Master Plan Reexamination Report – Table of Contents
|The Major Problems and Objectives Relating
to Land Development in the Municipality at the
Time of Adoption of the Last Reexamination Report
The Fairfield Township Planning Board initiated the preparation of this report in February, 1996. At that time there
was movement to the consolidation of the Planning and Zoning Boards with much discussion regarding the members who would serve on a combined Board. On November 17, 1997 the Township Committee adopted Resolution 97-189 authorizing the combining of the Planning and Zoning Boards as permitted by Law. On January 05, 1998, the Fairfield Township Combined Planning and Zoning Board held its first meeting.
Since the formal creation of the Fairfield Township Combined Planning and Zoning Board, there has been a
substantial turnover of members. Recognizing this issue, the Combined Board adopted Planning Board Resolution 98-07, which resolution stated that the Board had reviewed and discussed the Master Plan in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Land Use Law and determined that there was no need to prepare a new Master Plan.
Since there was issue as to the validity of this Resolution, the Combined Planning and Zoning Board adopted
Planning Board Resolution 00-08, which again confirmed that the Planning Board had considered whether a new Master Plan should be prepared and determined that the existing Master Plan remained effective with certain changes and modifications. While the many
discussions held by the Planning Board in this regard have not been specifically and substantially documented, it is the purpose of this report to document those discussions for future reference.
With the Board Members and Professionals, the Fairfield township Combined Planning and Zoning Board has regularly
discussed the current Master plan Elements and Developmental Regulations. With the advent of the State Master Plan, CAFRA II, and State Uniform Residential Site Improvements, it has been the recommendation of the Board’s Planner and Engineer that modifications to the current Land Use Element be delayed until the higher regulatory agency laws are enacted in some final fashion. As of this date, the State Master Plan remains in the negotiation phase with substantial objection from the Township concerning the Center Designation limits and areas. The effects of the adoption of the State Master Plan, whether in the form of a guide or regulatory document, are that the ability of Municipality to zone as previously permitted under law will be constricted. This has appeared in the latest regulatory changes of the Coastal Area Facility Review Act and in the application forms utilized for the obtaining of monies under State Grant and Loan Programs.
Scope of Plan & Methodology
The Fairfield Township Combined Planning and Zoning Board in conjunction with its appointed Board Professionals, Howard Melnicove, Esq., Board Solcitor and Uzo Ahiarkwe, P.E., P.P., C.M.E., Board Engineer and Planner.
The Board was provided copies of the February, 1988 Reexamination Report and complete copies of the latest revised Developmental Regulations. Existing Land Use plans were prepared and reviewed. Available to the Board were copies of the various elements of the 1976 and 1977 Master Plan as prepared by the Cumberland County Planning Department. The various published and prepared documents pertaining to this report are either included herein by name or are on file with the Municipal Clerk as reference material.
The Combined Planning and Zoning Board utilized its regularly scheduled Board meeting dates in the discussion and preparation of the information contained herein. All Board meetings are published in conformance with the Local Meetings Act and were open to the Public.
The Combined Planning and Zoning Board was issued an initial conceptual draft of the Report February, 1996 and a subsequent more technical draft in August 2000. Between 1996 and 2000, the Board attempted to discuss the various aspects of the existing zoning regulations during regularly scheduled meetings. Due to the meeting workload and varying membership changes, the Board experienced difficulty in obtaining a unified analysis.
Starting in 2001, the Board initiated a regular discussion of the Reexamination Report and studied in detail the various aspects of the existing zoning regulations. The final draft of this document was presented to the Board on June 2002, at which time the final comments and verbiage was entered into the record. Upon majority vote of the Board Members in attendance at said meeting, the Board Professionals and Secretary were directed to comply with the publication process notification of the pending adoption of this Reexamination Report at the September 02, 2002 Board Meeting. On said date a Public Hearing was held. As there was no Public in attendance, the Board discussed and commented on the Plan; subsequently voting to adopt the Report and forward same to the
This Reexamination Report provides the Fairfield Township Combined Planning and Zoning Board with the legally required statements necessary to comply with Section 40:55D-89 of the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law. This section relates the minimum requirements necessary to meet the Reexamination obligations addressing the analysis of the previous Plan and Report policies and objectives; the extent to which said policies have been met; the significant changes affecting the assumptions of the
policies and objectives; and the specific changes, if any, necessary to the existing Master Plan and/or Developmental Regulations. The sole purpose of this reexamination is to specifically determine whether a new Master Plan Document should be created.
The Board has attempted to research the historical planning files of the Township by analyzing the information contained within the various Municipal Hall Offices and Storage Rooms. It has been determined that prior to the building of the Municipal Hall in 1976, most planning files for the Township were maintained in private residences due to the rural residential character of the Community. Accordingly, the following information was obtained and reviewed by the Board in the preparation of this Report.
