Land Use Regulation Program

Notice of Rule Readoption with Amendments
Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act rules, N.J.A.C.

Public Notice
Take notice that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection
is proposing a readoption with amendments of the Highlands Water
Protection and Planning Act rules, N.J.A.C. 7:38. A statement
of the substance of the proposed amendments follows:

Subchapter 1: The Department is proposing to add a description
of the interaction between the Department’s rules and
the Highlands Regional Master Plan to be adopted by the Highlands
Council. In addition, several new definitions are being added
specifically to accompany the brownfield waiver provisions.

Subchapter 2: The Department is proposing amendments to better
describe how it is interpreting the Highlands Act definition
of major Highlands development as it relates to disturbance
and impervious surface limits. The Department is also proposing
amendments to separate routine maintenance and operations, preservation
or repair from rehabilitation or reconstruction of transportation
systems, as related to the need to obtain a Highlands applicability
determination. Finally, the Department is proposing to add hazardous
cleanup remediation activities and cell towers to be co-located
without an increase in impervious surface to the list of activities
for which an applicability determination is not required by
the Department,

Subchapter 3: The Department is proposing to revise the standards
for septic density. The proposed density requirements would
remain 88 acres to place a septic or equivalent disposal unit
on land that is forested and 25 acres for other lands. However,
the Department will consider the quantity of each type of land
on each lot in order to arrive at a final number of permitted
systems. In addition, the Department is provided the option
for clustering and transferring all development to one suitable
lot by allowing applicants to combine lots so long as they are
located in the same watershed area.

The Department is proposing to clarify how it will implement
the 3% impervious surface limitations to address the subdivision
of lots after the August 10, 2004 effective date of the Act.
In addition, the Department is proposing to clarify the conditions
by which aggregation of lots and transference of impervious
surface will be permitted.

The Department is proposing to require applicants proposing
driveways that would cross Highlands open waters, or steep slopes,
to attempt to sell or use transfer of development rights for
the property in question before the Department will permit a
driveway as part of linear development.

The Department is proposing to amend the field method for assessing
forest by adjusting the point totals required to classify something
as “forest,” to identify younger trees as “forest”,
and to be sure that mature forests are consistently identified.

Subchapter 6: The Department is proposing to expand the designation
of brownfields to include sites with suspected contamination
but for which identification and clean up have not yet occurred.
In addition, the Department has added more detail regarding
the types of approvals and documentation that applicants may
obtain from the Department when conducting a clean up and to
better explain that the Department may designate a portion of
a block and lot as a brownfield.

New Subchapter 14: The Department is proposing to add two general
permits to the rules: habitat creation and enhancement activities,
and bank stabilization.

The proposal is scheduled to be published in the New Jersey
Register dated December 19, 2005. A copy of the proposal is
available from: the
DEP web site
(PDF); official
repository libraries; LexisNexis Customer Service at (800)223-1944
or www.lexisnexis.com/bookstore.
Be advised that there may be a fee for obtaining a copy of the
proposal from some sources.

A public hearing(s) concerning the proposal is scheduled as

4:00 P.M. Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Highlands Council Conference Room
Highlands Council
100 North Road-Rt. 513
Chester, NJ 07930

Written comments may be submitted by February 17, 2006, to:

Janis Hoagland, Esq.
Attn.: DEP Docket No. 39-05-11/578
Office of Legal Affairs
Department of Environmental Protection
PO Box 402
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0402