Zoning Officer

About the Department

Zoning Officer Hours – Tuesdays, 8am – 4pm – by appointment only

Email is the best modern form of communication and documentation!


The basic purpose and function of zoning is to establish a pattern of use for lands and buildings within the township thus dividing a municipality into residential, commercial, and industrial zones, that are for the most part separate from one another, with the use of property within each zone being reasonably uniform. Our zoning and land use ordinance is pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law NJSA 40:55D et seq. Within these three main types of districts there generally will be additional restrictions that can be quite detailed — including the following:
  • Specific requirements as to the type of buildings allowed
  • Restrictions on accessory buildings, building setbacks from the streets and other boundaries
  • Size and height of buildings
  • Number of rooms
  • Location of accessory structures

These restrictions also cover the frontage of lots; minimum lot area; front, rear, and side yards; off-street parking; the number of buildings on a lot; and the number of dwelling units in a certain area. Regulations restrict areas to single-family homes or to multi-family dwellings or townhouses. In areas of special significance/circumstances, zoning regulations may require that those features be preserved.

A zoning permit is required when applying for any new construction, alteration, change in use, and/or accessory structure, i.e. fence, shed, garage. It is important that the applicant plan ahead; and when applying for a zoning permit, obtain and bring along a scaled, accurate plot plan or survey of the property in question. Drawing out the proposed structure and/or Use, marking out distances to property lines and any other relevant information pertaining to the approval of the application. The applicant may complete the one-page application found under forms and resources and email it to zoning@lopatcongtwp.com or drop it in the oversized black mailbox located outside the main entrance or mail it to Zoning Officer, 232 S 3rd Street, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865. Please include Property survey or Plot Plan and any applicable: Board approvals, Driveway permits, Well and Septic permits, Food handling permits, Soil disturbance permit, Stream/Wetland encroachment permit, Flood Plan, DEP, Any others required by law. Failure to provide any of the relevant information and payment will delay the application process and may be cause for denial. If all items are in order, the zoning officer will issue a zoning clearance, which allows the applicant to apply for a building permit, if applicable. The fee for a zoning permit is $30.00.

Forms & Resources