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Division of Land Use Regulation
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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NOTE: All webpages and forms listed on this website are being amended in accordance with the December 18, 2017 rule changes. We will be updating these pages as soon as possible. While these updates are in progress, our web pages may contain inaccuracies. Please refer to the appropriate rule for the most accurate and updated regulations for your activity of concern.

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Maintenance and/or Repair

  • Overview
  • Freshwater Wetlands
  • Flood Hazard
  • Coastal
  • Tidelands

Depending upon the type, extent, and project location, maintenance and/or repair activities may or may not require a permit.  However if the proposed maintenance and/or repair results in impacts to “special areas” regulated by the Department, multiple permits from the Division of Land Use Regulation may be required prior to site preparation or construction. The presence or absence of special areas can be rudimentarily determined using the Department’s online mapping service, NJ-GeoWeb.  Special areas within your project site may also affect the type of authorization required.  Therefore, it is important to closely examine a proposed activity relative to the sensitive areas which may be impacted. 

The above tabs provide additional information on permit requirements relating to maintenance and/or repairs.   For impacts to streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, flood plains, flood ways, riparian zones, please see the "Flood Hazard" tab. For impacts to special coastal areas, please see the "Coastal" tab. For impacts to Freshwater Wetlands, see the "Freshwater Wetlands" tab.  Information on Tidelands can be found by selecting the "Tidelands" tab.



If you have determined that what you wish to repair or maintain is within a Freshwater Wetlands and/or a State open water, then you would likely need a Freshwater wetlands permit from this Division. If you do not know if it is within one of the above regulated features, you can apply for a Letter of Interpre

Many normal property maintenance activities and maintenance or repair of a structure can be authorized under a permit-by-rule or a general permit-by-certification. A permit-by-rule does not require any submission to, or approval from, the Department, provided all requirements of the permit are followed exactly. A general permit-by-certification is obtained via the Department’s online permitting system and is issued upon certification that the conditions of the permit are or will be met by the proposed activity. These permits must also comply with N.J.A.C. 7:13-6.7 and are subject to the conditions that apply to all permits at N.J.A.C. 7:13-22.2.

Normal property maintenance such as mowing or pruning of vegetation is authorized under permit-by-rule 1 at N.J.A.C. 7:13-7.1.  Under this permit-by-rule, you can continue to maintain areas that are already lawns, gardens, parks, or other actively disturbed and maintained areas. However, you cannot cut down vegetation to create a new lawn, garden, park, or other disturbed area.  This permit also does not authorize the construction of any structures or development.

Permit-by-rule 2 at N.J.A.C. 7:13-7.2, authorizes the repair of a lawfully existing structure, provided the timing restrictions set forth at N.J.A.C. 7:13-11.5(d) are observed; no riparian zone vegetation is cleared, cut, and/or removed, except for vegetation within 20 feet of the structure where necessary to facilitate its repair; and no more than one-quarter acre of riparian zone vegetation is cleared, cut, and/or removed.

Permit-by-rule 27 at N.J.A.C. 7:13-7.27 authorizes the repair, maintenance and/or dredging of a currently serviceable manmade canal. A public entity with jurisdiction of the canal must determine that the activities are necessary for the proper operation of the canal. Fill may not be placed in a floodway or flood hazard area unless it is required to restore a failed embankment. Any material dredged from the canal cannot be placed in a flood hazard area and no trees may be cleared, cut, or removed in a riparian zone outside of the canal and its embankment.

Permit-by-rule 40 N.J.A.C. 7:13-7.27 authorizes the milling, repaving, and/or resurfacing of a lawfully existing pavement. These repair activities cannot expand the paved area and generally cannot raise the surface of the pavement. In certain areas, the pavement may be raised a cumulative total of three inches. Riparian zone vegetation cannot be disturbed, except for within actively disturbed areas that are within 20 feet of the pavement where necessary to facilitate the activities.

In addition to these potential permits-by-rule, an applicant may qualify at for a flood hazard area general permit-by-certification 11 (N.J.A.C. 7:13-8.11), which authorizes the maintenance of existing manmade stormwater management structure and conveyances. This permit does not authorize the expansion or modification of a stormwater management structure or conveyance. The types of activities are strictly limited to the removal of sediment, debris, or nuisance vegetation; the stabilization of an eroded structure; or the repair or in-kind replacement of one or more specific stormwater management structures. An engineering certification is required to confirm that the activities will not increase the frequency or depth of flooding upstream or downstream of the site. In addition, disturbance to riparian zone vegetation is limited to within the structure or conveyance feature or only that which is necessary to access the structure or feature. Projects that do not qualify for the above-listed permits may require a flood hazard area individual permit in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:13-10, 11, and 12.

Depending upon the type, extent, and project location, maintenance and/or repair activities may or may not require a permit.  The Coastal Zone Management rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7 provide various exemptions, a Permit-by-rule, a General Permit-by-Certification, and General Permits for maintenance and/or repair activities.  However, if the project does not qualify for any of the aforementioned, a CAFRA, Coastal Wetlands, and/or Waterfront Development Individual Permit may be required.  

