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

New Morris County Comprehensive Farmland Preservation Element Adopted

Picture1.jpg On December 8, 2022, the Morris County Planning Board adopted a new Comprehensive Farmland Preservation Plan Element as a component of the Morris County Master Plan.

The Comprehensive Farmland Preservation Plan (Plan) was developed in accordance with the requirements of the New Jersey State Agricultural Development Board. The Plan addresses current conditions and issues associated with farmland preservation and agricultural activity in Morris County and sets new targets for continued farmland preservation efforts. As pertains to local planning, the Plan is intended to inform and assist local governments by providing a reference that they may consider in framing their own policies, plans and regulations.

This document may be viewed in the Publications section of the Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation website.

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.

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!