Before beginning any work on an historic property that will change the exterior appearance, an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness must be completed and submitted to the Historic Preservation Commission. The Commission will review the application and, using guidelines established in the Historic Preservation Ordinance (Chapter 140 of the Township Code), either approve or deny the application.
Applications are available from the Township Clerk (or any member of the Commission) and must be submitted at least 10 days prior to the Commissions next scheduled meeting. The meetings are held on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 7:00 pm in the Municipal building (meetings will be cancelled if there is no business).
Contact the Township Clerk at (609) 267-1891 ext. 6 for more information.
Application for a Certificate of Appropriateness must be made and approved before any building permits can be issued and/or before making any applications to the Planning or Zoning Boards of the Township. The granting or denial of approval may be appealed in the same manner as any appeal from any action by the Planning Board. Failure to comply with the Certificate of Appropriateness process is a violation of the Township code and can carry a fine.
This process is not meant to prohibit you from maintaining or upgrading your home. It’s sole purpose is to prevent inappropriate changes and additions that will detract from the historic significance of your home (and your neighbors). Basically, you can do just about anything you want to the exterior of your house as long as you don’t change the way it looks. Ordinary maintenance does not require a Certificate of Appropriateness. You can, for example, repaint your house as long as you repaint it the same color. If you decide to change the color of your property, a Certificate of Appropriateness is required.
It’s really quite simple – If you wish to perform any alteration or addition to your house that will affect the exterior appearance, you will need to complete a Certificate of Appropriateness application. It is not possible to list every item that does or does not require review by the Commission. It is advised that you contact a member of the Commission if you have any questions.
We hope that this overview has been helpful. As stated earlier, we have established guidelines for the review of all applications. These guidelines are too numerous to list here, but can be found in the Township Code (Chapter 140). We will freely admit that codes can be difficult to understand if you are not familiar with them, so if you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the Commissions members. They will be glad to answer any questions you may have. You are also free to attend any of our meetings and discuss your questions.