Planning/Zoning Board

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The Leonia Planning Board, like all planning boards throughout the state, operates under the provisions of the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law.

Board Responsibilities

  1. Preparing, adopting, and amending a Master Plan that zones the town for particular types of uses and development. The Master Plan represents the Borough's view of itself and where it should be going.
  2. Reviewing for approval proposed subdivisions, site plans, and conditional uses, including certain variances and building permits. (Variances allow an applicant to vary from the zoning requirements after offering convincing legal reasons for doing so.)
  3. Performing informal reviews of concept plans for development.
  4. Making recommendations to the Borough Council about adopting or amending development regulations.
  5. Directing the issuance of building permits for buildings or structures in certain areas shown on an official map, when such building permits also require subdivision, site plan or conditional use approval.
  6. Directing the issuance of building permits for buildings or structures on a lot not related to a street, when such building permits also require subdivision, site plan or conditional use approval.
  7. Making recommendations to the Borough Council and/or any other governmental authority concerning the relationship of capital projects to the Borough's Master Plan.
  8. Participating in the preparation and review of programs or plans required by State or Federal law or regulations.
  9. Assembling data as part of a continuous planning process.
  10. Performing other advisory duties as are assigned to it by ordinance or by the Borough Council.

Board Protocol

Bringing an Application to the Board: Planning Board Applications can be obtained from the Secretary to the Planning Board, Alyson Lazarus, who can be reached at 201-592-5780 x253 or via e-mail at To be heard in a particular month, your application package must be available to the public at Borough Hall ten days prior to the meeting date. There are a number of legal requirements that must be addressed in completing an application, so be sure to allow yourself adequate preparation time. The application must be deemed complete by Zoning Officer Dan Melfi before any matter is assigned a docket number and listed on a Planning Board Agenda. Mr. Melfi may be reached via telephone at 201-592-5780; x 255 or more conveniently, via e-mail at  

For New Business Owners: The Leonia Planning Board is particularly interested in the appearance of the downtown business district. The Planning Board requests that applicants work with Mr. Melfi on the design of facades and signs to be in accordance with the Borough's central business district standards.

View Master Plan Documentation at Bergen County

Board Members

  • Class I - Mayor Judah Zeigler - 2023
  • Class II - Ron Wolf - 2020
  • Class III - Councilman Pat Fusco- 2020 - Council Liaison
  • Class IV - Patrick Botten - 2022 Chairman
  • Class IV - Tim Ford - 2022
  • Class IV - Michael DiGidio - 2023
  • Class IV - Vincent Petti - 2023
  • Alternate I - Sean Thompson - 2020
  • Alternate II - Ira Gold - 2023
  • Alternate III - Alicia Stewart - 2020
  • Alternate IV - Haeseok Ko - 2021
  • Dan Melfi - Zoning Officer
  • Alyson Lazarus - Board Secretary
  • Tina Evans - Recording Secretary
  • Planning Board Attorney - Brian Chewcaskie
  • Planning Board Engineer - Frank Rotonda


Please Note: All Mayor and Council (and Planning Board) meetings are held in the downstairs Meeting Room of the Leonia Public Library, located at 227 Fort Lee Road.

The Planning Board meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month, at 7:30 pm