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Code and Ordinance Division FAQ

A. Fences

Does the Township allow fences?
We would encourage you to check with your homeowners association first to find out what their restrictions may be. The Township does allow fences up to four (4) ft. in height, restricted to side and rear yards only. This type of fencing will only require a permit from the Township’s Building Division. However, anything over four (4) ft. in height or within a front yard will require approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals prior to being installed, in addition to a permit. 
 
What if I own a dog?
All fences to be utilized for the purpose of containing a dog(s) will be required to get approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals, in addition to a permit, even if they meet our animal containment setback requirements (16 ft. from side lot lines & 25 ft. from rear property lines). The only EXCEPTION to this rule is invisible fencing, which only requires a permit, as long as it complies with our animal containment setback requirements (as noted above). For more information on animal containment, refer to Ordinance Chapter 8, Article II.

B. Accessory Structures

Can I put a shed in my yard?
Sheds are considered accessory structures, therefore Zoning Board of Appeals approval must be obtained prior to installation (regardless of size or location). If the Zoning Board of Appeals approves your request, then a permit must be obtained through our Building Division.
 
Before installing any structure (such as a pergola/trellis, hot tub, swim spa, etc.), contact the Ordinance Division to find out what approvals may be necessary. In addition, we would encourage you to check with your homeowners association first to find out what their restrictions may be.

C. Trees

My neighbor’s tree fell onto my property. Whose responsibility is it to clean it up and/or remove the tree?
The Township does not become involved in these types of situations. If this is not something you can come to an agreement on with your neighbor, then this will become a civil matter between you, and you will need to seek court action for a resolution.
 
I want to cut some trees on my property. Is this allowed?
The Township has an extensive Tree Preservation ordinance that regulates tree removal. Trees contribute to the character of the community and are an important asset to our ecosystem. Many different factors contribute to the allowance of tree removal and in some cases a tree permit will be required. Violations of this ordinance can be costly, so it is imperative that you contact the Ordinance Division prior to any cutting. Refer to the Zoning Ordinance Sec. 45-5.14 for the complete ordinance

D. Outside Storage

Can I store my boat, RV, motor-home, and/or trailer on my property?
No, this is prohibited per our Open Storage Ordinance, Sec. 42-5.5. However, we do try to offer some leniency to our residents if you call to notify us in advance that you will be bringing a boat, RV, or trailer, etc. home for a few days to make repairs and/or prepare for a vacation, etc. In these instances, we will allow the afore-mentioned item(s) to remain on site for a few days only, providing we do not receive any complaints from other residents. The storage of these items inside a garage is permitted.
 
My neighbor continually puts their trash out early and/or leaves their cans out after our scheduled pick up day. Is this allowed?
Trash is allowed to be put out at the curb as early as noon the day before your scheduled pick up day. All trash containers are to be removed within 12 hours following collection.

E. Property Maintenance

How can I get my neighbor to cut his grass?
In accordance with our Property Maintenance Ordinance Sec. 302.4 and Noxious Weed Ordinance Chapter 14, Article IV, the Code states that grass must be maintained below (8) eight inches in height.  Any grass taller than (8) eight inches is in violation. A (48) forty-eight hour notice will be posted on the primary entrance to each home in violation of our grass ordinance.  After the (48) forty-eight hour expiration date, an ordinance officer will re-inspect the property. If the property has not been cut within (48) forty-eight hours, our contractors will be notified to cut the property. If the property is found to be in violation for a 2nd time during the season, the property will move to the bi-weekly cut list. The property will be posted, and a notice will be mailed to the property owner on file, letting them know that their property has been placed on the bi-weekly cut list. The property owner must contact us to request being removed from the bi-weekly cut list. All costs incurred for property maintenance will be billed to the property owner.

My neighbor’s pool has green water in it. Can you get him to open it?
Pools and pool covers must be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition and kept in good repair. We understand the spread of mosquito viruses may be the result of stagnant water, which is a serious concern for residents who adjoin a property with a possibly stagnant pool. If you have questions regarding the upkeep of your pool, or a neighboring pool contact the Ordinance Division and we will be happy to assist you.

F. Other Concerns and Questions

Are bonfires and/or firepits permitted within the Township?
Bonfires, as well as the burning of trash, leaves, or construction materials, etc., are prohibited. However, the Township does allow the burning of wood in a "small container manufactured for the purpose of containing small recreational fires." Please refer to our Fire Code, Chapter 16, Article II, Sec. 16-27 for the conditions that apply to this Ordinance.
 
I think my neighbor is running a business out of his/her home. Is this allowed?
Our Zoning Ordinance was amended in 2010 to allow home occupations, providing that the following criterion are met:

  • No employees, other than the residents of the home, shall be employed at or located on the premises.
  • No signage, advertising device or other items implying the existence of a home business may be on the site.
  • No outside storage of any kind related to the home occupation.
  • It cannot create a nuisance, such as noise, vibration, fumes, odor, dust, litter, electrical interference or other similar actions.
  • Traffic and delivery of goods created by the home occupation cannot be greater than would normally be expected in a residential neighborhood.

Refer to our Zoning Ordinance, Sec.42-4.43 for additional information and/or details.
 
Do I need a permit to have a garage or estate sale?
No. However, we do have some general guidelines that we ask residents to follow:

  • No balloons, banners or extra fanfare
  • Traffic and parking must be maintained in an orderly fashion
  • Signs are to be placed on the premises only.
  • Signs are not permitted to be posted on traffic signs, utility poles or to block the vision of intersections.
  • Please remove any signs that are put out each day at the end of the sale.
  • Limit the number of sales to 2-3 per year.
  • Limit the duration of the sale to no more than 3 – 4 consecutive days. 
  • No outside merchandise may be brought in for the sale.

What are the allowable hours to operate commercial and/or construction equipment within the Township?
The hours permitted under the Noise Ordinance, Chapter 14, Article II are 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Saturday.  Such equipment is not permitted to be operated on Sundays or legal holidays. 

New Resident Information 

New residents to Bloomfield Township often have questions regarding Township ordinances. The Ordinance Division has created a flyer containing most-requested information in order to help new residents familiarize themselves with the Township's ordinances. 

 New Resident Flyer