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

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Coastal Permitting
  • Overview
  • Jurisdiction
  • Pre-Application
  • Permitting Options
  • Application Review

Dunes

There are two linked Rules which govern the review of all coastal project proposals.

The Coastal Permit Program Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7E provide the processes for permit reviews.  It includes details on what activities need permits; the qualifications for general permits or permits-by-rule; the details for pre-application meetings, contents and fees; review procedures and deadlines; permit appeals; and enforcement of the coastal laws and rules.  

The second rule is the Coastal Zone Management Rules (CZM Rules) at N.J.A.C. 7:7E.  This rule defines Special Areas of environmental interest, details requirements for development projects and sets forth the compliance criteria for permit approval.  Certain general permits require compliance of specific sections of the CZM Rule, for example “dunes” or “shellfish habitat.” (To view the shellfish maps, please go to the Coastal Permitting section of the Maps and Guidance Documents webpage.)  Individual Permit applications must address and demonstrate compliance with each applicable component of the CZM rules for the specific site and regulated activity to be approved. 

Jurisdiction

  • Overview
  • CAFRA
  • Coastal Wetlands
  • Waterfront
  • Jurisdiction Determination
  • Exemptions

dockThe State regulates projects based upon at least one of two characteristics:

1) the proposed activity is a regulated activity; and/or

2) the project occurs within or adjacent to a regulated coastal area. 

To be certain if your specific project is considered regulated or occurs in a regulated coastal area apply for a Jurisdictional Determination (JD). A JD is the Division’s formal determination whether a State-issued permit would be required for your specific project and site. A Jurisdictional Determination does not guarantee the proposed activity would be approved.  Before submitting a request to receive a Jurisdictional Determination, please see the CAFRA, Waterfront Development, and Coastal Wetlands Jurisdiction tabs.

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. 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 Permit Program Rules N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.1. To determine if your property lies within the CAFRA zone, please utilize the NJ GeoWeb internet-based mapping program.

wetlandsThe Wetlands Act of 1970

The Wetlands Act of 1970 required coastal wetlands to be delineated and mapped.  Wetlands permits are required for all activities in the mapped wetland areas.  Aerial photographic mapping provides an upper wetlands boundary line. A listing of all map numbers included in this determination are provided at N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.2 of the Coastal Permit Program Rules.  Copies of these maps are available for viewing at the Division of Land Use Regulation office in Trenton by filling out an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request.

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, then the wetlands area is regulated under the Freshwater Wetlands rules.

On the Waterfront

The Waterfront area is divided into three sections. Details of each section can be found in the Coastal Permit Program Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.3  As well as all tidal waterways, the waterfront area includes all man-made waterways and lagoons subject to tidal influence found within any three of the following geographical areas.

In the Hackensack Meadowland Development District N.J.S.A. 13:17-4.1 and in the CAFRA zone the Division  regulates any tidal waterway of the State and all lands lying thereunder up to and including the mean high water line. 

For the remainder of the state additional upland waterfront areas are regulated. In this case, the regulated waterfront area includes all tidal waterways and lands lying thereunder up to and including the mean high water line and adjacent upland areas within 100 feet of the mean high water line.  For properties within 100 feet of the mean high water line that extend beyond 100 feet of the mean high water line, the regulated waterfront area extends inland to the lesser of 500 feet from the mean high water line or to the first paved public road, railroad, or surveyable property line generally parallel to the waterway that existed on September 26, 1980.

For a detailed description of activities requiring a permit in the various waterfront areas, as well as activities that are not regulated, please refer to the Coastal Permit Program Rules N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.3 (a) through (h).

Jurisdictional Determination

A Jurisdictional Determination (JD) provides you with very basic information on whether or not your proposed project is considered regulated under the Waterfront Development Law, CAFRA, or the Wetlands Act of 1970. Please see our "Laws & Rules" page to download the applicable Law or Rule.  It does not provide information on what type of permit is required within a particular law, nor does it provide an exemption letter.  A JD does not imply approval or denial of any particular project.  

 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 appication for a Jurisdictional Determination can be found on that form.

