Land Development Review

Overview

The Land Development Review Section processes all development applications which consist of subdivision plans and site plans submitted to the Morris County Planning Board for review and approval. This Section is also responsible for preparing the Annual Development Activity Report , any updates to the Official Map, and reviewing municipal stormwater management plans and ordinances in accordance with NJDEP Stormwater Management rules (N.J.A.C. 7:8-4.4). Staff also undertakes projects that enhance the Section’s ability in reviewing development applications.

County Development Review

Planning & Preservation and COVID-19

The following measures have been implemented in accordance with the temporary policy adopted by the Commissioner Board in response to COVID-19:

  • The Land Development Review Section will continue to process applications and issue reports within the 30-day statutory period and may request an additional 30-day extension if necessary.
    • Prior to submitting new applications or revisions, please contact Joe Barilla or Greg Perry to review the new submittal procedures due to COVID-19 staff protocol.
  • Applications shall be delivered through mail, FedEx, UPS or other delivery service. No in-person delivery will be accepted.

Please call 973-829-8120 and leave a message if you have any questions related to Planning & Preservation. We will return your call as soon as possible.

The New Jersey County Planning Act provides for the review and approval of many types of development applications by the County Planning Board. All subdivision applications must also be submitted to the County for review and approval. In Morris County, minor subdivisions, which do not front on County roads, are deemed exempt from formal review. In addition, all site plans which front on County roads and/or have impervious areas of one acre or more must also be submitted to the County for review and approval. Site plans of less than one acre of impervious area are deemed exempt from formal review if they do not front on a County road.

The Land Development Review Committee meets at least once a month, depending on the volume of applications, to review the development applications processed by the staff. At each regularly scheduled monthly County Planning Board meeting, the full Board votes on the “Report of Actions Taken on Development Plans” which contains recommendations of the Committee as well as a complete summary of all development activity processed through the office each month.

Official County Map

The Official County Map, adopted by the Board of County Commissioners, shows “the highways, roadways, parks, parkways, and sites for public buildings or works, under county jurisdiction, or in the acquisition, financing or construction of which the county has participated or may be called upon to participate.” (N.J.S.A 40:27-5). The map is binding and all expenditures of public funds by the county for development or acquisition of land must be in accordance with the Official Map.

Municipal Stormwater Management Plans and Ordinance Review

In accordance with the NJDEP Stormwater Management Rules (N.J.A.C. 7:8-4.4), the Morris County Planning Board is the designated county review agency for the review and approval of municipal stormwater management plans and ordinances. The Land Development Review Section is responsible for processing and reviewing the plans. See http://www.njstormwater.org for more information.

Special Projects

Known Contaminated Sites Inventory Update and Redevelopment Assessment

Using the NJDEP Known Contaminated Sites List (KCS) and USEPA and municipal information, staff is creating an updated inventory of brownfield sites in the County and assessing their redevelopment potential. When a development application on a brownfield site is submitted for review, staff will have already gained knowledge of the site’s characteristics and will be able to expand upon planning-related issues in the advisory review.

The Morris County Planning Board is empowered to review subdivisions and site plans within the County as per the New Jersey County Planning Act (NJSA 40:27-1 et seq.). The County of Morris first adopted development standards for review of developments on May 26, 1971. The current Morris County Land Development Standards(PDF, 2MB) have been revised through May 12, 2004. The development standards provide the basis for determining the classification and possible requirements for the review of development proposals and ultimately provide for approval of developments.

Submissions Determination

All subdivision of land is to be submitted for review and where required, approval, prior to municipal approval, by the County Planning Board as per NJSA 40:27-6.3 of the New Jersey County Planning Act. This includes all major and minor subdivisions.

Site plans shall be submitted for review when one of the following criteria is met as specifically set forth in NJSA 40:27-6.6 and County Land Development Standards 300:301:

  1. the development is situated on a County Road;
  2. there is an increase greater then 1 acre of impervious coverage;
  3. a tear down redevelopment with greater then 1 acre impervious coverage.

Individual site plans for one and two family residential dwellings and permitted accessory uses that are incidental to one and two family dwellings, do not require County Planning Board approval as per Land Development Standards Morris County.

Submission Requirements

The County of Morris requires that all applications be submitted through the Municipal approving authority (Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, or combined Land Use Board) as per Section 300:303 of the Morris County Land Development Standards. The County allows for the Municipal approving Authority to permit the applicant to submit directly to the County as long as a letter of transmittal from said authority is included. The County requires two copies of all plans and accompanying material (including County application form) to be submitted in order to constitute a complete application.

All first time submissions shall include a completed Morris County Land Development Review Application and check if necessary and shall be submitted to the County through the appropriate municipal board. Subsequent revised submissions (including additional information) shall include a cover letter from the municipality indicating acknowledgement of receipt of submission. The County will make a determination of completeness as per required information within Section 400 of the development standards. Two copies of all plats and information is required. The County Planning Board has 30 days from determination of completeness to issue a report to the Municipal approving authority as per NJSA 40:27-6.7.

Minor subdivisions shall conform to requirements as put forth in Section 400:401 of the Land Development Standards Morris County.

Preliminary plat for major subdivision shall conform to requirements as put forth in Section 400:402.

Final plat for major subdivision shall conform to requirements as put forth in Section 400:403.

Filing a final plat for major subdivision shall conform to requirements as put forth in Section 400:404.

Site plans shall conform to requirements as put forth in Section 400:405.

All preliminary subdivision plats and site plans are required to provide for the management of stormwater runoff in a manner consistent with the Land Development Standards as per Section 600.

A Traffic Impact Report may be required of a development when certain criteria are met (as per Section 500:502A) or as required by the County Traffic Engineer.

Monthly Report of Actions Taken on Development Plans