Skip to main navigationSkip to News Headlines
NJ Division of Consumer Affairs
Global Navigation
Division of Consumer Affairs
The State of New Jersey Office of The Attorney General (Dept. of Law & Public Safety) The State of New Jersey NJ Home Services A to Z Departments/Agencies OAG Frequently Asked Questions
OAG Home
OAG Contact
Division of Consumer Affairs Alerts and Recalls
Division of Consumer Affairs Alerts and Recalls
Office of the Attorney General Homepage Division of Consumer Affairs, Director
Division of Consumer Affairs, Director

VOLUME 46, ISSUE 12
ISSUE DATE: JUNE 16, 2014
RULE PROPOSALS

LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
NEW JERSEY STATE BOARD OF ARCHITECTS
NEW JERSEY STATE BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND LAND SURVEYORS
NEW JERSEY STATE BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL PLANNERS


Proposed Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:27-7.3, 13:40-7.3, and 13:41-4.3

Preparation of Site Plan

 
Authorized By: New Jersey State Board of Architects, Charles Kirk, Acting Executive Director; New Jersey State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, Karl Reidel, Executive Director; New Jersey State Board of Professional Planners, Karl Reidel, Executive Director.
 
Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:3-3, 45:8-58, and 45:14A-4.  

 
Proposal Number: PRN 2014-083.
 
Submit comments by August 15, 2014, to:
 
   Charles Kirk, Acting Executive Director
   New Jersey State Board of Architects
   124 Halsey Street
   PO Box 45001
   Newark, New Jersey 07101
 
   Karl Reidel, Executive Director
   New Jersey State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors
   124 Halsey Street
   PO Box 45015
   Newark, New Jersey 07101
 
   Karl Reidel, Executive Director
   New Jersey State Board of Professional Planners
   124 Halsey Street
   PO Box 45016
   Newark, New Jersey 07101
 
The agency proposal follows:
 
Summary

The State Board of Architects, the State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, and the State Board of Professional Planners (Boards) are proposing to amend N.J.A.C. 13:27-7.3, 13:40-7.3, and 13:41-4.3, respectively, which comprise what are collectively commonly known as the Site Plan Rule. The Site Plan Rule designates which professionals may prepare various elements of a site plan, and appears in each Board's rules.

On April 4, 2013, the Boards received a petition for rulemaking from Richard W. Gaeckle, Esq., on behalf of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (NJASLA), a professional organization that is a chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects national organization. NJASLA is requesting that the Boards amend the Site Plan Rule to permit landscape architects to show the location of proposed buildings and their relationship to the site and the immediate environs on a site plan. Under the existing rule, only architects and engineers may locate proposed buildings and their relationship to the site and immediate environs on a site plan. Additionally, NJASLA is seeking to amend the Site Plan Rule to permit landscape architects, as well as architects and engineers, to include the grading of land and water forms, natural drainage and determination of related impacts, assessments, and problems of land disturbance, including erosion and sedimentation, blight, or other hazards, as part of a site plan.

A notice acknowledging receipt of the petition was published in the New Jersey Register on May 6, 2013, at 45 N.J.R. 1190(b). At the open public session of its May 9, 2013, meeting, the Board of Architects determined that it should refer the petition for an additional 90 days to fully consider the issues raised by the petitioner. The Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors at its May 16, 2013, meeting, and the Board of Professional Planners at its May 29, 2013, meeting, also referred the petition for an additional 90 days. A notice of action on petition for rulemaking reflecting this determination was published on July 1, 2013, at 45 N.J.R. 1675(a).

Although the landscape architect enabling statute was revised in 2008 (P.L. 2008, c. 77), the Site Plan Rule has not been amended to reflect these changes. The statute now defines the practice of landscape architecture to include: "the grading of land and water forms, natural drainage and determination of related impacts, assessments, and problems of land disturbance including erosion and sedimentation, blight, or other hazards" and "the proposed location and arrangement of those tangible objects and features as are incidental and necessary for any government approval and as may be prescribed by State or local authorities, but not including the design of structures or facilities ordinarily included in the practice of engineering or architecture...the making of land surveys, or land plats for official approval or recording or other services as set forth in subsection (e) of section 2 of P.L. 1938, c. 342 (C. 45:8-28)."

