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State Planning Commission Releases Draft Final State Plan for Public Hearings

November 14th, 2011 by

State Planning Commission meeting Nov. 14, 2011. Source: Chris Sturm

The State Planning Commission voted unanimously Monday to release the State Strategic Plan as the Draft Final State Development and Redevelopment Plan, setting in motion the final steps before adoption. 

The Plan will now be sent to county and municipal planning boards and other interested parties and the commission will conduct at least six public hearings throughout the state.  After the public hearings conclude, the commission has up to 30 days to adopt the plan, with any revisions it sees fit based on the public testimony.  The soonest the plan could be adopted would be late February. 

New Jersey Future’s testimony commended the draft plan’s focus on targeting investments to help the state achieve economic growth in the most promising locations – those that match real estate market demand, changing demographics and existing infrastructure – while complementing the preservation and protection of natural resources and farmland.  We highlighted the realistic likelihood of implementation – a first – given this governor’s commitment to aligning state agency actions in support.

While we supported the release of the draft plan for public comment, we noted key actions needed before adoption in order to  ensure consistency with the State Planning Act and successful implementation by state agencies and local government, including:

  • Clarity on the criteria for identification of growth areas, preservation areas, and the limited-growth areas in between.  
  • Integration of the “Garden State Values” into state decision-making.
  • Filling the five vacant seats on the State Planning Commission: three seats for public members and two for local government representatives.

These were among the six joint recommendations that were submitted jointly on Friday by New Jersey Future and other planning and environmental organizations, most of whom testified as well.

Before congratulating the commission on this important milestone, we noted it had taken action before hearing public testimony, a break from tradition and sound process.  Chairman McKenna promised to rectify the situation in future meetings. 

For more information, visit our State Strategic Plan information page.

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