Fire Flow Standards Adopted by Committee

Town Topics
20 December, 1989

Fire Flow Standards Adopted by Committee

In its last meeting of the year, Township Committee adopted several ordinances, including one which sets standards for water flow to fire hydrants serving new developments. The ordinance is said to be the first of its kind in the State. A companion ordinance is expected to be enacted by Borough Council.

The ordinance divides the community into districts according to how close buildings are to one another and by the height of buildings as permitted by zoning regulations. It stipulates a range of water flow ‘as measured by gallons per minute in each district. The standards are in keeping with those set by the National Fire Protection Association.

Applicants for building permits for new construction will have to prove that they can provide water ‘flow to nearby hydrants at the specified rates. Applicants who are not able to meet the standards may elect to install fire suppression measures, such as sprinkler systems, instead.

In other business, Committee approved extending garbage district number six to include two contiguous properties whose owners petitioned to be included. It also approved an ordinance that exempts Township development projects from zoning and site plan regulations — overruling the objection of the Planning Board.

Shown as Courtesy

Under State municipal land use law, municipalities are not required to obtain Planning Board approval for municipal construction projects. However, as a courtesy, site plans are often shown to planning hoards for comment or suggestions, according to Township Attorney Edwin W. Schmierer. The issue for the Township, Mr. Schmierer explained, is the new firehouse, and the desire to expedite approval so that construction can begin.

According to Mr. Schmierer, concept plans of the firehouse were shown to the Planning Board earlier in the year A next step was to create a separate lot for the municipally-owned firehouse to he deeded to the Township by the Board of Education. The School Board owns the Valley Road building and the adjacent parking lot on which the firehouse will be built.

In requesting subdivision approval from the Planning Board, the Township received word from the Planning Board attorney suggesting that the board would like an opportunity to review the site plan and noting that if the municipality decided not to submit the plan for approval it should adopt an ordinance exempting it from zoning and site plan approval. Mr. Schmierer drew up such an ordinance. which was introduced by Committee several weeks ago and then referred to the Planning Board, as required. for comment.

The board said it could agree to zoning exemption but not site plan. Mr. Schmierer advised Committee it could adopt the ordinance despite the Planning Board, but it would have to do so by majority vote and setting forth its reasons. The vote was unanimous.

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