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



State Plan and Cross-Acceptance


More Information


Latest News

2024 Open Space Applications Available

The Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation has released the application form for the 2024 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 2024 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 14, 2024

Program rules now 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.

Blue Acres Buyout Informational Meetings

Meet with Blue Acres staff to understand the voluntary flood buyout process. The following meetings are intended for homeowners impacted by the December 2023 and the January 2024 flooding. 

  • February 1, 2024 |  5:30-7:30 P.M. Pompton Lakes Municipal Building at 25 Lenox Ave., Pompton Lakes.
  • February 8, 2024 |  5:30-7:30 P.M. Lodi Public Library at 1 Memorial Dr., Lodi.
  • February 15, 2024 |  6:30-8:30 P.M. Virtual via Microsoft Teams. Event registration link forthcoming on the Blue Acres website.

Stay tuned for additional informational meeting announcements!

Blue Acres informational flyer

Flood Mitigation Program Supports Morris County Residents

Flood Mitigation Program Supports Morris County Residents
Program Offers Options for Flood Prone Homeowners

With recent storms leaving some property owners under water again, Morris County is reminding everyone that the Morris County Flood Mitigation program has helped provide a fresh start to 86 flood prone homeowners in eight municipalities since its inception in 2012. 

The Flood Mitigation Program was established by the Morris County Board of County Commissioners in response to Hurricane Irene, which devastated sections of Morris County with catastrophic flooding in August 2011.   

“This was the first county-level flood acquisition program in New Jersey, and it has allowed Morris County to work with municipalities and other funding partners to help these homeowners get out of harm’s way.  Not only does this voluntary program help to decrease the risk of life and property being lost, but it also creates open space and provides areas to redirect flood waters in the future,” said Commissioner Stephen Shaw, liaison to the Flood Mitigation Committee.

The storm events in the past few weeks led to the worst flooding since Hurricane Irene, with rainfall amounts between 4 to over 5 inches in some parts of the county, according to the National Weather Service. Numerous towns experienced road closures and power outages, as well as flooding of homes.

The Morris County Flood Mitigation Program was established to augment state and federal mitigation programs. It was the first county flood mitigation program when it was created in 2012. Since then, it has received the “Outstanding Floodplain Management Award” from the New Jersey Association for Floodplain Management and the state Department of Environmental Protection’s “Environmental Excellence Award.”

Some aspects of the program include:

The “CORE” program is designed to catch houses that have fallen through other agency funding nets, with Morris County providing up to 75% of the acquisition cost.

The “MATCH” program provides a 25% county match for projects already underway with agencies such as FEMA and NJDEP Blue Acres, aiding in the completion of these acquisitions.

For more information on the Morris County Flood Mitigation Program visit  or reach out to Program Coordinator, Mike DiGiulio [email protected] in the Morris County Office of Planning & Preservation.  

 Flood Mitigation Program Logo.jpg   

2024 Historic Preservation Grant Applications

Application forms for the 2024 grant round of the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund are now available.

Note the following schedule:



A New StoryMap Documents the County’s “Buried” Past

In honor of Día de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, falling on November 1 in 2023, the Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation has released an interactive ArcGIS StoryMap© of Morris County cemeteries.

“This latest story map compliments earlier story maps produced by our Office of Planning and Preservation that highlight our history and legacy of preserving that history. Today it is fitting that we build on that legacy with a story map that recognizes the county’s early residents who paved the way for the county we reside in today. We invite you to explore our newest release complete with photos, background and geographic data to learn how residents of the past helped inform our present,” said Commissioner Stephen Shaw, liaison to the Office of Planning and Preservation.

Read the full press release. 

New Census Data Demonstrates Morris County’s Strength in Income, Housing Value and Educational Attainment

The Census Bureau has released its 2022 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-Year Estimates for geographic areas with a population of 65,000 or more.* The 2022 ACS includes estimates for various topics including income, educational attainment, housing and transportation. Highlights include:

  • At $164,984, Morris County had the highest median family income and at $131,795 the third highest median household income among all 21 counties in New Jersey.
  • At $546,600, Morris County had the third highest median housing value among all counties in the state.
  • At 58.9%, Morris County had the second highest percentage of the population age 25 and over with a bachelor’s degree or higher among all counties in the state.

Updates pertaining to these and other topics have been posted to the Data and Statistics page of this website.

*There are no municipalities in Morris County with a population of 65,000 or more, so for Morris County, this data applies at the county level only.

Morris County Launches Interactive Look Inside the American Revolution

For Independence Day 2023, Morris County is proud to announce its latest installment to the Veterans Compendium project, “Morris County in the American Revolution,” an interactive ArcGIS StoryMap© complete with an introductory video, photos, background and geographic data on the local soldiers, civilians and places involved in winning our nation’s independence!

In conjunction with the story map launch, the Morris County Board of County Commissioners announced it is forming a committee to celebrate the 250th anniversary (semiquincentennial) of American Independence.

Check out the American Revolution Story Map!

Read the full press release. 

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!