Bought Land Along The Jersey Shore & Anxious To Build? Not So Fast, Permits Are Required

Posted on: 30 May 2017

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Imagine if everyone who wanted to build whatever they wanted to along the Jersey Shore did so. The effects of this on the environment and shore line would be disastrous. For this reason, New Jersey enacted the Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA) to help save the coastal areas from overdevelopment. If you've recently purchased land within the area affected by CAFRA, you may have a few questions regarding the permit requirements and how one environmental service can help. Here's what you need to know.

Construction plans for the house and property

In order to assess how the construction of your home and the development of your property could affect the environment, the environmental service needs to have the plans for the construction of your home, any other buildings such as a garage or shed, driveways, and any other construction projects that will be included. A larger home with a substantial foundation footprint could have more impact on the wetlands than a home with a smaller footprint. While it may seem backwards, have an architect develop plans for your home first.

Evaluation of the property

Hire an environmental service to conduct studies and evaluate the property. They'll need to do a survey of the property to find the exact line of the wetland boundary, which will be done by using survey flags. This evaluation will also include a subsurface assessment which will be done through soil borings to determine the rock characteristics, vegetation, and hydrologic considerations. Hydrologic is the study of the movement of water, the water cycles, the resources of water, and the sustainability of the watershed.

Environmental impact statement

With the assessment and evaluations completed, the environmental service can determine whether or not the construction will impact the environment or not and what may need to be changed in order for the construction phase to meet the compliance of CAFRA. When the environmental service can illustrate with an environmental impact statement that all compliance criteria of CAFRA are met, they can apply for the CAFRA permit. Included with this statement, the service will also need a log of the soil boring results, copies of available maps and photographs, including aerial.

In many cases, maps and aerial photographs can be acquired from the land records department in the courthouse. However, depending on the dates of the maps and aerial photographs, the environmental service may need to hire a topographer and/or an aerial photographer to provide the most up-to-date material for the application so it has a greater chance of getting approved without any delays.

Visit a permitting service's website for additional info.