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New Jersey’s Approval Rate Sinking With Young Adults

March 13th, 2019 by Tim Evans

The recent release of the latest edition of the Monmouth University Poll’s Garden State Quality of Life Index made headlines because the index has hit an all-time low: Only half of the survey’s respondents rated New Jersey as either an excellent (11 percent) or good (39 percent) place to live. This was down from 54 percent in the previous version of the survey, and down substantially from the mid-60s where the rating has generally ranged since Monmouth started asking the question back in 1980.

This news is consistent with a flurry of recent stories about New Jersey losing people to other states. Many of these stories (see, for example, NJTV, ROI-NJ, the Press of Atlantic City) were triggered by the release of the latest United Van Lines “Annual National Movers Study,” which found that New Jersey ranked first among the 50 states in terms of the percent of moves that were outbound, when tallying up all intra-US moves into or out of each state. Read the rest of this entry »

New Jersey Future Sends Letter to Governor Urging Him To Sign Stormwater Utility Legislation

February 27th, 2019 by Elaine Clisham

New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach sent a letter to Governor Murphy Feb. 26, urging him to sign A2694/S1073, legislation that would permit local government entities to establish stormwater utilities. These entities would be responsible for maintenance and upgrades to the infrastructure that handles runoff from rainfall and snowmelt in New Jersey’s 565 municipalities. They would be able to levy fees, based on a property’s estimated contribution to the storwmater management system, that would be invested in system maintenance and upgrades.

In asking the governor to sign the bill, the letter cites the cost of needed upgrades to municipal stormwater systems, the increasing frequency and severity of rainstorms as a result of a changing climate, and the equity issues that surround the issue of stormwater management.

Read the full letter below.

 

New Jersey Future letter urging governor to sign a2694 s1073 from New Jersey Future

Planning Manager David Kutner To Retire

February 27th, 2019 by Peter Kasabach

David Kutner

An important page is being turned. If you know our climate change, resiliency and aging-friendly-places work, you know David Kutner, New Jersey Future’s planning manager. David will be retiring this March after decades of service to the public planning profession and more than half a dozen years with New Jersey Future. For all of his years of service and accomplishments, David was recently awarded the prestigious American Planning Association – New Jersey Chapter’s Bud Chavoosian award. David’s work has affected individuals and policies across New Jersey and across the United States.

New Jersey Future will continue the groundbreaking work that David began. While enjoying a much-deserved retirement, David will remain as a senior adviser to New Jersey Future, helping to guide and support existing staff and initiatives. As David transitions from his current position, New Jersey Future will be looking to fill the planning manager job with a seasoned, inspirational and proactive planner capable of building on the foundation that has been laid. The job description can be seen here.

For those of you who have had the pleasure of working with David, you will know that he probably doesn’t appreciate us making a big deal of his retirement with this announcement. Having said that, I’ll take full blame for all the praise and congratulations that are directed his way in the coming weeks; so please join us in celebrating a tremendous career in planning and in public service and wishing David all the best.

What Kinds of Places Are Attracting New Jersey’s Out-migrating Millennials?

February 26th, 2019 by Tim Evans

How do the top destination counties for New Jersey’s out-migrating Millennials differ from the destinations of older out-migrants?  Are Millennials who leave New Jersey attracted to certain kinds of places? 

Part 3 of a series investigating where New Jersey’s out-migrating Millennials are going.

New Jersey Future intern Alexandra Rome assembled the data on which this analysis is based.


In part 1 of this series, we looked at the most common destinations, by county, for people of all ages who move from New Jersey to other parts of the United States.  In part 2, we looked at where out-migrants of the Millennial generation – typically defined as those born between 1980 and 2000 – are going when they leave, compared to out-migrants of older generations.  In part 3, we investigate how Millennials’ favored destinations differ from those of older generations, to get an idea of what Millennials might be looking for when they leave New Jersey.  (Once again we restrict our analysis to migrants age 20 and older, and to counties that received at least 100 migrants from New Jersey in 2010 and 2015 combined.) Read the rest of this entry »

New Jersey Future Submits Comments on Proposed Stormwater Rule Amendments

February 4th, 2019 by Louise Wilson

Green street planters, an example of green-infrastructure techniques. Source: EPA

On Dec. 3, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection published and invited comments on proposed amendments to its stormwater management rule (NJAC 7:8). New Jersey Future submitted comments on Feb. 1, 2019, praising the proposed prioritization of green infrastructure as a key stormwater management strategy and offering suggestions for making the rule clearer and more effective.

New Jersey Future supports clear and predictable state-level rules that facilitate responsible and affordable development and promote sustainable infrastructure solutions that deliver multiple benefits. Improving and clarifying the state’s stormwater management rules is critical to ensuring that new development and redevelopment projects will achieve these goals.

The state’s stormwater management rules are an essential regulatory tool for reducing runoff pollution, but they have heretofore fallen short. In fact, the current stormwater management rule presents obstacles to the use of green stormwater infrastructure, a powerful stormwater management tool that uses or mimics the natural water cycle to manage stormwater close to its source.

The proposed rule amendments are an important first step forward. They remove obstacles to green infrastructure and in fact require its use. Thus, they will result in stormwater management systems that rely much less on “gray” infrastructure (pipes) that can contribute to pollution and flooding, instead featuring green infrastructure practices that will take pressure off of aging pipes and result in cleaner water and fewer flood events. The new green infrastructure requirements also will spark interest among many engineers in honing their green infrastructure design skills through training and education. And they will make the development review process more objective, and therefore more predictable for property owners.

