TRENTON, N.J. – The State and Local Government Committee passed a bill on Thursday to allow members of planning and zoning boards to complete required training online rather than in person.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Edward Thomson, the bill (A428) makes it easier for current planning and zoning board members to complete training and increases the pool of eligible candidates qualified to serve on the local boards.
“If there is anything we have learned from the last two years, it is how to make the best use of available technology,” Thomson (R-Monmouth) explained. “Moving in-person training online saves time, money and resources. It is a convenient option that is offered for other positions, but not our local planning and zoning board officials. My bill would give municipalities some flexibility to satisfy training requirements.”
Under a 2005 law, all planning, zoning and consolidated land use board members across the state must undergo uniform, one-time, in-person training that covers roles, responsibilities, municipal land use law, the local development application review process, and more. After, they must all complete a standardized test.
Thomson’s bill directs the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to offer members of planning, zoning or combined boards access to an online training course within a year of enactment.