Environmental and Land Use Ordinances
ANJEC has developed a database of over 700 environmental and land use ordinances from NJ municipalities. These ordinances are examples of approaches that have worked in communities throughout the state. Click on the relevant topic to see a sample copy of the ordinance.
Disclaimer. These ordinances include a model and examples of approaches that have worked in other municipalities. Municipalities should modify them to reflect local environmental conditions, current regulations, and state-of-the-art knowledge in the environmental field.
Aquifer Recharge - controls uses on lands that provide recharge for water supply.
Clustering - designs development to be clustered on a part of a site in a particular zone with no increase in density over that allowed under the conventional zone designation.
Conservation Easement - covers stream and drainage, limits amount of land that can be covered by buildings, roads and other impervious use.
Impervious Cover Limits - limits amount of land that can be covered by buildings, roads and other impervious uses.
Limestone Protection - offers special protections to groundwater in limestone areas.
Model Septic Management - supplements existing ordinances by requiring existing, new and proposed subsurface sewage disposal systems to be pumped out at least once every three years.
Steep Slope Protection - protects slopes over 15%, with prohibition of use above 25% to minimize erosion and sedimentation.
Stormwater Management - emphasizes infiltration and use of non-structural best management practices to control stormwater runoff.
Stream Corridor Protection - protects land along streams as an easier and more economic way to protect water quality than cleaning up impacts from degradation.
Tree Protection - regulates tree removal, sets standards for replacement and reforestation.
Useable Area - requires that a minimum
area of a lot being created for subdivision be free of environmentally critical
areas- steep slopes, wetlands, and floodplains.
Wellhead Protection - prohibits certain activities to protect groundwater quality in an overlay zone for the land area influencing wells.
Wetlands Protection - covers steep slopes, stream buffer items, conservation, permitted and prohibited uses, non-conforming structures, uses and management.
ANJEC’s ordinance database includes examples of a number of other topics that can help protect water resources. If you’re interested in obtaining any of these ordinances, please contact the Resource Center so we can offer you examples from municipalities from your region with similar population, topography, and other natural resources.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone (973)539-7547
Ordinances that will help protect water resources include the following:
Board of Health ordinances cover topics like septic maintenance and Certificates of Septic System Reuse. Model Septic example available.
Environmental Impact Statement ordinances set out requirement that developers evaluate impacts of a proposal, explore alternatives and ways to minimize negative impacts.
Floodplain Protection ordinances prohibit certain uses in the 100-year floodplain.
Lot Size Averaging ordinances allow lots to be of variable size to avoid development of critical environmental areas.
New Well Drawdown ordinances require drawdown tests to ensure that new wells will produce sufficient volumes of water to serve their intended users.
Noncontiguous Development ordinances allow cluster development on noncontiguous lands as enabled in the Municipal Land Use Law. For example, density can be concentrated on one parcel while the required open space is reserved on another noncontiguous parcel.
Septic System Design ordinances provide standards that can be stricter than the state minimum standards. For example, local ordinances can require greater distances between septic systems and water courses and/or reserve septic fields to insure replacement if current fields fail.
Shade Tree Protection requires shade tree protection and replacement to maintain the tree’s evapotranspiration function so important to the water cycle and stormwater control.
Site Plan/Subdivision ordinances list all required submission items before an application is declared complete. Examples include wetlands delineations, steep slope analysis.
Soil Movement ordinances regulate disturbance, removal or fill to minimize erosion, changes in grade or importation of contaminated soil.
Stormwater Control requires structural and non-structural techniques to control stormwater runoff.
Zoning Densities ordinances set densities based on natural carrying capacity to protect critical areas (lower densities reduce impacts).
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP’s) Municipal Stormwater Regulation Program covers regulations that have requirements for local laws. To help municipalities meet those requirements, NJDEP
- Requires municipal stormwater review for projects that meet the major development definition (1 acre of disturbance or ¼ acre impervious surface);
- Incorporates a stormwater review in NJDEP wetlands, stream encroachment, CAFRA or waterfront permits applications;
- Enables the required town ordinance to regulate industrial as well as residential development projects.
NJDEP model ordinances include:
- Stormwater Control in PDF ( 148kb) and WORD
- Stream buffers ( 204kb)
- Riparian Buffer Zone ( 204kb)
- Pet waste, litter control, improper disposal of waste, wildlife feeding, containerized yard waste, yard waste collection program, and illicit waste.