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The Department of Community Development & Planning administers all land development activity within the Township. We encourage you to call our office before completing any land development projects, construction (interior and exterior), or demolition so we may properly advise you on required permits and procedures.
Go to Zoning & Planning Forms
Community Development Announcements
- 2020 CAPER Draft
- NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY – CONSOLIDATED ANNUAL PERFORMANCE AND EVALUATION REPORT (CAPER) FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2020 CDBG PROGRAM OF THE TOWNSHIP OF GLOUCESTER
- Gloucester Township 2021 CDBG Virtual Public Hearing #2 (via Zoom)
- Gloucester Twp CARES Act Substantial Amendment CV1 and CV3 (UPDATED)
The planning division provides professional planning services.
- Review and report on land development applications before the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment such as minor and major site plans for commercial development and minor and major subdivisions for residential development.
- Completion of the Township’s Master Plan, reexamination report,
and redevelopment plans.
- Assist in the administration of the Township’s Housing Element and Fair Share Plan in accordance with requirements of the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH).
- Coordination of the Township’s Recreation and Open Space Inventory (ROSI).
The zoning division advises what and where something may be built.
- The most common types of zoning permit applications include new residential dwellings, additions, decks, swimming pools, storage sheds, garages, fences, etc. The zoning division also investigates zoning violations enforcing the Township zoning code.
The construction division advises how something must be built.
- The construction division administers all construction activity using the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, which is designed to guarantee consistent construction standards throughout the State. Generally, the code regulates utilization of appropriate building materials, construction standards, and workmanship for building, fire protection, electrical, and plumbing.
Dept. of Community Development & Planning Contact List
|KENNETH D. LECHNER, PP, AICP, Director/Planner||(856)374-3511|
|BERNIE SHEPHERD, Construction Official||(856)374-3503|
|JIM GALLAGHER, Building Subcode Official||(856)374-3500|
|JOE CONBOY, Electrical Subcode Official||(856)374-3500|
|JOHN HONER, Fire Subcode Official||(856)374-3500|
|BILL REBEL, Plumbing Subcode Official||(856)374-3500|
|CHUCK FLACK, Building Inspector||(856)374-3500|
|ADALINE PESSAGNO, Construction Clerk||(856)374-3500|
|PATTI GUEVARA, Construction Clerk||(856)374-3500|
|JEANINE ALESI, Construction Technical Assistant||(856)374-3500|
|RITA REEVES, Construction Clerk||(856)374-3500|
|CHRIS NOWAK, Construction Clerk||(856)374-3500|
|DONNA JONES, Administrative Secretary||(856)228-4000 ext. 3200|
|ALISA ORTIZ, Zoning Officer||(856)374-3512|
|LYDIA PENDINO, Planning Board Clerk||(856)228-4000 ext. 3208|
|DONNA BARRETT, Zoning Board of Adjustment Clerk||(856)228-4000 ext. 3285|
|LINDA CLARK, Escrow Clerk||(856)228-4000 ext. 3268|
Construction & Zoning Forms
Land Development Application Packet:
Additional Community Development Reports and Maps
Commercial Permit Process Flowchart – PDF 1.6 MB
Land Development Procedures Flowchart – PDF 1.6 MB
Master Plan 1999 – PDF 12.8 MB
REEXAMINATION REPORT 2015 – PDF 299 KB
Certificate of Occupancy
For re-sales of homes in Gloucester Township, a certificate of occupancy from the construction office is not required. Please contact your local fire department to obtain the required smoke detector certification:
|Fire District #1||Glendora||856-939-1177|
|Fire District #2||Chews Landing||856-939-2090|
|Fire District #3||Blenheim||856-227-0552|
|Fire District #4||Blackwood||856-227-7731|
|Fire District #5||Lambs Terrace||856-228-0678|
|Fire District #6||Erial||856-435-0700|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What is the Department of Community Development & Planning?
A: This Department is responsible for the administration, review, and implementation of all land development activities in the Township including applications to the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Zoning Division and enforcement of the Land Development Ordinance, the Construction Division, as well as, the Master Plan and many other types of land use plans.
Q: What is the Planning Board?
A: The Planning Board is a quasi-judicial body comprised of nine (9) members and two (2) alternates that hears and decides on land development applications for minor and major site plans, site plan waivers, minor and major subdivisions, master plans, and many other land use responsibilities as promulgated by the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D et. Seq.).
Q: What is the Zoning Board of Adjustment?
A: The Zoning Board of Adjustment is a quasi-judicial body comprised of seven (7) members and four (4) alternates that hears and decides appeals on decisions made by the zoning officer in the enforcement of the zoning ordinance, interpretation of the zoning map and ordinance, bulk and setback variances, and use variances as promulgated by the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D et. Seq.).
Q: What is Zoning and the Zoning map?
A: Zoning is the division of land within the Township by various land use districts such as residential, commercial, industrial, and many others, and the establishment of guidelines for the permitted uses within each district, lot sizes, and property line setbacks. The zoning map graphically depicts the many zoning districts giving one a bird’s-eye view. (Download zoning map)
Q: What is the Land Development Ordinance?
A: The Land Development Ordinance (LDO) is a municipal ordinance that describes the zoning districts, performance and design standards, and procedures for development of land in the Township whether it’s an application for installation of a shed or construction of a shopping center.
Q: What are Performance and Design Standards?
A: Performance and Design Standards are the specifications for various components of a site plan or subdivision such as the types and quantities of landscaping, types and illumination of lighting, number of parking spaces, details for pavement, concrete curb, sidewalks, etc.
