Recognizing the need for better land-use decisions, and the limitations of effective municipal governance, the New Jersey Legislature has passed an impressive succession of laws to promote regional planning.
Through these efforts, the Legislature showed its willingness to retrieve powers it had earlier delegated to the municipalities under the Municipal Land Use Law and other statutes in order to transform land-use governance in specific locations. The most significant statutes in this series are: Hackensack Meadowlands Development Act (1969), the Pinelands Protection Act (1979) and the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act (2004). Together these regional areas comprise 2,800 square miles, or 37 percent of the state’s land area. Regional planning occurs in a less comprehensive manner on the county level, authorized by the New Jersey County Planning Enabling Act (1935). Other groups of municipalities have formed voluntary regional planning organizations in areas including the Sourland Mountain Area and the Great Swamp Watershed.
In 2012, after Hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey Shore, that area became a new focus for conversations around regional planning. To help inform the discussion, New Jersey Future has built a resource page focused on rebuilding a resilient shore.
Modest initiatives in planning can help future-proof communities against tomorrow’s extreme weather. Federal Sandy recovery funds should cover these investments.
Gov. Christie’s Sandy Recovery Action Plan doesn’t include funds, or a requirement, for long-term resiliency planning. Without those, New Jersey’s rebuilding efforts will not prepare the state sufficiently for the next major weather disaster.
The Pinelands Protection Act appears to have been effective at steering growth within its jurisdiction, but we must remain vigilant to ensure that the area’s overall growth doesn’t degrade critical natural resources.
Concerns over Gov. Christie’s Sandy Recovery Action Plan include insufficient funds for planning, too little assistance for low-income renters.
The differing needs that ports have from their host municipalities leads to an ongoing balancing act across multiple jurisdictions.
How we rebuild along the New Jersey Shore in the wake of Hurricane Sandy is a complex and urgent question.
A new report, the first of two, outlines the legal framework for county planning in New Jersey, and highlights where that framework is either unclear or inconsistent with current planning practices. May 2012.
The devastation from Hurricane Sandy created a wake-up call on the need to rebuild the Jersey shore in a way that respects nature and protects people, properties and public investments. Come hear expert speakers address key topics, and share your opinion on how we can restore a thriving, healthy and resilient coastal region.
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.
Two plans, an innovative zoning code, a feasibility study and three projects are winners of New Jersey Future’s 2012 Smart Growth Awards. Joseph M. Taylor receives the Cary Edwards Leadership Award.
Reports, Presentations and Testimony
- Targeting Transit -- New Jersey Future
- 01/05/2012: Statement on A4422-Permit Extension Act
- Cluster Presentation - NJ Farm Bureau 1-4-2012
- DKennedy State Strategic Plan APA-NJ 11-4-2011
- BBzik State Strategic Plan Somerset County Perspective 11-4-2011
- Smart Growth NJ August 2011 Poll Report
- 07/22/2011: Statement: Highlands Council
- Route 1 Planning Through Partnerships
- Case Studies in Transfer of Development Rights 8-10 (Intern report)
- 04/29/2013: Sandy Recovery Action Plan Doesn't Commit to Resiliency Planning, Sustainability
- County Planning in New Jersey 4-12 (Intern report)
- Somerset County Investment Framework 1-13 (Intern Report)
- NJ Shore Protection Master Plan 1981 vol 1 Part I
- ShapingNJ Community Pilot Meeting Overview 06-09-11
- NJ Shore Protection Master Plan 1981 vol 1 Part II
- NJ Shore Protection Master Plan 1981 vol 2 Basis and Background
- NJ Shore Protection Master Plan 1981 vol 3 Comments
- Wastewater Planning County Fact Sheets
- 12/15/2010: Highlands letter to Governor
- Sheehan-Mans JOINT STATEMENT ON ARC TUNNEL
- Pocino statement on ARC 10 08 10
- ARC Information Sheet 9-10
- 06/16/2011: Testimony: Keep Meadowlands Tax-Sharing Agreement
- 06/06/2011: Testimony: Keep Meadowlands Tax-Sharing Agreement
- Presentation: The Status of Transfer of Development Rights in New Jersey 12-10
- ARC Support Letter to Christie 09-14-10
- Transfer of Development Rights Task Force Report 08-11-10
- Presentation: Reining In Local Budgets 05-10
- 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
- Property Tax Reform and Land Use 07-06
- Making Wildlife Protection a Reality 11-05
- Success in the Highlands 05-05
- Race to the Middle: The Homogenization of New Jersey's Population Density
- A New Vision for the Highlands 02-04
- Smart Conservation: The "Green" Side of Smart Growth
- Realistic Opportunity? The Distribution of Affordable Housing and Jobs in New Jersey
- Case Study Hopewell Township 08-00