Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


State Plan Symposium

Where Are We Growing?
Planning for New Jersey’s Next 20 Years

Was held on Friday, Oct. 16, 2009, 8:00 am to 2:30 pm at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. Below are some photos of the symposium and some downloadable information.

Summary of the conference
Downloadable agenda (PDF) with speaker bios
Proposed State Plan map
Proposal for restructuring and repositioning the State Planning Commission and Office of Smart Growth
Survey results are posted, and comments are welcome, on the New Jersey Future blog.
Read New Jersey Future’s statement on the State Planning Act.

New Jersey is widely viewed as a national leader when it comes to state planning, smart growth and land preservation, and has distinguished itself as a state that understands that where and how growth takes place is critical to the state’s prosperity. But with more than 20 years’ experience with the State Planning Act under its belt, how have things actually worked out for the Garden State? What type of state planning system makes sense to shape the next 20 years? We hope you will join the Policy Research Institute for the Region at Princeton University and New Jersey Future for a dynamic discussion on the future of state planning in New Jersey.

8:00 a.m. Registration/Breakfast

8:30 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

Richard F. Keevey, Director, Policy Research Institute for the Region, Princeton University
Peter Kasabach, Executive Director, New Jersey Future

8:45 a.m. A Vision for Prosperity
Past experience has driven New Jersey to experiment with regional and statewide land-use planning efforts in order to achieve the important goals of economic vitality, environmental preservation and equity. Hear from Governor Thomas Kean and two key members of his administration about why they came to support state planning and eventually signed the State Planning Act in 1985.

Gov. Thomas H. Kean (invited)
W. Cary Edwards, Esq., Of Counsel, Waters McPherson, McNeill; former Chief Counsel and Attorney General for Governor Thomas H. Kean
Feather Houstoun, President, William Penn Foundation; former State Treasurer for Governor Thomas H. Kean

9:15 a.m. Where Are We Now?
A hard-hitting look at the impact of New Jersey’s 20-plus years of state planning – both its successes and failures – by experts in the field.

Jim Hooker, Senior Anchor, NJN Public Broadcasting Authority

Michele Byers, Executive Director, NJ Conservation Foundation; member, State Planning Commission
Jack Lettiere, Consultant; former Commissioner, NJ Department of Transportation
Joseph J. Maraziti, Jr., Esq., Partner, Maraziti, Falcon & Healey; former Chair, State Planning Commission
Eileen Swan, Executive Director, NJ Highlands Council; former Executive Director, Office of Smart Growth

10:30 a.m. What About the Map?
Though the existence of State Plan alone puts New Jersey in the forefront nationally, the plan does not enjoy widespread support within the state. There is an ongoing controversy over the way the planning area designations are created, and what those designations actually mean on the ground. This session will evaluate a new proposal for drawing and implementing the state plan area boundaries and consider whether this proposed process could lead to wider acceptance of the State Plan as a tool to guide growth within the state.

Henry A. Coleman, PhD, Professor of Public Policy, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University

Carleton Montgomery, Executive Director, Pinelands Preservation Alliance

Jim Waltman, Executive Director, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association
David Fisher, Vice President of Government Affairs, Matzel & Mumford; former Member, State Planning Commission
Louise Wilson, Mayor, Montgomery Township; member, State Planning Commission

Noon What About State-Level Coordination?
In order for the State Plan and its accompanying map to have a meaningful impact on the way New Jersey grows, its principles must be reflected in how and where state agencies promote or inhibit growth, whether through spending or regulation. How might the state’s land-use planning functions be best positioned and organized to achieve coordination among state agencies?

Peter Reinhart, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, K. Hovnanian Enterprises

Peter Kasabach, Executive Director, New Jersey Future

Jeanne Fox, President, Board of Public Utilities, State of New Jersey
Deborah Mans, Baykeeper and Executive Director, NY/NJ Baykeeper; former Smart Growth Ombudsperson, Policy Advisor and Governor’s Representative to the State Planning Commission, Office of Governor Corzine
Timothy J. Touhey, Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice President, NJ Builders Association; former Chair, State Planning Commission

1:15 p.m. Working Lunch
Having heard two concept proposals about how to reform the state planning process in New Jersey – both the map and the organizational structure within state government—the audience will be asked to respond to the various elements of the proposal.

James G. Gilbert, Senior Vice President, Merrill Lynch; former Chair, State Planning Commission
Ingrid W. Reed, Director, Eagleton New Jersey Project, Rutgers University

2:30 p.m. Concluding Comments


  • American Planning Association-NJ
  • Association of NJ Environmental Commissions
  • Congress for New Urbanism-NJ
  • Downtown NJ
  • Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • New Jersey Conservation Foundation
  • New Jersey Highlands Coalition
  • NJ Policy Perspective
  • NJ Smart Growth Alliance
  • NJ Sustainable State Institute
  • NY/NJ Baykeeper
  • Pinelands Preservation Alliance
  • Preservation NJ
  • Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association
  • Urban Land Institute-NJ
  • US Green Building Council-NJ

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