Various activities within the Waterfront Development, Coastal wetlands and CAFRA are exempt from permitting requirements, provided the site and project meet all the criteria in the rule.  Each exemption listed below is followed by a code indicating which jurisdiction the exemption applies to:  CAFRA for Coastal Area Facilities Review Act, WF for Waterfront Development Law, and CW for The Wetlands Act of 1970.  The details of the exemptions are found primarily within the Coastal Permit Program Rules, N.J.A.C. 7:7, in particular within Subchapter 2- Activities for which a permit is required.  Definitions are found at N.J.A.C. 7:7-1.3.
CAFRA is discussed at N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.1
Coastal Wetlands is discussed at N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.2
Waterfront Development is discussed at N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.3

  • Development with preliminary site plan approval or final municipal; building or construction permit on or before July 19, 1994 with construction beginning by July 19, 1997 (CAFRA)
  • Residential development with preliminary subdivision approval or minor subdivision approval prior to July 19, 1994 (CAFRA)
  • Reconstruction of legally existing development damaged after July 19, 1994  in the same footprint (CAFRA)
  • Construction of a residential patio or deck, without grading, excavation or filling on a on a beach or dune (CAFRA)
  • Some public roadway and utility projects (CAFRA)
  • Development with an existing valid CAFRA permit dated prior to July 19, 1994 with construction begun before expiration and continued without lapse (CAFRA)
  • Expansion of functioning amusement pier by 25% landward of the mean high water line, beach or dune (CAFRA)
  • Continued production of commercial salt hay or other agricultural crops on lands so used on or before April 13, 1972 (CW)
  • Mooring of a floating home for less than 10 consecutive days (WFD)
  • Floating homes in use within the waters of the state prior to June 1, 1984. (WFD)
  • Construction, alteration, expansion or reconstruction of single family home or addition if greater than 100 feet landward of the mean high water line. (upland WFD)
  • Reconstruction, conversion, alteration or enlargement of any existing structure located more than 100 feet landward of the mean high water line, without change in land use and enlargements is less than 5,000 square feet (upland WFD)
  • Minor additions or changes in existing structures located on the existing cleared area of the site, does not result in adverse impacts to Special Areas, and is set back a minimum of 15 feet landward of the mean high water line. (upland WFD)
  • Wind turbines attached to legally existing building, less than 200 feet in height, less than 2,000 square feet rotor swept area, with monopole above 100 feet. (upland WFD)
  • Installation of solar panels on legally existing buildings, attached to utility pole within a maintained utility right of way., on legally existing impervious cover or landfill (upland WFD)
  • Repair, replacement, renovation or reconstruction, in the same location and size, as measured in three dimensions (length, width and height), of the preexisting structure, of any dock, wharf, pier, bulkhead or building legally existing prior to January 1, 1981. (WFD)
  • Repair, replacement, renovation or reconstruction, in the same location and size, as measured in three dimensions (length, width and height), of the preexisting structures, of any floating dock mooring raft or similar temporary or seasonal improvements or structure existing prior to January 1, 1981. (WFD)
  • Redecking and replacement of bridge surfaces without change in width, length or height (WFD)

Pre-Application Review

A pre-application review is an optional service that is recommended for major development projects. A pre-application review is mandatory for any coastal permit application involving the installation of submarine cables in the Atlantic Ocean. For most small developments and those at single family or duplex properties, a pre-application review is not necessary. At this review the Division will discuss with the applicant the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed project and policies that would apply to that particular development. The review is intended to provide guidance to the applicant, and in no way demonstrates a commitment by the Division to approve or deny a permit application for that particular development.

A written request for a pre-application review and meeting is required. Please do not call to schedule a pre-application meeting. The written request must include:

  1. A complete written description of the project and all proposed activities (the State Plane coordinates for the site should be included in this document).
  2. A written meeting agenda with goals and objectives.
  3. One copy of a USGS quad map with the site clearly outlined to scale.
  4. One copy of the municipal tax map with the site clearly outlined to scale.
  5. One color copy of an aerial photograph of the site.
  6. One copy of the appropriate United States Soil Conservation Service map(s) with the site clearly outlined to scale.
  7. One copy of each previous approval received from the Department concerning the site, if such approvals exist.
  8. One set of color photographs depicting the entire project area, mounted on 8.5” x 11” paper and accompanied by a map showing the location and direction from which each photograph was taken.
  9. One set of drawings depicting the proposed project.
  10. If applicable, the potential applicant shall also include a copy of any floodplain mapping such as a Department flood hazard area map or FEMA flood insurance map with the site clearly outlined to scale.