Between 1974 and 1977, the Cumberland County Planning Board worked with the Fairfield Township Planning Board to prepare the various elements of a Municipal Master Plan. That collaboration resulted in the creation of three Master Plan Elements; as follows:
Existing Land Use Plan issued in June, 1975
Services and Facilities Plan issued in December, 1976
Future Land Use Plan issued in December, 1976
The Future Land Use Plan, in conjunction with the subdivision and zoning ordinances coordinated all of the elements of the original Master Plan. As stated previously, the original Master Plan consisted of three elements: Land Use, Services and Facilities, and Future Land Use Plans. In 1978, the Township adopted a Zoning Ordinance which conformed to the Land Use Element of the Plan.
A Reexamination Report again prepared with the assistance of the Cumberland County Planning Department was developed
in February, 1988 which revisited the original Master Plan and complied with the requirements of the Municipal Land Use Law in evaluation of the original Master Plan and the findings of that report. No significant changes were proffered by that Report and it was determined that the various elements of the original Master Plan were still effective.
The Future Land Use Plan issued in December, 1976 established a series of long range goals and objectives; as follows:
New development should be encouraged near the two core areas, Fairton and Gouldtown. This will allow for the most economical extension and expansion of community services, streets, and utilities.
Every effort should be made to keep active farmland in production.
Protect stream and tidal marsh vegetation by preventing development in these areas. By preserving buffer zones along streams, the chance of flooding is reduced.
Because woodlands are the main areas of aquifer recharge, they should be protected.
Broaden the Township’s tax base by encouraging the addition of retail service and wholesale businesses, industry, and high density residential use.
Insofar as possible, protect the circulation plan in conjunction with the Subdivision Ordinance when approving new developments. By doing this, land uses will better conform to the functional standards for each type of street and future traffic flow will be facilitated.
Strip development should be forbidden because it disrupts traffic flows, is dangerous and ugly.
Improve and expand community facilities and services to create a desirable environment for industrial, commercial, and residential use.
Encourage neighborhood upkeep and home improvements by enforcing building codes and by taking advantage of Federal low interest home improvement loans whenever they become available.
Encourage policies by the Township that will require new development to bear its share of the cost of public improvements required by the Subdivision Ordinance.
Keep Fairfield on a sound financial status while maintaining high development standards that will guarantee that Fairfield is a desirable place to live and work.
The Reexamination Report prepared in February, 1988 generally stated that the major problems and objectives identified in
the original Master Plan were still valid; namely:
- The Township of Fairfield was predominately a rural agricultural community with residential/commercial concentrations in the two areas of the Townshipreferred to as Fairton and Gouldtown. Fairton lies nearly in the middle of the Township and along the Cohansey River. A small village setting, Fairton is one of the defined commercial centers for the Municipality. Gouldtown is generally a residentially developed center in the most northern part of he Township. Gouldtown is generallyconsidered as existing from Buckshutem Road north to the Upper Deerfield Township Line and from the Bridgeton City Line to approximately Gould Avenue. Much of the commercial development in the Gouldtown Area fronts along State Highway Route 49 and Reeves Road. The western half of the Township from Fairton Center is primarily agriculture and residential/agriculture reducing to tidal marsh areas as one nears the Delaware Bay.
- The major land use problems facing the Township were the preservation and conservation of the vacant environmentally sensitive lands and prime agricultural several residential areas, contamination of drinking water (reference is made to “possible well contamination at Seabrook Farms” (however, this are is not in Fairfield Township)), and possible salt water intrusion into the aquifer were also expressed. A lack of considered paramount.farmland. The additional problems of inadequate septic systems in recreational facilities and economic growth was identified but not
- An additional problem related to the commercial development along Bridgeton-Fairton Road an State Highway Route 49 showing beginnings of undesirable strip of the roads were stated as being in jeopardy. development. The problems of aesthetics and the safety and efficiency
- One of the prime objectives identified, and correspondingly echoed in the 1988 Reexamination Report, was the conservation of the primarily single family residential areas of Fairton and Gouldtown. New development was encouraged near the two areas with the intent that this area would allow for the most economical extension and expansion of community services, streets, and utilities. The encouragement of neighborhood upkeep and home improvements by enforcement of building codes and taking advantage of Federal low interest home improvement loans was stated.
- Another objective was the encouragement of future industrial development which would be fostered through infrastructure improvements to facilitate traffic circulation, rail transport, and utilities. This was coupled with additional objectives to require that new development bear its share of the cost for public improvements required by the Subdivision Ordinance. As an end to this objective was the desire to keep the Township of Fairfield on a sound financial status while maintaining high development standards that will guarantee that Fairfield is a desirable place to live and work.
The 1988 Reexamination Report concluded
that the overall land use policies as set forth in the 1976 Master Plan
were still appropriate and would not change. This statement contained
a caveat in that there existed trends which were not evident in the
THE EXTENT TO WHICH SUCH PROBLEMS
AND OBJECTIVES HAVE BEEN REDUCED OR
INCREASED SUBSEQUENT TO SUCH DATE
As to the problems and objectives related in the February, 1988 Reexamination Report, the following is the extent to
which said problems and objectives have been reduced or increased:
The Township of Fairfield is predominately a rural agricultural community with residential concentrations….The
western half is a tidal marsh area with low developmental potential:
The residential portions of the Township have remained relatively stable with little intrusion of non residential development. Several applications have been made regarding large scale residential development within or adjacent to these communities with
little or no movement toward actual development. More applications have been made and approved for individual residential housing into the Agricultural and Industrial Zones; however, they have been more as infill development rather than as a new development waive.
