Planning & Zoning FAQ

What is my property Zoned?
How long does it take for a zoning permit to be reviewed?
How do I know when my zoning permit is ready?
How do I know when my zoning permit is ready?
Can I file an anonymous zoning complaint or property maintenance complaint against my neighbor?
Do I need a zoning permit for a shed? What are the requirements for sheds?
Do I need a zoning permit for a freestanding wall?
Do I need a zoning permit for a retaining wall?
Do I need a zoning permit for a fence?
How high can my fence be?
Where can I put my fence?
Which way does my fence have to face?
What are the requirements for fences?
Do I need a zoning permit for an HVAC or whole-house generator?
Where can I put my HVAC/whole-house generator?
Do I need a zoning permit to expand my driveway?
Do I need a zoning permit to put in a patio?
Do I need a zoning permit to put in a swing set/playset, treehouse, freestanding barbeque, freestanding chiminea?
Do I need a zoning permit to put replace my deck?
Do I need a zoning permit to turn my garage into a living space?
Do I need a zoning permit to turn my basement into a living space?
Can I put an addition on my house?
What are the required setbacks from my house to my property lines?
What is the process to expand my commercial building?
Can I subdivide my property?
I want to give my neighbor a piece of my land. How do I accomplish that?
My neighbor and I want to swap some land with each other (adjust a lot line) How do we accomplish that?
Can I download the zoning permit application form?
Can I download the land development application form?
Can I have a second kitchen in my home?
Do I need an attorney in order to go before the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Adjustment?
Do I need to get a zoning permit denial before I can apply to the Zoning Board of Adjustment?
Can my neighbor or friend represent me at the Zoning Board of Adjustment, either as an applicant or as an objector?
Can I run a business out of my house?
It looks like my neighbor’s shed or fence is on my property. What should I do?
What are the fees for land development applications?
What are the fees for zoning permits?
To whom do I make out a check for an application for a zoning permit or a land development application?
My neighbor’s property has a lot of trash & debris. What can be done?
My neighbor’s grass is not mowed. What can be done?
My neighbor’s trash can is left out after garbage pick-up day. Who should I call?
My neighbors are not shoveling their sidewalks. Who should I call?
Do I need a zoning permit to remove a tree?
Do I qualify for the Housing Improvement Program?
How do I get an affordable housing unit (aka, “Mt. Laurel” housing)?
Do you have a copy of my survey?
What is a Continued Certificate of Occupancy (CCO)?
Do I need a continued Certificate of Occupancy (CCO) when I sell my house?
Do I, as a landlord, need to get a Continued Certificate of Occupancy (CCO) in order to rent out my house or to rent an apartment I own?
What is the process for getting a CCO?
Can I submit my objections to a land development application in a letter to the Board?
When does the Zoning Board of Adjustment meet?
What is on the next Zoning Board of Adjustment agenda?
When does the Planning Board meet?
What is on the next Planning Board agenda?


 
What is my property zoned?


You can look up zoning of your property by going into the GIS portal.


How long does it take for a zoning permit to be reviewed?

State law provides 10 business days for review, which is about 2 weeks.  We always try to do our reviews in less time than that, but sometimes, depending on volume and other factors, we do take two weeks.  It could be longer if there are any holidays within that 10-business day period.  


How do I know when my zoning permit is ready?

The Planning Department will call you. You do not need to call us to see if it is done being reviewed. If you haven’t gotten a call, then it is not done.


Can I file an anonymous zoning complaint or property maintenance complaint against my neighbor?

Yes. The Zoning Officer or Property Maintenance Officer will investigate, depending on the issue. If there is a violation, the enforcement officer will take action. If there is no violation, there is nothing the enforcement officer can or will do.  Of course, since the complaint was anonymous, the staff cannot follow up with you.


Do I need a zoning permit for a shed?

Yes; all sheds require a zoning permit. Sheds of a certain size also need a construction permit. Contact the Building Department to see if your shed is of a size that needs a construction permit. 973-694-1800, x3262, x3264, or x3261.


What are the requirements for sheds?

