New Jersey State Certified Zoning Officer Ann Holtzman
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 am – 4 pm
Evening Hours: The second Tuesday of each month from 7 pm – 9 pm
This office is responsible for administering the zoning laws of the City of Hoboken, Hudson County and the State of New Jersey. Zoning is the delineation of districts and the establishment of regulations governing the use, placement, spacing, and size of land and buildings. No structure shall be erected or altered, nor any use of land or buildings converted without zoning approval.
The Zoning Officer duties include:
- Reviewing all applications for building permits, alterations, signing, and uses within the City of Hoboken.
- Assigning those needing special approval to the Planning or Zoning Boards of Adjustment.
- Issuance of zoning permits; First Certificate of Zoning Compliance, Final Certificate of Zoning Compliance, Continuing Use Certificates, and other related approvals.
- Issuance of Sidewalk Cafe permits, Sign permits and other use related approvals.
- Conducting of field inspections and special investigations to ensure compliance with the Zoning Code.
- Responding to all inquiries with regard to zoning.
When do you need to go to the Zoning Office?
- The Zoning Officer is the first person and the last person you see when you are doing any type of construction. A First Certificate of Compliance must be obtained before building permits can be issued. A final zoning inspection must be conducted and a Final Certificate of Compliance issued upon the completion of any construction or alteration before a Certificate of Occupancy may be issued.
- Before installing any type of signing. Business signs and most permanent signs require zoning approval and a building permit for installation. Many other types of signs do not require zoning approval, but it’s best to check with the office.
- Before opening a business. Different types of businesses are permitted in each zoning district. Check with the zoning office to make sure your business is permitted and obtain a Certificate of Continuing Use certifying that it is compliant with the Zoning Code.
Forms available on-line
- Zoning Map
- Zoning Chapter of the Hoboken Municipal Code
- Zoning Board of Adjustment Schedule
- Planning Board Schedule
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When was the Hoboken Zoning Code adopted?
A: The original Zoning Ordinance for the City of Hoboken was adopted August 1, 1979 and has been amended over the years to reflect changes in planning principles, shifts in population and land use.
Q: How do I find out what zoning district my property is in?
A: See the link for Zoning Map above. There are additional “overlay” districts that may not be represented on the map, but it’s the best place to start.
Q: My house is in the R-1 (R-2 or R-3) zone, what does that mean and what am I permitted to do with my property?
A: R-1, R-2, and R-3 are all residential zones where residential dwellings are the primary permitted use. Details of the “bulk” specifications for each zone and other permitted uses can be found in the Zoning Code; chapter 196, Article V. See the Hoboken Municipal Code link above; Part II; Zoning.
Q: I want to add or replace the fence around my yard. What do I need to know? What do I need for the application?
A: Chain link is not permitted and fences are generally limited to a maximum height of six (6) feet. To make the application, fill out a zoning application; bring it into the zoning office with the appropriate fee, a copy of your property survey, style and type of fence, and a diagram of the fence layout, post locations and the footings. With the First Certificate of Zoning Compliance you will be able to apply for a building permit from the Construction Office.
Q: I want to open a business in town. Are there restrictions on the type of business and where it can be located?
A: Yes. Each zoning district has a list of principle permitted uses, accessory uses and conditional uses for that zone. Principle and accessory uses may be approved by the Zoning Officer. Conditional uses require board approval. The list of uses for each district can be found in Chapter 196 Article V of the Municipal Code.
Q: What size sign can I put on the front of my store?
A: Signs for businesses are generally restricted to 10% of the area of the first floor facade of the building in which the business is located. For instance, if the building is 25ft wide and the first floor is 20ft high, the sign may be up to 50 sq. feet in size. Other restriction apply so don’t hesitate to call or stop by the zoning office to ask questions.
Q: Does the sign size equation also apply to awnings?
A: Yes, but not in the same way. Only the printed area of the awning is calculated as “sign area.” Fixed awnings are limited to a projection of 30 inches from the front of the building and must be at least 8 feet from the sidewalk. Retractable awnings have different specifications so review the code chapter on signs or check with the Zoning Office.
Q: What are the operational guidelines for sidewalk cafes?
A: See the link for Sidewalk Cafe Application and Operating Regulations on the Zoning home page for the complete list.
Q: Can I build a deck in my back yard?
A: With proper zoning you can build a rear yard deck, but there are limitations on size, height and other factors based on lot coverage and related issues.
Q: Can I build a roof deck?
A: New roof decks require approval by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Q: Where can I find a copy of the flood map for Hoboken?
A: The current flood map for the City of Hoboken is available on the Flood Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) web site.