Once your written request is received by the Division, the Project Manager or Project Engineer will review the contents and will contact the agent directly to discuss the proposed project if the Project Manager or Engineer feels that the questions and issues can be resolved through this form of communication.  Holding pre-application review discussions via phone or through email saves the Division, agent, and applicant time and money.  If the Project Manager feels that a traditional in-house meeting is necessary, your agent will be contacted by a Coastal Bureau secretary for scheduling.

Please note: the third Wednesday of each month is the standard day to hold pre-application meetings. Only under special circumstances will meetings be scheduled on a different day.

This package should be directly mailed to:

Regular Mail
Coastal Bureau Secretary
NJDEP-Land Use Regulation
P.O. Box 439
501 East State Street Trenton, NJ
08625

UPS or FedEx
Coastal Bureau Secretary
NJDEP-Land Use Regulation
5 Station Plaza 501 East State Street, Second Floor
Trenton, NJ 08609

Permitting Options

  • Overview
  • Permits by Rule
  • General Permits
  • Individual Permits
  • Emergency Permits

Depending on your activity, there are several permitting options for activities located within the jurisdiction of ...

Important Reminders

  1. On the application form (LURP form), be sure to put the applicant’s permanent mailing address in the first section (there is room for the address of the location of development later in the form).  This is important because the Division corresponds with the applicant using this mailing address.  If a local or seasonal address only is provided, the applicant will not receive important Division correspondence.
  2. The Division addresses all correspondence during the review process directly to the applicant with a copy to the agent.  Most correspondence is sent via certified mail to the applicant.  However, when a permit is issued, the original permit and stamped site plan will go directly to the agent.  This is done because most often the agent is responsible for recording the original permit with the county clerk’s office and providing a copy of that filing to the Division for our records.  After this filing occurs, the applicant should be provided with the original permit and site plan from the agent.
  3. Some common mistakes regards fees:

There is no fee discount when applying for two general permits at the same time.  Thus, if you are applying for a GP-14 (bulkhead replacement on a lagoon) AND a GP-19 (docks or boat lifts on a lagoon) you must pay $600 for each permit for a total of $1200.

For waterfront development individual permits, you must include a written break-down of estimated construction costs.  If the estimated construction cost exceeds $10,000, you are required to pay ½ of 1% of those construction costs over the initial $10,000 in addition to the base fee of $600.  For example, say your construction cost  estimate is $13,000:

13,000-10,000=3,000  à  3,000 X 0.01 = 30 à  30/2 = $15 must be paid in addition to base fee of $600 for a total fee of $615

Modification Requests to an Approved Application

You may request to modify the activities approved under a previously approved permit.  Any proposed changes to the originally proposed and permitted activities require review by the Division to ensure that the newly proposed configuration remains consistent with all applicable rules.  Please note that the permit you wish to modify MUST be a valid permit that has not expired.  If the permit has expired, you must apply for an entirely new permit.

A Permit-by-Rule "PBR" is a permit whose terms and conditions are set forth in the Coastal Permitting Program rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.2 and for which no prior written approval from the Department is necessary in order to undertake the specified regulated activity, provided all conditions of the permit-by-rule are satisfied. 
These are the permits-by-rule:

  • PBR 1 - Single family home or duplex expansion
  • PBR 3 - Single family home or duplex and accessory  structure development on a bulkheaded lagoon lot (including expansion or reconstruction and expansion)
  • PBR 4 - Placement of public safety or beach/dune signs at public parks
  • PBR 5 - Construction of  the landward portion of nonresidential docks piers and boat ramps for which the waterward portion has received a Waterfront Development approval
  • PBR 6 - Construction of the landward portion of residential recreational dock or pier for which the waterward portion has received a Waterfront Development approval
  • PBR 7 - Voluntary reconstruction of damaged or non-damaged legally constructed residential or commercial development within the same footprint
  • PBR 8 – Expansion or relocation landward or parallel to the MHWL of the footprint of a legally constructed residential development
  • PBR 9 - Construction of a utility line attached to a bridge or culvert
  • PBR 10 – Legalization of prior filling of lands formerly flowed by the tide at a single family or duplex residence
  • PBR 11 - Construction of a boat ramp landward of the mean high water line for which the waterward portion has received a Waterfront Development approval
  • PBR 12 - Installation of a boat wash wastewater system at a marina boat yard or boat sales facility
  • PBR 13 - Construction of 1 to 3 wind turbines less than 200 feet high with less than 2,000 square feet rotor swept area
  • PBR 14 - Installation of solar panels at a single family home or duplex
  • PBR 15 – Reconfiguration of legally existing docks, wharf, or piers located at a legally existing marina, provide not in shellfish habit, SAV habitat, or wetlands
  • PBR 16 – Placing of Sand fencing to create or sustain a dune
  • PBR 17 – Placing of land-based upwellers and raceways, intakes and discharges for aquaculture activities
  • PBR 18 – Placing predator screens and oyster spat attraction devised in valid shellfish lease area
  • PBR 19 – Placing shellfish cages in an area with a valid shellfish lease
  • PBR 20 – Construction and/or installation of a pumpout facility and or pumpout support facility
  • PBR 21 – Implementation of a sediment sampling plan in a water area as part of dredging activity or remedial investigation

For information on a particular PBR, please read N.J.A.C. 7:7-7.2 Permits-By-Rule.

General Permits provide a means to perform a variety of activities within a regulated area, provided that the various restrictions are met for that type of General Permit requested. If your project does not meet the requirements for the General Permit, as detailed in the rule, an application for that general permit will likely be denied.  Another permit, such as a permit-by-rule, a different general permit or an Individual Permit may be required for your project.
Choose the Coastal General Permit you are interested in from the list.  You will be taken to a webpage designed to help you with that particular permit.

  • CGP4 - Long Branch Redevelopment Zone Permit
  • CGP5 - Amusement pier expansion 
  • CGP6 - Beach and dune maintenance activities
  • CGP7 - Voluntary reconstruction of certain residential or commercial development
  • CGP8 - Development of a single family home or duplex
  • CGP9 - Expansion or reconstruction of a single family home or duplex
  • CGP10 - Construction of a bulkhead and placement of associated fill on a manmade lagoon
  • CGP11 - Construction of a revetment at a single family home or duplex lot
  • CGP12 - Construction of gabions at a single family/duplex lot
  • CGP13 - Construction of support facilities at legally existing and operating marinas
  • CGP14 - Reconstruction of a legally existing functioning bulkhead
  • CGP15 - Investigation, cleanup, removal or remediation of hazardous substances
  • CGP16 - Landfall of utilities
  • CGP17 - Construction of recreational facilities at public parks
  • CGP18 - Bulkhead construction and placement of associated fill
  • CGP19 - Construction of piers, docks,  jet ski ramps, pilings and boatlifts in manmade lagoons
  • CGP20 - Minor maintenance dredging in man-made lagoons
  • CGP21 - Stabilization of eroded shorelines
  • CGP22 - Avian nesting structures
  • CGP23 - Modification of existing electrical substations
  • CGP24 - Legalization of the filling of tidelands
  • CGP25 - Construction of telecommunication towers
  • CGP26 - Construction of certain structures related to the tourism industry at hotels and motels, commercial developments and multi-family residential developments over 75 units.
  • CGP27 - Geotechnical survey borings
  • CGP29 - Habitat creation and enhancement activities
  • CGP30 - Construction of one to three wind turbines less than 200 feet in height and having a cumulative rotor swept area no greater than 4,000 square feet
  • CGP31 - Construction of wind turbines less than 250 feet in height and having a cumulative rotor swept area no greater than 20,000 square feet.
  • CGP32 - Dredging of sand from a man-made lagoon deposited as a result of a storm event for which the Governor declared a State of Emergency
  • CGP33 - Dredging of material from a waterway at a residential or commercial development deposited as a result of the failure of a bulkhead as a consequence of a storm event for which the Governor declared a State of Emergency
  • CGP34 - Dredging and management of material from a marina deposited as a result of a storm event for which the Governor declared a state of Emergency
  • CGP35 - Commercial shellfish aquaculture activities
  • CGP36 - Placement of shell within shellfish lease areas