The increase in State Regulations protecting lands part of and adjacent to environmentally sensitive lands has resulted in a diminished developmental potential for residential housing along these areas. The County Open Space Program has resulted in some investigation as to the purchase of developmental rights to existing farmland. The low residential density potential established
by the current Municipal Zoning Regulations within the Agriculturally Zoned areas limits the value of developmental prices hampering such open space purchases.
Movements toward the establishment of an upgraded school system and the feasibility of new sewer and water facilities to the established residential areas are being made by the Governing Body and School Board. The Township and planning Board are
actively in discussions with the State Planning Commission as to adequate mapping delineations for the preservation fo the existing
residential and Fairton core areas. No final resolution with the State Office of planning has been made at the time of this Report.
The major land use problems….were the preservation and conservation of the vacant environmentally sensitive
lands and prime agricultural farmland.
Preservation of the vacant environmentally sensitive lands has been established through State Regulations of both freshwater and saltwater wetlands. The adoption of CAFRA II and the regulatory establishment of environmentally sensitive land effectuates
a State regulatory zoning and has resulted in restrictive development in a substantial portion of the Township. The reclamation of former farmed lowlands as part of the PSE & G program has actually resulted in additional environmentally beneficial wetland areas.
Active prime agricultural farmland has actually increased due to the commercial viability of growing and cultivating ornamental and landscape plantings. Several former wooded areas within the Agricultural Zoning Districts have been cleared for additional
planting areas. While the zoned agricultural areas do not appear to be under immediate pressure for residential housing, there are active agricultural sites within Industrial Zoned areas which are suspect. While the active farmed portions within this area still remain
commercially viable, there has been sporadic movement within those Industrial Zoned areas for residential development.
The additional problems of inadequate septic systems in several residential areas, contamination of drinking
water and salt water intrusion has also been expressed.
The primary existing residential areas along State Route 49 and near the Fairton Center are aging. Septic systems are being replaced as the infrastructure nears the end of the design life. The Township is actively procuring low interest and grant funds
for the replacement of these systems as funding permits. With the potential of a major school expansion in the vicinity of the existing
school site adjacent to State Route 49, there is consideration of installing sewer lines via an interconnect with the City of Bridgeton
or Cumberland County MUA. While not actively being pursued, potable water could be run from the City of Bridgeton or through new Fairfield Utility Wells with proper State Permitting. The current residential zoning of small lot sizes in some areas can contribute to the potential of well contamination and should be closely reconsidered in the minimum lot area standards for the various residential districts.
A lack of recreational facilities and economic growth was identified but not considered paramount.
The Township maintains a fairly active recreational complex at the Municipal Hall Site. There still remains a deficit of small recreational areas within the outlying established residential areas. Some religious facilities have made application for the construction of community/intramurally related recreational facilities as part of their religious program. The lack of strong
economic growth within the commercial sector and the potential school expansion places a burden on the municipal tax allocations for a formal and coherent recreational program.
The Township Committee has recently offset that scattered recreational deficit through the construction of a basketball/tot lot construction adjacent to Longview Drive. The work was accomplished through a $50,000.00 State Discretionary Grant. The Committee is now studying areas off East AVenue for an additional park area.
The commercial development along Bridgeton-Fairton Road and State Highway Route 49 shows beginning of an
undesirable strip development.
There has been increased commercial development along the State Route 49 corridor within the designated PBI Zoning District, which uses are permitted in the Zoning. Another PBI Zoning District along Route 49 between Gould and East Avenues has seen limited development of a commercial nature. There has been the reactivation of a former commercial site as a change in use in the PBI Zone along Fairton-Bridgeton Road. Within the same zone there has been the establishment of a new commercial business which is currently seeking expansion. The expansion of potential strip development has not actually occurred to the extent as visualized in the 1988 Reexamination.
However, consideration has been given by the Board to potentially encourage commercial development in defined zoning areas and with defined zoning uses. This has been generally restricted to areas intended to be incorporated into centers designations under the State Master Plan. By providing commercial areas along existing collector routes, it is possible to eliminate desire to encroach into residential areas and lessen the burden of utilizing agriculturally zoned lands outside of those centers areas.
Conservation of the primarily single family residential areas of Fairton and Gouldtown with new development encouraged near the two areas.
Preservation of the existing residentially developed areas of Fairton and Gouldtown remains a priority through infrastructure improvement and housing rehabilitation. Future encouragement of expansion lies within the regulatory aspects of the State Master Plan and the establishment of center designations. The Township continues to push for the inclusion of these established areas within the center designation areas to assist in obtaining future funding for infrastructure improvements and housing rehabilitation. As the State Master Plan seeks to primarily restrict development in rural agricultural areas, the inclusion of these established areas in such a center designation is essential. Expansion adjacent to these established areas would effectively be non existent should such center lines be set.
