Governor Chris Christie • Lt.Governor Kim Guadagno

NJ Home | Services A to Z | Departments/Agencies | FAQs  

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

DEP Home | About DEP | Index by Topic | Programs/Units | DEP Online



Division Information
HomeNews & NoticesForms & ChecklistsMaps & GuidanceLaws & RulesContact Land UseSubscribe to E-Newsletter

PermittingCommon Project TypesFreshwater WetlandsStreams & Rivers (FHA)Coastal AreasTidelandsHighlandsMitigationPermit Extension ActElectronic (E) ServicesApplication Status

Related InformationFederal AgenciesPrograms/Commissions

Roads and Driveways

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

Road and driveway construction, repair, and/or reconstruction may result in impacts to “special areas” that are regulated by the Department and may require multiple permits from the Division of Land Use Regulation prior to site preparation or construction. The presence or absence of special areas can be rudimentarily determined using the Department’s online mapping service, NJ-GeoWeb.  Special areas within your project site may also affect the type of authorization required.  Therefore, it is important to closely examine a proposed activity relative to the sensitive areas which may be impacted.  

The above tabs provide additional information on permit requirements relating to road and driveway projects.   For impacts to streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, flood plains, flood ways, riparian zones, please see the "Flood Hazard" tab. For impacts to special coastal areas, please see the "Coastal" tab. For impacts to Freshwater Wetlands, see the "Freshwater Wetlands" tab.  Information on Tidelands can be found by selecting the "Tidelands" tab.

 

The construction of a road or driveway within freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters requires a Freshwater Wetlands (FWW) permit. Two FWW General Permits (GPs) are available for this activity, a GP10A and a GP10B. To be eligible for a GP10A or a GP10B, the total area of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters disturbed cannot exceed one quarter acre.

(General Permit 10A -- Very minor road crossings) [link to N.J.A.C. 7:7A-5.10A] is for a road or driveway that complies with one of the two scenarios listed below:

1. The "Short Crossing Scenario" requires that the disturbance of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters is no longer than 100 feet for each crossing and the total cumulative disturbance of freshwater wetlands, transition area, and State open waters is one quarter acre or less.

2. The "Long Crossing Scenario" has no crossing length requirement, but instead requires that the total cumulative disturbance of freshwater wetlands, transition area, and State open waters is one eighth acre or less.

(General Permit 10B -- Minor road crossings) [link to N.J.A.C. 7:7A-5.10B] is for a road or driveway that exceeds the GP10A requirements, but which has less than one quarter acre of disturbance to freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters.

If the road or driveway cannot comply with the criteria for a GP10A or a GP10B, the applicant would need to apply for an (Individual Permit (IP)) [link to N.J.A.C. 7:7A-7.1]. 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.

The construction of a road or driveway will usually require a formal permit.  However, it can potentially qualify for Permit by Rule (a) 2 if it is located in a grassed riparian zone (or outside the riparian zone) and will be located at or below grade in the flood hazard area (or be located outside the flood hazard area). 

If the above conditions cannot be met, then an Individual Permit will be required for the construction of a road or driveway.

Road and driveway construction, repair, and/or reconstruction within the coastal areas may qualify for an exemption, Permit-by-rule, or a General Permit as described below.  If the proposed project does not meet the requirements of the aforementioned authorizations, a CAFRA, Coastal Wetlands and/or Waterfront Development Individual Permit may be required. 
The “Jurisdiction” tab of the "Coastal Areas" webpage can help you determine which areas of your site may be regulated.  The availability of certain permits depends on the project’s location.

Potentially Applicable Exemptions:

Please see applicable rule for complete requirements.

  • The reconstruction of a driveway within CAFRA jurisdiction that was legally existing on and damaged subsequent to July 19, 1994 per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.2(c)3.
  • The reconstruction or enlargement of any existing structure (such as driveways) within Upland Waterfront Development jurisdiction located more than 100’ landward of the mean high water line, provided no change in land use occurs, and the enlargement is less than 5,000 sq. ft. per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4(d)2.
  • The minor addition or changes to existing structures (such as driveways) within Upland Waterfront Development jurisdiction that do not result in adverse impacts to special areas defined at N.J.A.C.7:7-9, are located on an existing cleared area of the site, are set back a minimum of 15’ landward of the mean high water line, and do not result in a change of land use per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4(d)3.