R45 DISTRICT

Setbacks and height for accessory structures, except fences:

1. Side yard: 25 feet minimum, except that accessory structures 100 square feet or less in size shall have a minimum setback of 5 feet.  
2. Rear yard: 25 feet minimum, except that accessory structures 100 square feet or less in size shall have a minimum setback of 5 feet.  
3. Height:15 feet maximum to the top of the ridge of a pitched roof, measured from the finished floor, or 12 feet to the top of a flat roof measured from the finished floor

Maximum Impervious Coverage: 40% (for the entire lot)


R30 DISTRICT

Setbacks and height for accessory structures, except fences:

1. Side yard: 15 feet minimum, except that accessory structures 100 square feet or less in size shall have a minimum setback of 5 feet.  
2. Rear yard: 15 feet minimum, except that accessory structures 100 square feet or less in size shall have a minimum setback of 5 feet.  
3. Height:15 feet maximum to the top of the ridge of a pitched roof, measured from the finished floor, or 12 feet to the top of a flat roof measured from the finished floor

Maximum Impervious Coverage: 40% (for the entire lot)


R15 DISTRICT

 Setbacks and height for accessory structures, except fences:

1. Side yard: 10 feet minimum, except that accessory structures 100 square feet or less in size shall have a minimum setback of 5 feet.  
2. Rear yard: 10 feet minimum, except that accessory structures 100 square feet or less in size shall have a minimum setback of 5 feet.  
3. Height: 15 feet maximum to the top of the ridge of a pitched roof, measured from the finished floor, or 12 feet to the top of a flat roof measured from the finished floor

Maximum Impervious Coverage: 40% (for the entire lot)


R10 DISTRICT

Setbacks and height for accessory structures, except fences:

1. Side yard: 10 feet minimum, except that accessory structures 100 square feet or less in size shall have a minimum setback of 5 feet.  
2. Rear yard: 10 feet minimum, except that accessory structures 100 square feet or less in size shall have a minimum setback of 5 feet.  
3. Height: 15 feet maximum to the top of the ridge of a pitched roof, measured from the finished floor, or 12 feet to the top of a flat roof measured from the finished floor

Maximum Impervious Coverage: 40% (for the entire lot)


RBC Residential B Cluster

Sheds, not to exceed seven feet in height or 80 square feet in area, shall be permitted, subject to the following provisions:  

(1) For detached, duplex or attached dwellings, such shed shall be located in the rear yard no closer than 10 feet from the side or rear property line.   
(2) No sheds shall be permitted for quadplex dwellings. 


RC 1.25 & RC 2.5

Setbacks and height for accessory structures, except fences:

(a) Side yard: 10 feet minimum, except that accessory structures 100 square feet or less in size shall have a minimum setback of 5 feet.  
(b) Rear yard: 10 feet minimum, except that accessory structures 100 square feet or less in size shall have a minimum setback of 5 feet.  
(c) Height:15 feet maximum to the top of the ridge of a pitched roof, measured from the finished floor, or 12 feet to the top of a flat roof measured from the finished floor.


RL DISTRICT Residential Leasehold

Attached garage and/or carport accessory to a single-family dwelling. Detached accessory structures such as, for example, garages, pools or metal sheds, are expressly prohibited.  


PUD District Planned Unit Development

Setbacks and height for accessory structures, except fences:

(a) Side yard: 10 feet minimum, except that accessory structures 100 square feet or less in size shall have a minimum setback of 5 feet.  
(b) Rear yard: 10 feet minimum, except that accessory structures 100 square feet or less in size shall have a minimum setback of 5 feet.  

Height: 15 feet maximum to the top of the ridge of a pitched roof, measured from the finished floor, or 12 feet to the top of a flat roof measured from the finished floor.


Do I need a zoning permit for a freestanding wall?

Yes. 


Do I need a zoning permit for a retaining wall?

No.


Do I need a zoning permit for a fence?

Yes.


How high can my fence be?

4 feet in a front yard; 6 feet in a side and rear yard.  Note that corner lots have two front yards.  Both street frontages are front yards from a zoning perspective.


Where can I put my fence?

Fences can go on the property line.


