Planning and Preservation

We provide staff to the Morris County Planning Board and are responsible for programs that preserve farmland, open space, historic resources, assist in the buyout of flood-prone residential properties and fund trail construction projects. We also:

  • Develop county master plan, review subdivisions of land and site plans, advise commissioners on planning matters, and provide information for individual citizens, industries, public service groups, and government officials
  • Maintain aerial photographs of the county and acts as the depository for U.S. Census data
  • Manage the various and diverse planning related programs conducted by the County


More Information

Latest News

2022 Open Space Recommendations

The Open Space Trust Fund Committee presented their recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on November 9, 2022.  The Board of County Commissioners will act on their recommendations at their meeting on November 21, 2022.

2022: Five (5) applications were recommended for approval:

20th Anniversary of the Historic Preservation Program

This year, 2022, is the 20th anniversary of the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund program. We want to celebrate this occasion by illustrating all the historic sites that have received grant funding with a Storymap. Visit the Funded Sites page to view the Storymap.

20 years ago, on November 5th, 2002, the voters of Morris County approved a referendum authorizing the then County Freeholders to permit historic preservation funding under the Open Space Trust Fund, as allowed by state law. Ever since the first funding round in 2003, the Commissioners have awarded over $45 million to 122 historic sites located in 34 municipalities.

We hope this Storymap can bring County residents closer to the many historic treasures which they have helped fund, and also show the strong commitment of the Commissioners toward historic preservation that contribute to the high quality of life here in Morris County. 

Morris County Launches Online Land Development Review Application

The Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation has launched an online application allowing Morris County Planning Board applicants to digitally submit their documents and make required fee payments.

Hard copies of applications will still be required; however, digital submissions will provide the public a more convenient option to pay by credit card or electronic check via ACH (Automatic Clearing House) in addition to traditional paper checks.

“The pandemic prompted us to consider options to paper checks, and this electronic means also enables us to ensure the billing is done correctly in advance. Honest mistakes are made, and this can provide guidance at the start,” said Joseph Barilla, Director of the Morris County Office of Planning & Preservation.

Once an application has been submitted, planning staff will confirm the correct fee by doing a preliminary evaluation to determine the specifics of the project.  Staff will send the applicant a digital invoice and they can pay by whichever method is appropriate for them.

The new online form can be found on the Land Development Review Sections homepage:

A direct link to the form may be found here:

Director Barilla also said that digital document submissions will enable the office to build a database on project documents that are more conveniently accessed and maintained over time.

Anyone with questions about this process or any Land Development Review submittals, you may reach out to staff at [email protected] or call (973) 829-8120.

Public Hearing for the Draft Comprehensive Farmland Preservation Plan Element of the Morris County Master Plan

The Morris County Planning Board will hold a public hearing to consider adoption of the 2022 Comprehensive Farmland Preservation Plan Element of the Morris County Master Plan. A public hearing will be held on November 2, 2022, from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm via WebEx videoconference.

The meeting can be accessed at the web address below:

                                   Access Code/Event Number 2339 407 8337
                                   Password: Planning

The meeting may also be joined by phone 1-408-418-9388 | Access Code/Event Number 2339 407 8337

Should there be a technical difficulty with the WebEx application, the meeting will be held via conference call at the phone number listed below:

  • Conference Call # 1-877-826-6967
  • Attendee Code # 842856


The Plan may be viewed below: 

Morris County Comprehensive Farmland Preservation Plan Element(PDF, 6MB)
Morris County Comprehensive Farmland Preservation Plan Element Appendices(PDF, 2MB)

Written comments may be submitted via COMMENT FORM

Comments may also be submitted via email at [email protected] to FARMLAND PRESERVATION PLAN or via regular mail to: Comprehensive Farmland Preservation Plan Element, Morris County Planning Board, P.O. Box 900, Morristown, NJ 07963-0900. Written comments will be accepted until 5:00 pm, November 2, 2022.

Multi-Family Rental Housing Information

The Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation has released a map depicting the location of known “Multi-family Rental Housing Developments”(PDF, 1MB) of five or more units in Morris County with a corresponding table listing the address of each development and additional information.

This information compliments existing housing maps and data available for “Low & Moderate Income and Inclusionary Housing”(PDF, 1MB) and “Senior and Special Needs Housing”(PDF, 1MB) in Morris County.

Share Your NJ Flood Story

This fall, the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts will be kicking off “Rising Together, NJ,” a social media campaign that encourages people to come together to share their experiences with flooding in New Jersey. Ultimately, the goal is to compile these experiences into an archive everyone can use to support flood risk outreach and education efforts.

Learn more and share your story! 

2022 Historic Preservation Grant Awards

On July 13, 2022, the Board of County Commissioners approved $2.65 million in county grants from the county’s 2022 Preservation Trust Fund to help preserve, restore, or protect 29 historic sites in 21 towns across Morris County.

Please see 2022 Funding Summary(PDF, 1MB) .

Project Welcome Home

On March 29, 2022, in honor of National Vietnam Veterans Day, Morris County released a list of Vietnam veterans. If you are a veteran born in Morris County, or lived here for ten years, and would like to be included, please contact Jan Williams [email protected]

Morris County Miners

On March 2, 2022, the office of Planning and Preservation released a cultural resources survey, a compilation of the names of Miners. Click here to search the list.