Land Use in New Jersey

Our lawyers will help you navigate the rules of land use and zoning in New Jersey.

One of the most complicated areas of New Jersey real estate law is "land use." If you are interested in buying a piece of land, it’s important you know about any potential limitations on the use of the land. If you already own the property or are committed to a purchase, an experienced land use and zoning attorney can help you secure land use approvals or variances. Even a simple addition to your home might require a complicated application for a variance. Navigating this area requires experience with each locality and familiarity with complicated rules: our team has both. 

Every municipality in New Jersey has its own guidelines governing how land can be used, what types of buildings can be erected, and how close to property lines and other structures you can build. There are ordinances governing height and size of fences and decks, etc. The Municipal Land Use Law, a state statute, provides laws that must be followed throughout the state.

You can avoid regulatory nightmares by making sure your real estate attorney is experienced in land use and zoning law. The real estate lawyers at Posternock Apell, PC in Browns Mills and Moorestown have extensive experience representing clients throughout South Jersey. We know the laws and can help you get approvals you need, representing you in in front of zoning committees when necessary. Since laws change constantly, you want to choose an attorney who stays current with land use and development law in New Jersey.

We can help with a Zoning Variance, Special Use Permit or other approvals for a new development.

An experienced land use and zoning attorney at Posternock Apell, PC can help you structure your land use application so you avoid frustration, as well as potentially expensive and time-consuming litigation. We’ve helped clients successfully go before Zoning and Planning Boards and obtain approvals and variances throughout South Jersey.

Variances and special use permits: Each municipality has a Master Plan which sets forth the allowed land uses for each area of the town. For example, multi-family dwellings might not be allowed in a particular area. This is why even a simple home sale or purchase can necessitate the involvement of an experienced real estate lawyer.

Additionally, the Municipal Council approves zoning ordinances or codes, further limiting how certain parcels of land can be used. If you want to use your property in a way that deviates from the Master Plan and/or local zoning ordinances, you will need to apply for a use variance.

A variance is a deviation from the zoning law governing how a particular parcel of land may be used. It can be difficult to secure a variance because NJ law imposes tough standards on variance applications. At a public hearing, the Zoning Board of Adjustment undertakes a balancing analysis and the applicant must prove special reasons exist for the variance, the variance will not cause substantial detriment to the public good, and the variance will not deviate too far from the Master Plan or local zoning ordinances.

Developments and subdivisions: Any residential or commercial development is a serious undertaking that requires municipal and county site plan approval, and often requires approvals from a county soil conservation district, county sewer departments, NJ Department of Transportation, and other local, county, and state agencies. A land-use lawyer can assist you with applications for multi-phase subdivisions. In addition to assisting clients with residential developments, the land use lawyers at Posternock Apell, PC also help clients receive necessary government approvals for commercial, industrial, and mixed-use projects.

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