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

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Maintenance and/or Repair

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

If you currently have an artificial feature (for example a roadway, utility line drainage ditch, outfall, bulkhead, etc.) which is lawfully existing, currently serviceable and is located within one or more regulated area(s), you wish to repair, rehabilitate, replace, reconstruct or otherwise maintain it, it may require a permit from the Division for that activity.

Depending on what regulated area

Depending on which "special area" the your activity falls within, you could have multiple permits and/or permit requirements from the Division.

For example for Maintenance and/or Repair in coastal areas, you would need a coastal permit, in inland locations within freshwater wetlands, a Freshwater wetlands permit. There are cases however where coastal wetlands, as designated on the promulgated mapping, ends before the actual wetlands end. In these cases, those additional wetlands fall under the jurisdiction of the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act, even though, from a botany standpoint, they are Coastal Marsh.



If you have determined that what you wish to repair or maintain is within a Freshwater Wetlands and/or a State open water, then you would likely need a Freshwater wetlands permit from this Division. If you do not know if it is within one of the above regulated features, you can apply for a Letter of Interpre

Normal property maintenance activities and maintenance or repair of a structure will likely not need formal written approval under the Flood Hazard Area Control Act Rules (FHACAR).

Normal property maintenance such as mowing or pruning of vegetation, etc. will qualify for Permit by Rule (PBR) (b) 1 at N.J.A.C. 7:13-7.2(b)1.  Under this PBR, you can continue to maintain areas that are already lawns, gardens, park, etc., however you cannot cut down vegetation to create a new lawn, garden, park, etc.  Creating a new area will require an individual permit.

Maintenance and/or repair of a structure will likely qualify for either PBR (a) 1 or PBR (b) 2.

  • PBR (a) 1 at N.J.A.C. 7:13-7.2(a)1 allows for the reconstruction of a structure outside of the floodway.  If the structure to be reconstructed is within the floodway (such as a bridge or culvert), it cannot qualify for this PBR.  Reconstruction is defined as ….
  • PBR (b) 2 at N.J.A.C. 7:13-7.2 (b)2 allows for the repair of a structure.  This PBR does not limit you to areas outside the floodway as (a) 1 does, however, it limits you to repair only.  Repair is defined as …. 

The maintenance and/or repair of certain structures may require a coastal permit depending on the location of the structure and the type of structure being repaired or maintained.  .  To a great extent, general maintenance and repair is not regulated by CAFRA (N.J.S.A. 13:19-1) or the Waterfront Development Law (N.J.S.A. 12:5-3).   CAFRA regulates “development” as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7-1.3 which specifically excludes repairs or maintenance activities such as replacing siding, windows or roofs unless such repairs or maintenance are associated with enlargements which are not exempt pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.1(c) 4 or pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.3(d) within Upland Waterfront Development jurisdiction. Development under CAFRA does not include debris removal or cleanup provided such activities do not involve excavation, grading or filling on beaches or dunes.  In addition, increasing the number of parking spaces by restriping is not a regulated activity under CAFRA.
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 permits and exemptions for a project depends on where your project is proposed.
If the 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, CAFRA, and /or Coastal Wetlands Individual Permit.  Additional information regarding the Division’s coastal program can be found on the “Coastal Permitting” section of this website.  If necessary, please contact the Division’s Technical Support Center for further assistance.

These exemptions may apply to your project --

  • The construction, maintenance, repair or replacement of certain linear developments such as pipelines, power lines, and roadways within CAFRA jurisidiction provided it meets all the requirements of the exemption.  Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.1(b) 2 for more information.
  • Services such as roadway maintenance within CAFRA jurisdiction conducted by a public entity and located within existing public right-of-ways provided it meets all the requirements of the exemption.   Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.1(c) 6 for more information.
  • The reconstruction of a legally existing development damaged after July 19, 1994 by fire, storm, natural hazard, or act of God within CAFRA jurisdiction provided it meets all the requirements of the exemption. Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.1(c) 3 for more information.
  • The construction, alteration, expansion or reconstruction of a single family home or addition if located greater than 100 feet landward of the mean high water line within Upland Waterfront Development jurisdiction provided it meets all the requirements of the exemption.  Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.3(d)1 for more information.
  • The reconstruction, conversion, alteration or enlargement of any existing structure located more than 100 feet landward of the mean high water line and within Upland Waterfront Development jurisdiction provided there is no change in land use and the enlargement is less than 5,000 square feet.  Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.3(d)2 for more information.
  • Minor additions or changes in existing structures located in an existing cleared area of the site and within Upland Waterfront Development jurisdiction provided it does not result in adverse impacts to special areas is set back a minimum of 15 feet landward of the mean high water line, and does not result in a change in land use. Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.3(d)3 for more information.
  • The repair, replacement, renovation or reconstruction, in the same location and size, of structures located below the mean high water line provided it meets the requirements of a Zane Exemption specified at N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.3(d)6&7.
  • The re-decking and replacement of bridge surfaces within Waterfront Development jurisdiction provided there is no change in width, length or height.  Please refer to  N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.3(d)8 for more information.

This coastal permit-by-rule may apply to your project--

Permit-by-Rule 7 authorizes the voluntary reconstruction within the same footprint of a legally constructed residential or commercial development that has been or could have been legally occupied in the most recent five-year period provided it meets all the requirements of this permit-by-rule.  .Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.2(a)7 for information on the requirements of this permit-by-rule.
These coastal general permits may apply to your project--

  • Coastal General Permit 6  authorizes beach and dune maintenance activities. Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.6 for information on the requirements of this general permit.  Please also refer to the “Beach/ Dune” section of the “List of Common Project Types” section of the website for more information.
  • Coastal General Permit 7 authorizes the voluntary reconstruction of certain non-damaged,  legally constructed, currently habitable residential or commercial development landward of the existing footprint of development.  Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.7 for information on the requirements of this general permit.
  • Coastal General Permit 9 authorizes the expansion, or reconstruction of a legally constructed, habitable single family home or duplex and/or accessory development not located on a bulkheaded lagoon lot.  Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.9 for information on the requirements of this general permit
  • Coastal General Permit 14 authorizes the reconstruction of a legally existing functioning bulkhead located on a natural waterway or a lagoon lot. Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.14 for information on the requirements of this general permit.
  • Coastal General Permit 20 authorizes minor maintenance dredging in man-made lagoons. Please refer to N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.20 for more information on the requirements of this general permit.

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.

Maintenance and/or repair activities 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: February 9, 2015