New Jersey ranks as a national leader in land conservation, through popular state and local programs to preserve farmland and open space. In round numbers, more than one-fourth of our state is publicly owned or deed-restricted parkland or farmland. Yet suburbanization spreads further into the open countryside every day, threatening water supplies, fragmenting woodlands and wildlife habitats and “checker-boarding” farming areas. Some analysts have estimated “build out” of New Jersey’s remaining buildable land in 30-50 years. And, as cities, older suburbs and some small towns have deteriorated, so have their parks.
Our state’s land conservation programs can be made more efficient and effective by integrating the purchase of land with land-use planning and regulation, infrastructure investments and tax policy. Transfer of development rights (TDR) and clustering, in particular, have the potential to preserve significant amounts of land at little or no public cost, provided they are made easier to use, as recommended by the TDR Statewide Policy Task Force. Only by coordinating all of our tools can we achieve an interconnected, regional web of open and healthy recreational areas, ecosystems, wildlife habitats, water supplies and agriculture, along with easy access to healthy neighborhood parks.
New Jersey Future is offering a competitive grant to encourage municipalities to develop noncontiguous-clustering ordinances.
New Jersey Future is offering two new webinars and a grant to encourage municipalities to take advantage of updated non-contiguous cluster development tools.
Nominations are now open for New Jersey Future’s 2014 Smart Growth Awards. Winners will be honored at our annual celebration June 5, 2014.
This is the second in a series of articles from our friends at NJ Spotlight laying out the critical policy challenges that the next governor and Legislature will face, as well as their positions on these issues.
Unless we focus on difficult, long-term issues, we risk making New Jersey less competitive and hindering our future growth and prosperity.
Two webinars examining how communities can implement the state’s updated non-contiguous cluster development law to steer growth to areas that make sense and preserve the open land that would otherwise have been needed to accommodate that growth. Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, at noon and Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, at noon.
Oct. 18, 2013 — One of the most difficult things successful political leaders must do is to make decisions on behalf of their constituents that might be politically unpopular in the short term, but help to secure a more stable future for generations to come. New Jersey’s current economic stagnation brings this challenge into sharp focus: How can we invest the state’s limited funds strategically in ways that respect immediate budget needs but make the state more prosperous and globally competitive for the long term?
Call for entries for the 2014 Smart Growth Awards. The awards celebration is June 5, 2014, in Newark.
Four innovative projects, two visionary plans and a statewide policy are winners of New Jersey Future’s 2013 Smart Growth Awards. Diane Sterner receives the Cary Edwards Leadership Award.
This report from New Jersey Future examines the use of non-contiguous clustering as a land-preservation tool in nine New Jersey municipalities. May 2012.
Reports, Presentations and Testimony
- Route 1 Planning Through Partnerships
- Executive Order-78
- 10/18/2011: Comments: Proposed Amendments to BPU Main Extension Rules
- 12/14/2011: Joint Statement on A4422-S3165 Permit Extension Act
- Cluster Presentation - NJ Farm Bureau 1-4-2012
- 01/05/2012: Testimony A4226 Assembly Telecom & Utilities Committee
- 04/02/2012: NJFuture Comments to State Planning Commission on Draft State Strategic Plan
- Case Studies of Non-Contiguous Clustering in New Jersey 04-12
- 05/17/2012: Testimony on S1925 to the Senate Environment Committee
- 05-2009 Smart Housing Incentives Act - Summary
- 06/13: NJ Future Resolution Sustainable State Funding for Preservation
- Somerset County Investment Framework 1-13 (Intern Report)
- How Clustering Works
- Presentation: Affordable Land Preservation Tools 6-1-11
- Notes on Affordable Land Preservation Tools 6-1-11
- 05/06/2011: Statement: Proposed Waiver of Department Rules Should be Narrowed
- Presentation: Land Preservation Using Off-site Clustering 03-19-11
- 12/15/2010: Highlands letter to Governor
- Presentation: The Status of Transfer of Development Rights in New Jersey 12-10
- Transfer of Development Rights Task Force Report 08-11-10
- Case Studies in Transfer of Development Rights 8-10 (Intern report)
- Planning Ahead 11-09
- 04-03-2009 Letter to DEP re Global Warming Solutions Fund Rules
- Getting to Work 11-08
- Climate Change and Land Use 10-08
- APA-NJ Non-Contiguous Clustering 3-08
- Success in the Highlands 05-05
- Historic Preservation 03-05
- Race to the Middle: The Homogenization of New Jersey's Population Density
- Transfer of Development Rights (Updated) 05-04
- A New Vision for the Highlands 02-04
- Impact Fees 01-04
- Smart Conservation: The "Green" Side of Smart Growth
- Municipal Resource Conservation Assessment 06-01
- Rethinking Farmland Preservation in New Jersey 05-01
- Achieving Genuine Prosperity 04-01
- Case Study Hopewell Township 08-00