Meetings are held in the Borough Hall Council Chambers
on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.


Agenda:  11-11-2020



Ms. Diane Frohlich - Land Use Secretary 

(201) 664-1849 Ext. 22


Hours are available by appointment, please email or call to request an appointment!

Master Plan 

Master Plan - Newspaper Notice




For Planning Board applications, Click here 

For Planning Board Minutes, Click here

For Planning Board Current Members, Click here 


An Overview

The Planning Board consists of volunteer residents appointed by the Mayor & Council who are responsible for preparing the Borough Master Plan in compliance with provisions of the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL) and who are responsible for reviewing zoning ordinances referred to them by the Mayor & Council.

The Planning Board reviews and acts on the following:

  • Applications for subdivision approval
  • Applications for site plan approval
  • Applications for use permits
  • Revisions to the Borough Zoning Ordinance
  • Variance Applications

The Planning Board consists of nine members and four alternate members. The Board is assisted by a professional staff consisting of an attorney, a professional planner, a Borough engineer, an administrative officer, Recording Secretary, and a Board secretary/Land Use Administrator.

Our printed agenda is available before all our meetings. It is posted at the Borough Hall at least 48 hours before the meeting and can also be found on the Old Tappan website click on the agenda link above. The applications will first be reviewed for completeness at a work session meeting. This session does not contemplate public comment.


When an application is announced by the Chairperson, the applicant comes forward, introduces him/herself, affirms that his/her testimony will be truthful (sworn in) and then explains the nature of the application. He/she will then give testimony. If there are any witnesses they will also be sworn in and give testimony. If the applicant is represented by an attorney, the attorney presents the application and the order of witnesses.

All applicants will provide testimony themselves and have the option of having witnesses testimony to support their applications.

Following the testimony of each witness the Board will ask questions and seek clarifications needed for an informed vote. The Chairperson will then ask if there are any questions of the witness by the Board and the Board professionals. This will take place after each witness. This time is designated for questions of each witnesses testimony and comments by the Board. Once the Board has completed this process, the Chairperson will open the meeting to the public.

During the public participation portion of the meeting, if the public has a question or comment, raise your hand. When the Chairperson recognizes you, please stand, walk to the microphone, and you will be sworn in by the Board Attorney. State your name and address and ask your questions. The public is generally limited to five  minutes per person to ensure adequate time for all speakers for all applications that night. Circumstances to a particular application may differ and any time extensions or speaking will be adjusted by the Chairperson. The applicant also has the right to cross-examine any members of the public who speak, either for or against the application. Statements from the public should be supportable and not hearsay, such as petitions and wishes.

The Chairperson has the right to close the public portion of a hearing if he feels that the audience is unruly or is making comments that are not relevant to the case.

Some applications may take more than one meeting to complete. If this occurs, the Planning Board will continue the hearing at a future meeting date that will be announced at the hearing. Because the applicant does not need to notify the public about a future meeting, please listen for the verbal announcement of future or rescheduled meetings. You can always confirm a continuation or rescheduling by calling the Land Use Administrator or checking the agenda online.

A record of the Public Hearing is recorded and a Recording Secretary is also present. When you speak, please speak slowly and clearly. All witnesses must state their names and their addresses. Only the Chairperson may decide who speaks at a given time. Comments from the audience are not allowed.

By following the above procedure, your input will have maximum impact for the Board's deliberations. Please be reminded that all applications are judged on their individual merits. The Board cannot predetermine the outcome of an application.

We hope your participation will be effective and satisfying. Thank you for attending and participating in the Municipal Land Use process.

Instructions to Applicant

1. Each application is judged on its individual merits. The Board staff cannot predict the probability of success. An applicant should be cognizant of this before an applicant chooses to expend the time and resources to make an application.

Any Old Tappan resident or developer intending to subdivide his/her property or change the use of his/her property should complete the multipurpose application accessed by the following:

Multipurpose Application

Any Old Tappan resident who wishes to perform a modification on his/her property or dwelling that does not comply with Old Tappan zoning codes should use the following application accessed by the following (Be sure to attach a copy of the denial letter from the zoning officer):

Residential Variance Application

Your application must be filed with all fees and escrow monies received in the Planning Board office in the Borough Hall.

2. The applicant must initially submit 3 packets-(1 original and 2 copies) -each consisting of the application and plat in folded form for mailing (not rolled). Additional copies will be necessary after the application has been deemed complete. Please note: if the property in question is located on a county road, you are required to apply for Bergen County Planning Board approval. Please familiarize yourself with the County's Planning Board procedure and schedule of meetings. 

3. There is a review period of 45 days from the date of filing. During this period the application and plat/plans will be deemed complete or incomplete. The applicant will be advised, in writing,of any deficiencies to be corrected .

For subdivision and conditional uses on the multipurpose application, an additional 25 copies must be provided. When the application has been deemed complete, the applicant  will be notified in writing and then should submit  the additional copies of the application and plat for a total of 28 copies. The applicant will then be notified of the date of hearing, and the application will be placed on the agenda for the Planning Board.

For the residential variance application, an additional 16 copies must be provided. When the application has been deemed complete, the applicant will be notified in writing and then should submit the additional copies of the application and plat for a total of 19 copies. The applicant will then be notified of the date of hearing, and the application will be placed on the agenda for the Planning Board.

4. A public hearing requires that a legal advertisement similar to the suggested notice included in the application be published in the Record at least 10 days prior to the date of the Public Hearing. All property owners within 200 feet must also be notified at least 10 days prior to the meeting. The list of homeowners within 200 feet may be obtained from the Tax Assessor with the payment fee. If the list requested indicates that any property is located in a surrounding community(ies), obtain a list of the property owners within 200 feet of the property in that community, since all property owners must be notified.

Serve the property owners at least 10 days prior to the hearing in the following manner:

  1. By Certified mail
  2. If it is a non-resident, by mailing a copy by certified mail to the last known address
  3. If a partnership, by serving any partner; If a corporation, by serving any officer

Submit an Affidavit of Proof of Service and Proof of Publication at least one week prior to the Public Hearing.

Additional information