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Time for Board Action


After an application is filed, New Jersey law imposes deadlines to compel a land use board to act in a timely manner. For instance, the board will have 45 days to review the application to determine whether it is complete. If the application is not deemed complete, the 45-day period will renew upon the resubmission of the revised application. Importantly, if the board fails to act within 45 days, the application will be deemed complete as a matter of law.  

Once an application is complete, the law imposes time limitation on when the board must act on the application. The time limitations vary with the nature of the application. For example, if the application involves a request for a use or bulk variance, the board will have 120 days to hear and decide the matter. The board has 45 days to act on a minor site plan application; a site plan application involving less than 10 acres or less than 10 dwelling units; and a subdivision application involving 10 or fewer lots.

For subdivision applications seeking to create 10 or more lots; site plan applications involving more than 10 acres or more than 10 dwelling units; or conditional use approvals, a board is given 95 days to act. These time frames are frequently extended with the consent of the applicant if more time is needed to present evidence in support of the application.

Once a board acts on an application, it has 45 days to adopt a resolution memorializing its decision. Notice of the resolution is then published and any interested party has 45 days to appeal the board's decision in court.