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‘Re-Forum’ Will Tackle Updates to State’s Land-Use Law

May 5th, 2017 by

Has the state’s Municipal Land Use Law helped or hindered your efforts to redevelop vibrant, walkable communities? Now is your chance to participate in a re-examination process of this important development and redevelopment law. New Jersey Future is part of a Steering Committee formed to help guide a comprehensive re-examination of the state’s MLUL. The effort will be focused on developing “ways to enhance and update the MLUL to reflect 21st-century planning advancements, recognize the diversity of conditions across municipalities, create an efficient, value-driven review process, and ensure development and preservation outcomes that support shared statewide priorities of prosperity, environmental stewardship, affordability, mobility, public health & safety, quality places and sustainable design.”

The first step in the review process will be a day-long “re-forum” on May 19, at which experienced land-use practitioners will come together in an open-meeting format. The Steering Committee anticipates that working groups will be established to focus more deeply on specific subject areas. Of particular interest to New Jersey Future will be identifying ways to make it easier for municipalities and developers to incorporate green stormwater-management features into both private and public spaces; and measures that can be taken to help ensure greater resilience to the flooding and severe weather that is projected to come with a changing climate.

The goal of the effort is to find ways to make it easier to use innovative planning tools and approaches; to streamline local development review processes; and to prevent inconsistencies among the law, local master plans, zoning ordinances and re-examination reports. At the end of the process, the Steering Committee hopes to recommend to, and have passed by, the Legislature a series of amendments that will bring the law up to date.

The New Jersey chapter of the American Planning Association is leading the effort, and Planning Manager David Kutner is New Jersey Future’s representative on the committee.

New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law was first enacted in 1975. It requires towns to develop and update master plans, to indicate how those plans align with other town plans such as their capital improvement plans, as well as with the plans of neighboring municipalities, the county and the state; and to re-examine those plans every 10 years.

More information about the re-forum, including how to register or sponsor.

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