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

Coastal Areas
  • Overview

  • Jurisdiction

  • Pre-Application
    Conference
  • Permitting
    Options
  • Application
    Review

Dunes

As of July 6, 2015, the Coastal Permit Program rules and Coastal Zone Management rules were consolidated into one chapter, N.J.A.C. 7:7.  The consolidation of all the coastal rules in a single chapter is part of the Department’s effort to transform the operations of the Division of Land Use Regulation.  With this and anticipated rulemaking, the Department intends to align the rules governing the permitting processes of the coastal, freshwater and flood hazard permitting programs, to the extent the respective enabling statutes allow.  Additionally, to further prioritize and refocus its permitting efforts on the activities posing the most risk to the coastal environment, two new Permits-by-rule, two General Permits-by-certification (electronic permits), a new General Permit and modifications to several existing General Permits were developed.  In addition, other rule changes were made in an effort to further encourage appropriate redevelopment of more resilient coastal communities. 

Jurisdiction

  • Overview

  • CAFRA

  • Coastal
    Wetlands
  • Waterfront
    Development
  • Jurisdiction
    Determination
  • Exemptions

dockThe Department’s Division of Land Use Regulation regulates the use and development of coastal resources though the Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA), N.J.S.A. 13:19-1 et seq., the Wetlands Act of 1970, N.J.S.A. 13:9A-1 et seq., and the Waterfront Development Law, N.J.S.A. 12:5-1 et seq., and the Coastal Zone Management Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7.  The Division determines whether an activity is regulated based on the activity itself and its location within the coastal zone.


To be certain if your specific activity is considered regulated or occurs in a regulated coastal area, the Division recommends submission of a Jurisdictional Determination request. A Jurisdictional Determination is the Division’s formal determination as to whether a Land Use permit is required for a specific activity at a specific site. A Jurisdictional Determination does not guarantee that the proposed activity will qualify for a land use permit.  Please visit the Coastal Permitting webpages for additional information concerning regulated activities and available permitting options.

Note: To view the Shellfish and Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) maps, please go to the "Coastal Permitting" section of the Maps and Guidance Documents webpage. 

Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA)

The Coastal Area Facility Review Act of 1973 (CAFRA) established the CAFRA zone, as the bounds of CAFRA regulation. Certain activities undertaken within the CAFRA zone are regulated by the Division of Land Use Regulation. For a detailed description of activities requiring a permit within the CAFRA zone, as well as activities that are not regulated within the CAFRA zone, please refer to the Coastal Zone Management rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7.  To determine if your property lies within the CAFRA zone, please utilize the online mapping service, NJ-GeoWeb.


Information on regulated and exempt activities can be found at N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.2.

wetlandsThe Wetlands Act of 1970

The Department regulates activities within coastal wetlands pursuant to the Wetlands Act of 1970, N.J.S.A. 13:9A-1 et seq.  The Act required the Commissioner to inventory and map the boundaries of all coastal wetlands within the State from the Raritan Bay south.  In the early 1970s, the Department delineated areas which met the definition of “coastal wetland” per the Act.  The Act enables the Commissioner to adopt, amend, modify or repeal orders regulating, restricting or prohibiting dredging, filling, removing or otherwise altering, or polluting coastal wetlands for the purposes of promoting the public safety, health and welfare, and protecting public and private property, wildlife and marine fisheries.

Copies of these maps are available for viewing at the Division of Land Use Regulation office in Trenton.  Please contact the Division at 609-777-0494 to schedule a review.  There is also a Web Map Service (WMS) for the 1970 Coastal Wetlands basemaps where you can obtain georeferenced digital copies. (You will need GIS or GIS compatable software to utilize this service. There are free alternatives.) Please see the New Jersey Geographic Information Network Orthoimagery WMS for more information.

If unmapped coastal wetland vegetation exists upland of the mapped upper wetlands boundary or there is no official map for the property, than the wetlands are regulated under the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules.