The Statement to the 2008 Assembly and Senate bills as introduced interprets the practice of landscape architecture with regard to grading and natural drainage to include the arranging of land and the elements thereon for public and private use and enjoyment and controlling and directing surface runoff, not requiring design of subsurface stormwater collection and conveyance systems, piping, stormwater detention systems, or hydrologic and hydraulic calculations or design. Additionally, the statute clearly states that landscape architects may not design structures or facilities reserved to the practice of architecture or engineering, or prepare land surveys or land plats for official recording. The petitioner has acknowledged these limitations in its petition for rulemaking, and has noted that these safeguards help to ensure that the proposed amendments to the Site Plan Rule are appropriate and further the efforts to safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare.

The Board of Architects at its July 11, 2013, meeting, the Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors at its July 18, 2013, meeting, and the Board of Professional Planners, at its July 24, 2013, meeting, voted to grant the petition for rulemaking. The Boards agreed that under the amended enabling statute, landscape architects are permitted to show proposed buildings and other tangible objects on site plans, and therefore the Site Plan Rule should be amended to comport with this provision in [page=1412] the statute. Additionally, the Board of Architects and the Board of Professional Planners did not object to amending the Site Plan Rule to expressly permit landscape architects, as well as architects and engineers, to show the grading of land and water forms, natural drainage, and determination of related impacts, assessments, and problems of land disturbance, including erosion and sedimentation, blight, or other hazards on a site plan as permitted by statute. The petitioner's request to amend the Site Plan Rule to permit landscape architects to do this merely incorporates language from the landscape architects' enabling statute into the Site Plan Rule.

The Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors noted that the petitioner has acknowledged the limitations set forth in the legislative history on what is meant by grading and natural drainage, which would preclude landscape architects from performing engineering calculations when dealing with erosion and sedimentation issues. Furthermore, the requested amendments to the Site Plan Rule would not permit landscape architects to design structures or facilities ordinarily included in the practice of engineering or architecture. Subject to these limitations, the Boards determined that they would propose to amend the Site Plan Rule in accordance with the petitioner's request for rulemaking.

N.J.A.C. 13:27-7.3 designates which professionals may prepare various elements of a site plan. The Board of Architects proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:27-7.3(a) to add that landscape architects are now permitted to show the location of proposed buildings and their relationship to the site and the immediate surrounds on a site plan. Corresponding N.J.A.C. 13:40-7.3(a) (Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors) and 13:41-4.2(a) (Professional Planners) are proposed to be similarly amended. The Boards also propose to add a new subsection (k) to N.J.A.C. 13:27-7.3, 13:40-7.3, and 13:41-4.3 to permit architects, engineers, or landscape architects to include on a site plan the grading of land and water forms, natural drainage, and determination of related impacts, assessments, and problems of land disturbance including erosion and sedimentation, blight, or other hazards.

Additionally, the Board of Professional Planners proposes to amend all references to certified landscape architects at N.J.A.C. 13:41-4, to reflect that landscape architects are now licensed rather than certified.

The Boards have provided a 60-day comment period for this notice of proposal. Therefore, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5.
 
Social Impact

The Boards have determined that the proposed amendments would have a positive social impact on landscape architects. Because they would be able to show the proposed buildings and other tangible objects on site plans, as well as the grading of land and water forms, natural drainage, and determination of related impacts, assessments, and problems of land disturbance including erosion and sedimentation, blight, or other hazards, they would now be permitted to prepare site plans that include these elements, and sign, seal, and submit them to governmental agencies for approval. This may make it easier for smaller landscape architecture firms that do not require the services of other licensed professionals to take on these projects. This would also be beneficial to consumers because they would not have to hire multiple professionals for smaller projects. The public safety and welfare would continue to be protected because landscape architects already receive the training and education necessary to perform these projects. Furthermore, the site plan would be subject to a level of review for approval at the municipal level.
 
Economic Impact

The Boards believe that the proposed amendments would have a positive economic impact on licensed landscape architects who would now be able to submit site plans for approval. The Boards do not know to what extent this will impact the business of other design professionals, under whose license landscape architects have been working under the existing rules. The Boards believe that landscape architects will still need to collaborate with architects and engineers for portions of projects that are outside of the landscape architects' scope of practice. The proposed amendments may also benefit consumers who may save money if only one professional is involved in a small project.
 
Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because the proposed amendments are governed by N.J.S.A. 45:3-3, 45:8-35.11 through 45:8-35.19, 45:8-58, and 45:14A-4, and are not subject to any Federal requirements or standards.
 
Jobs Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments will result in the creation or loss of jobs in the State.
 
Agriculture Industry Impact

The proposed amendments will have no impact on the agriculture industry in the State.
 
