Planning & Zoning
Using smart growth planning principles, the Planning and Zoning Department provides recommendations and assistance to the governing body of the Town, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Historic Preservation Commission, and the public at large to encourage and support appropriate land development and redevelopment within Westfield.
Each Department staff member provides a variety of services to the community and performs multiple roles. In addition to providing general planning support for the Town, the Town Planner also acts as in-house professional planning staff for both the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment and administers the Town’s affordable housing program and plan.
Key Roles and Responsibilities
- The Department is the first stop for developers or redevelopers who wish to do work in the Town of Westfield, and of course to local residents and merchants seeking to improve their property or open a business in Town;
- The Department provides interpretation of local laws and guidance regarding the development approval process;
- The Department reviews and approves all construction permit applications for compliance with the Land Development Ordinance;
- The Department acts as staff for the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, and provides support to the Mayor and Council, and Historic Preservation Commission;
- The Department maintains files of all, site plan, subdivision, and variance application files, zoning records, and various planning studies and reports;
- The Department administers the Town’s affordable housing program and plan;
- The Department prepares special planning reports and studies in support of initiatives of the Mayor and Council;
- The Department prepares and submit grant applications;
- The Department drafts land-use ordinances, including amendments, concerning development regulations within the Town
Review of Applications Submitted to the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment
All applications for development are submitted to the Department for completeness review before being scheduled for a hearing before the Planning or Zoning Boards. The Department also provides technical assistance and guidance to those boards, and other established committees and bodies throughout the City.
The Department has prepared a summary of the process to be followed when an application must be filed with the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment. Department staff encourages applicants to contact them to discuss their applications before filing.
Review of Construction Permit Applications
Zoning regulates the use and intensity of physical improvements. Prior to commencing any work, please call the Zoning Office to determine whether the work proposed complies with all ordinance requirements and whether a zoning review is required. Construction permits are reviewed by the Department to ensure compliance with the Town Land Use Ordinance. The Department has individuals dedicated to this task to help expedite your zoning reviews and approvals.
On August 11, 2020, the Town of Westfield adopted General Ordinance No. 2178, which amends the Town’s Land Use Ordinance to allow for street-facing solar panels when they meet the requirements specified. Please see the Solar Energy Systems (PDF) and Land Use Ordinance for additional information.
Application form for the proposed demolition of a structure or building. This application is to be made prior to any separate application for demolition to the Building Department. This application is made to the Zoning Official, whose office is located within the Department of Planning and Zoning.
Westfield now has the ability to make Building Department records viewable online and has done so. Through the SDL Portal, an online hub where residents, businesses, and professionals can access information 24/7, you may see property history including construction permits, inspections, violations, and more. The ability to search permit records online may eliminate a need to file an Open Public Records Act request through the Town Clerk’s Office.
Signing up is easy and free. Please visit https://sdl.town/westfield to sign in to your account or create a new account.
The Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) is part of the State of NJ Department of Community Affairs and was created by the Fair Housing Act of 1985.
Take a look at the Land Use Ordinance and its amendments.
A various array of official Westfield maps are created by the Department of Public Works Office. Additional maps will be added to the website as they become available electronically.
Get information about the Planning Board's meetings and members.
The complete Town Master Plan of the Town of Westfield is available online. The plan was adopted on October 7, 2002, with amendments outlined in Appendix B and Appendix C.
The list below contains pending applications filed with the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, and Historic Preservation Commission.