Waterfront Development

Through the authority of the Waterfront Development Act, N.J.S.A. 12:5-3, the Department regulates development in the waterfront area.  Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4, the waterfront area is divided into three sections:

  • Within any part of the Hackensack Meadowlands District, the regulated area shall include any tidal waterway of the State and all lands lying thereunder, up to and including the mean high water line.
  • Within the CAFRA zone, the regulated waterfront area shall include any tidal waterway of this State and all lands lying thereunder, up to and including the mean high water line.
  • In those areas of the State outside of the aforementioned, the regulated waterfront area shall include:
    • All tidal waterways and lands lying thereunder, up to and including the mean high water line
    • Adjacent upland areas within 100’ of the mean high water line. For properties within 100’ of the mean high water line that extend inland beyond 100’ from the mean high water line, the regulated waterfront area shall extend inland to the lesser distance of either 500’ from the mean high water line or to the first paved public road, railroad, or surveyable property line that existed on September 26, 1980 and generally parallels the waterway.
    • In the 12-mile circle as described at N.J.A.C. 7:7-1.2(c), the regulated waterfront area shall include the area at or waterward of the mean low water line of the Delaware River consistent with the decree of the United States Supreme Court in State of New Jersey v. State of Delaware, 552 U.S. 597, 623-24 (2008).

Information on regulated and exempt activities can be found at the exemptions tab and at N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4.

Jurisdictional Determination

A Jurisdictional Determination identifies whether a proposed project is considered regulated pursuant to the Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA), the Wetlands Act of 1970, and the Waterfront Development Act.  These statutes and their corresponding rules can be downloaded at the "Laws & Rules" page.  Please be advised, a Jurisdictional Determination does not identify what type of permit is required or indicate whether the project is eligible for a permit.    

For your convenience, the Department has developed a Jurisdictional Request Form for Waterfront Development, CAFRA, & Wetlands Act of 1970 Checklist. All the information necessary to submit and Jurisdictional Determination application can be found on that form.

Various activities within CAFRA, Coastal Wetlands, and/or Waterfront Development jurisdiction are exempt from permitting requirements, provided the project and the site meet the applicable rule criteria at N.J.A.C. 7:7. 

Potentially exempt activities: 

Please consult the complete rule text to confirm your activity is exempt. 

CAFRA (N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.2):

  • Development with preliminary site plan approval pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., or final municipal building or construction permit on or before July 19, 1994 provided construction began by July 19, 1997 and continues to completion with no lapses in construction activity for more than one year
  • Residential development with preliminary subdivision approval or minor subdivision approval pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., on or before July 19, 1994, where no subsequent site plan approval is required, provided construction began by July 19, 1997 and continues to completion with no lapses in construction activity for more than one year
  • Reconstruction of any development which was legally existing on July 19, 1994 and was damaged or destroyed in whole or in part, by fire, storm, natural hazard, or act of God, subsequent to July 19, 1994
  • The enlargement of any building provided that such enlargement does not result in the enlargement of the footprint of development or an increase in the number of dwelling units or parking spaces associated with the building
  • Construction of a residential patio, deck or similar structure provided construction does not result in grading, excavation or filling of a beach or dune
  • Some public highway projects  
  • Development with an existing valid CAFRA permit dated prior to July 19, 1994 provided construction as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.2(c)1iii begins prior to the expiration date of the permit and continues with no cumulative lapses in construction activity of more than one year
  • Expansion of an existing functional amusement pier provided such expansion does not exceed the footprint of the existing, functional amusement pier by more than 25% and provided the expansion is located in an area beyond 150’ landward of the mean high water line, beach or dune, whichever is more landward

Development that is exempt from CAFRA requires no certification or approval from the Division of Land Use Regulation, except as may be required by other Department programs.  Any person who wishes may request from the Division a written determination of a development's exemption from the requirements of N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.2 shall submit the materials identified at N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.2(f).

Coastal Wetlands (N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.3)

  • Continued production of commercial salt hay or other agricultural crops on lands utilized for these purposes on or before April 13, 1972

Waterfront Development (N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4)

