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Department: Zoning

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  • Zoning & Code Enforcement
    • What are the guidelines for a residential zoning permit?


      The purpose of acquiring a Zoning Permit is to ensure the proposed use and utilization of a property is in conformance with the Borough Zoning Ordinance. Work that would require a Zoning Permit includes but is not limited to pools, porches, decks, fences, additions, sheds, driveways, curbs, sidewalks, signs and trailers. The Zoning Department requires the following information in order to review any Zoning Application: NOTE: Subsequent to Zoning approval, CONSTRUCTION PERMITS may be REQUIRED. (see Construction Office)

      Basic Requirements

      “How to obtain approval”

      1. Obtain and fill out a Zoning Permit Application provided in the Zoning Office.

      2. Provide a certified site survey of the property showing the proposed work. Make sure to include on the survey the setback distances of the proposed work from the property lines and distance from house or shed. See Sample Site Survey.

      3. A basic description of the proposed work.

      4. Payment of any and all applicable Zoning Permit fees. $75


      Possible Additional Requirements

      The Zoning Officer may require more detailed information such as architectural drawings, if deemed necessary, to accurately review the application.

      •  Pools-indicate on survey the area of water discharge, proposed and pre-existing fences and the location of the required self-latching gate.

      •  Fences-Specification of proposed fence type and its location on survey.

      •  Decks/Additions/Sheds/Driveways/Walkways- Indicate on survey the exact size, location and setback distances of the proposed work. In addition townhouse/condominium units require a letter of association approval.

      •  Signs- Position of sign in relation to nearby buildings or structures. Illustration of sign and dimensions.

      •  Trailers- Size, location and setback distances indicated on survey.

    • What are the guidelines for fences?


      26-82.7         Fences, Walls and Other Dividing Structures

      Fence Permit in PDF

      A.  Residential zones. Fences or walls in excess of two feet in height shall be considered as accessory uses to a principal permitted use and are permitted in accordance with the standards set forth below: 

      1.  Walls up to two (2) feet in height used as retaining walls, or for landscaping, shall be permitted in all yards. 

      2.  Fences or walls two (2) feet to six (6) feet in height shall be permitted only in the rear and side yards, up to and behind the front facade of the principal building. On corner lots in the “side’ front yard, fences and walls shall be set back one-half (1/2) the required front yard setback from the property line. On a through-lot, the front yard setback for the district shall dictate the setback of the ‘rear front yard fence. 

      3.  All fences and walls shall be set back at least three (3) inches from the property line.


      4.  General regulations for fences and walls.  

      a.  No fence or wall shall be so constructed or installed so as to constitute a hazard to traffic or safety.   

      b.  The face or finished side of a fence or wall shall face the adjacent property or     street.  


      c.  No fence or wall shall be constructed with barbed wire, metal spikes or other such dangerous material or constructed in such manner as to be dangerous to animals or humans.  

      d. Conspicuous chain link fencing without screening and/or landscaping shall not be encouraged.

      e.  All fences and walls require zoning permits and building permits where applicable.  


      5. Non-residential zones. Fences, walls or other similar dividing structures may not be erected until site plan approval for same has been obtained.

    • What are the guidelines for pools?


      Swimming pools shall comply with the following requirements:

      1. No swimming pool shall be located closer than ten (10) feet to any side or rear lot line, or to any principal or accessory structure, excluding patios, and/or associated decking. 
      2. All pools shall be located behind the rear building line of the principal structure. 
      3. No private swimming pool shall be used other than as accessory to the principal use of the premises upon which it is located. 
      4. Elevated lights over four (4) feet in height used or maintained in connection with a private swimming pool shall be so located and shielded that the illumination there from is not directed upon any adjacent property and shall be turned off by 10:00 PM. 
      5. The yard area or portion of the yard area in which the pool is located shall be completely enclosed with a fence that is in compliance with the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code. 
      6. The pool may be lighted by either underwater or exterior lights provided all exterior lights are located so that the light is neither directed or reflected upon adjacent properties. All freestanding standards used for exterior lighting shall be no closer to the edge of the pool than its height All lighting shall be in compliance with the applicable State Uniform Construction Code. 


    • What are the guidelines for a shed?


      26-82.6 Accessory Structures and Uses

      A. General requirements. 




      1. No accessory structure may be built upon any lot on which there is no principal building or structure. 
      2. Except as provided for in Section 26-82.5, Height Exceptions, accessory structures in the MW, SW and I zones shall not exceed the height limit of the zoning district In the B-1, B-2, B-3, P0, G-1, PRIME and residential zones, no accessory structure shall exceed fifteen (15) feet In height.
      3. Accessory structures in all zone districts shall be at least ten (10) feet from any other structure on the same lot excluding patios. 
      4. No accessory structure(s) shall be located in a required front yard or in any area, such as the “side” front yard of a corner lot, where front yard setbacks apply.
      5. Any accessory structure attached to the main budding shall be considered part of the main building. 
      6. Accessory buildings in residential zones shall be no greater than one hundred fifty (150) square feet in area. 
      7. On through lots, no accessory structure erected in the rear yard shall be nearer to the “rear street line than the minimum front yard setback for the zone in which such lot is located. 
      8. Except as provided in paragraph 7 above, minimum setbacks from side and rear lot lines for accessory structures shall be five (5) feet in residential zones and one-half (1/2) the side yard and/or rear yard setback in non-residential zones.
      9. Accessory buildings shall be architecturally similar to the principal building, to the extent possible. 
    • What are the guidelines for a driveway?
      • Driveways must be 5 feet from side of property line.
      • Maximum width twenty (20) feet for driveway opening.
    • What are the guidelines for signs?