Regulatory Flexibility Statement

Since the 682 landscape architects, 8,021 architects, 17,754 professional engineers, 926 land surveyors, and 2,776 professional planners are individually licensed by the Boards, they may be considered "small businesses" under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq. The proposed amendments do not impose any new reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirements; they merely conform the Site Plan Rule with amendments to the landscape architects enabling statute permitting landscape architects to show on site plans proposed buildings and their relationship to the site and immediate environs, and the grading of land and water forms, natural drainage, and determination of related impacts, assessments, and problems of land disturbance including erosion and sedimentation, blight, or other hazards. Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.
 
Housing Affordability Impact Analysis

The proposed amendments will have an insignificant impact on affordable housing in New Jersey and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the proposed amendments would evoke a change in the average costs associated with housing because the proposed amendments address which professionals may prepare various elements of a site plan.
 
Smart Growth Development Impact Analysis

The proposed amendments will have an insignificant impact on smart growth and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the proposed amendments would evoke a change in housing production in Planning Areas 1 or 2, or within designated centers, under the State Development and Redevelopment Plan in New Jersey because the proposed amendments address which professionals may prepare various elements of a site plan.
 
Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):
 
CHAPTER 27
NEW JERSEY STATE BOARD OF ARCHITECTS
 
SUBCHAPTER 7.    PERMISSIBLE DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY IN SUBMISSION OF SITE PLANS AND MAJOR SUBDIVISION PLATS
 
13:27-7.3   Preparation of site plan
 
(a) The location of proposed buildings and their relationship to the site and the immediate environs: By an architect, [or] engineer, or licensed landscape architect.
 
(b)-(j) (No change.)
 
(k) The grading of land and water forms, natural drainage, and determination of related impacts, assessments, and problems of land disturbance including erosion and sedimentation, blight, or other hazards: By an architect, engineer, or licensed landscape architect.
 
[page=1413] CHAPTER 40
STATE BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND LAND SURVEYORS
 
SUBCHAPTER 7.    PERMISSIBLE DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY IN SUBMISSION OF SITE PLANS AND MAJOR SUBDIVISION PLATS
 
13:40-7.3   Preparation of site plan
 
(a) The location of proposed buildings and their relationship to the site and the immediate environs: By an architect, [or] engineer, or licensed landscape architect.
 
(b)-(j) (No change.)
 
(k) The grading of land and water forms, natural drainage, and determination of related impacts, assessments, and problems of land disturbance including erosion and sedimentation, blight, or other hazards: By an architect, engineer, or licensed landscape architect.
 
CHAPTER 41
STATE BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL PLANNERS
 
SUBCHAPTER 4.    PERMISSIBLE DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY IN SUBMISSION OF SITE PLANS AND MAJOR SUBDIVISION PLATS
 
13:41-4.3   Preparation of site plan
 
(a) The location of proposed buildings and their relationship to the site and the immediate environs: By an architect, [or] engineer, or licensed landscape architect.
 
(b) The locations of drives; parking layout; pedestrian circulation; and means of ingress and egress: By an architect, planner, engineer, or [certified] licensed landscape architect.
 
(c)-(h) (No change.)
 
(i) Landscaping, signs, lighting, screening, or other information not specified above: By an architect, planner, engineer, [certified] licensed landscape architect, or other person acceptable to the reviewing governmental body.
 
(j) The general layout of a conceptual site plan for a multiple building project, showing the development elements including their relationship to the site and immediate environs: By an architect, planner, engineer, or [certified] licensed landscape architect.
 
(k) The grading of land and water forms, natural drainage, and determination of related impacts, assessments, and problems of land disturbance including erosion and sedimentation, blight, or other hazards: By an architect, engineer, or licensed landscape architect.

 

If you wish to submit comments about this rule proposal, please fill out the form below. When you have completed the form, click the "Submit Your Comments" button below.

Last Name :

First Name:

Professional Organization, Association or Affiliation, if any:

E-Mail Address:

PRN 2014-083

Comments:

       
   
Contact Us | Privacy Notice | Legal Statement | Accessibility Statement
NJ Home Logo
Divisional: DCA Home | Complaint Forms | Proposals | Adoptions | Contact DCA
Departmental: OAG Home | Contact OAG | About OAG | OAG News | OAG FAQs
Statewide: NJ Home | Services A to Z | Departments/Agencies | FAQs
Copyright State of New Jersey
This page is maintained by DCA. Comments/Questions: email