  • Mooring of a floating home that was in use within State waters prior to June 1, 1984
  • Mooring of a floating home that was not in use within State waters prior to June 1, 1984 for less than 10 consecutive days
  • Repair, replacement, renovation or reconstruction of any dock, wharf, pier, bulkhead or building used solely for residential purposes or for the docking of or servicing of pleasure vessels.  The structure must have legally existed prior to January 1, 1981, appear on the applicable Tidelands Map, Coastal Wetlands Map, or received a Waterfront Development permit subsequent to the date of the Maps.  The repaired, replaced, renovated or reconstructed structure must be the same size of the former structure per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4(d)7i and ii, and in the same location. 
  • Repair, replacement, renovation, or reconstruction of any floating dock, mooring raft, or similar temporary or seasonal improvement or structure used solely for the docking of servicing of pleasure vessels.  The structure must have legally existed prior to January 1, 1981, appear on the applicable Tidelands Map, Coastal Wetlands Map, or received a Waterfront Development permit subsequent to the date of the Maps.  The repaired, replaced, renovated, or reconstructed structure must the same size (length and width) of the pre-existing structure, in the same location of the preexisting structure, and cannot exceed in length the waterfront frontage of the parcel of real property to which it is attached.
  • Redecking and replacement of bridge surfaces provided there is no change in width, length or height

In those areas of the State outside of the CAFRA area and Hackensack Meadowlands District:

  • Construction, alteration, expansion or reconstruction of an individual single family dwelling unit or addition to such unit, if constructed more than 100’ landward of the mean high water line
  • Reconstruction, conversion, alteration or enlargement of any existing structure located more than 100’ landward of the mean high water line, provided there is no change in land use and enlargements do not exceed 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Minor additions or changes in existing structures or manufacturing operations that do not result in adverse environmental impacts to special areas at N.J.A.C. 7:7-9 or result in a change in the present land use.  The addition must be located in an existing cleared area of the site and set back a minimum of 15’ landward of the mean high water line
  • Installation of a wind turbine that is less than 200’ in height, has a rotor swept area less than 2,000 sq. ft., and is on or structurally attached to a legally existing building.  Any portion of the tower of the wind turbine more than 100’ above the ground surface must be a freestanding monopole
  • Installation of solar panels on or structurally attached to a legally existing building, a utility pole within a maintained utility right-of-way, a parking lot light pole, or on legally existing non-porous cover (not located within a floodway), or on a sanitary landfill provided the panels are included in the Closure and Post-Closure Care Plan or modified plan as approved by the Department in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:26;

Development that is exempt from Waterfront Development Law requires no certification or approval from the Division of Land Use Regulation, except as may be required by other Department programs.  Any person who wishes may request from the Division a written determination of a development's exemption from the requirements of N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4 shall submit the materials identified at N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4(f).

 

Pre-Application Conference

A pre-application conference is a meeting between the Department and a prospective applicant to discuss the applicant’s project and the application procedures and standards that will apply to the project.  A prospective applicant may request a pre-application conference for any project.  In the appropriate case, the Department may determine that the questions raised by a prospective applicant can be adequately addressed by telephone or in writing. 

A pre-application conference is not mandatory, except when the prospective applicant’s project will involve the installation of submarine cables in the Atlantic Ocean.  The Division recommends a pre-application conference for large and/or complicated projects, as well as for dredging and dredged material management projects.  Where the prospective applicant’s project will require approvals from several Department programs, the applicant is encouraged to contact the Department’s Office of Permit Coordination and Environmental Review at (609) 292-3600 for assistance in coordinating the various applications.  Please be advised, discussion or guidance offered at a pre-application conference shall not constitute a commitment by the Division to approve or deny an application.  There is no fee for a pre-application conference.

Dredging or dredged material management projects:

  • Pre-application conference requests shall be directed to the Supervisor, Office of Dredging and Sediment Technology, Site Remediation Program, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, P.O. Box 420, Mail Code 401-06C, 401 East State Street, 6th Floor, Trenton, NJ 08625 (Telephone: (609) 633-6801).  N.J.A.C. 7:7-22.2(c) identifies the information which shall be included in the request.

Submarine cable installation in the Atlantic Ocean:

  • Pre-application conference requests shall be requested early in the design process and shall be directed to Manager, NJDEP Bureau of Coastal Regulation, Mail Code 501-02A, PO Box 420, Trenton, New Jersey, 08625-0420.  N.J.A.C. 7:7-22.2(d) identifies the information which shall be included in the request.

Other projects:

  • Pre-application conference requests shall be directed by electronic mail to LURTechSupport@dep.state.nj.us, or by writing to the address set forth at N.J.A.C. 7:7-1.6 to the attention of “Supervisor, (county in which the proposed project is located).”  N.J.A.C. 7:7-22.2(c) identifies the information which shall be included in the request.

