know if my application will be heard by the Planning Board or Zoning Board?

The Planning Board (PB) reviews “permitted uses” for subdivisions and minor site plans. Applications are reviewed by the PB engineer, planner, and Township Zoning Officer.  Many times, there will be testimony by an applicant’s traffic consultant. The Planning Board’s primary responsibility is to revise the Master Plan for the Township.

The Zoning Board (ZB) determines whether or not to grant “non-permitted uses” (use variances) and changes to the zone based upon the Master Plan. The ZB will hear applications for deviations and alterations, which are called variances. The zoning ordinance regulates uses for that zone, setbacks, and other requirements. At the time of the hearing, the applicant must prove specific positive and negative criteria to justify the granting of relief from the Land Use Ordinance and obtain variances for use or bulk standards.  During the hearing, the applicant’s experts will testify as to why the relief can be granted without violating the underlying purposes of the regulations and will not be a detriment to the public good.  Any adverse decision (denial of an application) by the ZB can be appealed by the applicant through the Court system.