Planning Topics

Census Information

Data from the Decennial Census (2010) in ten-section reports for each level of geography. The profiles provide the most detail to date on various demographic and housing characteristics at the County and Municipal levels.

Community Design

The term community design describes a planning process, as well as specific planning goals. As a planning process, community design describes the collaboration of different interests within a community towards a common vision. A community's vision includes a detailed description of where the citizens want to be in the not too distant future, generally 10 to 25 years. It is an expression of the hopes and values of the community's residents, and is designed to provide focus and direction for future planning efforts.

Council on Affordable Housing (COAH)

On November 22, 2004 the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) adopted its third round Substantive Rules (N.J.A.C.4:94) and Procedural Rules (N.J.A.C. 5:95). The rules adopt a grown share approach to affordable housing, requiring one unit of affordable housing for every eight market-rate units and one affordable unit for every 25 new jobs, as measured by new or expanded non-residential construction. A municipality's growth share obligation is calculated using the State Planning Commission's population and employment growth projections, which are adjusted over time to a municipality's actual growth. If the difference between the projected and actual growth results in a affordable housing shortage of more than 10%, COAH may require a municipality to amend its plan to reflect the new numbers at the time of the third, fifth, and eighth year review.

County Shared Services

In an effort to foster greater shared services, this web page of the Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners will provide tools, updates and information to facilitate and improve sharing services, consolidation of operations and increasing efficiencies for local government in Hunterdon County.

Cultural & Heritage Commission

The Commission was created by the Board of Commissioners by resolution according to State Statute on January 1, 1971. Its responsibilities include the "development of programs to promote interest and participation in and understanding of local history, arts, cultural values and goals of the community and state by working directly with arts and historical organizations, schools, religious organizations, service clubs, municipal governments and other interested groups and individuals." The Commission may establish museum and cultural programs, including fine and performing arts programs; undertake historical, architectural, and genealogical research; and publish reports, directories, and books that help develop interest in historical and cultural matters. Programs are designed to serve residents of all ages.

Environmental Toolbox

The Hunterdon County Environmental Toolbox consists of a series of model ordinances for municipalities seeking to manage growth and ensure environmentally sound development.

Farmland Preservation Program

While Hunterdon County has lost some of its scenic vistas of rolling cornfields and dairy barns, agriculture is still alive and well. Hunterdon County continues to have a large land area of farms: 127,043 farmland assessed acres according to the 2005 NJ Farmland Assessment. This number amounts to about 39% of the total acreage of the County and 13.6% of New Jersey's total farmland. The average farm size in Hunterdon County is 72 acres according to the 2002 Census of Agriculture. There is a trend towards high value crops and specialty crops and animals, such as vegetables, horticulture and organic foods and herbs. Horse farms continue to be popular, hence the market for the County's large hay production.

Visit the Farmland Preservation Program page for more information

Flood Mitigation Resources

Growth Management Plan

Information on the Hunterdon County Planning Board's ambitious growth management planning process. This process is integral to assembling a successful Growth Management Plan representing our community's desired outcomes for land use, transportation, open space preservation and environmental protection. In the end, the plan will provide guidance to County government while simultaneously providing tools to municipalities to tackle the tough issues they will face in the future.

Highlands Council

This webpage was created for Hunterdon County municipalities and their residents to facilitate a greater understanding of the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act. The links and resources provided here will help you to interpret the law and determine whether or not the Highlands Act will have a direct impact on you.

Historic Bridges

Hunterdon County has a wealth of historic bridges, presumably due to the number of stream crossings, the success of agriculture, and the materials available to construct the bridges. Over several dozen metal truss bridges, mostly from the 19th century, have been determined by the NJ Historic Preservation Office to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Historic Preservation

Historic preservation has gained the interest of both the public and private sectors for its cultural and tangible benefits. Historic buildings and properties are preserved to protect important historic events and architecture. This cultural benefit is important for historical documentation, visual and aesthetic character, and for its contribution to future generations. For these reasons, historic preservation spurs a degree of civic pride and appreciation of local history.

Open Space Trust Fund Program

Hunterdon County voters have overwhelmingly approved three County Questions (November 1999, 2004, and 2008) authorizing the Board of Commissioners to implement and continue an Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund pursuant to P.L. 1997, c. 24. (N.J.S.A. 40:12-15.1 et seq.)

Parks & Recreation Division

The Hunterdon County Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Planning, Economic Development and Land Use welcomes you. Our focus is to provide for meaningful use of leisure time, encourage appreciation of our natural resources, and preserve and protect open space and greenways for the enjoyment of future generations. We look forward to your participation in one of the many exciting programs and hope you will soon begin to explore the beautiful park areas of Hunterdon County.

Plan Endorsement

Plan Endorsement is the official recognition by the New Jersey State Planning Commission that a local, county, regional, or state agency plan is consistent with the State Development and Redevelopment Plan (State Plan). In order to be endorsed, plans must be consistent the goals, policies and strategies of the State Plan, the State Plan Policy Map and applicable State statutes and regulations. Municipalities, counties, groups of municipalities and counties, and regional and state agencies with the authority to implement plans are eligible to apply for Plan Endorsement.

Rural Redevelopment Projects

Redevelopment is an often overlooked, but increasingly important planning tool for rural areas in New Jersey. Once considered only a remedy for depressed inner cities, municipalities of all sizes have begun utilizing the redevelopment process in order to address a variety of land use issues, transforming underutilized or poorly design properties into attractive, economically viable areas of the community.

Solar Farms

"Solar Farm" is a commonly used alternative energy term to describe photovoltaic arrays that generate electricity typically purchased by a utility. In Hunterdon County the term "Farm" conjures up a different meaning; derived from our agricultural heritage and our approximately 82,000 acres of agricultural lands in the County. These "Solar Farm" projects are a type of land use that we have not seen historically, and many of our Municipalities are struggling to address these proposed projects without the overarching guidance of a well developed and defensible ordinance. The resources below will help you to gain familiarity with the complex issues, including legislation; existing and proposed rules and other relevant information available to municipalities, landowners and the general public.

Transfer of Development Rights (TDR)

On March 29, 2004 Governor James E McGreevey signed into law the nation's first statewide Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Act. With a TDR program development potential in a specified preservation area can be purchased by private investors for use in a targeted growth area. TDR preserves open space and farmland while still accommodating growth, and eliminates sudden increases and decreases in property values that have been associated with zoning changes.


In Hunterdon County, approximately 243 miles of roads are under County jurisdiction. While much time and effort is spent by the County's Road and Bridge Department maintaining this road network, the Hunterdon County Planning Board (HCPB) is involved with other transportation issues, from local planning programs to state and federal highway projects.