The required pre-application conference materials should be directly mailed to:
For U.S. Postal Service delivery:

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Land Use Regulation
Mail code 501-02A, P.O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ  08625

For hand delivery and courier service:

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Land Use Regulation
501 East State Street
5 Station Plaza, Second Floor
Trenton, NJ  08609

Within 10 calendar days of receipt of the required material, the Division shall determine that a pre-application conference is necessary and contact the prospective applicant to schedule the conference or determined that a conference is not necessary as the prospective applicant’s questions can be addressed in writing or by telephone.  Where the Department makes such a determination, the Department shall address the questions within 20 calendar days of receipt of the required material.

Please be advised, the third Wednesday of each month is the standard day to hold pre-application conferences. Only under special circumstances will the conference be scheduled on a different day.

NJ Coastal Zone Management Permit Options

Permit-by-Rule (PBR) is a permit whose terms and conditions are set forth in the Coastal Zone Management Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7-4.1 et seq. No prior written approval from the Department is necessary in order to undertake the specified regulated activity, provided all conditions of the PBR are satisfied. For more information on PBRs including information on particular PBR, please go to the Coastal Permit-by-Rule webpage.

General Permits (GP) provide a means to perform a variety of activities within regulated areas, provided all of the requirements, as detailed in the rule, are met for that specific GP. If your project does not meet all of the rule requirements, an application for that GP will likely be denied.  However, the project may be eligible for another GP, PBR, or Individual Permit.. For more information on GP including information on particular GP, please go to the Coastal General Permits webpage.

General Permit-by-Certification (GPBC) allows an applicant to apply for and receive a permit utilizing the Department’s “DEP Online” system. Currently, two coastal GPBCs are available through this system; GPBC 10 and GPBC 15. For more information on these permits , including information on the online permitting process, please go to the Coastal General Permit-by-Certification webpage.

Individual Permits (IP) may be issued for projects that cannot meet the requirements of the available Permits-by-rule, General Permits-by-certification, or General Permits. A regulated activity that requires an Individual Permit is typically subject to multiple requirements. The applicant must evaluate each regulated activity according to its location, nature and potential impacts in order to determine which standards will apply to the project. For more information on IPs, including information on the requirements necessary for applying for an IP, please go to the Coastal Individual Permits webpage.

Emergency Authorizations (EA) can be issued by the Department only if the person seeking an EA demonstrates that a threat to life, severe loss of property, or environmental degradation exists or is imminent, and the threat, severe loss, or degradation:

  • Can only be prevented or ameliorated through undertaking a regulated activity; and
  • Is likely to occur, persist, or be exacerbated before the Department can issue an authorization under a general permit or an individual permit for the preventive or ameliorative activity.

For more information on EAs, including information on the requirements necessary for applying for an EA, please go to the Coastal Emergency Authorizations webpage.

Note: To view the Shellfish and Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) maps, please go to the "Coastal Permitting" section of the Maps and Guidance Documents webpage. 

Application Review

All applications must include a complete DLUR Application Form as well as the items identified on the applicable application checklist.  The DLUR Application Form and the coastal permitting checklists can be found on the General Forms tab and the Coastal Permitting tab of the Forms and Checklists webpage.  The General Forms tab also includes a fee schedule for all permit applications.  

Permit applications are first reviewed for administrative completeness.  If an item is missing, the entire application package will be returned to the applicant, along with a letter detailing the required missing components.  If the Division returns an application to the applicant, the permit review clock is stopped until the Division receives a complete application package.  The original, time-stamped DLUR Application Form must be returned with the complete application package.  When the administratively complete application package is received, the permit review clock restarts at day zero (0). Once an application is deemed administratively complete, the application is forwarded to a Project Manager or Project Engineer.  This individual is responsible for reviewing the proposed project’s compliance with all applicable rules.

Please be advised, there is no statutory decision deadline on exemptions and permit modifications.  While Project Managers and Project Engineers do their best to review these applications within 90 days, applications with statutory deadlines and high environmental concern are given priority.

The application review process can be found at N.J.A.C. 7:7-26.1 et seq.  This subchapter of the Coastal Zone Management rules discusses the following:

  • General application review provisions
  • Application completeness review
  • Public comment period and public hearing process for CAFRA Individual Permits
  • Decision deadlines for complete applications
  • Application cancellation
  • Application withdrawal
  • Application resubmission
  • Fee refunds and/or credits
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, 1996-2016
Last Updated: August 16, 2017