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Engineering Department

(973) 593-3060
(973) 593-4955
Hartley Dodge Memorial Building
50 Kings Road
Madison, NJ 07940 (map)

F.A.Q

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q:        What is the road Right-Of-Way?

A:         The Right-Of-Way includes the public road and property adjoining the road where the municipality requires a right to have jurisdiction, access or consistency for items such as curb, sidewalk, hydrant, pole, valve or other utility related construction.  In general, the Right-Of-Way extends a minimum of ten feet from the edge of pavement of our public roads.  The surficial features of the right of way are generally maintained at the discretion of adjoining property owners in terms of grass cutting or brush removal.

Q:        Is a permit required for a driveway?

A:         All driveways are regulated by the ordinance but application for permit is not always necessary.  Application for permit is required only when the driveway does not comply with Ordinance requirements, in which case a variance and plan review will be necessary at the Zoning Board of Adjustment at a public hearing.  Application for modifications to Right-Of-Way may also be required at the Engineering Office, where sidewalk, curb, pavement or excavation takes place within the road Right-of-Way.

Q:        Is a permit required for a sidewalk?

A:            Sidewalks are regulated by the ordinance but application for permit is not always necessary.  All permanent sidewalks within the road Right-of-Way require application for modifications to Right-Of-Way at the Engineering Office.  For sidewalks within the Borough Right-Of-Way, a reimbursement incentive is allowed by Ordinance for repairs or replacement, although the property owner bears responsibility to execute this work, unless a Borough Tree has caused the sidewalk damage.

Q:        Roof drains are being replaced or a sump pump is installed.  Can the drains run off at the ground surface, into the storm sewer, into the road or is a seepage/infiltration chamber required?  Are permits necessary?

A:         At a local level, some discretion is allowed on small concentrated discharges such as roof drains or sump pumps.  As a rule with new construction, the Borough of Madison encourages the use of seepage pits to collect and infiltrate roof runoff into the ground in an area hydraulically distant from basement structures (but within a setback area), for which a plan review is generally required by the Engineering Dept.  Concentrated rain water discharges to adjoining property are discouraged, and public storm sewer connections may be available to alleviate concentrated surface water.  Sump pump discharges are strictly prohibited to any part of the sanitary sewer system, sink, shower or other sanitary drains. 

Q:        Is a permit required for a shed?

A:         Sheds are regulated by the ordinance and application for permit is generally necessary for structures in excess of 100 sf.  Application is required particularly when the shed does not comply with Ordinance requirements, in which case a variance and plan review will be necessary at the Zoning Board of Adjustment at a public hearing.

Q:        Is a permit required for a sign?

A:         All permanent signs require an application and review by the Building Dept. and the Sign & Facade review committee.  Temporary signs require a no-fee application.  If there is a commercial non-conforming sign or replacement of an existing non-conforming sign, a site plan application must be submitted and reviewed by the Planning Board at a public hearing.  Temporary signs complying with Ordinance requirements are permitted without application.

Q:        Is a permit required for a fence?

A:         All permanent fences are regulated by the ordinance but application for permit is not always necessary.  Application for permit is required only when the fence does not comply with Ordinance requirements, in which case a variance and plan review will be necessary at the Zoning Board of Adjustment at a public hearing.

Q:        If there was a sewer blockage, what permits are necessary?

A:         Except in an emergency situation where imminent damages are apparent, and retroactive permit issuance is allowed for documented work with a telephone call, a plumbing permit is required on private property from the Building Department, and application for modifications to Right-Of-Way may also be required at the Engineering Office, where sidewalk, curb, pavement or excavation occurs within Right-of-Way.

Q:        We are contemplating an addition to our home, how large can it be without a variance or public hearing being required?

A:         Any project larger than a single family residence addition completed by the owner generally requires professional assistance from a qualified Architect or Engineer.  In the case of owner-construction, first look up your Block and Lot number on the Tax Maps available in the Ordinance, the Clerks office, or on ROSENET  Second, look up your zone designation on the Zoning Map.  Third, look at the bulk requirements related to the Zone in the Ordinance.  Fourth, look at special restrictions of the Zone or on the type of construction proposed.  Fifth, look at Uniform Construction Code and Fire Code restrictions.  Finally, submit legible scaled plans of the addition and location of the addition for review and comment by qualified Borough Officials.