However, these proposed amendments can be made even stronger. Among New Jersey Future’s recommendations:

  • Allow for for more flexible green infrastructure design alternatives, to allow for changing technologies;
  • Include of sidewalks and rooftops in the requirement to treat runoff for water quality, since they contribute significantly to runoff pollution;
  • Reduce the maximum size of drainage areas for green-infrastructure installations, to mimic more closely the way nature infiltrates rainwater;
  • Promote “non-structural” strategies, such as preserving woodland areas, that are also key to effective stormwater infiltration.

Read New Jersey Future’s full comments.

Group of Mayors, Organizations Sends Letter Urging Gov. Murphy To Renew Focus on State Plan

February 1st, 2019 by Elaine Clisham

A group of 18 mayors and organizations concerned with how New Jersey grows and develops has sent a letter to Gov. Murphy, encouraging him to fill the open positions on the State Planning Commission, update the State Plan, and reconstitute the Office of State Planning.

Praising the governor’s efforts so far at putting New Jersey “on a course of economic and environmental vitality” through various targeted planning initiatives, the letter encourages him to tie those individual efforts together via the “overarching blueprint” of a state plan.

An updated state plan, says the letter, would help streamline the state’s resources and deploy them in the most effective and equitable manner, would offer much-needed guidance to counties and municipalities as they confront development decisions, and would provide an updated reference document to guide state legislation on issues of redevelopment, infrastructure, equity and climate resilience.

Read the full letter below.

 

Letter toGov. Murphy re State Plan 01 31-2019 from New Jersey Future

New Jersey Future Statement on Passage of the Clean Stormwater, Flood Reduction Act

January 31st, 2019 by New Jersey Future staff

Flooding on Delaware Avenue in Camden after a rain.

New Jersey Future released the following statement on the Jan. 31, 2019, passage of A2694/S1073, the Clean Stormwater, Flood Reduction Act:

“The passage of this bill provides municipalities, counties, utilities and authorities with a long-needed tool to manage flooding and dirty runoff from rainwater,” said Chris Sturm, New Jersey Future’s managing director for policy and water. “Most importantly, it gives communities a way to access new resources in a fair and equitable manner, and invest in related benefits such as additional green space. We urge the governor to sign it.”
“It has taken a lot of effort on the part of a lot of people to get this bill passed,” said New Jersey Future Director of Government and Public Affairs Missy Rebovich. “We congratulate Sen. Smith on his vision, tenacity and persistence in advocating to give communities this tool, and we look forward to seeing it help keep flood-related damage and costs low and water quality high.”

New Jersey Economic Development Authority Announces $250,000 in Funding for Redeveloping Stranded Assets

January 29th, 2019 by Emily Eckart

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is accepting applications for its 21st Century Redevelopment Program, which targets the problem of vacant and underutilized corporate campuses and shopping centers across New Jersey.

Municipalities, county governments, and redevelopment agencies can apply for grants to create planning proposals for redeveloping specific stranded assets. Each applicant may request up to $50,000. The total pool of funding available is $250,000. Funding is available through March 4 or until the pool is exhausted  — so early applications are encouraged. Applications will be reviewed by the NJEDA on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applications should present a specific stranded asset as the focus of the planning proposal. The property must have one of the following characteristics:

  • Retail: 750,000 square feet or more with a vacancy rate greater than 25 percent
  • Office: 75,000 square feet or more with a vacancy rate greater than 20 percent for at least three years

Planning proposals can include various strategies for redevelopment, including:

  • Analyzing costs and benefits of retrofitting, redeveloping or regreening the property or properties
  • Driving economic growth for the locality and region
  • Creating greater social, economic, and environmental sustainability
  • Expanding affordable and multi-family housing
  • Attracting employers and a diverse, talented workforce
  • Expanding entrepreneurial opportunities and supporting local businesses
  • Promoting walkable neighborhoods and improving accessibility and mobility
  • Connecting to public transportation
  • Improving livability and healthy outcomes for the local population

Learn more and download application materials on the NJEDA’s website.

New Jersey Becoming Less Dangerous for Pedestrians, but Still Work To Do

January 23rd, 2019 by Elaine Clisham

The 2019 edition of Smart Growth America’s Dangerous By Design report was released today, and overall, the news is good for New Jersey.

The report analyzes pedestrian fatalities between 2008 and 2017 for every state and the District of Columbia. It highlights where pedestrians are at greatest risk by calculating pedestrian fatality rates per 100,000 population, and what it calls a Pedestrian Danger Index, or PDI, which divides the pedestrian fatality rate by the percentage of commuting trips that are made on foot. Fatality data come from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), and population and commute mode share data come from the 2016 American Community Survey. Read the rest of this entry »

New Jersey Future’s David Kutner To Receive Statewide Planning Award

January 14th, 2019 by New Jersey Future staff

APA NJ to present its Budd Chavooshian Award at annual conference Jan. 24


David Kutner

New Jersey Future Planning Manager David Kutner, who directed the organization’s local recovery planning manager program in six coastal towns after Hurricane Sandy and who has led New Jersey Future’s advocacy work on planning for resiliency, is the 2019 recipient of the American Planning Association-New Jersey chapter’s Budd Chavooshian Award. The award is given to a professional planner for sustained contributions to the profession through distinguished practice, teaching or writing. Read the rest of this entry »

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