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

Open Space Grant Applications Available

The Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation has released the application form for the 2021 funding round of municipal/non-profit open space projects under the Morris County Preservation Trust Fund.  Any of the 39 municipalities in the county and qualified non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funding. 

The 2021 open space application and list of other required application materials can be found online.

All application materials are due by 4:30 PM on Friday, June 11, 2021

Program rules were recently amended to include costs for demolition and restoration of a property (up to a maximum of 10% of the eligible land cost, or $50,000 whichever is less) as allowable costs under the program.

Please contact Barbara Murray in the Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation at (973) 829-8120 or [email protected] for further information on the program or application process. 

Morris County Flood Mitigation Program Purchases 80th Property

Morris County’s innovative flood mitigation program has purchased its 80th flood-prone property, using a voter-approved county preservation trust fund to obtain flood-threatened homes and permanently restore the properties to open space.

The program, which has operated since 2012 through the Morris County Open Space, Farmland, and Historic Preservation Trust, supplements state and federal flood buyouts by helping towns secure flood-prone properties from willing sellers. It is designed to purchase chronically flooded properties and return the land to natural use.

See the full press release.

New Morris County Master Plan Land Use Element Adopted

Morris County Master Plan Land Use Element On December 3, 2020, the Morris County Planning Board adopted a new Land Use Element as a component of the Morris County Master Plan. The new Land Use Plan Element describes current conditions related to county-wide land use, including related demographics, the physical and regulatory environment, county activities related to land use and land use trends and issues.

It provides a framework to help guide future county investment and relates the County Planning Board’s land use goals, objectives and recommendations for land use in Morris County. As pertains to local planning, the Element is intended to inform and assist local governments by providing a reference that they may consider in framing their own land use policies, plans and regulations.

View the Land Use Element.

The Greatest Generation – Morris County in WWII

September 2, 2020 was the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, the official end to World War II. The Office of Planning and Preservation has released a cultural resources survey, a compilation of the names of our 3,075 WWII veterans. Search the list for your loved ones who served in the Greatest Generation.

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:

  • Public access to the office is restricted.
  • 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.

New Municipal Census Data Released

The U.S. Census Bureau released its 2015-2019 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year Estimates, which include demographic data for all the municipalities in the nation.  The 2015-2019 ACS includes estimates for various topics, including income, educational attainment, housing and transportation.  Updates for this data have been posted to the Data and Statistics page of this website.