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Land Use and Zoning: Subdividing Land in Sussex County

Land use and zoning law regulates the use and development of real estate. Zoning, the most common form of land-use regulation, is used by municipalities to regulate and control local property development.

Federal and State laws regulate zoning. Local governments have specific rules to maintain order and efficiency within the municipality. Sussex County zoning laws are based on the types of buildings, boundaries, size, location of utility lines, and other requirements within a zone.

Sussex County Planning and Zoning 

There are 24 municipalities in Sussex County, NJ. Each municipality has its zoning laws based on an individual planning process that will create an official map of the area and guide future development. 

The ordinances are created to control zoning, subdivision, street plans, and other building regulations. Developers and builders must follow these zoning regulations to build in each municipality.

Local Municipality Zoning Limits

Given the nature of local zoning factors restricting owners’ rights to use their property as they desire, zoning is often controversial.

Zoning regulation is permissible if it meets reasonable public health, safety, and general welfare standards. However, zoning regulations can be challenged either through a process of zoning appeals or more severe litigation. 

Municipal zoning codes are subject to the common welfare of the community, so most often, these challenges are complex to overcome. Given the complexities of zoning regulations, a property owner must obtain legal assistance.

Subdividing Land in Sussex County

Sussex County Land Development Standards establishes the rules, regulations, and standards for site plans and subdivisions within the county’s jurisdiction. These laws determine whether land development is compatible and harmonious with the existing and planned infrastructure base to protect public health, safety, and welfare.

Subdivision divides a lot, tract, or parcel of land into two or more lots, tracts, parcels, or other land divisions for sale or development. 

If there are no new streets created, Sussex County Zoning and Planning will consider these subdivisions:

  1. Land divided for agricultural purposes where all resulting parcels are 5 acres or larger.
  2. Divisions of property by testamentary or intestate provisions.
  3. Divisions of the property upon court order, including but not limited to foreclosure judgments.
  4. Consolidation of existing lots by a deed or another recorded instrument.
  5. Transfer of one or more adjoining lots, tracts, or parcels of land owned by the same person or persons that conform to the development requirements.

Working with an Attorney for Land Use or Zoning Issues

There are many steps to gain approval, including meetings, specific timing regulations, standards, fees, and waivers. Whatever zoning issue you need to resolve, a real estate attorney can assist. Find a local Sussex County, NJ, lawyer focused on land use and zoning law. They will have experience working with all Sussex County municipalities’ zoning codes.

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