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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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Limited Practical Use (LPU) Pinelands Acquisition Program

New Jersey's Pinelands

NOTE: No new applications for this Program are currently being accepted. To sell your land to the NJDEP Green Acres Program, please complete a regular Application for Sale of Real Estate to NJDEP Green Acres.

The Limited Practical Use (LPU) Pinelands Acquisition Program was established in 1996 as a collaborative effort of The National Park Service, The Pinelands Commission, and The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to provide a measure of relief to property owners who had been denied "full use" of their properties within the Pinelands National Reserve due to strict building, environmental, and land use considerations.

The Pinelands Commission set program criteria, and DEP acquires the properties in the name of The State of New Jersey (the National Park Service initially provided initial matching funding). DEP then holds the parcels for open space uses in perpetuity.

LPU, administered by the Green Acres Program within DEP, currently consists of two sub–programs.

1. The Limited Practical Use (LPU) Program: LPU is a land purchase program. While the LPU program is not designed to compensate the property owner for the land in the same way that a private land sale in the most aggressive real estate market would, it does provide a measure of relief to the property owner from the continued burden of carrying a property after all attempts to develop the parcel have been exhausted. Compensation is based on a formula of $2,000 for the first acre or part thereof and $l,000 for each additional acre, up to a maximum of 6.5 acres or $7,500. Larger parcels are appraised.

  • Participation is limited to properties that go through a consultation process for requesting a Waiver of Strict Compliance.
  • Lands acquired are assigned to a DEP land holding division for open space purposes.
2. The Quick Action Program (QA) follows the same purchase procedures as those established under LPU with greater flexibility. Property owners can come directly to DEP to sell their lands to the State when they do not qualify for a Pinelands Commission waiver of strict regulations
  • QA permits the acquisition of properties larger than 50
  • QA requires that property owners acknowledge that they initiated the offer and that the land has limited development potential.
  • QA acquisition requires that a DEP land holding division has an interest in acquiring the property.
The first step in the acquisition process is to develop technical information such as hazardous material reviews, on–site inspections, reports of title and appraisal information for DEP's use prior to final approval of any aquisition.

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Last Updated: January 29, 2016