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Division of Land Use Regulation
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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Appurtenant Improvements

  • Overview
  • Freshwater Wetlands
  • Flood Hazard
  • Coastal
  • Tidelands

Appurtenant Improvements could be any improvement to a structure or property which may have an impact to special areas of the State that are regulated by the Department. Such disturbances may require an approval from the Division prior to construction. An area containing sensitive and endangered plant species for example, may be irreparably damaged by such activities. It is important therefore to closely examine a proposed project relative to the sensitive areas which may be impacted.

Appurtenant Improvements may require multiple approvals from the Division, depending on the special areas impacted by the project. If you don't know what special areas are on your site, please check out the before you buy, before you build section of this website for guidance on determining if your site has one of these regulated special areas on it.

For information on Land Use permit requirements for construction of appurtenant improvements within specific "special areas", please click on each of the tabs above.* *For impacts to Streams, Rivers, Lakes, Ponds, Flood Plains, Flood Way, Riparian Zones and other water body related areas, please click on the "Flood Hazard" tab. For impacts to special coastal areas, please click on the "Coastal" tab. For impacts to Freshwater Wetlands, click on the "Freshwater Wetlands" tab. Information on Tidelands can be found in the "Tidelands" tab.

 

The construction of Appurtenant Improvements within Freshwater Wetlands (FWW) or FWW transition areas (Buffers) requires a FWW General Permit No. 8 "House Additions" from this Divsion. Additions and/or appurtenant improvements are not permitted in State open waters under this General Permit.

There is a specific set of requirements in order to qualify for a FWW General Permt No. 8.

  • The dwelling must be lawfully existing prior to July 1, 1988
  • Improvements or additions must be less than a cumulative surface area of 750 square feet of fill and/or disturbance and will not result in new alterations to a freshwater wetlands outside of the 750 square foot area.
  • An addition or improvement shall be located within 100 feet of the residential dwelling.

If the project for an addition or appurtenant improvement cannot comply with the criteria for a GP-8, the applicant would need to apply for an Individual Permit (IP). An IP application would need to include a description as to why the project cannot be minimized to satisfy the General Permit criteria described in the links above.

Potential qualifying Permit by Rules (PBRs) include those found in N.J.A.C. 7:13-7.2(a)4, N.J.A.C. 7:13-7.2(b)6, N.J.A.C. 7:13-7.2(b)7, or N.J.A.C. 7:13-7.2(b)9.  Please refer to the rules to see the all of the applicable conditions where each PBR would apply. 

In addition to these potential PBR’s, an applicant may qualify for a Flood Hazard Area General Permit No. 7.  Please note, this general permit only applies for site’s that are not subject to the CZM rules, but are located in a tidal flood hazard area.

Any application that does not meet any of the PBR’s or the FHA General Permit No.7 would need to apply for a Flood Hazard Area Individual Permit and meet the standards of a structure and building.

The construction of an addition, garage, shed, pool, or other similar structure within CAFRA, Waterfront Development or Coastal Wetlands jurisdiction generally requires a permit.  Certain minor improvement activities are exempt from permitting requirements or are not regulated as noted below.  Other improvements generally require a permit and may qualify for either a permit-by-rule or a a general permit. 

Please refer to  the “Jurisdiction” section of the "Coastal Permitting" section of the website to determine which areas regulated under the Coastal Permit Program Rules (N.J.A.C. 7:7-1.1 et seq.) and the Coastal Zone Management Rules (N.J.A.C. 7:7E-1.1 et seq.) occur on your site. The availability of certain exemptions and permits for a project depends on where your project is proposed.

If the proposed project does not meet the requirements for  a coastal exemption, a permit-by-rule or a general permit, the project  will generally require a Waterfront Development, a CAFRA, and /or a Coastal Wetlands Individual Permit.  Additional information regarding the Division’s coastal program can be found on the “Coastal Permitting” section of the website.  If necessary, please contact the Division’s Technical Support Center for further assistance.

