Zuzana Karas
Zuzana KarasLand Use Coordinator/Zoning Official, Township of Bridgewater
Constitution & By-Laws Committee Chair, NJAPZA

What do you love most about your current occupation?

As a Land Use Coordinator/Zoning Official I love the people interaction it encourages with various professionals, architects, engineers and residence of the town.


How long have you been a member of the NJAPZA?

I started working in municipal services in 2017 and then became qualified and worked solely as a Zoning Official in 2018, also the year I joined NJAPZA.


What is a typical workday like for you?

A typical workday for me involves a vase majority of events. Certainly, I am answering zoning inquiries throughout a major party of my day, yet I also do address complaints which involve site inspections, violations, in some cases, court hearings. As the Land Use Coordinator, I am also involved in all board submittals as well as the process from start to finish. I also attend all Zoning Board of Adjustment and Planning Board meetings, which are held weekly. Meetings are also scheduled periodically with the administration and various township professionals. My workday is extremely busy which makes every day interesting.


What is something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

A fun fact about me is that prior to joining municipal work I spent about 10 years in the dental field, which I loved at the time. I also came to the zoning/planning world not having any experience at all.


What do you enjoy most about the NJAPZA?

Being part of NJAPZA is an extreme honor I enjoy the support it provides to me and its members. It’s so enlightening to be able to have conversations with other professionals about challenging situations and how others have handled such. The zoning world is difficult and having others to lead on is extremely positive.


Who inspires you?

What inspires me the most is watching other zoning officials go above and beyond their job duties to make change. Seeing the individuals in this association has also been so uplifting and encouraging for me to do more and give back.


When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

In my free time I love spending time with my family and friends. I feel that being around good people that make you laugh is the most enjoyable time spent.


What is the best advice you would give someone in your line of work?

If I were able to give advice to anyone coming into the zoning world it would be to remember to stay compassionate and kind. Zoning could be confrontational at moments and it’s important to step back and be a resource of the town that helps and guides others.