To anyone who has experience with or is knowledgeable of New Jersey municipal structure and zoning process. I am doing research on the zoning process at the municipal level in New Jersey and am a bit confused. I am hoping someone could give me a general run-down of how New Jersey municipalities fit into a hierarchy and the zoning process for each of the different types of municipalities. I have found that New Jersey is a home rule state and consists of townships, boroughs, cities, and towns as well as counties. The questions below might help guide a response:
- Do each of the townships, boroughs, cities, and towns have the authority to zone their own jurisdictions without the approval of a higher order of governmental entity? If not, what is the hierarchy of governmental units in relation to the zoning process?
- What roles, if any, do counties and regional planning commissions play in the zoning process for municipalities.
- Are there working definitions of each of the units of government for New Jersey (township, city, borough, town, and county)?
- As an example, if a township, city, borough, or town wanted to pass a new zoning ordinance or amend their current zoning ordinance, what would be the process to do so? Is it simply a matter that would be taken care of by each municipalities planning board?
Thank you for your time and effort!