New Jersey Field Office
Northeast Region
 

Understanding Land Use Decisions in New Jersey

 

Role of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) in Project Review

Other Government Agencies Affecting Land Use in New Jersey

Municipalities

  1. Under the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.), municipalities have primary jurisdiction over land use decisions.
  2. Municipal officials are likely to consider environmental factors along with many others in encouraging, approving, or denying proposed development (e.g., conformance to current zoning and design standards; effects on traffic, taxes, and municipal services; economic growth).
  3. Relevant environmental factors may include the classification of a property under municipal, county, regional, and State master plans; presence of wetlands, floodplains, or endangered species; environmental contamination; steep slopes; importance of a property as a source of clean surface or groundwater; potential of a project to affect off-site flooding; and value of a property as open space.
  4. Citizen participation opportunities include elections; council, zoning board, planning board, and environmental commission meetings; and comment periods during the development and revision of municipal master plans.

Municipal and County Information
http://www.state.nj.us/nj/gov/county/

New Jersey League of Municipalities
http://www.njslom.com/

Association of New Jersey's Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Adjustment
http://njpo.org/

Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions
http://www.anjec.org/

NJ-GeoWeb (interactive mapping including wetlands, wildlife habitat, and rare plants)
http://www.state.nj.us/dep/gis/geowebsplash.htm

 

Regulatory Agencies

  1. The New Jersey Division of Land Use Regulation has permitting authority over specific geographic areas dictated by State law including open waters, floodplains, wetlands, transition areas, waterfront areas, the Highlands Region, and the Coastal Zone.  (Land use regulation in the Pinelands Area is administered by the Pinelands Commission.)  In addition to State permits, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits (and sometimes U.S. Coast Guard permits) are required for work in navigable, tidal, and inter-State waters and their associated wetlands, and for work in jurisdictional wetlands or open waters within the Hackensack Meadowlands District.
  2. These agencies make decisions to approve, conditionally approve, or deny permit applications based on conformance of a project to applicable sets of substantive and procedural regulations.
  3. Citizen participation opportunities include public meetings and comment periods, often announced via public notices.

New Jersey Division of Land Use Regulation
http://www.state.nj.us/dep/landuse/

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
http://www.nan.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/ObtainingaPermit.aspx

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District
http://www.nap.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory.aspx

U.S. Coast Guard Bridge Permits
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg551/

 

Counties and Regional/State Planning Entities

  1. These entities influence municipal land use decisions through larger-scale policies and plans.
  2. Citizen participation opportunities include meeting attendance, comment periods, and county elections.

Municipal and County Information
http://www.state.nj.us/nj/gov/county/

New Jersey Association of Counties
http://www.njac.org/

New Jersey Meadowlands Commission
http://www.njmeadowlands.gov/

New Jersey Highlands Commission
http://www.highlands.state.nj.us/

New Jersey Pinelands Commission
http://www.state.nj.us/pinelands/

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
http://www.dvrpc.org/

New Jersey Coastal Management Program
http://www.nj.gov/dep/cmp/

New Jersey Office of Smart Growth
http://nj.gov/state/planning/smart.html

New Jersey Division of Watershed Management
http://www.nj.gov/dep/watershedmgt/

Regional Plan Association
http://www.rpa.org/

SmartPlanNJ
http://www.plansmartnj.org/

American Planning Association
http://www.planning.org/

 

Transportation Agencies

  1. Transportaton Agencies influence municipal, regional, and State-wide land use decisions through planning and building expansions of road and mass-transit infrastructure.
  2. Citizen participation opportunities include public meetings and comment periods, often under the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act and/or New Jersey Executive Order 215.

 U.S. Department of Transportation
http://www.dot.gov/

New Jersey Department of Transportation
http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/

New Jersey Transit
http://www.njtransit.com/

New Jersey Turnpike Authority (including the Garden State Parkway)
http://www.state.nj.us/turnpike/

South Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (including the Atlantic City Expressway)
http://www.sjta.com/sjta/

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
http://www.panynj.gov/

Delaware River Port Authority
http://www.drpa.org/

Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations
http://www.ampo.org/index.php

North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (Metropolitan Planning Organization)
http://www.njtpa.org/

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (Metropolitan Planning Organization)
http://www.dvrpc.org/

South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (Metropolitan Planning Organization)
http://www.sjtpo.org/

National Environmental Policy Act (President's Council on Environmental Quality)
https://ceq.doe.gov/

New Jersey Executive Order 215
http://www.state.nj.us/infobank/circular/eok215.htm

See Also

The New Jersey Audubon Society provides more detailed information about citizen participation in land use decisions in the New Jersey. As indicated in our disclaimer, links to external servers do not imply any official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service endorsement of the opinions or ideas expressed therein, or guarantee the validity of the information provided.

 

 

Last updated: October 31, 2014
New Jersey Field Office
Northeast Region Ecological Services
Northeast Region Home


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