Which way does my fence have to face?

Decorative side faces out.


What are the requirements for fences?

In Residential Districts:

1. No fence or wall (or portions thereof), nor combinations of fences and/or walls, shall be erected or altered so that such fence or wall, when measured from existing grade on both sides of the fence and/or wall, is over 4 feet in height in the front yard and 6 feet in height in the side and rear yards, other than tennis court fence enclosures regulated in § 134-65 and commercial agricultural.  The height limitations in this subparagraph shall not apply to retaining walls where the wall is retaining soil to the top of the wall.
2. There shall be no cyclone or chain-link fences permitted in the front yard
3. Barbed wire shall be prohibited.
4. All retaining walls greater than 4 feet in height shall have their construction designed, inspected and certified by a professional engineer




In Nonresidential Districts: 

1. No fence or wall exceeding 4 feet in height shall be located in a front yard
2. No fence or wall exceeding 6 feet in height shall be erected in a side or rear yard.  
3. Any cyclone type (chain-link) fencing shall be substantially screened from public view with landscaping.
4. All fences shall be designed as integrated parts of the overall architectural and site design.
5. Dwelling units in a nonresidential zone may have fences or walls not exceeding 6 feet in height in a side or rear yard and 4 feet in height in a front yard.  Except as noted above, any commercial use abutting a residential zone or use may have fences or walls not exceeding 6 feet.
6. Barbed wire shall be prohibited.
7. All retaining walls greater than 4 feet in height shall have their construction designed, inspected and certified by a professional engineer
8. In the event that both sides of a fence or freestanding wall are not identical, the finished/preferred side shall be required to face the street and/or abutting properties, as applicable


Do I need a zoning permit for an HVAC or whole-house generator?

Yes.


Where can I put my HVAC/whole-house generator?

On the side of the house. If you have a corner lot, it can go on the side of the house that faces the side street, but it must be screened.


Do I need a zoning permit to expand my driveway?

Yes. The zoning code has a maximum amount of impervious coverage per property and we have to review your project for compliance. 


Do I need a zoning permit to put in a patio?

Yes. The zoning code has a maximum amount of impervious coverage per property and we have to review your project for compliance. 


Do I need a zoning permit to put in a swing set/playset, treehouse, freestanding barbeque, freestanding chiminea?

No. 


Do I need a zoning permit to turn my garage into a living space?

Yes. The zoning code requires a minimum of 231 square feet of garage space.  The zoning code also has a maximum floor area ratio (FAR) and we have to review your project for compliance with both of these standards. 


Do I need a zoning permit to turn my basement into a living space?

Yes. The zoning code has a maximum floor area ratio (FAR) and we have to review your project for compliance with of this standard.  For basement areas, the code applies when 50% or more of the basement is exposed.


Can I put an addition on my house?

It’s best to show the Zoning Officer your survey so he can guide you through this.


What are the required setbacks from my house to my property lines?

Zoning Chart


What is the process to expand my commercial building?

You’ll probably have to get approval from either the Zoning Board of Adjustment or the Planning Board. It depends and you should talk to the Township Planner. 973-694-1800, x3282


Can I subdivide my property?

You need to know the zoning of your property, the minimum lot size of the zone, and the acreage of your property. You also need to have your professional engineer calculate the lot density yield based on our Environmental Protection ordinance (§ 134-91, et seq.)


I want to give my neighbor a piece of my land.  How do I accomplish that?

This is done with an application for a minor subdivision. The planning board hears and decides this application request.


My neighbor and I want to swap some land with each other (adjust a lot line). How do we accomplish that?

This is done with an application for a minor subdivision. The planning board hears and decides this application request.


Can I download the zoning permit application form?

Forms


Can I download the land development application form?

Forms 


Can I have a second kitchen in my home?

Municipal code allows for a second kitchen, provided the homeowner enters into an agreement with the Township Council.  Contact the Business Administrator’s office to request approval from the Township Council.  973-694-1800, x3201.  After you have the resolution from the Township Council, you need to apply for a zoning permit.  


Do I need an attorney in order to go before the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Adjustment?