Encouragement of future industrial development through infrastructure improvement.
The Township tax base relies substantially upon the single family residential owner as there are limited commercial and industrial operations. As such, the Townships struggles to maintain the existing infrastructure without available funding to expand said infrastructure. The Township has received numerous Transportation and Public Facilities Grants which provide for improvement of it’s existing roadway system to meet current standards for safety. The addition of sidewalk areas along Route 49 and the installation of curb and sidewalk in the current residential areas demands much of the available funding.
With limited monies for the improvement of infrastructure, there is a greater burden placed upon the potential developer of industrial uses adding to the overall cost of development. With the adjacent City of Bridgeton needing to rehabilitate its commercial and industrial areas and being able to provide public water and sewer, there is little desire to develop in areas with high infrastructure costs. Increased regulatory standards applicable to onsite water and sewerage disposal also limits development. Accordingly, it is fair to state that the anticipated industrial development potential will not be realized in accordance with the original Township Master Plan.
The specific changes recommended for the Master
Plan or Developmental Regulations, if any, underlying objectives,
policies and standards, or whether a new plan or regulations should be
THE SPECIFIC CHANGES RECOMMENDED FOR THE MASTER PLAN AND DEVELOPMENTAL REGULATIONS
It is the conclusion of the Fairfield Township combined Planning and Zoning Board that, upon examination of the previous Master Plan, a new Master Plan need not be prepared. This is primarily based on the validity of the basic policies and objectives of the Future Land Use Plan and the developmental patterns which have occurred since the last Mater Plan and Reexamination Reports. This is not to say that the Master Plan should not be amended to include additional planning elements, as necessary and applicable, in order to comply with the current Municipal Land Use Regulations. However, with the advent of the State Master Plan and increasing higher agency administrative regulations applicable to certain levels of development, the cost and time necessary to prepare a plan applicable to the intention of the Township of Fairfield may not be in the best financial interest of the Township and its residents. It is also recognized that it will be necessary for the Township to bring its Master Plan and Developmental Regulations into compliance with the State Master Plan, once finalized, in order to continue receiving grant and loan funding from the State for its residents and infrastructure improvements.
Accordingly, there are certain portions of both the Future Land Use Element (Zoning Map) and Developmental Regulations
which, over the course of time, have proven either unreasonable or unobtainable in reaching the goals and objectives of the original
Master Plan. The specific changes, or subjects of change, which this Reexamination Report concludes are necessary for the advancement of the intent and purpose of the Master Plan are as follows:
a. The Developmental
Regulations have not been regularly updated to meet the legal decisions
which have occurred over time. Some portions of the regulations are
archaic and, in effect, unenforceable thereby providing no assistance
to either the Planning Board or Administrative Enforcement Officers in
review and regulation.
b. The Developmental
Regulations require both the inclusion of new definitions for the
current uses and updating of many of the existing definitions. Many of
the word definitions require planning coordination with the zoning
schedule use portions to provide continuity with the intent of the
c. The sign portion of the
Developmental Regulations must be revised to meet current developmental
standards and uses. Certain of these regulations are unobtainable in
the use classification. As such, there is a large number of variance
requests and an inconsistent establishment of signage for varying uses.
With the adoption of the Residential Site Standards by the N.J.
Division of Community Affairs, several of the design standards required
by the Developmental Regulations are obsolete or actually superceded by
the law. Revised developmental standards consistent with such State
Regulations must be adopted as well as updating those standards
unregulated by the Residential site Standards.
The permitted use labels as employed in the Developmental Regulations
are general and vague. Specific named uses must be established,
particularly in the Planned Business – Light Industrial and Industrial
f. The residential zone bulk
and area requirements must be revised to comply with current
environmental standards applicable to onsite well and septic systems.
With the limited amount of area established in the Land Use Element for
residential development, areas formerly indicated for Agricultural and
Industrial uses must be analyzed as to current applicability.
With the advent of environmental enforcement, landscaping and basic
environmental regulations must be established within the fabric of the
Developmental Regulations for use in guiding local approvals and
assisting in the local planning enforcement.
As new technology enters the home, there is an increasing number and
demand for home occupations. The addition of a residential/business or
home occupation use should be considered within the existing
residential zoning districts but only where the existing residential
fabric is not violated.
j. Recent applications
for variance relative to the location and size of accessory structures
indicate that the standards previously established are not applicable
to contemporary needs. The accessory use bulk and area standards
should be revised to reflect current building trends and needs.
With the advent of the State Master Plan, it has become paramount in
Municipal Planning to consider centers designations within the
Township. As these centers areas will become the developmental
potential of the Municipality, special care should be given to both the
amount of centers and the limits of each center.
