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.
A consortium of planning and environmental groups urged Gov. Christie to veto the so-called “Meadowlands bill.”
An examination by New Jersey Future shows that the state’s new business incentive programs are largely effective at following state plan guidelines and directing job growth to smart-growth areas.
A new report highlights the current and future pressures that development in the Pinelands growth areas is putting on water resources, and offers recommendations to minimize its negative effects.
This year’s Sustainable Raritan River Conference focused on the economic value of natural systems.
New Jersey Future is offering a competitive grant to encourage municipalities to develop noncontiguous-clustering ordinances.
Both the drafting and the signing of such ill-constructed, vague and contradictory legislation is regrettable, and puts progress on many fronts at risk. February 2015.
April 29, 2014 – Respected environmental lawyer Joe Marazati receives 2014 Cary Edwards Leadership Award at the Smart Growth Awards with New Jersey Future.
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.
The Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 included additional incentives for projects destined for “smart-growth” areas. This report analyzes how effective the updated incentives have been at directing growth to those areas. December 2014.
Development in the Pinelands growth areas has affected water resources and will continue to exert pressures going forward. This report highlights what can be done by municipal, regional and state agencies to minimize their negative impacts. July 2014.
Reports, Presentations and Testimony
- 02/24/2015: Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee re Pinelands Nominee
- 01/22/2015: New Jersey Future Comments on Meadowlands Bill
- New Jersey Future Van Abs 2014 Pinelands Growth Area Water Assessment
- NJFuture Cluster Presentation I Open for Municipalities
- 06/01/13 NJ Future Resolution Sustainable State Funding for Preservation
- How Clustering Works
- Somerset County Investment Framework 1-13 (Intern Report)
- 05-2009 Smart Housing Incentives Act - Summary
- 05/17/2012: Testimony on S1925 to the Senate Environment Committee
- Case Studies of Non-Contiguous Clustering in New Jersey 04-12
- 04/02/2012: NJFuture Comments to State Planning Commission on Draft State Strategic Plan
- 01/05/2012: Testimony A4226 Assembly Telecom & Utilities Committee
- Cluster Presentation - NJ Farm Bureau 1-4-2012
- 12/14/2011: Joint Statement on A4422-S3165 Permit Extension Act
- Executive Order-78
- 10/18/2011: Comments: Proposed Amendments to BPU Main Extension Rules
- Route 1 Planning Through Partnerships
- Case Studies in Transfer of Development Rights 8-10 (Intern report)
- 12/15/2010: Highlands letter to Governor
- 04-03-2009 Letter to DEP re Global Warming Solutions Fund Rules
- 05/06/2011: Statement: Proposed Waiver of Department Rules Should be Narrowed
- Presentation: Affordable Land Preservation Tools 6-1-11
- Notes on Affordable Land Preservation Tools 6-1-11
- Transfer of Development Rights Task Force Report 08-11-10
- APA-NJ Non-Contiguous Clustering 3-08
- Municipal Resource Conservation Assessment 06-01
- Case Study Hopewell Township 08-00
- Achieving Genuine Prosperity 04-01
- Rethinking Farmland Preservation in New Jersey 05-01
- Presentation: The Status of Transfer of Development Rights in New Jersey 12-10
- Presentation: Land Preservation Using Off-site Clustering 03-19-11
- Transfer of Development Rights (Updated) 05-04
- Planning Ahead 11-09
- A New Vision for the Highlands 02-04
- Impact Fees 01-04
- Historic Preservation 03-05
- Success in the Highlands 05-05
- Climate Change and Land Use 10-08
- Smart Conservation: The "Green" Side of Smart Growth
- Race to the Middle: The Homogenization of New Jersey's Population Density
- Getting to Work 11-08