Individual Permits

  • Overview
  • Waterfront Development
  • CAFRA
  • Coastal Wetlands

For many projects, the 12 Coastal Permits-by-rule and 27 General Permits provide ample permitting solutions.   Applicants are encouraged to modify their projects to fit the criteria for these simpler and faster authorizations.   However, for projects that are more complex in nature, a CAFRA, Waterfront Development and/or Coastal Wetlands Individual Permit “IP” would be required.

A regulated activity that requires an IP is typically subject to multiple requirements.  The compliance statement that accompanies the application should address all items in N.J.A.C. 7:7E that affect or are affected by the project.  Application requirements are detailed in N.J.A.C. 7:7-1 and 6.  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 applicant's particular project. 

The Department has, for your convenience, developed an Individual Permit Application Checklist. Please follow the requirements as outlined on this checklist to ensure that you have all of the required information necessary to complete and process your application.   If the application does not contain all of the required aspects of the checklist, the entire application package contents will be mailed back to the applicant.

Applicants are encouraged to request a pre-application meeting for these more complex permit applications.  It is helpful to work through the checklist prior to requesting the pre-application meeting.

Unless there is a specific permit-by-rule or general permit for your project, activities conducted in tidal water (at or below the mean high water line) require waterfront development IPs.  For example, most docks, piers, jetski ramps and boat lifts on natural waterways require IPs; many bulkhead construction or reconstruction projects also require an IP.  Upland waterfront projects may also require an IP.  If your project requires an IP, all the regulated activities can be reviewed simultaneously under one application.  You do not need to apply for additional general permits.

The environmental review for a Waterfront IP includes a review of how the project complies with the items described in the {Coastal Zone Management Rules (CZM)} [link to CZM rules], N.J.A.C. 7:7E.  Compliance with the following subchapters is typically addressed in the application’s compliance statement for a waterfront IP. 

  • Subchapter 3: Special Areas
  • Subchapter 3B: Information Required in Tidal Wetland and Intertidal and Subtidal Shallows Mitigation Proposals
  • Subchapter 4: General Water Areas
  • Subchapter 5: Impervious cover and vegetative cover (for upland waterfront projects)
  • Subchapter 5A: Impervious cover and vegetation in the upland waterfront area
  • Subchapter 6: Location rules
  • Subchapter 7: Use Rules
  • Subchapter 8: Resource Rules
  • Subchapter 8A: Information required to demonstrate compliance with the Public Trust Rights Rule, N.J.A.C. 7:7E-8.11; Conservation Restrictions and Public Access Instruments

Unless there is a specific permit-by-rule or general permit for your project, CAFRA Individual Permits are required for proposed regulated activities located within the {CAFRA Zone} [link to the “jurisdiction” tab under the “program overview” option of the coastal permitting main menu].  The environmental review for a CAFRA IP includes a review of how the project complies with the items described in the {Coastal Zone Management Rules (CZM)} [link to CZM rules], N.J.A.C. 7:7E.  The following subchapters are typically addressed in the application’s compliance statement for a waterfront IP. 