      26-89.4          General Regulations

      A.  Signs shall be in harmony and consistent with the architecture of the building and relate to the features of the building in terms of location, scale, color, lettering, materials, texture and depth. Signs shall not be dominant but shall be proportionate and shall complement the building, existing signs and surroundings. 


      B.  There shall be consistent sign design throughout a particular project. The design elements include style of lettering, construction material, size and illumination. Lettering on signs shall not extend more than fifteen (15) inches from the base face. 

      C.  Signs intended for permanent use shall be constructed of durable materials and shall be permanently affixed to the ground, building or other structure as permitted herein at the location for which approval was received. 

      D.  Building signs shall not obscure, conflict with or cover any architectural element and must be aligned with major building elements such as windows, trim and structure lines. 

      E.  No sign shall extend or project above the highest elevation of the wall to which it is attached or above the lowest part of the roofline of the building, whichever is less. 

      F.  No sign shall be located less than ten (10) feet from a residential zone boundary.

      G.  Illuminated signs.  

      1.  Signs lit by external sources shall be allowed but shall be located in such a manner so as to avoid any glare on adjacent property. Sources of sign illumination shall be completely shielded from the view of vehicular traffic using the road or roads abutting the lot on which the sign is located. 

      2.  External lights used for the illumination of any sign on a building whether or not such light fixtures are attached to or separate from the building, shall not extend above the highest elevation of the front wall of the building or more than eighteen (18) feet above the street level of the premises, whichever is less.

      26.89.5        Prohibited Signs

      A.  No off-site advertising sign shall be erected, used or maintained within the Borough of Sayreville provided, however, that this regulation shall not apply to temporary signs otherwise permitted by this Subsection.  

      B.  No signs shall be placed on fences, utility poles, trees, railway or road bridges, bridge supports or abutments, retaining walls, or water towers unless approved by the Borough Council. 

      C.  No sign shall be placed on an accessory building. 

      D.  No roof-top mounted signs, beacons, inflatable signs and/or tethered balloons shall be allowed.

      E.  No sign shall be lighted by means of a flashing light or exposed neon, nor shall any sign be in whole or in part moving, mobile or revolving or electrically or mechanically activated.

      F.  No sign shall be allowed with optical illusion of movement by means of a design which presents a pattern capable of reverse perspective, giving the illusion of motion or changing of copy. 

      G.  No commercial sign shall be allowed in a window which serves as a residential use. 

      H.  The use and display of temporary portable signs or windsocks, banners or strings or streamers of flags, pennants or spinners or similar objects and devices across, upon, over or along any premises or building, whether as part of any sign or for advertising or public attraction, or otherwise, is prohibited in any zone, except for 

      1.   Temporary displays in business or commercial zones as provided in this section.  

      2.  Temporary decorations customarily used for holidays, or for special events as may be approved by the Borough Council.

      I.   No signs shall be allowed that are placed on or affixed to vehicles and/or trailers which are parked on a public right-Of-way, public property or private property so as to be visible from a public right-of-way where the apparent purpose is to advertise a product service or activity or direct people to a business or activity located on the same or nearby property. This is not intended, however, to prohibit signs placed on or affixed to vehicles or trailers where the sign is incidental to the primary use of the vehicle or trailer.  

      J.   No sign shall be allowed which obstructs any window or door opening used as a means of egress, interferes with an opening required for legal ventilation, or is attached to or obstructs any standpipe, fire escape or fire hydrant.

    • I'm thinking about building and need to find the bulk requirements or permitted uses. Where can I find that information?

      Click here for bulk requirements.

      Click here for permitted uses.

      We suggest speaking with the Zoning Officer for clarification.

    • I want to cut down a tree on my property, do I need a permit?

      The following are the requirements for tree removal.

      • If a single family residence and tree is on the front, side or rear (lawn) yard of property a Tree Removal Permit is not required to remove the tree(s).
      • If tree is along the street the homeowner needs to contact the Department of Public Works at 732-390-7043 for the Tree Removal Permit.
    • I need to submit a copy of my survey, where do I find that?

      You will need to check your closing or mortgage documents when you bought your home.  Most likely the Borough will not have a copy on file unless work was recently done that required one to be submitted (such as an addition, pool, or deck).  A written request to check the archives can be made to indicating you are looking for a survey, along with a copy of your driver's license as proof of ownership.

    • My application was denied, what happens now?

      If your zoning application is denied, you will receive personal guidance on the variance process if you choose to go that route.  The variance process may seem overwhelming but our staff is here to guide you step-by-step.

    • How do I find out what my base flood elevation is or if I'm in a flood zone?

      Go to to find out this information.

    • Am I allowed to run business out of my home?

      Home based businesses can be operated from a residential property, subject to satisfying the standards in the Zoning Ordinance Chapter 26-82.6(B)2. These standards are intended to ensure that the home-based business does not negatively impact the residential character of the neighborhood.