Every undeveloped or partially-developed, privately-owned parcel of land in the Core Preservation Area of the Central Pine Barrens and other areas specified in the Central Pine Barrens Comprehensive Land Use Plan is eligible to be considered for an allocation of credits. This does not mean that every parcel will automatically receive credits; evaluations of the appropriateness of an allocation are conducted on a parcel by-parcel basis. Each parcel is subject to an allocation formula specified in the land use plan. The formula takes into consideration the existing use of the parcel, whether it is partially improved, and whether permits have been issued that would allow the parcel to be developed.
Credit Allocation Process
The credit allocation process is described in detail in the land use plan and the Pine Barrens Credit Program handbook, a question and answer guide to the credit program that is available in our online document library under the category "Credit Program".
The number of credits allocated to a particular parcel of property is based on the formula in the land use plan. A separate calculation is made for each tax map parcel submitted for consideration. The allocation is dependent upon the size of the parcel (in acres), the zoning in effect at the time the land use plan was adopted in June of 1995 (or, for areas of the Core Preservation Area added after 1995, the zoning in effect at the time the Core Preservation Area addition became effective), any unique features on the parcel and whether the parcel is partially developed. The limitations that may affect the number of credits allocated to a parcel are identified in the land use plan. (Photo: Cardinal by L. Ormand)
There are three steps to the credit allocation process. The information required with each application and the conservation easement is contained in the land use plan and the Pine Barrens Credit Program Handbook. A summary of the process is provided below:
Step 1: Submit an application for and obtain a letter of interpretation
The letter of interpretation is a document which describes the number of pine barrens credits for which the parcel is eligible and which provides a detailed explanation as to how that number was calculated. (If the letter of interpretation an applicant has obtained is more than three years old, they will need to submit an application for renewal of letter of interpretation if they wish to obtain a Pine Barrens credit certificate.)
Step 2: Submit an application for a Pine Barrens credit certificate
The Commission requires an applicant to demonstrate they have clear title to and provide title insurance for a parcel of real property in order to obtain a Pine Barrens credit certificate. As part of this process, the Commission established a policy on property titles and title insurance for the Credit Certificate application process (last revised 7/20/2011)
Step 3: Record a conservation easement on the property and submit a copy of the recorded conservation easement to the Clearinghouse.
The Commission has developed specific language to be used in all of its conservation easements. Applicants will receive the written easement language from the Commission at the appropriate point during their credit application process.
Step 4. Credits issued.
Pine Barrens credits are issued for parcels immediately following the placement of a conservation easement on the property.
Credit Allocation Appeals
If an applicant disagrees with the credit allocation contained in the letter of interpretation, the applicant may appeal the allocation to the Commission. This appeal must be made within thirty days from the date on which the letter of interpretation is issued. The appeal must be in writing, give the grounds for the appeal, and state the new number of credits requested. The Commission will then consider the appeal within sixty days of its receipt, and may schedule a hearing on the matter.
To learn more about how to obtain credits for your parcel and to obtain application materials and credit appeal information, visit our online document library and select the category "Credit Program". In addition, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 631-288-1079 with any questions you may have.