  • Subchapter 3: Special Areas
  • Subchapter 3A: Standards for Beach and Dune Activities
  • Subchapter 3B: Information Required in Tidal Wetland and Intertidal and Subtidal Shallows Mitigation Proposals
  • Subchapter 4: General Water Areas
  • Subchapter 5 and 5B: Impervious Cover Limits and Vegetative Cover Percentages in the CAFRA Area
  • Subchapter 6: General Location Rules
  • Subchapter 7: Use Rules
  • Subchapter 8: Resource Rules
  • Subchapter 8A: Information Required to Demonstrate Compliance with the Public Trust Rights Rule, N.J.A.C. 7:7E-8.11; Conservation Restrictions and Public Access Instrument

Unless there is a specific permit-by-rule or general permit for your project, Coastal Wetlands IPs are required for proposed regulated activities located within wetlands protected by the {Wetlands Act of 1970 }[link to the “jurisdiction” tab under the “program overview” option of the coastal permitting main menu].  The environmental review for a Coastal Wetlands IP includes a review of how the project complies with the items described in the {Coastal Zone Management Rules (CZM)} [link to CZM rules], N.J.A.C. 7:7E.  The following subchapters are typically addressed in the application’s compliance statement for a waterfront IP. 

  • Subchapter 3: Special Areas
  • Subchapter 3A: Standards for Beach and Dune Activities
  • Subchapter 3B: Information Required in Tidal Wetland and Intertidal and Subtidal Shallows Mitigation Proposals
  • Subchapter 4: General Water Areas
  • Subchapter 5 and 5B: Impervious Cover Limits and Vegetative Cover Percentages in the CAFRA Area
  • Subchapter 6: General Location Rules
  • Subchapter 7: Use Rules
  • Subchapter 8: Resource Rules
  • Subchapter 8A: Information Required to Demonstrate Compliance with the Public Trust Rights Rule, N.J.A.C. 7:7E-8.11; Conservation Restrictions and Public Access Instruments

Emergency Permits

The Department may issue an emergency permit authorization if it determines that there is an imminent threat to lives or property if regulated construction activities are not immediately commenced. For example, if your bulkhead is wholly or partially ripped out due to a storm event, and the upland area of the property has already been or is likely to be damaged significantly as a result, this will probably qualify for an emergency permit for the bulkhead replacement. The potential for severe environmental degradation will also constitute basis for issuing an emergency permit authorization. If you believe that your property requires an emergency permit authorization:

  1. Contact the Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Enforcement via telephone at (732) 255-0787 to alert them of the situation. In response, a representative of the Bureau will inspect the subject property to evaluate the extent of the imminent threat. The determination of imminent threat will be made solely by the Department, based on the condition of the property at the time of inspection. The findings will be provided to the Division of Land Use Regulation along with a recommendation on how to proceed with the request for emergency permit authorization.
  1. In addition to contacting Enforcement via telephone, you must write to the Division of Land Use Regulation detailing the imminent threat, condition of the existing structures, vulnerability of people and/or property, or the imminent threat to the environment. The written description must also include the proposed construction activities that you are requesting be authorized under the emergency permit. Please direct your written correspondence to Richard Langbein. A copy of your written correspondence must also be provided to the Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement.
  1. The Division will make the final determination as to whether or not an emergency permit authorization will be granted. You may receive oral or written authorization. If oral authorization is granted, a written version of the authorization will be issued within 5 working days. If you deviate in construction activities from that which were authorized under the emergency permit, this will constitute a violation. You must receive authorization to deviate from the originally granted emergency permit authorization if you wish to alter your construction activities. If you continue with unauthorized construction, your emergency authorization may be suspended or revoked. You may also face additional enforcement penalties.
  1. Within 10 working days of the issuance of the emergency permit authorization (oral or written authorization), you must submit a complete coastal permit application for the activity that you have been authorized to do under the emergency permit authorization. This means you must include all of the materials of a complete application that you normally would have if the circumstance did not require immediate attention by the Department. Upon review of the application and in accordance with the applicable Coastal Zone Management Rules, you will be issued a permit for the activities covered by the emergency permit authorization. The permit may include additional conditions that must be satisfied by the permittee.

Application Review

  • Overview
  • GP's, Waterfront IP's, Coastal Wetlands
  • CAFRA IP's
  • ZANE/Permit Modifications

Application Review Process

For most coastal applications, there is a statutory deadline of 90-days in which the Division must provide the applicant with a decision of either approval or denial.  For CAFRA Individual Permits, the deadlines are more complex.  For other application types such as a Zane exemption letter or permit modification, there is no statutory deadline for a decision from the Division.  All applications must include an application form. The checklists of required application contents can be downloaded from the Coastal Permitting tab within “Forms and Checklists” webpage. 

