Browsing articles in "Policy"

Opinion: New Jersey’s State Plan Offers Prosperity, Not Government Conspiracy

Mar 27, 2012   //   by PlanSmart NJ   //   Opinion, Policy, Speaks Out Blog, Uncategorized  //  Comments Off on Opinion: New Jersey’s State Plan Offers Prosperity, Not Government Conspiracy

The antics of the Tea Party aside, the draft state plan envisions a New Jersey that can accommodate growth, change, and protection

Earlier this month, the State Planning Commission concluded a series of six public hearings, which were by any measure, the most eventful of any in recent memory. The subject was the draft State Strategic Plan, which is expected to be voted on next month by the commission. While this may seem a dry topic to some, this time it was anything but, with Tea Party antics dominating the scene.

The most recent draft of the plan put forth by the Christie administration is intended to replace the current State Plan, which was adopted in 2001. It’s meant to serve as a statewide guide for both growth and preservation, and contains four broad goals: 1) targeted economic growth; 2) effective planning for vibrant regions; 3) preservation and enhancement of critical state resources; and 4) tactical alignment of government. Read more >>

Opinion: DEP Water Quality Management Rules — An Opportunity, Not a Battle

Feb 10, 2012   //   by PlanSmart NJ   //   Opinion, Policy, Speaks Out Blog, Uncategorized, Water Quality Management Rules  //  Comments Off on Opinion: DEP Water Quality Management Rules — An Opportunity, Not a Battle

A broader planning framework recognizes that rules are about saying ‘yes,” as well as ‘no’ 

By Lucy Vandenberg, February 2, 2012 in Opinion, NJ Spotlight

Image Source: Becker's Environmental Law Update

Amid much controversy, Gov. Chris Christie earlier this month signed a law providing an extension to counties to submit updated water quality management plans. These plans are important because they delineate where sewers will be permitted and, consequently, play a large part in where, and at what density, New Jersey will grow into the future.

Under the new law, county extensions are automatically granted for six months, with up to two years leeway at the approval of the DEP commissioner. In the meantime, counties will continue to operate under outdated sewer service maps. Read more >>

New State Plan Starts Off on the Right Foot

Nov 4, 2011   //   by PlanSmart NJ   //   Policy, Speaks Out Blog, State Plan  //  Comments Off on New State Plan Starts Off on the Right Foot

The State of New Jersey Office for Planning Advocacy (OPA) recently unveiled Governor Christie’s vision for a new State Strategic Job Growth Plan.  The draft Plan completely revamps a State Plan that was last adopted a decade ago.  New Jersey’s landscape has changed a lot since then:   243,000 housing units have been added, New Jersey’s population has grown by 377,000, and over 30% of New Jersey’s 5 million acres have become suburbanized.  Meanwhile, our cities continue to lose population.

The last State Plan disappointed almost everyone – planners, developers, municipalities, and environmentalists.  It contained much in the way of aspirational language but had limited impact – only 17 of New Jersey’s 566 municipalities achieved consistency with the State Plan, known as “plan endorsement”.  Incentives were few and state agencies, for the most part, didn’t change the way they did business to support State Plan implementation.

The new Plan has the potential to change all that.  It sets forth four goals: targeted economic growth, effective planning for vibrant regions, preservation and enhancement of critical state resources, and tactical alignment of government.  It proposes “guiding principles for State decision-making”:  predictability, spatial efficiency, leveraging assets, sustainability, and institutionalizing change. Read more >>

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