Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


54 Fairmount Avenue 
Chatham, NJ 07928

Planning Board Members

Carolyn Dempsey
Class I - Mayor 01/01/2024 - 12/31/2027
Stephen W. Williams
Class II - Borough Employee 01/01/2024 - 12/31/2024
Justin Strickland
Class III - Council Member 01/01/2024 - 12/31/2024
Thomas Belding (Montague Term)
Class IV - Resident  01/01/2022-12/31/2025
Matthew Wagner 
Class IV Resident 01/01/2022 - 12/31/2025
Curt Dawson 
Class IV ZBA Member 01/01/2022 - 12/31/2025
Susan Favate
Class IV Chair 01/01/2024-12/31/2027
William Heap
Class IV Resident 01/01/2020-12/31/2023
Susan Robertson 
Class IV Resident, EC Member 01/01/2023-12/31/2026
Gregory Xikes
1st Alternate 01/01/2024-12/31/2025
Jonathan Wilcox
2nd Alternate 01/01/2023 - 12/31/2024
Liz Holler - Minutes Secretary
Vanessa Nienhouse, Administrative Secretary
Kendra Lelie, PP, AICP, ASLA - Planner, Professional Service
Vincent Loughlin, Planning Board Attorney - Professional Service
Robert C. Brightly, PE Consulting Engineer, Professional Service 

For Planning Board & Zoning Board Applications please contact Vanessa Nienhouse:


Planning Board Agendas & Minutes after September 1, 2023 can be found by clicking the Granicus logo. Prior agendas & minutes can be found here.

Planning Board Information

Who We Are

The membership is made up of the Mayor, one member of the Borough Council, one member of the Environmental Commission, a Municipal Official, and six local residents, plus up to two alternates. Most of the members are Mayor-appointed volunteers approved by the Borough Council, who serve for a three-year renewable term.

The Board meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Meetings are open to the public.

What We Do

The New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL) states that a planning board may “exercise its powers” in regard to: 

  • The town’s Master Plan
  •  Subdivision control and site plan review 
  • The Zoning ordinance 
  • Appeals for variance (along with the Board of Adjustment) 
  • Environmental considerations

 The MLUL permits boards to adopt and maintain a Master Plan unique to each community. Our Master Plan reflects the town’s physical character in basic stated objectives with respect to its land use, zoning and housing, historic preservation, recreation and conservation. To achieve these broad objectives, the Board writes and updates regulations for the Borough Council to adopt or amend. These regulations make up the town’s Land Development Regulations, also referred to as the Land Development Ordinance (LDO). 

Since no regulation can be applicable to all situations, an appeal process is in place wherein the landowner may make their case to the appropriate board for variance relief. The Planning Board stays aware of environmental concerns through its members who serve on the Environmental Commission and the Open Space Advisory Committee. 

The overall objective of planning and zoning is to maintain a reasonable balance between the particular needs and intentions of the property owner and the general welfare and character of the community.

The Planning Board is responsible for:

  1. Holding hearings and deciding upon land subdivisions and certain site plan applications.

  2. Reviewing and updating the Land Development Regulations.

  3. Coordinating with the Board of Adjustment, the Construction Department and other Borough agencies.

  4. Maintaining and regularly updating the Master Plan.

  5. Reviewing and updating the Borough zoning map from time to time.
  6. Reviewing State Development Plans and participating in the Cross-Acceptance process.
  7. Developing plans to assure compliance with the State Affordable Housing Laws and Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) decisions.
  8. Training Board members through attendance at seminars.


Planning Board Meeting Schedule

3 Jul
Planning Board
Date 7:30 pm
17 Jul
Planning Board
7:30 pm
7 Aug
Planning Board
7:30 pm
21 Aug
Planning Board
7:30 pm
4 Sep
Planning Board
7:30 pm