On March 27, 2017, the Borough Council adopted changes to Mountain Lakes’ innovative historic preservation incentives ordinance to make it even more attractive for owners of historic homes to preserve and invest in maintaining their homes. The modifications are a result of input from borough officials, architects, builders and others who have worked with the ordinance since its adoption in August 2012.
Among the principal changes, the modified ordinance:
- Ensures the enhanced zoning regulations (referred to as “bulk incentives”) are available for any proposed improvement to the property for which standard zoning regulations would otherwise apply, including changes unrelated to the main dwelling.
- Limits the restrictions on changes that can be made to street-facing facades (without losing eligibility for the incentives) to a single “primary” street-facing facade only, in cases where the home has two or more street-facing facades. (This affects roughly one quarter of the eligible homes.)
- Eliminates height restrictions on expansions that are at least one story lower than the adjoining portion of the pre-existing structure.
- Extends the benefits of the ordinance to approximately 22 additional historic homes within the Mountain Lakes Historic District.
- In cases where the homeowner decides to demolish a historic home, requires payment of an additional, nonrefundable $500 fee prior to giving the 90-day notice of intent to demolish a historic home to cover documentation costs.
The complete text of the modified ordinance can be found at this link. A version of the ordinance that highlights the specific changes from the prior version of the ordinance can be found at this link.
A memo containing a more detailed summary of the modifications can be found at this link.
The Mountain Lakes Historic Preservation Committee is updating the information and forms available on the Mountain Lakes’ Historic Preservation Incentives website to reflect the new changes.