The “Jurisdiction” tab of the "Coastal Areas" webpage can help you determine which areas of your site may be regulated.  The availability of certain permits depends on the project’s location.

Potentially applicable Exemptions:

Please see applicable rule for complete requirements.

  • The construction, maintenance, repair, and/or replacement of certain linear developments (such as pipelines, power lines, and roadways) within CAFRA jurisdiction per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.2(b)2.
  • The reconstruction of a legally existing development within CAFRA jurisdiction that was damaged after July 19, 1994 by fire, storm, natural hazard, or act of God per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.2(c)3.
  • Services provided, (such as roadway maintenance) conducted by a public entity, located within CAFRA jurisdiction and an existing public right-of-way per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.2(c)6.
  • The construction, alteration, expansion or reconstruction of a single-family home or addition located within Upland Waterfront Development jurisdiction and greater than 100’ landward of the mean high water line per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4(d)1.
  • The reconstruction, conversion, alteration or enlargement of any existing structure located within Upland Waterfront Development jurisdiction and more than 100’ landward of the mean high water line, provided there is no change in land use and the enlargement is less than 5,000 sq. ft. per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4(d)2.
  • Minor additions or changes in existing structures located in an existing cleared area of the site and within Upland Waterfront Development jurisdiction provided it does not result in adverse impacts to special areas, is set back a minimum of 15’ landward of the mean high water line, and does not result in a change in land use per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4(d)3.
  • The repair, replacement, renovation or reconstruction, in the same location and size, of structures located below the mean high water line per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4(d)7&8.
  • The re-decking and replacement of bridge surfaces within Waterfront Development jurisdiction provided there is no change in width, length or height per N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.4(d)8.

Potentially applicable General Permit-by-Certification:

  • The General Permit-by-Certification 10 at N.J.A.C. 7:7-5.1 of the Coastal Zone Management rules authorizes reconstruction of a legally existing bulkhead in-place or upland of a legally existing bulkhead.

Potentially applicable Permit-by-rule (PBR):

PBR 6 - authorizes reconstruction of a residential or commercial development within the same footprint, provided the reconstruction:

  • Is within the same footprint, of a legally constructed residential or commercial development that has been or could have been legally occupied in the most recent five-year period;  
  • Is in compliance with existing requirements or codes of municipal, State, and Federal law;
  • Does not result in the enlargement or relocation of the footprint of the development;
  • In the case of a residential development, does not result in an increase in the number of dwelling units;
  • In the case of a commercial development, does not result in an increase in the number of parking spaces or equivalent paved area associated with the development;
  • Meets the requirements of Flood hazard areas at N.J.A.C. 7:7-9.25; and
  • Does not increase the area covered by buildings and/or asphalt or concrete pavement.

 Please see N.J.A.C. 7:7-4.6 for the complete rule requirements.

Potentially applicable General Permits (GPs):

GP 2 - authorizes beach and dune maintenance activities  

GP 3 - authorizes voluntary reconstruction of certain residential or commercial development

GP 5 - authorizes expansion/reconstruction with/without expansion of a single-family home/duplex

GP 10 - authorizes reconstruction of a legally existing functioning bulkhead

GP 16 - authorizes minor maintenance dredging in man-made lagoons

Please contact the Division’s Technical Support Center at (609) 777-0454 should you require further assistance.

Tidelands, also known as riparian lands, are all those lands now or formerly flowed by the mean high tide of a natural waterway; that is to say any land that is currently or was previously covered by tidal waters.  The State of New Jersey, and therefore the people of New Jersey, owns all Tidelands except for those to which it has already sold its interest in the form of a riparian grant.  It is important to note that the State generally does not own artificial waterways such as lagoons however, the State does claim those lands within a lagoon that were flowed by the mean high tide of a natural waterway which existed prior to the creation of the lagoon.

Maintenance and/or repair activities that are proposed in a tidelands area may require a tidelands license if the activities are taking place at or below the mean high water line of a tidal waterway or a tidelands grant if the activities are taking place in an area that is currently landward of the mean high water line but was, at some point, flowed by the tide.

A tidelands license is a short term revocable rental document to use tidelands generally for structures such as docks, bulkhead extensions, mooring piles, and other temporary structures as well as for dredging projects. Licenses are project specific and expire after a finite term ranging from one to ten years. Most licenses may be renewed.

A riparian grant, or tidelands grant, is a deed from the State of New Jersey selling its tidelands. Tidelands grants are generally only issued for lands that have already been filled in and are no longer flowed by the tide.

For more information on tidelands instruments, please see the tidelands section of this website.

For information and instruction on how to determine whether you are in an area that may require either a license or a grant, or for information how to apply for Tideland instruments please see the "Before you Build, Before you Buy" webpage.




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Last Updated: January 16, 2018