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

Public Hearing for the Draft Open Space Element of the Morris County Master Plan

The Morris County Planning Board will hold a public hearing to consider adoption of the 2024 Open Space Element of the Morris County Master Plan. A public hearing will be held on Wednesday, August 21, 2024, from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm via WebEx videoconference.


The meeting can be accessed at the web address below:

  • Password: morriscounty

The meeting may also be joined by phone 1-408-418-9388 | Access Code/Event Number 2341 685 1788

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 # 1-901-201-4005
  • Attendee Code # 842856


The Plan may be viewed below:

Link to Draft Open Space Element 

Written comments may be submitted via   Comment Form

Comments may also be submitted via email at [email protected] to OPEN SPACE ELEMENT OF THE MORRIS COUNTY MASTER PLAN or via regular mail to: OPEN SPACE ELEMENT OF THE MORRIS COUNTY MASTER PLAN, Morris County Planning Board, P.O. Box 900, Morristown, NJ 07963-0900. Written comments will be accepted until 5:00 pm, August 21, 2024.


Morris County FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map Update

FEMA provided notice of the start of the 90-day appeal and comment period for the updated Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for eight communities in Morris County. These communities include the Borough of Butler, the Township of East Hanover, the Borough of Kinnelon, the Borough of Lincoln Park, the Township of Montville, the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, the Township of Pequannock, and the Borough of Riverdale. The updated maps are a result of the Scientific Review Panel that was created in response to the 2017 FEMA Preliminary FIRMs. The 90-day period will begin on or around May 10, 2024.

FEMA encourages residents, business owners, and other community partners to review the maps to learn about local flood risks and potential future flood insurance requirements. Please visit the Press Release to learn more about the process and how you can participate. If you have any questions, please contact FEMA Region 2 Office of External Affairs at (212) 680-3699 or at [email protected].

The Morris County Office of Planning & Preservation website is updated regularly with the latest information regarding these updates. You can find more information on our Map Adoption Process page or Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) page

Morris County Memorializes Civil War Soldiers

Morris County unveiled the newest addition to its online Morris County’s Veterans Compendium: “Brother Against Brother: The Civil War,” on the 163rd anniversary of the Battle of Fort Sumter in 1861 and the official start of the devastating four-year conflict.

Published by the Morris County Office of Planning & Preservation, the ninth installment of the Veterans Compendium was released at 7 a.m. on April 12, to coincide with the moment the United States Army first returned fire at Fort Sumter in Charleston, S.C., during a siege launched 2-1/2 hours earlier by the Confederate States Army.

Notably, Captain Abner Doubleday, who later resided in Mendham, fired the first cannon shot for the Union Army.

View the History & Stories of Morris County Civil War Soldiers

Read the full press release. 

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.

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   

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!