Q: What is the Construction Division?
A: The Construction Division is responsible for all plan review and inspections of buildings, electric, fire, and plumbing codes as promulgated by the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code (N.J.A.C. 5:23 et. Seq.).
Q: What is the Master Plan?
A: The Master Plan (download) is a comprehensive plan of the community including long-range plans addressing goals and objectives, land uses, open space, historic preservation, community facilities, housing, circulation, recycling, etc. as promulgated by the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law (NJSA 40:55D et. Seq.). (Re-examination report download)
Q: What is a Site Plan?
A: A site plan is a “blueprint” for how a parcel of land would be developed showing such items as building locations, existing topography,proposed topography, storm water management pipes and basins, landscaping, lighting, parking, etc. A minor site plan is an area less the 5,000 sf. and a major site plan is an area greater than 5,000 sf and requires additional reports such as an environmental impact statement and traffic impact statement.
Q: What is a Site Plan Waiver?
A: A Site Plan Waiver is an appeal to the Planning Board to not be required to submit a site plan.
(Author’s note: All non-residential land development requires Planning Board approval, so, the Planning Board reviews each request for a site plan waiver).
Q: What is a Subdivision?
A: A subdivision is a division of land into two or more lots and may also include a re-subdivision where no new lots are created and only lot lines are revised. A minor subdivision involves three lots or less and a major subdivision involves four lots or more and could also includes new roads.
Q: What is a variance?
A: A Variance basically is the ability to depart from a specific requirement of zoning within the Land Development Ordinance. For example, a bulk variance could be to permit a lot size smaller than required; a setback variance would be to allow a structure closer to a property line than permitted; and, a use variance may be to permit a use in a district that doesn’t allow the use such as a retail store in a residential district or vice-versa a residential use in a commercial district and many other combinations of this concept.
(Author’s Note: Only the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) may grant a variance and only the ZBA may grant a use variance.)
Q: What is a non conformance?
A: Generally, a non conformance is something that lawfully existed before the adoption of an ordinance (it’s grandfathered) but now fails to conform by reason of such adoption. A variance is required to replace a non conformance.
(Author’s note: A non conformance can be many things such as a nonconforming use; a nonconforming fence; a nonconforming property line setback, etc.)
Q: Why do I need a zoning permit?
A: A Zoning Permit is required by ordinance and to ensure that your project complies with the zoning ordinance before you start construction.
Q: Why do I need a zoning permit if I’m only replacing a building or structure?
A: A zoning permit is required by ordinance and to ensure the replacement building or structure complies with the zoning ordinance. You can’t replace a nonconforming building or structure without receiving a variance from either the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment depending on the type of application.
Q: Why do I need a copy of a land survey with my zoning permit application?
A: A land survey would show the location of your property lines and since different buildings and structures (addition, dwelling, garage, shed, swimming pool, fence, etc.) have different setbacks from the property lines by having a copy of the survey the Department can confirm your project will comply with the zoning requirements.
(Author’s note: If you don’t have a survey the Department will review the application using other methods such as tax maps or a sketch plat prepared and signed by the applicant.)
Q: Why do I need to a grading plan and professional escrow fees?
A: A Grading plan is only required for new dwellings and will foster proper drainage patterns for your property and reduce adverse impacts, if any, from storm water onto your neighbors’ property. The escrow fee is to cover the costs of the Township engineer to review the grading plan and inspect the work of your site contractor.
Q: Why do I need a construction permit?
A: A Construction Permit is required by the NJ Uniform Construction Code, which regulates utilization of appropriate building materials, construction standards, and workmanship for building, electrical, fire protection, and plumbing.
Q: Why does my application require Planning Board approval?
A: By NJ statutes only single-family and two-family dwellings and their associated accessory uses are exempt from Planning Board approval. All other land development applications require the Planning Board’s oversight to ensure both site plans and subdivisions are properly designed, planned, and developed to the benefit of the entire community.
Q: Why does my application require Zoning Board of Adjustment approval?
A: By NJ stautes only the Zoning Board of Adjustment can approve a variance from the literal application of the zoning ordinance.
Q: Why do I have to give notice of my application to all my neighbors and in the newspaper?
A: The NJ statutes require that all property owners within 200 feet of the project be noticed by hand delivery or certified mail and the public at large by publishing in the newspaper on all variance applications and many other land development applications.
Q: Why do I need a permit?
A: The State of New Jersey requires that a permit be obtained for most home improvement projects so that they are inspected by qualified professionals during several stages of progress to ensure that the work is safe and in compliance with UCC Regulations.
Q: When is a permit required?
A: A permit is required for all work done to any structure within the State of New Jersey that is not considered general maintenance.
Q: Do I still need a permit if I do the work myself?
A: Yes, the work must be inspected during its progress to ensure it is done safely and in compliance with UCC Regulations.
Q: How long does it take to get a permit?
A: If a permit application does not require a plan review it can be issued either the same day or within a couple days. However if the permit application does require a plan review the current workload of the department as well as the size of the project would dictate the time necessary to complete the process. Our goal is to get your permit issued to you ASAP.
Q: How much does a permit cost and why?
A: The permit fees are calculated based on the type of work and/or its retail value (material and labor). These fees are generated in order to cover the costs of the Construction Office only and therefore does not add to the burden of the taxpayer. The permit fees would remain the same whether the applicant is the Homeowner or Contractor. View the Construction Permit Fee Schedule.
Q: How long does the permit remain in effect?
A: The permit remains open as long as the work is started within 12 months from the date of issue and remains in effect as long as the work is not halted for a period of 6 months or more.