Land use and zoning law is the regulation of 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 intended 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 own 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 an owner’s rights to use his/her property as they desire, zoning is often controversial.

Zoning regulation is permissible if it goes along with reasonable standards such as public health, safety, and general welfare. 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 hard to overcome. Given the complexities of zoning regulations, a property owner needs to 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 land development that is compatible and harmonious with the existing and planned infrastructure base to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

Subdivision is the process of dividing a lot, tract or parcel of land into two or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land 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 judgments of foreclosure.
  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 conforms to the development requirements.

Working with an Attorney for Land Use or Zoning Issues

There are many steps to take to gain approval, including meetings, specific timing regulations, standards, fees, and waivers. Whatever zoning issue you need to resolve, a real estate attorney will be able to 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.