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Signs - Permits - COs

 1. Are you thinking about opening a business in Madison?  The fist step is to talk with Jim Burnet, Assistant Business Administrator.  Jim is here to support the businesses in town and to advocate on their behalf.  It is also helpful to meet with Jim so he can help you fill out the various forms.


2. You found a space that you think will work for you.  What’s Next?  The town has zoning regulations that control the type of business that can open in a particular location, so we need to determine if you can open your business in that location.  To do that, you must file a Zoning Permit Application.

Zoning Permit Application.  Applications are available in Fran Boardman’s Office (Planning/Zoning) or you can download one here.  You will need:

a) a completed Zoning Permit Application with $100 fee,
b) a simple diagram of the inside of the space, and,
c) a survey of the property.  Any survey from your Landlord that represents current conditions is acceptable.  Please let us know if this is an issue before going to the expense of obtaining a new one.

This information should be delivered to Fran Boardman, the Borough's Administrative Official for Planning and Zoning.  The Zoning Officer has 10 business days to respond to the application.

We suggest that you fill out the Zoning Permit Application BEFORE signing a lease.  Please note, we can also arrange to have the Construction Official, Fire Official and Main Street Executive Director meet with you at your location to discuss your potential tenancy of the site.  Contact Jim Burnet at 973-593-8496 if you would like to schedule an appointment.

Note:  Applications that represent a significant change in use (example, retail to food) or a significant intensification of use (small book store to 24 hour Barnes & Noble) may be required to go before the Planning Board for a site plan review.


3.  Your Zoning Permit Application was approved by the Zoning Officer (or you received site plan approval from the Planning Board) and you signed a lease.    The next step is to obtain CONTINUING CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY (CCO).  Please visit Fran Boardman at the Planning/Zoning office and pay the appropriate fee.  Once the fee is paid, please contact Captain Ed Nunn, Jr, our Fire Official, at 973-245-3494 to arrange for an inspection.  IMPORTANT.  You MUST obtain both a Zoning Permit approval letter AND a CCO before opening your business.


4.  Other Steps.  The following steps may or may not be required, depending on your particular business.

a. Sign Permit.  If you would like to have any type of sign, then you must complete a sign permit form.  The permit form is available in Fran Boardman's Planning/Zoning Office or you can download one here.  The Sign Permit fee is $100.

You CAN NOT hang a sign on the building without a permit.

Signs are first reviewed for code compliance.  After the Borough determines that the sign is legal and fits within the regulations of the code, the sign is reviewed by the Sign & Facade Committee of the Downtown Development Commission.  Review by the Sign & Facade Committee is mandatory, but you are not required to incorporate the suggestions of the Committee into your sign.  Having said that, the committee is an excellent resource and may help you create a more effective sign that fits within the proper aesthetics in town.  As such, we strongly suggest you contact the S&F Committee DURING THE DESIGN PROCESS.

The sign will also be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), if the space is in the historic district (the district is denoted in green on this map).  The HPC uses an article from the National Alliance of Historic Preservation Commissions to help guide them in determining signage impacts in the Historic District.  This article can be found here.

Getting signs reviewed and approved can take time.  Please keep in mind that the sign will be up for years and as such it is important to have the best sign possible.  The Borough permits temporary signs.  The Zoning Department can help you with temporary sign permits (note, there is a $50 fee for a temporary sign permit).

Sign Permit Submission Requirements
a) a completed Zoning Permit Application with payment,
b) a completed Sign Permit Application Addendum.  Information on permitted sign size, illumination, location and other regulations can be found by visiting Chapter 195-34 and Schedule IV of the Borough's Land Use Code.  Please include information on the illumination of the sign with your application.  Cut sheets of new lighting fixtures will suffice.  Or if you are using the existing lighting, a note stating such is all that is needed.
c) clear, high resolution, full color digital images of the sign(s) superimposed on the building site so as to show the exact location of the signage.  If possible, please use Pantone Color reference codes to help identify colors more precisely.  The images should be e-mailed to BoardmanF@rosenet.org.
d) a letter from your Landlord giving you permission to install the proposed signage. 
e) if the permit is for a Sandwich Board Sign, then the applicant must also provide a Certificate of Insurance with a minimum $500,000 liability coverage to the Borough, listing the Borough of Madison as an Additional Insured.  This Certificate must be re-issued to the Borough on a yearly basis.
f) Sign Permit Fee of $100.

This information should be delivered to Fran Boardman, the Borough's Administrative Official for Planning and Zoning.  The Zoning Officer has 10 business days to respond to the application.

b. Construction Permits.  If you are doing any construction at the location, you must visit the Construction Office and file for permits.  Not sure?  You can call Russ Brown at 973-593-3064.

Your business is a place where the public will gather.  As such, IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to make sure that you follow the permitting process and get permits for all renovations including minor plumbing, electrical and construction.

c. Health Department Permit.  If you are handling food in any way, or even selling prepackaged food, you must file for a Health Department Permit.  Please contact the Health Department at 973-593-3079.  The Health Department is located at 28 Walnut Street.

d. Sidewalk Dining.  If you are a food establishment and wish to have sidewalk dining, then you must fill out an ANNUAL permit.  This permit can be found here.

e. Other State or Regulatory Approvals. Depending on your particular business, you may be required to obtain other approvals.

f. Getting your business listed on Rosenet. The Borough of Madison offers an extensive business listing on our municipal website.  Please visit http://gov.rosenet.org/businesses/tags to see the listing.  Madison based Businesses that are interested in having a listing should contact Jim Burnet.  Contact information is below.

 We are here to help
Please contact us if you need any assistance with this process.

For general questions, please contact:
Jim Burnet, Main Street Executive Director, 973-593-8496, burnetj@rosenet.org

For zoning and sign questions, please contact:
Fran Boardman, Planning & Zoning Administrator, 973-593-3060, boardmanf@rosenet.org

For construction questions, please contact:
Russ Brown, Construction Official, 973-593-3064, brownr@rosenet.org

For Certificate of Occupancy questions, please contact:
Captain Ed Nunn, Jr, Fire Official, 973-245-3494, nunne@rosenet.org


 Russ Brown, Fran Boardman, Ed Nunn, Jr, Jim Burnet.