Not if you are applying as an individual. If you are applying as a corporation, LLC, etc., then an attorney must represent that entity.


Do I need to get a zoning permit denial before I can apply to the Zoning Board of Adjustment?

No. If you know you need a variance, you do not need to get a zoning permit denial before applying for the variance.


Can my neighbor or friend represent me at the Zoning Board of Adjustment, either as an applicant or as an objector?

No. Only an attorney can represent to the Board someone’s interests.


Can I run a business out of my house?

The zoning ordinance allows for home occupations in certain residential zones. Home occupation or profession is defined as “an occupation carried on in a dwelling unit by a resident or residents thereof, provided that the use is incidental and secondary to the use of the residential purpose of the dwelling unit, as provided in [the zoning ordinance].” 


Here are the rules for a home occupation:

(1) the office of an accountant, architect, dentist, engineer, insurance broker, lawyer, physician, planner, real estate agent, computer professional, marketing agent, public relations professional, literary agent, author or other similar type professions;
(2) an artist’s studio, a craft-person’s shop, a tailor/seamstress/dressmaker’s shop, a baker’s shop, or similar artisan’s shops or studios where such products are made on premise.  Instruction for these occupations is permitted for a maximum of one student at a time.  Sale of the products is permitted provided that the sale of the products is not open to the general public and does not occur at the residence.  
(3) musical instrument or voice instructors. Instruction for these occupations is permitted for a maximum of one student at a time; 
(4) the administrative office of a tradesman whose field of activity is entirely away from the dwelling unit; 
(5) the marketing and sales of home good products provided that retail sales is not open to the general public. 
(6) Location and size.  The office or studio shall be located in the basement or on the first or street level floor of the dwelling and the area thereof shall be limited to not more than 50% of the first floor area.  Storage of related materials or products for sale incidental to permitted home occupation is permitted but shall be included within the 50 % floor area limitation and location restrictions provided for herein. 
(7) The home occupation or profession shall be carried on wholly within the principal dwelling unit. 
(8) The home occupation or profession shall employ not more than 3 persons, one of whom may be a person who does not reside at the subject dwelling unit. 
(9) Permitted sign.  1 customary professional or announcement sign, as follows:
(a) Maximum size of 2 square feet in area, if attached to the main wall of the dwelling.  Said sign shall not be illuminated, by internal or external source; or
(b) Maximum size of 1 square foot in area if mounted on a post, provided that such post is set back from the front property line 5 or more feet.
(c) No portion of the sign shall have an electronic message center or a changeable copy sign.
(10) The home occupation or profession may have off-street parking on the premises for customer or client use, provided there are no more than 2 such spaces.
(11) Prohibited uses and activities associated with the Home Occupation or Profession.
(a) Exterior display or exterior storage of materials or commercial vehicles. 
(b) Exterior indication of the Home Occupation or Profession other than the parking and sign permitted by this section.
(c) Visible variation from the residential character of the principal building resulting from the Home Occupation use.
(d) Offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odors, heat or glare.
(e) Home occupation or profession shall not include or be deemed to include the office of a person professionally engaged in the purchase, manufacture or sale of goods kept or displayed on the premises; tearooms; tourist lodges; boarding- or lodging-houses; beauty parlors; barbershops; nail salons; restaurants; commercial stables and kennels; veterinarian offices; convalescent homes; mortuary establishments; the assembly of or meeting place for employees of one or more persons; stores; trades or hobby shops; or businesses of any kind not herein excepted.  Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Chapter, the home professional office of a physician shall not include a biological or other medical testing laboratory.


It looks like my neighbor’s shed or fence is on my property.  What should I do?

This is not a zoning issue; it is a private matter. You need to talk to your neighbor.


What are the fees for land development applications?

Fee List Applications For Development.


What are the fees for zoning permits?

Fee List Zoning Permits


To whom do I make out a check for an application for a zoning permit or a land development application?

“Township of Wayne”


My neighbor’s property has a lot of trash & debris.  What can be done?

Contact the Property Maintenence Officer. 973-694-1800, x3275


My neighbor’s grass is not mowed.  What can be done?

