Land Use Department
195 Changebridge Road
Montville, NJ 07045-9498
The Land Use Department is involved in almost all aspects of land use and development. The department provides staffing to many Township boards and committees including: Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Economic Development Committee, (Affordable) Housing Committee, Design Review Committee, Historic Preservation Review Commission and Environmental Commission. The department also coordinates all Township departments and boards and other review agencies involved in the development review process. The reviews are comprehensive and involve the Board of Health, MUA, Engineering, Assessing, and Tax Collection and other agencies at the County, State and Federal levels.
There are 3 major functions within the department: coordination of the planning and zoning board approvals and overseeing the implementation of the affordable housing program within the community.
The department is involved with the processing and coordination of all development applications before the Planning and Zoning Boards. The Historic Preservation Review Commission reviews these site plan/subdivision applications and permit applications involving real property to determine potential impacts on Historic Districts, Buildings, and Landmarks and submits a report to the Planning Board. The Environmental Commission is also involved in the development approval process as it is provided with the opportunity to review every development application and is required to submit a report to the Planning Board whenever a development application requires an environmental impact statement.
The municipal land use laws of the State of New Jersey are very exacting in requiring that an application is reviewed, processed and acted on within prescribed time frames. The department reviews public hearing notices and coordinates the review process of the boards referenced above, oversees the development of the agenda for public hearings and maintains financial record-keeping for the boards.
Each application is submitted along with application and escrow fees. Escrow funds are used to defray any expenses charged by outside professional consultants such as the planning, legal, engineering, traffic and environmental experts hired by a board. The department receives, processes and coordinates all bonding required of a developer, ensures invoicing is in order as it relates to billings of the professionals, and coordinates the budgetary needs in running the board's operations. This department is also responsible for maintaining all public records, and meeting and reviewing items with the general public.
Pubic Hearing Process - Planning & Zoning Boards
The Housing Director oversees compliance with Montville Township's Housing Regulations and New Jersey Council of Affordable Housing (COAH) requirements. This involves monitoring certifications, maintaining housing lists, resolving disputes and working with over 400 households participating in the affordable housing program.
The Design Review Committee (DRC) is involved in the review of architectural plans, signage and landscaping. The Land Use Division coordinates the reviews by this committee, which includes architects, graphic designers, landscape specialists and building contractors. These volunteer citizens perform on-site inspections, meet with the developers and make design recommendations to ensure that Montville's high standards for development are met.
The Economic Development Committee (EDC) is coordinated by the Land Use staff and charged with developing and implementing a strategic business attraction and retention program for the municipality. Its practical function over the past few years has been to match enterprises looking for a new home with a suitable and appropriate location within Montville's borders. An accomplished group of local executives makes up the EDC. Monthly meetings are held to discuss upcoming business opportunities and consider various marketing strategies. EDC maintains an inventory of vacant properties, develops publications and plans promotions.
The Zoning Officer for the Township is the first individual whom the general public meets on a construction or zoning issue. The task of the zoning officer is to review each and every building permit within the community to ascertain if the zoning codes are complied with. The Zoning Officer is charged with investigating and resolving zoning and maintenance code violations in the community and, if necessary, adjudicating them in municipal court.
The Land Use Administrator coordinates the functions described herein, and also develops and coordinates application forms, checklists for submissions and new fees, recommends new ordinances and acts as the public information resource for any land use activity within the Community.