New Jersey has specific public access requirements and design guidelines which are important to developing a municipal public access plan. Some references to the requirements are provided below. However for a full understanding of the public access requirements, the complete Coastal Management Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7 and N.J.A.C. 7:7E should be consulted.
N.J.A.C. 7:7E-8.11(d)- Parking and Signage
Municipal Public Access Plans shall satisfy the goals specified at N.J.A.C. 7:7E-1.1(c) and the public access goals at (b) above. Municipal Public Access Plans shall additionally meet the requirements at (d)1 through 4 below, as well as all other requirements of this section.
- Municipal Public Access Plans shall incorporate fishing access and associated amenities, including parking that accommodates nighttime fishing for a reasonable duration of time, to the maximum extent practicable on or adjacent to tidal waterways and their shores. In the case of a beach, fishing access shall not be required in areas designated for swimming during hours designated for swimming.
- Municipal Public Access Plans shall require public access along the Hudson River and on adjacent piers in the Hudson River Waterfront Area as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7E-3.48(a)2 consistent with N.J.A.C. 7:7E-3.48(d) and (e).
- Municipal Public Access Plans shall require installation and maintenance of appropriate public access signage in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:7E-8.11(u)
Public access must be available on a nondiscriminatory basis. All establishments, including municipalities, counties, marinas, condominium associations, homeowner associations and beach clubs, which control access to tidal waterways and their shores shall comply with the Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq.
Public tidal waterways and their shores shall be clearly marked. Department approved public access signs shall be installed at each public accessway, public access area and/or public parking area at the development site and maintained in perpetuity by the permitee and its successors in title and interest
Activities that have the effect of discouraging or preventing the exercise of public trust rights, as described at N.J.A.C. 7:7E-3.50, are prohibited. These activities include, but are not limited to, requiring photographic identification, requiring a liability waiver, requiring the purchase of drinks or food from a specific vendor, or prohibiting bringing beach equipment such as blankets or beach chairs.
Development on or adjacent to tidal waterways and their shores shall provide barrier free access where feasible and warranted by the character of the site.
If a public accessway is chosen to satisfy the public access requirement in (n) and (o) above, the accessway shall provide a minimum width of 10 feet free of obstructions to public access. Amenities such as public benches, litter or recycling receptacles, and lighting fixtures are provided to enhance public access and shall not be considered obstructions.
N.J.A.C. 7:7E-8.12 Scenic Resources and Design
(a) Scenic resources include the views of the natural and/or built landscape.
(b) Large-scale elements of building and site design are defined as the elements that compose the developed landscape such as size, geometry, massing, height and bulk structures.
(c) New coastal development that is visually compatible with its surroundings in terms of building and site design, and enhances scenic resources is encouraged. New coastal development that is not visually compatible with existing scenic resources in terms of large-scale elements of building and site design is discouraged.
(d) In all areas, except the Northern Waterfront region, the Delaware River Region and Atlantic City, new coastal development adjacent to a bay or ocean or bayfront or oceanfront, beach, dune or boardwalk and higher than 15 feet in height measured from the existing grade of the site or boardwalk shall comply with the following, unless it meets the requirements at (e) or (f) below:
- Provide an open view corridor perpendicular to the water's edge in the amount of 30 percent of the frontage along the waterfront where an open view currently exists; and
- Be separated from either the beach, dune, boardwalk, or waterfront, whichever is further inland, by a distance of equal to two times the height of the structure, except for the following:
- Infill sites within existing commercial areas along a public boardwalk where the proposed use is commercial and where the set-back requirement is visually incompatible with the existing character of the area; and
- Wind turbines.
(e) Coastal development that modifies a historic structure on or eligible for inclusion on the New Jersey or National Register of Historic Places, is adjacent to a bay, ocean, bayfront or oceanfront, beach, dune or boardwalk, and is higher than 15 feet in height measured from the existing grade of the site or boardwalk need not comply with (d) above provided the development meets the requirements at 1 and 2 below. This
exception does not apply to new development proposed to be located outside of the historic structure’s footprint of development as defined at N.J.A.C.7:7E-1.8.
- The development preserves the historic structure; and
- The development will not detract from, damage, or destroy the value of the historic
(f) Federal, State, county, or municipal development projects which are located adjacent to a bay or ocean or bayfront or oceanfront, beach, dune or boardwalk, and are greater than 15 feet in height measured from the existing grade of the site or boardwalk need not comply with the setback requirements in (d)2 above provided
that the development contains design elements that enhance physical or visual public access to the waterfront beyond that which would be afforded by strict compliance with (d)2 above and the development, as proposed, would remain in compliance with N.J.A.C. 7:7E-3.50.