Zoning considerations should be given to increasing the residential
density potential permitted in agriculturally zoned areas without
actually encouraging the development of residential housing. Absent a
State wide unified cost assessment to open space farmland preservation
purchase, a burden is placed on the local municipal zoning regulations
to assist the agricultural owners in increasing the value of the
farmland based on potential development.
With the proliferation of damage to vegetation during development and
the limited remaining area of non farmland open space, the creation and
adoption of a tree/vegetation ordinance would serve to control
unnecessary clearing of land.
n. The current
functionality of the Township Mining Ordinance is questionable. The
Board recommends that the Ordinance be rewritten in a manner that would
strengthen the Planning Board’s role in Site Planning and License
o. A recreational inventory and
study should be performed so as to establish both the current sites
usages and future recreational needs of the township and, if necessary,
designate and set aside future lands for municipal recreational
The Planning Board has reviewed the various applications and approvals granted by both the former Planning and Zoning Boards and current combined Planning/Zoning Board. Many of the variances granted related to uses within agriculturally zoned lands where indications are that agriculture use would not be effective. A review of the percentages of zoned lands based on the current Zoning Map were as follows:
|R-1 Residential||41. Ac||0.14%||SF @ 1 Acre|
|R-2 Residential||1740. Ac||6.11%||SF @ 20,000 s.f.|
|R-3 Residential||345. Ac||1.21%||SF @ 6500 s.f.|
|PBI Pl. Bus. Ind.||209. Ac||0.73%||No single family|
|GI Gen Industry||1032. Ac||3.62%||No single family|
|A Agriculture||11426. Ac||40.12%||SF @ 5 Acres|
|M Marine||431. Ac||1.52%||No single family|
|S State Owned||2406. Ac||8.45%||No single family|
|FP Flood Plain||10847. Ac||38.10%||No single family|
|7.46% Total Single Family Zoned.|
DESIGNATION OF A GOULDTOWN CENTER
The Gouldtown Center Designation is being proposed to follow the general area submitted and conceptually approved under the CAFRA Center Designation Program. This area was to become part of the Bridgeton Regional Center Designation area but was omitted when Bridgeton revised their application to the limits of their City Boundaries.
The Center Limit Line would begin at the Fairfield Municipal Boundary line with Bridgeton City and Upper Deerfield Township and then follow the Fairfield Municipal Boundary with Upper Deerfield Township in a general easterly direction along existing Indian Field Branch to its intersection with Gouldtown Woodruff Road. The limit line would continue along the Municipal Boundary with both Upper Deerfield Township and subsequently, Deerfield Township to East Avenue. The line would then follow the centerline of East Avenue in a southerly direction to its intersection with State Highway Route 49. Turning westward along the centerline of State Highway Route 49, the limit line would run approximately 100 feet to the edge of lands owned by the State of New Jersey on the south side of State Highway Route 49. The limit line would then turn south to run along the property line between Lots 20 and 27 in Block 7 to its intersection with the rear of Lot 27. Then, westwardly following the rear property lines of Lots 21, 22, 24, 25, 27 and, extending from rear line of Lot 21, through Lot 4 and Lot 3 to the angle point in the right of way of Apple Lane; all in Block 7. The limit line would then follow the centerline of Apple Lane in a southerly, then westwardly, then northerly direction to the intersection of Apple Lane with Gouldtown Road. From the intersection of Apple Lane along the centerline of Gouldtown Road, the limit line would run southwesterly to the intersection with Buckshutem Road. Turning northwesterly and running along the centerline of Buckshutem Road, the limit line would carry to the Fairfield Municipal Boundary with Bridgeton City. The limit line would follow the Municipal Boundary with Bridgeton City to its intersection with Indian Field Run and the place of beginning.
This area would encompass nearly all of the existing residential development in the Gouldtown Area as well as the sporadic commercial development along State Highway Route 49. Also included would be the existing commercial and industrial developments along Reeves Road.
With this Center Designation, several of the existing zoning designations would be modified to accommodate increased development without placing a burden on the existing municipal tax base through large infrastructure improvements. Succinctly all of the exiting Agriculturally Zoned lands would be redesignated as R-1. The existing R-2 designation along Gould Avenue would be eliminated and converted to Agricultural Zoning. The existing R-2 and R-3 designations along State Highway Route 49 would be eliminated and a PBI Zoning District Designation established. Along the north side of State Highway Route 49, the PBI Zone would be proposed from Gouldtown Road to the west property line of Lot 33 in Block 19.03. Along the southerly side of State Route 49, the PBI Zone would run at a uniform 300 foot depth from the Bridgeton City Municipal Boundary to Gould Avenue. Between Gould Avenue and Kings Lane, all of Block 16 would be rezoned PBI. Between Kings Lane to the easterly property line of Lot 27 in Block 6 at a uniform depth of 300 feet.