Contact the Property Maintenance Officer. 973-694-1800, x3275


My neighbor’s trash can is left out after garbage pick-up day. Who should I call? 

Contact the Recycling Division at 973-694-1800, x3356.


My neighbors are not shoveling snow from their sidewalks.  Who should I call?

Contact the Police Dept. 973-694-0600


Do I need a zoning permit to remove a tree?

No. Other questions regarding tree removal on residential lots should be directed to the Parks and Recreation Department at 973-694-1800, x3258.  For questions about tree removal on commercial properties, contact the Engineering Division at 973-694-1800, x3263.


Do I qualify for the Housing Improvement Program?

Contact Mr. Ryan Edge.  973-694-1800, x3375


How do I get an affordable housing unit (aka, “Mt. Laurel” housing)?

Contact Mr. Ryan Edge.  973-694-1800, x3375


Do you have a copy of my survey?

No. If you filed a copy of your survey along with a zoning permit or an application for development before one of the land use boards, we might have a copy of the survey that was current at that time.  But if you’ve done any work on your property (e.g., put on an addition, put on a deck, expanded a driveway, put up a shed, put in a pool, put in a new paver walkway, etc.) then whatever document we have on file is not a current survey.


What is a Continued Certificate of Occupancy (CCO)?

The Township of Wayne requires a Continued Certificate of Occupancy for the sale and rental of certain residential units including, but not limited to, one or two-family homes, duplexes, townhouses and condominiums.  No residential premises may be changed in tenancy, use or ownership unless a Certificate of Continued Occupancy has been issued by the Enforcement Officer. (code reference: Section 100-1 through 100-6)


Do I need a continued Certificate of Occupancy (CCO) when I sell my house?

Yes, unless the change of tenancy, use or ownership is between immediate family members (spouse to spouse, parent to child, or sibling to sibling only).


Do I, as a landlord, need to get a Continued Certificate of Occupancy (CCO) in order to rent out my house or to rent an apartment I own? 

Yes, each time you get a new tenant.


What is the process for getting a CCO?

Submit to the Building Department the completed CCO application form and the $100 fee. When you are handing in the application, the Building Department will check to see if there are any open permits on the residence (e.g., an open electrical permit, an open plumbing permit, an open building permit, etc.). If there are any open permits, the Building Department staff will schedule appointment(s) for inspections to enable open permits to be closed. After all open permits are closed, please call the CCO Enforcement Officer to arrange your CCO inspection. The number is 973-694-1800, x3220. The premises cannot be inspected for the CCO until open permits have been satisfied/closed.  If there are no open permits the CCO Enforcement Officer will call you to schedule the CCO inspection.  Once issued, a CCO is valid for 90 days. Other Important Information: Separate from this process, you also need a CCO Fire Inspection. Contact the Fire Bureau at 973-694-1800, x3300 for information obtaining a CCO Fire Inspection.  Upon receipt of purchaser's agreement and acceptance by Enforcement Officer, properties may close and/or be occupied without a CCO while violations are being abated. No such agreement shall exceed 90 days. The inspection of the residential premises shall include a determination that the residential premises conforms, in all respects, to the Zoning and Property Maintenance Ordinances of the Township. If the inspection reveals items such as, but not limited to, additions, attic or basement apartments, finished basements, garages, sheds or pools, second kitchens and/or decks, a determination must be made that the aforementioned were installed or constructed either with the required permits or by virtue of a grant of a variance.  CCO Enforcement Officer’s phone number: 973-694-1800, x3220.


Can I submit my objections to a land development application in a letter to the Board?

No. The boards are quasi-judicial and follow rules like the courts.  A letter (for or against) is not admissible unless you are there in person at the hearing so you can be cross-examined.


What is on the next Zoning Board of Adjustment agenda?

Agenda and Minutes

Zoning Board Minutes


What is on the next Planning Board agenda?

Agenda and Minutes

Planning Board Minutes





Contacts:
973-694-1800
x3319 for general #
x3282 for Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment questions
x3320 for Zoning Officer 
x3275 for Property Maintenance Officer
x3220 for CCO Officer
x3282 for Township Planner