questions regarding construction of additions, decks, and driveways should be referred to zoning, as well as questions on snow removal from sidewalks.

Property owners and tenants are responsible for clearing snow and ice from sidewalks. Snow may not be moved to a cleared public roadway due to public safety concerns. Please refer to Chapter 182, SNOW AND ICE REMOVAL of the municipal code for more information.

The zoning officer conducts field investigations. Land use and ordinance violations are two of the areas routinely brought to his attention. Complaints often include inoperable or unregistered vehicles. Complaints made by residents are recorded and investigated. Occasionally, summonses are issued and the offenders are required to appear in court.

Attention: All Real Estate Agents – under our ordinance, “For Sale” signs are limited to the listed property only. Any “Open House” or directional signs off the property are allowed for the day of the open house only.

All Planning and Board of Adjustment application questions are referred to the planning office.

Zuzana Karas, Zoning Officer can be reached at (908) 725-6300 ext. 5541, or by email at zkaras@bridgewaternj.gov

 

HOME OCCUPATIONS
Chapter 126-368 to view the ordinance on Home Occupations.

 

FENCE GUIDELINES

All fences require a Zoning Permit issued at the zoning office. Permit requires a survey showing the fence location and a picture or specifications of the style of fence. An inspection of the completed fence is only made if a complaint is made with the zoning office. The permit is free. Maximum fine for erecting a fence without a permit may be $1,000.00.

A fence is a structure. It cannot be over six feet in height. Either side of the fence can face either direction. When allowed along a property line it can be placed right along the line. No part of the fence, hole, or concrete may be over the line. Any fence placement that may violate a property line becomes a civil issue and the township does not arbitrate any dispute. Any fence placed along a wall along a property line cannot be higher then six feet on both sides measured at ground level.

Any landscaping along any property line may augment privacy with no regulation.

Solid and Open Fence:

All fences must be installed a minimum of six (6) inches set back from the property line and shall comply with the following:

  • No portion of the fence, including face, footing, foundation, or posts, shall be installed over the property line, or into the road right of way.
  • No fence shall interfere with sight distance along any portion of the road right of way or access easement.
  • No fence is permitted within an existing sight triangle.
  • No fence may encroach onto a public utility easement or public access easement without the written permission of the Township Engineer and a written agreement between the property owner and Township that is to remain in perpetuity for the life of the fence, and must be recorded in the Somerset County Clerk’s Office.  At a minimum, a gate shall be required on one (1) side of the easement for access.
  • No fence shall encroach onto a conservation easement.

Height of a fence shall be as follows:

  • The maximum height of a fence is six (6) feet along the rear property line.
  • The maximum height of a fence is six (6) feet along the side property line if the fence terminates no less than three (3) feet behind the front of the principal building, excluding such projections as porches, steps, bay and bow windows, patios and similar projections.
  • The maximum six (6) feet height may be continued from the side property line to the principal building as long as it is no less than three (3) feet behind the front of the principal building.

In all other areas of a lot, the maximum height of a fence is 48 inches and shall contain gaps of at least 50% of the width of the solid vertical portion staggered in a manner similar to a picket fence.

Fences used to enclose non-residential electrical supply stations and mechanical facilities having energized electrical conductors or equipment shall be a maximum of eight (8) feet in height and shall be effectively grounded.       

Fences that are constructed on top of or in association with a retaining wall shall be limited to four (4) feet in height and shall comply with all other applicable provisions of this Chapter.

Measurement of the height of a fence shall be as follows: 

The height of a fence shall be measured from the lowest surface of the ground to the highest point of the fence throughout its entire length.

For a fence placed on top of a retaining wall, the combined structure shall be measured from the bottom elevation of the retaining wall to the highest point of the fence.

Section 196-3, DESIGN STANDARDS

Design Standards for fencing shall be as follows:

  • The finished face of the fence must face the abutting property, except:
    • Where the fence encloses an outdoor recreational facility.
    • Where the fence is in a residential zone and where the fence abuts a commercial or industrial property.
  • Fence posts may be six inches higher than the fence.
  • Fence installation shall not adversely affect drainage.
  • Fence shall be constructed out of material customarily used for fence construction.
  • Fences or barriers surrounding swimming pools shall be consistent with the currently adopted Building Codes in the State of New Jersey.

SHEDS – GAZEBOS

All sheds require a permit.  Application must include a survey locating the shed and a picture with specification sheet of the shed.  The Zoning Permit is free.

Sheds and Gazebos200 SF or less (Zoning Permit only)

  1. Height maximum of 10-feet as measured from grade to the peak at each corner of the structure including any base or platform area.
  2. R-20.1, R-10.1, R-10, R-10A, R-10B minimum distance to property line is three (3) feet.
  3. All other zones the minimum distance to side and rear property lines is 10-feet.
  4. Follow manufacturer’s guidelines for footing or foundation requirements.
  5. Cannot be placed in front yard.
  6. Height over 10-feet, accessory structure setbacks for each zone applies and requires a UCC Building Permit.

Sheds and Gazebosover 200-sf requires a Zoning Permit and UCC Building Permit.

  1. This is an accessory structure (maximum of two (2) per lot).
  2. Requires a standard UCC Building Permit.
  3. Locate on your survey within setback for that zone.
  4. Taxed
  5. Maximum height at peak is 16-feet. Height is measured as an average of the four corners at finished grade to the peak.
  6. No utilities allowed without proper UCC Building Permit.

PATIOS & RETAINING WALLS

            Patio permits require a survey locating the patio and showing the area in square feet.  That area is subject to the total improved lot coverage according to the Zoning Chart for that zone.  Patios cannot be closer than five (5) feet to side and rear property lines.

            Landscape Retaining Walls require a Zoning Permit.  The height of the wall is the distance it must stay from a property line.  An example is a two-foot wall must remain a minimum of two feet from property line.  The application requires the wall must be located on a survey.

            Patios and retaining walls that are part of a Building Permit like for a pool, do not require a separate Zoning Permit.  Retaining walls over four (4) feet require a UCC building permit.  The Code Enforcement Office inspects them.

Bridgewater Township Municipal Building 100 Commons Way, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 (908) 725-6300 Monday- Thursday: 9 AM - 5 PM Fridays: 8 AM - 5 PM


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