Potentially applicable Permits-by-rule (PBRs):

PBR 2 - authorizes development (including expansion or reconstruction and expansion) of a single-family home or duplex and/or accessory development (such as garages, sheds, pools driveways, grading, excavation and clearing but excluding shore protection structures) provided the single-family home or duplex and accessory development are located on a bulkheaded lagoon lot and provided the proposed single-family home or duplex and/or accessory structures comply with all of the following:

  • Development under this PBR does not result in development of more than one single-family home or duplex either solely or in conjunction with a previous development as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.2(b)8;
  • The expansion or relocation is in compliance with the applicable requirements or codes of municipal, State and Federal law;
  • Except as provided below, the expansion or relocation is not proposed on a beach, dune or wetland;
  • In the case of residential development, the expansion does not result in an increase in the number of dwelling units;
  • In the case of commercial development, the expansion does not result in an increase in the number of parking spaces or equivalent parking area associated with the development;
  • Except as provided below, the expansion or relocation does not result in additional impacts to special areas as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7-9;
  • The expansion or relocation meets the requirements of Flood hazard areas at N.J.A.C. 7:7-9.25 and Riparian zones at N.J.A.C. 7:7-9.26;
  • The expansion does not increase the surface area of the footprint of the development by a cumulative total of more than 400 sq. ft. on the property constructed after July 19, 1994; 
  • The development meets the requirements of Flood hazard areas at N.J.A.C.7:7-9.25;
  • The single-family home or duplex is serviced by an existing municipal sewer system; and
  • All sub-gravel liners must be made of filter cloth or other permeable material.

Please see N.J.A.C. 7:7-4.2 for complete rule requirements.

PBR 7 - authorizes expansion or relocation (with or without expansion) landward or parallel to the mean high water line of the footprint of a residential including accessory development such as sheds, garages, pools, and driveways, or commercial development that has been or could have been legally occupied in the most recent five-year period, provided:

  • The expansion or relocation is in compliance with the applicable requirements or codes of municipal, State and Federal law;
  • Except as provided below, the expansion or relocation is not proposed on a beach, dune, or wetland;
  • In the case of residential development, the expansion does not result in an increase in the number of dwelling units;
  • In the case of commercial development, the expansion does not result in an increase in the number of parking spaces or equivalent parking area associated with the development;
  • Except as provided below, the expansion or relocation does not result in additional impacts to special areas as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7-9;
  • The expansion or relocation meets the requirements of Flood hazard areas at N.J.A.C. 7:7-9.25 and Riparian zones at N.J.A.C. 7:7-9.26;
  • The expansion does not increase the surface area of the footprint of the development by a cumulative total of more than 400 sq. ft. on the property constructed after July 19, 1994; and
  • Where the expansion includes structures such as stairs or an ADA-compliant ramp, which are constructed only for access to a residential or commercial development required to be elevated pursuant to the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23, in accordance with the Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules, N.J.A.C. 7:13, there is no feasible alternative location for these structures outside of a beach, dune, wetland, or other special areas as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7E-3. ADA means the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 USC sect. 1201 et seq.).

Please see N.J.A.C. 7:7-4.7 for complete rule requirements.

Potentially applicable General Permits (GPs):

GP 4 - authorizes development of one or two single-family homes or duplexes

GP 5 - authorizes expansion or reconstruction (with or without expansion) of a single-family home or duplex

Please contact the Division’s Technical Support Center at (609) 777-0454 should you require further assistance.

 

 

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.

Roads and driveways 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.

 

bottom bar

Division: home | news/notices | laws/rules | forms/checklists | maps/guidance | contact
Department: njdep home | about dep | index by topic | programs/units | dep online
Statewide: njhome | citizen | business | government | services A to Z | departments | search

Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2015
Last Updated: July 6, 2015