New Jersey Concrete Zoning Information

We Breakdown the Zoning Process in NJ

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Zoning Permits are the most common permit requirement for residential concrete work such as driveways, patios, and walkways. Continue reading to understand what a permit is and how to obtain one.

What is a Zoning Permit?

A residential zoning permit allows property owners to develop or modify their homes in line with local regulations governing residential land use. Most towns mandate a zoning permit for any property modifications, yet some may permit the replacement of existing structures without requiring a permit, depending on local regulations.
For a hassle-free experience in obtaining concrete work permits, consider our expert permit service. Contact us at [email protected] for professional support.

How to fill out a Zoning Permit Application?

Step 1: Locate Your Property Survey

Initially, you need to locate your homeowner’s survey, typically found among the files from your home purchase. This survey is an aerial view drawing of your property, showing all structures and property lines.

Here’s an example of a Property Survey:

If the survey is missing, contact us first before reaching out to your municipality!

Here are three alternative approaches:

  1. Optimistic Scenario: We may request a copy of your survey from your municipality through the Open Public Records Act, although this is often unsuccessful, with better chances in larger towns.
  2. Optimistic Scenario: We could seek the Zoning Officer’s approval to submit a GPS photo marked as a survey would be. Acceptance depends on the specifics of the job.
  3. Less Ideal Scenario: The town may require a new survey. This involves hiring a local Surveying Company, which could cost about $750 on average in 2023 and take 2-4 weeks to complete.

Step 2: Annotate the Survey with Job Details

Illustrate your concrete work:
Mark new concrete areas on the survey and/or highlight areas for replacement.

Incorporate Measurements:
Add length and width dimensions to your drawing, as found in your quote.

Include Setbacks:
Identify the nearest edges of your project and measure the distance to your property lines. For instance, for a patio, measure the distance from the patio’s rear edge to the back fence to determine the rear setback. Similarly, measure the distances to the property lines on both sides of the patio and note these as side setbacks.

Here’s an example of a marked up survey:

Step 3: Fill out Zoning Permit Application

You can obtain zoning permit applications either at your local zoning office or through the municipality’s website. The form generally requires basic information, such as your contact details. In the section for the description of the work, include the nature of the project and its dimensions, like “patio 10 x 20, walkway 30 x 3.” The application will also inquire about setbacks. Refer to the measurements you recorded on your survey for the distances to property lines and include these in the setback section of the application.

Step 4: Submit the Application and Pay the Permit Fee

While mailing your application is an option, it’s usually more effective to submit it in person.

For detailed information tailored to your town’s permit requirements, visit the Concrete Works NJ website. Under the “Areas We Serve” section, we offer comprehensive details about permit requirements specific to your town, including direct links to permit forms and information on the fees for each municipality. Remember, this information serves as a guide, and you should always confirm the latest codes and policies with your local municipality.

What Happens Next?

The zoning officer evaluates a property for compliance with local zoning regulations, they consider both impervious coverage rates and setback requirements, which are two critical aspects of land use planning. Here’s how these elements are combined in the assessment process:

Assessing Impervious Coverage:

The officer first calculates the impervious coverage rate, which is the proportion of the property covered by surfaces that don’t absorb water, such as buildings, driveways, and patios. This rate is crucial for managing stormwater runoff and environmental impact. It is determined by measuring the total impervious area and dividing it by the total property area.

On the Concrete Works NJ website, if you navigate to the page dedicated to your town, you will find a link to your town’s code book. This resource is where you can find detailed information about the impervious coverage limits applicable to your property. It’s important to determine which Residential district (1-3) your property falls under, as each district has its own specific requirements.

Dealing with Permit Denials:
If your project exceeds impervious coverage limits, there are several ways to address the denial:

  • Applying for Variances: Requesting an exception to zoning regulations if compliance is impractical or causes hardship. This is a very involved process that we suggest to avoid.
  • Modifying Your Project: Reducing impervious areas by removing unneeded structures or adjusting plans to meet standards.

Considering Setback Requirements:

Alongside impervious coverage, setback requirements are assessed. Setbacks are the minimum distances that structures must be from property boundaries, and they vary by zoning district. These requirements are in place to ensure adequate space between properties for privacy, safety, and aesthetic purposes.

Shed Pad Example: Imagine you want to install a shed pad in your backyard. In one zoning district, the rules might require that any structure, including shed pads, be at least 3 feet away from any property line. However, in another district, the requirement might be 5 feet or more.

On the Concrete Works NJ website, under your town’s specific page, you’ll find a link to your town’s code book. Within this code book, you can locate the setback requirements. It’s important to determine which Residential district (1-3) your property falls under, as each district has its own specific requirements.

Mitigating Grading Plan Challenges:
It’s important to note that the need for a grading plan is relatively rare, affecting only a select number of towns. In these specific towns, any addition exceeding 500 square feet necessitates a grading plan, which can substantially increase costs through engineering plans, elevated permit fees, and potential additional drainage work. Our strategy often involves avoiding the requirement for a grading plan by adopting staged development – handling the project in phases. We encourage you to always consult with us, so we can collaboratively develop the most suitable plan for your needs.
Seeking Concrete Works NJ Expert Guidance:
Always consult with us when facing any zoning and development challenges. Our experience in dealing with local zoning laws, grading plan requirements, and project planning can be invaluable in overcoming obstacles and finding efficient pathways to project completion.
Simplify Your Concrete Project: Expert Permit Assistance Available

For a hassle-free experience in obtaining concrete work permits, consider our expert permit service. Our team, led by our office manager Jim, offers comprehensive assistance, ensuring compliance and efficiency. Save time and avoid the complexities of permit processing. Contact Jim at [email protected] for professional support.