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ATTENTION: Greenwood Lake Drawdown Permitting Process - Time Short

Release Date: August 03, 2006
 View Printable News Story

    A drawdown of Greenwood Lake, as requested by the Greenwood Lake Commission in accordance with the Water Level Management Plan, will begin on October 2, 2006. While largely done to allow for maximum weed exposure during periods of freezing, it is an opportunity for lake front residents and businesses to make repairs and reconstructions to existing bulkheads, docks and pilings, as well as limited removal of sediments and relocation of rocks.
    This past July 10th, representatives of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Land Use Regulation and Division of Watershed Management, were available to answer questions associated with the permitting process required to perform activities during the drawdown period. Several flyers were handed out aimed at helping interested parties determine what permits would be required to perform different tasks (" View Printable News Story" above).   A number of questions were not answered at the July 10th meeting. The answers to these questions were received on August 3rd and are posted below (having been taken from an email sent to Pat Rector of the NJ DEP Division of Watershed Management from John King of the Division of Land Use Regualtion).
    Contrary to previously determined, projects conducted by individual property owners for their own use and that require a DEP permit can proceed as an exempt activity under the Highlands Act exemption #5 without getting a separate formal determination letter from the Division of Watershed Management or filing for a Highlands Applicability Determination. All other non-residential activities that require a permit should get a formal determination from the Division of Watershed Management prior to submitting a permit application. 
    The permitting process takes time. Permit applications should be submitted as soon as possible to have them approved in time to perform any work before the lake refilling process scheduled to begin in late February 2007.
    For futher information, contact the Division of Land Use Regulation at or call 609-633-6754, the Bureau of Watershed Regulation at 609-984-6888, or the West Milford Township Planning Department at 973-728-2795.


This is a follow up to the meeting with members of the community regarding the proposed drawdown of Greenwood Lake.  The responses are generic guidance for single family homeowners.  Larger projects being discussed by the Greenwood Lake Commission will be reviewed on a case by case basis.  It is recommended that the larger projects apply for a formal jurisdictional determination.  Inquiries should be sent to Dennis Contois at:

501 East State Street
P.O. Box 439
Trenton, NJ  08625   
Phone # 609-633-6754       

1)      Removal of Stumps – Plucking or pulling of stumps is not a regulated activity.  Excavation of stumps is a regulated activity and would require a Stream Encroachment permit.

2)      Removal of large boulders – Boulders that can be removed by hand would not be a regulated activity.  If equipment is required to remove boulders, a formal jurisdictional determination should be requested.  Information regarding the size and quantity of boulders to be removed, disposal area and type of equipment to be used should be included.

3)      Rock wall removal – This question was regarding an old rock wall that became submerged as a result of the man made lake.  A permit may or may not be needed depending on the scope of the project.  It is suggested that this project apply for a jurisdictional determination.  Information regarding how much would be removed and how it would be removed should be included.

4)      General Permit No. 1 – This general permit is applicable for repair, replacement or reconstruction of a bulkhead.  The use of different materials, than that of the original construction, is generally acceptable provided that the original dimensions are duplicated and no additional intrusion into the lake is proposed.  In addition, no Stream Encroachment permit would be required for the above referenced scenario pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:13 (e) 2.v., minor repair, maintenance or replacement-in-kind of existing …retaining walls which will not change the cross-sectional area open to flow during the regulatory flood or increase the footprint of the structure.

5)      Who is the property owner for projects within the lake – The Division of Parks and Forestry should be the property owner for projects within the lake.  Property owners should contact Parks and Forestry at 609-984-0370 for specific info.

6)      Vegetation removal – Removal of submerged vegetation is not regulated provided that no excavation of the bottom of the lake occurs.  Removal of wetland or transition area vegetation is a regulated activity and requires a Freshwater Wetlands permit.

7)      Minimal dredging of private boat slips – Any dredging within the lake would require a Stream Encroachment permit.