The Fairton Village Center Designation is a more definitive reallocation of the center designation line established during the CAFRA Center Designation Program where Fairton was considered to be a Village Center. The line as originally proposed by CAFRA was an erratically drawn closed area not contiguous to any other Center Areas. Most importantly, it did not represent the existing areas of development or allow for any future development, which is the intent of the State Master Plan Center Designation. Since it is believed that the future existence of the Fairton Village Center Designation is dependent upon future potable water and public sewer infrastructure, the most important part of the line delineation is that it meet with the Municipal Boundary Line with Bridgeton City. since any reasonable infrastructure extension from Bridgeton City would be along Fairton-Bridgeton Road, the Fairton Village Center Designation has been extended to include those already developed areas along the Fairton-Bridgeton Road cooridor.
The Fairton Village Center Designation would initiate at the Cohansey River/Rocaps Run intersection and extend along the Fairton Municipal Boundary Line with Bridgeton City (Rocaps Run) to the centerline of Burlington Road (County Route 638). Then southwardly, following the centerline of Burlington Road, the line would cross over Gouldtown Road to the intersection of the northerly property line of Lot 3 in Block 12. The limit line would then turn left off Burlington Road and run in an easterly direction along the northerly property line of Lot 3 to the westerly property line of Lot 3.15. The limit line would then follow the easterly property lines of Lots 3.15, 3.03, 3.04, 3.05, and Lot 5 in Block 12 to the northerly right of way line of Oak View Drive. Then turning easterly following the northerly right of way of Oak View Drive, the line would run to the end of the right of way of Oak View Drive, the line would run to the end of the right of way of Oak View Drive, encompassing Lot 3.14 to the easterly property line of Lot 3.12. Then, along the easterly property lines of Lots 3.12, and 7.02 to the end of the right of way line of Holly Way. From the end of the right of way of Holly Lane, the limit line would follow the property lines of Lot 15.01 to the Upper Clarks Pond water line. The limit line would then follow the Upper Clarks Pond water line along the rear of Lots 3.12, 3.11, 3.10, 3.09, 3.07, 3.06, and 6 to the easterly right of way line of Burlington Road. Then following the easterly right of way line of Burlington Road, the limit line would follow the water limit line of Upper Clarks Pond to its intersection with the northerly property line of Lot 65. Then the limit line would follow the water line of Upper Clarks Pond along the property lines with Lots 65, 64, 63, 62 and 61 in Block 12. The limit line would then follow the property outbound limits of Lot 61 and extend along the property line between Lots 54.05 and 54.02 with Lot 48.03 as well as the property line between Lot 54 with Lot 48 all in Block 12. The limit line would then turn westwardly following the property line of Lot 54 with Lot 54.07 to the center line of Burlington Road. The limit line would then follow the centerline of Burlington Road in a southerly direction to the centerline of Fairton-Millville Road. The limit line would then turn westerly following the centerline of Fairton-Millville Road to the centerline of Clarks Pond Road. The limit line would then follow the centerline of Clarks Pond Road to the centerline of Ramah Road. Following the centerline of Ramah Road, the limit line would extend northerly to its intersection with the Winchester and Western Railroad right of way. The limit line would then follow the Winchester and Western right of way line in a southerly and southwesterly direction to the intersection of Lummis Mill Road.
From its intersection with Lummis Mill Road, the limit line would follow the centerline of Lummis Mill Road to the intersection of the property line between Lot 15 and Lots 20 and 28 in Block 43. Along the property lines between Lot 15 and Lots 20 and 28, the limit line would extend to the property line of Lot 18; then follow the property lines of Lots 18 and 19 with Lot 28 to the centerline of Cedarville Road. The limit line would extend northerly along the centerline of Cedarville Road to the common property line of Lots 9 and 11.02 in Block 42. The limit line would then extend along the common property lines of Lots 1, 7, 8, and 9 with Lot 10 in Block 42 to the centerline of Rockville Road.
Turning westwardly along the centerline of Rockville Road, the limit line would extend to the common property line between Lots 3.02 and Lot 6 in Block 41. The limit line would then extend along the common property lines of Lots 3, 3.02, and 4 with Lots 5 and 6 in Block 41 to the centerline of Backneck Road. Crossing Backneck Road, the limit line to extend along the common property line between Lots 6 and 8 with Lots 1, 1.03, and 5 in Block 27.05 to the Cohansey River. The limit line would then follow the Cohansey River to its intersection with Rocaps Run and the place of beginning.
With this Village Center Designation, there is proposed zoning changes which will assist future development patterns in meeting the intent of the State Master Plan and its pertains to village structures. As there is no truly defined commercial zone within the Fairton Village, the Board desires to designate a small area as PBI. This area would be specifically defined as those lots fronting along the north side of Main Street between Church Lane and Rattlesnake Gut. As shown on the current Taxing Map, they would be Lots 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 within Block 27.03. Several of those lots have long term commercial activities complying with those uses permitted in the PBI District and would not cause new commercial development where none currently exists.
