Township municipal offices are located at 1571 Delsea Drive Franklinville, NJ 08322. Phone: 856-694-1234.
Franklin Township [†] is located in southwestern Gloucester County. It is part of the farm belt stretching along the lower part of the county, which has become heavily developed in areas to the north and northeast, closer to Philadelphia. The township also extends into the Pinelands and one-third of its land area is within Pineland boundaries. Agricultural use occupied 22 percent of Franklin�s land area as of 2005. Another 38.6 percent was forested land, much of which is maintained under Woodland Management Plans and is therefore farmland assessed. Urban areas covered 20 percent.
Vegetable farming and horticulture dominate in the township, with nurseries located especially in the northwest corner of the township and in Pinelands areas, although they are found in all parts of the township. According to 2007 farmland assessment data, soybeans and hay were two other crops raised on sizeable acreages of land, and orchards are still prevalent.
In recent years, Franklin has seen a steady growth in residential housing throughout the township, despite the lack of sewer and water. Residential building permits issued over the past seven years total 720. In 2004 Franklin Township revised its Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance with the aims of reducing excessive and sprawling growth and of protecting groundwater resources from overdevelopment. Zoning in the Rural-Agricultural Zone was changed from a one-acre to a 2.5-acre minimum for major subdivisions, and mandatory Conservation Design clustering was established. This has protected farmland and open space since that time, although one feature of the ordinance�noncontiguous clustering�was eliminated by a court ruling in a lawsuit brought against the new zoning ordinance by the Builders League of New Jersey.
† Farmland Preservation Plan, Township of Franklin, 2009, www.state.nj.us, accessed July, 2020.