Please note a difference in terminology used by the Division: a “deficiency” is a situation where the application does not address all necessary environmental criteria and there is not enough information to make any type of decision (approval or denial);  a situation where “additional information” is needed means that the proposed project needs to be modified into an approvable project or additional materials are needed to demonstrate compliance with rules.  You may receive more than one request for information and/or plan revisions.

General Permits, Waterfront Development Individual Permits, and Coastal Wetlands Permits

 1) The application is first reviewed for administrative completeness, and if an item is missing, the entire application package will be returned to the applicant, along with a letter detailing the required missing components.  Only a copy of the letter will be sent to the agent.  If this occurs, the 90-day permit review clock stops until all required information has been received back in our office.  Please note that the original, time-stamped application form must be returned with the completed application package.  When the administratively complete application package is received, the 90-day clock restarts at day 0.  

 2) Once the application is deemed administratively complete, the application is forwarded to a Project Manager or Project Engineer.  This individual is responsible for reviewing your proposed project for compliance with all applicable rules.  The Project Manager or Engineer will review the application for technical completeness within the first 20 working days that the administratively complete package has been in the office.  If the reviewer believes s/he cannot make a decision of either approval or denial because of a lack of technical information, the Project Manager or Engineer will send a certified letter directly to applicant (with copy to agent) detailing the application’s deficiencies.  The complete application package remains in our office. This action also stops the 90-day clock.  The clock will restart at day 0 once all of the required technical information is received.  Please note: once technical deficiencies have been addressed, you may be contacted again to revise your proposed project to bring the project into compliance with the rules.  If your application is technically complete but does not demonstrate full compliance with applicable rules, you will be contacted to revise the plan accordingly.  This action does not stop the clock.

 3) Once the Project Manager or Engineer believes the proposed project to be in compliance with all applicable rules, the application is forwarded to the reviewer’s supervisor for final review and approval.  The original, signed and sealed permit is mailed directly to the applicant’s agent for recording (if required) along with an original stamped site plan.  A copy of the permit is mailed to the applicant agent and selected other interested parties.

CAFRA Individual Permits

 1) The application is first reviewed for administrative completeness, and if an item is missing, the entire application package will be returned to the applicant, along with a letter detailing the required missing components.  Only a copy of the letter will be sent to the agent.  If this occurs, the permit review clock stops until all required information has been received back in our office.  Please note that the original, time-stamped application form must be returned with the completed application package.  When the administratively complete application package is received, the permit review clock restarts at day 0.

 2).  Once the application is deemed administratively complete, the application is forwarded to a Project Manager or Project Engineer.  This individual is responsible for reviewing your proposed project for compliance with all applicable rules.  If the application lacks technical information needed to make a decision, the applicant and/or agent will be notified of deficiencies.  Otherwise, you will be notified that the application is complete for public comment (unless a public hearing is required, in which case you will be notified accordingly).  Instructions will be given on how to notice the public of the beginning of the public comment period, a period that will run for 30 calendar days from the date of publication in the DEP Bulletin.

 3). At the end of those 30 calendar days, the Project Manager has 15 days to issue either: 1) a notice of deficiency that outlines environmental criteria that must be addressed, or 2) a notice that the application is complete for final review (whether or not the proposed project is in compliance with the rules).  You may be asked to modify your project even after being deemed complete for final review in order to make the project consistent with the rules so that a permit can be issued.  If you receive a deficiency, this will stop the clock.  Once that information is submitted, the clock will begin again at day 0.  If you receive a “complete for final review” document, the Division must issue a decision within 60 days that it is deemed complete for final review.

Zane exemption requests and permit modifications

 1) There is no statutory deadline (no running clock) for a decision on either of these two types of applications.  However, they are reviewed in the same way as all other applications in terms of being deemed administratively and technically complete.  While there is no decision deadline, Project Managers and Engineers do their best to review these applications within a similar 90-day deadline.  Please note that applications with statutory deadlines and projects with high environmental concern will be given priority.

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Last Updated: February 25, 2014