Along both sides of Main Street generally between Rattlesnake Gut and Fairton-Bridgeton Road, there is a mixture of single family dwelling on small lot sizes with some having home businesses. It is the desire of the Board to create a zone within the Village to encourage restoration and rehabilitation of the existing housing through the adding of a zone permitting home business/commercial as a right. The type of uses permitted would be extremely limited so as to encourage owner occupied residential and owner operated small commercial businesses in order to develop the village concept perceived in the State Master Plan. Small retails sales operations limited to first floors of the existing dwelling and limited to antique sales; furniture repair and sales; limited food sales; non motorized bicycle shops; florists; physician, dental, ocular, legal, architecture, engineering, and planning professional offices would be acceptable low volume, low intensity uses. The are designated for such uses would be confined to the village center and generally include the area bounded by the Winchester and Western Railroad right of way, Rattlesnake Gut, Mill Creek, and a line generally drawn along the common property lines of Lots 20 and 23 with Lot 21 in Block 33 and Lot 19 with Lot 20 in Block 32. This area could be expanded to include the remaining Lots 20, 21, 21.01, and 22 in Block 32 and Lots 21 and 22 in Block 33 as the Railroad right of way serves as an adequate zoning boundary line in its own right. The Planning Board is recommending a basic R-3 Residential Zoning with a Residential Commercial Zoning Overlay with strictly controlled commercial uses and definitions.
There are five (5) industrially zoned areas within the Township. One lies off Reeves Road in the northern portion and is wholly contained within a current commercial/industrial operation of mining extraction, asphalt production, and recycling. It would be the recommendation of the Board that the existing Industrial zoning be retained.
The second lies within the middle of the Township bounded by the Winchester and Western Railroad, Westcott Station Road, and Cedarville Road. The previous industrially zoned area immediately adjacent to this area bounded by the Railroad, Lummis Mill Road, and Westcott Station Road was rezoned to R-1 Residential within the last two years.
This industrial area has seen little development with the exception of a small trucking company operated on an existing single family lot off Westcott Station Road. The remaining land is either wooded or actively farmed with no development except along Cedarville Road. Therefore it is the recommendation of the Board that this industrially zoned portion of the Municipality be designated as Agriculture. The Agriculture Designation would incorporate the already existing single family residential development along Cedarville Road.
The third area of industrially zoned land lies near the Municipal Boundary with the City of Bridgeton and follows the Winchester and Western Railroad right of way to Fairton-Gouldtown Road. At the time of both the original Master Plan in 1977 and subsequent Reexamination Report in 1988, it was believed that there was a potential of industrial use expansion from the industrial park in Bridgeton into the Township of Fairfield. Since no such expansion has occurred in the last 25 years and there remains additional lands within the Bridgeton Industrial Park, it is doubtful that any large industrial activity would be forthcoming. Further, with the impending Centers Designations, the proposed Fairton Village Center would end at Burlington Road. Part of this area bounded by Burlington Road to the West and Shoemaker Road to the south would only be capable of extremely low development intensity.
Additionally, the portion of land south of Shoemaker Road along Clarks Pong Road and extending to Fairton Gouldtown Road is heavily wooded with interfaced single family detached dwellings. It is doubtful based on current environmental regulations and limited access to arterial highways that any large scale industrial use would be viable in this area.
The remaining area to the west of Clarks Pond Road/Southeast Avenue along both sides of Shoemaker Road has, perhaps, the highest potential for some sort of development. As this area would be closer to any infrastructure extension out of Bridgeton along Fairton-Bridgeton Road and adjoins, at least in part, the existing PBI Zone, some consideration to retaining commercial development potential should be provided. It is the recommendation of the Board to redesignate the Industrial Area to the east of Burlington Road as Agriculture. The area is generally limited and will be outside of the Fairton Village Center Designation.
As to the industrially zoned area to the east of the Winchester and Western Railroad and extending from Shoemaker Road to Fairton Gouldtown Road, this area should be rezoned R-1 Residential. This will provide adequate low density residential development within the Fairton Village Center limits and balance the varying residential and commercial zones proposed.
As to those areas north of Shoemaker Road between Burlington Road and Fairton Bridgeton Road, this area should be redesignated Planned Business Industry. This will retain the commercial intent of the area recognizing its proximity to the Bridgeton Industrial Park but give credence to the existing lack of infrastructure and adjoining environmental restrictions of Rocaps Run.
This leaves the final area bounded by Fairton Bridgeton Road, Shoemaker Road, and Clarks Pond Road/Winchester and Western Railroad. It adjoins existing PBI Zoning along Fairton Bridgeton Road and R-2 Residential Zoning to the south. The R-2 zone is generally heavily wooded and without development. Therefore an adequate existing vegetative buffer is present and could be mandated to remain in place under any commercial development. Therefore, it is recommended that this area also be redesignated as Planned Business Industry. This would permit potential expansion of existing PBI uses within the current zone as well as provide a compatible district to lands on the north side of Shoemaker Road.
Two more portions of land are currently zoned Industrial along both sides of Sayres Neck Road between Husted Bateman Road and the Lawrence Township Line. They are currently adjacent to Agriculturally Zoned Lands and not within any recommended center’s designation. As the industrial potential of this area is not reasonably project or within reasonable planning justifications, the lands should be converted to the adjacent Agricultural Zoning.
