In June, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation awarded PlanSmart NJ a grant to undertake an analysis of the Highlands Region. Although a build-out analysis and other mapping are being undertaken by Highlands Council staff for inside the Highlands boundary to find suitable sending and receiving areas for its Transfer of Development Rights program, there has been no such analysis undertaken for the land within the seven Highlands Counties, but outside the Highlands boundary, places allowed by the Highlands Act to be considered for accommodating transferred growth. There are 132 municipalities that fall into this category. The project is expected to be completed in June, 2009.

PlanSmart NJ feels that this project has the potential to break through controversy between pro- and anti-growth factions that is likely to slow down the Highlands Council’s path to successfully achieving the goals in the Highlands Act. We will provide the Council with goal-oriented criteria to decide where, how much and what kind of development should take place within the region. We will demonstrate that places that are suitable for growth, can grow, allowing lands that should be protected from development to remain open.

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