These projects are not regulated or are exempt from coastal permitting requirements--

  • The repair or maintenance of a structure, such as replacing siding, windows, or roofs within CAFRA or Upland Waterfront Development jurisdiction pursuant to the definition of “development” under N.J.A.C. 7:7-1.3
  • The construction of a residential patio, deck or similar structure within CAFRA jurisdiction provided such construction does not result in the  grading, excavation or filling of a beach or dune pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.1(c)5.
  • The construction, alteration, expansion, or reconstruction of an individual single family home or addition within Upland Waterfront Development jurisdiction if constructed more than 100 feet landward of the mean high water line in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.3(d)1.
  • The reconstruction, conversion, alteration, or enlargement of any existing structure not exceeding 5,000 square feet within Upland Waterfront Development jurisdiction if located more than 100 feet landward of the mean high water line and does not result in a change in land use in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.3(d)2.

These permits-by-rule may apply to your project --

  • Permit-by-Rule 1 may be utilized for a proposed expansion of less than 400 square feet on the non-waterward side of a legally constructed, habitable single family home or duplex provided the expansion is not proposed on a beach, dune or wetland and meets the applicable flood hazard area rule requirements.  Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.2(a)1 for information on the limitations and requirements of this permit-by-rule.
  • Permit-by-Rule 3 may be utilized for the construction of accessory development, such as garages, sheds, pools, driveways, grading, excavation, and clearing at a single family home or duplex located on a bulkheaded lagoon lot. Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.2(a)3 for information on the limitations and requirements of this permit-by-rule..
  • Permit-by-Rule 8 may be utilized for the expansion or relocation of accessory development such as sheds, garages, pools, and driveways at a legally constructed residential development landward or parallel to the mean high water line of the footprint of the existing structure provided it meets all the requirements of the permit-by-rule.  Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.2(a)8 for information on the limitations and requirements of this permit-by-rule.

These coastal general permits may apply to your project --

  • Coastal General Permit 8 is a general permit which authorizes the construction of a single family home or duplex and/or accessory development (such as garages, sheds, pools, driveways, grading, filling, and clearing, excluding shore protection structures) located landward of the mean high water line and not located on a bulkheaded lagoon lot.  For further information regarding the limitations and requirements of this general permit, please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.8.
  • Coastal General Permit 9 is a general permit which authorizes  the expansion or reconstruction of a legally constructed, habitable single family home or duplex and/or accessory development (such as garages, sheds, pools, driveways, grading, excavation and clearing, excluding shore protection structures) located landward of the mean high water line and not located on a bulkheaded lagoon lot. . For further information regarding the limitations and requirements of this general permit, please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.9

 

Tidelands, also known as riparian lands, are all those lands now or formerly flowed by the mean high tide of a natural waterway; that is to say any land that is currently or was previously covered by tidal waters.  The State of New Jersey, and therefore the people of New Jersey, owns all Tidelands except for those to which it has already sold its interest in the form of a riparian grant.  It is important to note that the State generally does not own artificial waterways such as lagoons however, the State does claim those lands within a lagoon that were flowed by the mean high tide of a natural waterway which existed prior to the creation of the lagoon.

Appurtenant improvements that are proposed in a tidelands area may require a tidelands license if the activities are taking place at or below the mean high water line of a tidal waterway or a tidelands grant if the activities are taking place in an area that is currently landward of the mean high water line but was, at some point, flowed by the tide.

A tidelands license is a short term revocable rental document to use tidelands generally for structures such as docks, bulkhead extensions, mooring piles, and other temporary structures as well as for dredging projects. Licenses are project specific and expire after a finite term ranging from one to ten years. Most licenses may be renewed.

A riparian grant, or tidelands grant, is a deed from the State of New Jersey selling its tidelands. Tidelands grants are generally only issued for lands that have already been filled in and are no longer flowed by the tide.

For more information on tidelands instruments, please see the tidelands section of this website.

For information and instruction on how to determine whether you are in an area that may require either a license or a grant, or for information how to apply for Tideland instruments please see the "Before you Build, Before you Buy" webpage.

 

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Last Updated: May 21, 2014