There are several issues relative to the permitted uses as well as bulk and area requirements of the Zoning Districts which the Board identifies as requiring immediate modification in order to achieve the intent of the original Master Plan; as follows:
The existing residential bulk and area requirements can contribute to degradation of the existing environment through continued use of individual well and septic systems.
It is the desire of the Planning Board to increase both the bulk and area standards of all three of the existing residential zoning districts; as follows:
Zoning District Minimum Standards
Area Width Depth
R-1 Residential 1.5 Ac. 200 ft 300 ft
R-2 Residential 1.0 Ac. 150 ft 200 ft
R-3 Residential 35000 s.f. 100 ft 200 ft
The existing permitted single family residential bulk and area requirements in the Agriculture Zone has sufficiently deterred major development on agricultural lands. However, it has also forced the Board to grant lot area variances for farm owners who wish to sell small lot areas for family use or to offset rising operational costs without taking large tracts of usable farm land out of production.
Nearly all of the variances granted by the Board result in generally 2 to 3 acre parcels along existing improved roadways where due to farming methods or degradation of the land from road runoff results in restrictive farm production. Accordingly, the Board recommends reducing the lot area requirement to 2.5 acres for detached single family use and only for lots which have frontage along an existing improved public roadway as depicted on the recently adopted Official Municipal Road map. The corresponding minimum lot frontage would be 250 feet and the minimum lot depth would be 300 feet.
The Marine Resort District Designation of the Zoning Map has been residentially developed and there are no alternative waterfront areas conductive to viable marina use.
The Board finds that the existing Marine Resort Zoning District should be confined to SeaBreeze and the existing marina off Husted Landing Road.
The existing permitted multifamily uses within the residential zoning districts do not lend to compatible planning based on the current developmental patterns and limited infrastructure within the Township. Continued reference to such uses may lead to conversions of existing single family residences into multifamily uses thereby increasing density and violating the intent and purpose of the Master Plan.
References to clustered single family housing, garden apartments, townhouses, and residential conversions should be stricken from the various uses until adequate infrastructure is available to meet the higher density issues relative to such development.
Planned Unit Development can not be reasonably achieved due to the intent of the State Master Plan to confine areas of development to centers designations. There is insufficient acreage within the Centers Designations proposed by the Township to meet the minimum total lot area in order to create a viable Planned Unit Development.
References to Planned Unit Development should be stricken from the District Regulations.
Churches and places of worship are prevalent throughout the District Regulations which resulted in both new construction and existing expansions into both agricultural and commercially zoned lands. This is not conducive to the intent of the Master Plan.
The Board finds that church and worship use operations have expanded beyond the basic worship use anticipated in the original Master Plan. Many places or worship also provide day care, retreats and social activities for those outside the Municipality. The Board finds that restricting church uses to only the Residential Zoning Districts will preserve the dedicated commercially zoned areas and still provide adequate developmental potential while remaining in close proximity to local residents.
The Planned Business Industry Zone has a large amount of permitted commercial and light industrial uses which may not be acceptable development with the advent of Centers Designations and current developmental patterns. In addition, the minimum bulk and area requirements are too small potentially resulting in over densification of the PBI Zone and environmental degradation due to proliferation of individual well and septic systems on small lot sizes.
The Board determines that the Light Industry Uses indicated in the PBI Zoning District are no longer acceptable or applicable to the Master Plan and shall be stricken from the Permitted Uses. Further, the bulk and area standards shall be increased to meet basic environmental standards as well as result in a reasonable commercial densification of the PBI Zone. The Board recommends revising the Planned Business Industry portion of the District Regulations to comply with the chart indicated on the following page.
The Board also recognizes that, with the increased Planned Business Zones indicated within the proposed Centers Areas, there are existing detached single family residences, many of which currently have home or small business occupations. It is recommended that a Residential Business Use be established with the PBI District and that such business use only be carried out in a detached accessary building area on a lot having an existing detached single family residence. It is not the intent of this use to create new single family residences within the PBI District and new single family detached would not be a permitted use.
Lastly, rooming and boarding houses appear to no longer be a needed use in any district, especially the PBI Zone. It is the intent of the PBI Zone to serve as the light commercial zone for the Township. Establishment of rooming or boarding houses in a commercial district is not a compatible use and shall be stricken from the permitted uses.
The recommendation of the Planning Board concerning the incorporation of the redevelopment plans adopted pursuant to the “Local Redevelopment and Housing Law” P.L. 1992, c79 (C40A:12A-1 et seq) into the Land Use Plan Element of the Municipal Master Plan, and recommended changes, if any, in the local Development Regulations necessary to effectuate the redevelopment plans of the municipality.”
There are no Redevelopment Plans adopted by law for the Township of Fairfield at this time.
The Township Committee is currently reviewing a plan recently prepared by Orth-Rogers and Associates which is intended to provide planning guidance and zoning modifications which would enable the Municipality to meet the housing obligations of the Council on Affordable Housing.