Middle Township Encouraging Business Growth

Middle Township has adopted zoning laws that encourage commercial business along the main corridors of the Township.   The areas of commercial development have been expanded; more types of commercial uses are permitted; and mixed use development (mix of commercial and residential) is allowed in most commercial areas.  In addition, the sign rules are less restrictive and there is a reduction in parking space requirements, as well as an allowance for shared parking where appropriate.

Checklist to Open a Business

  1. Secure Business name, register the name with the State of NJ
  2. Open a business account
  3. Make an appointment to go over your plans with the Middle Township Zoning Office.  The Zoning office must uphold laws adopted by the municipality.  If your development does not comply with zoning, you would have to get approval from the zoning board of adjustment.  In addition, certain commercial developments require “site plan” approval from the planning board. The zoning office is responsible for the following:
    • Use of Property/Building
    • The building (distance from property lines, height)
    • Parking regulations
    • Drainage, curbs, sidewalks for proper use
    • Some issues are adaptable but require a prior approval with a “change in ordinance”
  4. Make an appointment to go over your plans with the Middle Township Construction Office.    The Construction Office is responsible for the Uniform Construction Code which is state-mandated laws and will review with you the following; ADA regulations which include ramps and requirements for certain uses, such as venting systems for restaurants.
    • Depending on the scope of the project, the construction office will be issuing permits for work to take place in the location of the business.
    • In the case of new construction or extensive renovations, 2 sets of architect’s plans and all sub code applications must be submitted.
    • After plan review, any revisions needed will be conveyed to the designated party
    • Permits will be issued after all 4 sub code officials approve the plans
    • In order to Fast Track some projects, partial releases will be made (footing and foundation)

Steps to Take Before you purchase or rent a business location

(Meet with Zoning, Construction and Sewer Dept. for undeveloped lot)

  1. Existing Building
    • Choose a building that is Zoned correctly for your business
    • If you choose a building that is not permitted use for your type of business you must then go before the Zoning Board for a Variance (to avoid this, check the zoning map posted on the Middle Township municipal website)
  2. Vacant Lot
    • If you are purchasing a vacant lot to build on, you must complete a Site Plan that has to be approved by the Planning Board (if your business in Incorporated or an LLC then you must hire a lawyer to represent you at the Planning Board presentation)-It is recommended that your Site Plan be completed by an engineer.  Make sure that the engineer you select is “up to date” on all the latest construction codes.

Permits Required for Site Plans include:

  • Cape May County Planning Board
  • Cape Atlantic Soil Conservation Service
  • Depending if the area has sewer, approval from the Middle Township Sewer District or a septic permit.
  • Water, an approval from New Jersey American Water or a well permit
  • If on a County Road, a County Road Opening Permit
  • If on a State highway, a State Highway Opening Permit
  • If there are wetlands or wetland buffers near the site a permit from the NJDEP may be required