Opening Lines of Communication and Collaboration Between the Military and Civilians With Regards to Land Use

December 8, 2016Articles In the Zone

On August 1, 2016, the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly approved Bill S1992 which “concerns land use planning nearby military installations by amending various parts of the statutory law, and supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.”

Of the amended parts of the statutory law, Section 40:55D-2 of the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL) has been amended to implement the bill’s purposes of “ensuring against unnecessary encroachments upon military facilities and encouraging municipalities to collaborate with military facility commanders in planning and implementing appropriate land use controls.” In order to facilitate this collaboration, the bill amends several notice provisions and submission requirements affecting municipalities’ master plans.

In furtherance of this open communication, Section 40:55D-13 (notice concerning master plan), provides that the municipality planning board must give “notice to the military facility commander of all hearings on the adoption, revision or amendment of the municipal master plan.”

Additionally, in furtherance of the planning and implementation of appropriate land use controls, Section 40:55D-28 (preparation, contents; modification) provides that the planning board’s master plan shall show the “existing and proposed location of military facilities and incorporating strategies to minimize undue encroachment upon, and conflicts with, military facilities, including but not limited to buffering residential areas and allowing for the potential expansion of military facilities.”

While Bill S1992 presents additional steps and requirements upon the municipalities, the prospect of a more open dialogue between the parties can improve both the growth and continuity of military facilities as well as diminish any negative impact on surrounding residential zones.