The kind of suburban residential and commercial development that has been prevalent in New Jersey over the last 40 years is referred to as sprawl.
It is characterized by: development of formerly “green” land; separated uses (homes, shopping, employment and recreational facilities far away from each other); low density single-family homes on large lots; dependence on cars to get around; and little public open space.
Sprawl development has turned out to be harmful to the state and its residents. Automobile-related pollution, loss of farmland, increased rates of obesity and increasingly unsustainable property tax rates are just some of the effects of sprawl development.
Smart-growth development, by contrast, seeks to direct growth to areas where infrastructure already exists, where higher densities make the provision of public services less expensive, and where different kinds of uses can be located near each other for easy access by residents, where the same amount of land produces higher tax revenues, and where transportation options other than cars are readily available.
New Jersey Assembly overwhelmingly approves the cluster development bill, which could see a Senate vote as soon as May 13.
A new bill streamlines New Jersey’s portfolio of economic incentives, but unless it is amended it will go too far toward subsidizing sprawl development.
The cluster development bill has received unanimous approval in Senate and Assembly committees, and is headed for votes in the full Senate and Assembly.
The cluster development bill is advancing in the New Jersey State Legislature; key contacts and bill text.
A new Rutgers report highlights the coming problem of aging and abandoned suburban office parks. Those facilities that cannot be repurposed to meet the market demand for mixed-use, transit-accessible employment centers should not be the recipients of state job-creation incentives.
Trransfer of development rights (TDR) and clustering are tools that municipalities in New Jersey can use to direct growth and preserve open space.
An overview of pending cluster development bill in the New Jersey legislature, along with relevant resources.
Some frequently-asked questions about how smart growth would affect New Jersey’s future development, including how it affects traffic, taxes, and land preservation.
Geographic patterns in building permit activity offer insights into macroeconomic forces that influence people’s residential location decisions. They provide a preview into what types of places will be gaining population in the future. This report compares the 10 years’ worth of building permit data through 2009 with that of the previous decade. December 2010.
Oct. 11, 2011 — A new statewide poll commissioned in part by New Jersey Future shows that New Jersey residents think the way the state has developed over the last 20 years has made it less affordable and more difficult to travel. They support more compact communities with greater transportation choices, protection of critical resources like drinking water, and regional coordination of land-use planning efforts.
Reports, Presentations and Testimony
- Route 1 Planning Through Partnerships
- Smart Growth NJ August 2011 Poll Report
- 10/14/2011: Comments: OCE Clean Energy Incentives Proposal
- 10/18/2011: Comments: Proposed Amendments to BPU Main Extension Rules
- Executive Order-78
- Financial Benefits of Density in Two New Jersey Downtowns 7-11 (Intern report)
- 11/30/2011: Coalition Statement on Grow NJ Bill
- Land Use Trends NJPHA 2011
- 12/14/2011: Joint Statement on A4422-S3165 Permit Extension Act
- Built Out 12-10
- Built Out Permit Activity 12-10
- 04/02/2012: NJFuture Comments to State Planning Commission on Draft State Strategic Plan
- How Clustering Works
- Cluster bill - summary of key provisions
- 3/11/2013: Economic Investments Strategically and Avoid Subsidizing Sprawl
- Presentation: Affordable Land Preservation Tools 6-1-11
- Notes on Affordable Land Preservation Tools 6-1-11
- 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
- 05/07/2009 Testimony on Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act
- 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
- Moving Out: New Jersey's Population Growth and Migration Patterns
- 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
- Tax Reform 09-03
- Smart Conservation: The "Green" Side of Smart Growth
- Rethinking Farmland Preservation in New Jersey 05-01
- Achieving Genuine Prosperity 04-01
- Case Study Hopewell Township 08-00