Highlands Preservation Area Exemptions
The Highlands Council is legislatively charged with reviewing proposed projects throughout the Highlands Region for consistency with the Highlands Act and Highlands Regional Master Plan (RMP). The Highlands Council issues consistency determinations that provide a detailed analysis of each project on a case-by-case basis. If you have any questions or are unsure which of the following reviews or applications are required, please call the Highlands Council at (908) 879-6737.
Highlands Planning Area Exemptions
Application for Consistency Determination (Municipal Referral to Highlands Council)
Highlands Redevelopment Area Designation Procedures
WQMP Consistency Reviews
Project Review Status and Tracking
Preservation Area exemptions are issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:38. This jurisdiction is shared and the Highlands Council collaborates with the Department on certain exemptions (namely Exemptions 9 and 11), where NJDEP requests that applicants copy the Highlands Council on the exemption application. In addition, upon applicant request, the Highlands Council will occasionally provide an opinion to NJDEP on other exemption determinations.
Additional information is available from the NJDEP, Division of Land Use Regulation.
The Highlands Council issues exemptions in the Planning Area in accordance with the Highlands Act and the Highlands Regional Master Plan. Highlands Planning Area Exemptions are required for development projects in municipalities that have adopted ordinances implementing the Highlands Act in the Planning Area. They can also be sought by any person planning development in the Planning Area, where such ordinances may be adopted in the in the future. To apply for a Highlands Planning Area Exemption Determination please submit a completed Application Form (below).
In municipalities that have adopted an ordinance requiring the referral of development applications to the Highlands Council, a Highlands Council Consistency Determination may be required. The Highlands Council will only conduct a Consistency Determination under this application where an Application for Development has been submitted to a municipality and the municipality has determined that such Highlands Council review is required. This review is to determine whether the project is consistent with the goals, requirements and provisions of the Highlands Act, the Regional Master Plan, and the Highlands Council resolution approving the municipality's Petition for Plan Conformance. This review is conducted at no cost to the municipality or applicant.
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The Highlands Council has developed procedures implementing provisions of the Highlands Act regarding the designation of Highlands Redevelopment Areas in the Preservation Area. Such designations are necessary for any project that requires a Highlands Preservation Area Approval under N.J.A.C. 7:38 (the NJDEP Preservation Area Rules) with a waiver of provisions regarding a brownfield or a site with existing impervious cover of 70 percent or more. The Highlands Council procedures (link below) establish and outline the process and requirements for receiving Council designation of Highlands Redevelopment Areas.
** Please note that the Highlands Redevelopment Area Designation Procedures are currently being revised. Questions regarding such Designations should be directed to the Highlands Council office, 908-879-6737. **
The Highlands Council has prepared a listing of submittal requirements for Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) amendments that it reviews. Please refer to this document when submitting WQMPs for review.
A summary of information regarding past and current projects reviewed by Highlands Council staff can be found in the tracking sheet below.
Complete details regarding projects that have been considered by the Highlands Council are available on the page below.