The Vernon Township Division of Planning and Zoning is within the Vernon Township Department of Planning and Development and is staffed by a zoning officer.
This division’s primary responsibility is to provide assistance and guidance in the development of lands in Vernon Township pursuant to the land use ordinance, the master plan and New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL). Its duties encompass everything from enforcing township codes and ordinances, including enforcement of the vacant/abandoned property registration requirement, to providing customer support to residents looking to make improvements to their properties.
The zoning officer’s role is primarily one of enforcement. It is his responsibility to ensure that any new construction or alteration to an existing structure is in compliance with the township’s zoning laws and the provisions of the land use ordinance.
So what exactly is meant by planning and zoning as it relates to a municipality?
The planning function assists the township in implementing and achieving the policies set forth in the master plan. It involves many tools including economic and demographic analysis, natural and cultural resource evaluation, goal-setting and ongoing examination of the township’s current and future economic development and growth.
Zoning is the legal mechanism by which the integrity of neighborhoods is preserved as it provides for the orderly growth and compatible use of land and buildings in a given area. This is achieved through enforcement of the land use ordinance which dictates how properties can be used, what types of buildings can be constructed, how much parking must be provided, where buildings can be constructed on the property, etc.