The Planning Board functions under the authority of the Municipal Land Use Law of New Jersey, N.J.S.A. 40:55D and Municipal Township Code Chapter 57 Land Development and Chapter 95 Zoning.
The Planning Board function is to generate and update a community Master Plan. Other functions of the Planning Board involve subdivision and site plan review, creation of the official maps and associated zoning ordinances. The Board is also empowered to review and approve “C” variances (departures from zoning ordinances) in conjunction with development applications. The Board may also participate in the preparation and review of plans required by State or Federal regulations. The Board also assembles data for planning purposes and performs other advisory duties upon request by the Township Committee.
The Master Plan is a comprehensive, long range plan intended to guide the growth and development of the community. It contains elements that provide for future economic development, housing, recreation, open space, transportation, community facilities and land use.
A primary element of the Master Plan is the Land Use Plan. This element serves as the basis for development of the Township’s zoning ordinances, a set of local regulations that provided for controls on how the land in the Township of Morris is developed, occupied or utilized. The Land Use Plan is also implemented through a zoning map of zone categories as recommended in the Land Use Plan. Some areas in the Township have been upgraded in zoning protections due to wetlands, environmental issues and or lack of sewer services in the area.
The Board is also involved in reviewing major subdivisions and site plans and finalizing the land use regulations that will support the zoning ordinances of the community. Subdivision review is required whenever any lot, tract or parcel of land is divided into two or more lots. Site Plan reviews are required when someone proposes development for anything other than an individual lot application for detached one or two dwelling units.
All plans for development are available for public inspection in the Office of the Planning Board in the municipal building.