What is GOZ®?

GOZ® is a computer model that calculates how much development – housing and non-residential development – could be built if the developable land in a town or region were built as zoned. The model estimates a number of impacts from that development, including impacts on natural resources, infrastructure and public costs. GOZ® calculations can be used in other models or as material for more detailed studies, analyses or plans.

GOZ® allows the user to create alternative zoning scenarios that can be designed and compared using either a traditional zoning framework or a framework based on Smart Growth principles. This alternative zoning framework is called Goal-Oriented Zoning, for which GOZ® was named.

GOZ® is an application developed by PlanSmart NJ using the Geographic Information System (GIS) software ArcView®. PlanSmart NJ offers this tool to planners in order to inform decisions by providing an affordable, accessible, and easy-to-use method for developing capacity-based plans and zoning ordinances.

The impacts tested by GOZ® cover the following areas:

  • Housing units
  • Non-residential development
  • Population
  • Employment
  • School-age population
  • Vehicle trips
  • Vehicle miles traveled
  • Drinking water demand
  • Wastewater treatment demand
  • Water pollution from run-off
  • Air pollution from vehicles
  • Road capital costs *
  • Utility capital costs *
  • School capital costs *

* These impacts are calculated only for residential development.

Case Studies:

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Transportation and Community and System Preservation Pilot Program (TCSP)

This section of the FHWA web site features GOZ® as one of three examples of innovative planning tools for assessing land use impacts on transportation and environmental systems. A consultant conducted a research study and prepared the “Summary of Analysis Strategies for Measuring Regional Transportation Related Impacts of Growth Management and Land Use Strategies” shown on this web site Contact: Eric Carlson
Antares Group
301 731-1900

Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JCNERR)

On its new web site, JCNERR features GOZ® in a case study showing the importance of zoning in land use planning. The case study provides an example of how to compare build-out under existing zoning with build-out under alternative scenarios.

Contact: Lisa Weiss, Watershed Coordinator
609 812-0649

New Jersey Future, Smart Growth Gateway

NJ Future recently created a web site to provide “one stop shopping” for persons interested in smart growth concepts and practices. This web site features GOZ® under its Smart Growth Data and Computer Tools section, along with other computer tools and software for conducting planning analysis.

Contact: Rebecca Hersh
New Jersey Future
609 393-0008

Mercer County Planning Division Mercer County Master Plan and Mercer County Roadway Access Management Code

PlanSmart NJ is under contract with the County to conduct both these projects, for which we are applying the GOZ® Model. For the master plan, we have used the model to calculate build-out under existing zoning, and we will be formulating alternative scenarios for evaluating with our companion 3-Systems Planning approach. This approach aims to identify a future land use / development scenario that will balance, or optimize, outcomes for the economy, infrastructure, and the environment. For the access management project, the build-out analysis and current development survey, will assist us in identifying future traffic impacts along County roads.

Contact: Donna Lewis, Director
Mercer County Planning Division
609 989-6545

Montgomery Township, New Jersey Master Plan

The township hired PlanSmart NJ to use the GOZ® Model to calculate existing zoning build-out in the township and to test and evaluate an alternative zoning scenario. We will be working with the township as they focus planning efforts on the Belle Mead area of the township.

Contact: Louise Wilson, Mayor
Montgomery Township
908 359-8211

NJ Department of Transportation, DMJM+Harris, Inc. US 1 Regional Smart Growth Assessment

PlanSmart NJ is serving as a sub-contractor on this project, which focuses on existing and alternative land use patterns along the US 1 corridor between Trenton and New Brunswick. As part of its capital planning efforts, NJDOT intends to engage municipalities in intensive analysis of existing zoning and potential alternatives that will mitigate the need for costly infrastructure investments. PlanSmart NJ has used GOZ® completed calculating build-out under existing zoning for the study area.

Contact: William Beetle
609 599-4261 ext. 28

National Center for Neighborhood and Brownfields Redevelopment (NCNBR), Rutgers University Reducing Sprawl through Integrated Regional Land Use Planning

PlanSmart NJ provided NCNBR a license to use the GOZ® model in this project, which involved assessing issues related to redevelopment proposals in the “river towns” of Somerset County. The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation provided NCNBR a grant to examine the environmental, transportation, and infrastructure systems capacity of these towns to assimilate new development. NCNBR found that GOZ® was useful in conducting public outreach and increasing understanding of the impacts of different forms of development. The final report for this project noted that GOZ® provided local officials for the first time “…with an opportunity to work side-by-side with neighboring towns in visualizing and examining the cumulative environmental and infrastructure impacts of their individual plans.”

Contact: Christine Danis, Project Manager
National Center for Neighborhood and Brownfields Redevelopment
732 932-4101 ext. 659

Somerset County Planning Board and National Center for Neighborhood and Brownfields Redevelopment (NCNBR), Rutgers University Somerset County Smart Growth Strategic Plan

The County hired PlanSmart NJ to conduct Phase I of the county-wide Smart Growth Strategic Plan, which focused on model development and data collection. As part of this process, the National Center for Neighborhoods and Brownfields Redevelopment and PlanSmart NJ worked together to prepare the GOZ® Model to conduct existing zoning build-out analysis for all towns in the County.

Contact: Laurette Kratina, Principal Planner
Somerset County Planning Board
(908) 231-7021

Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) Residential Build-Out Analysis

The GSWA used GOZ® to analyze the ten towns in Morris County that make up its 55 sq. mi. watershed. The GSWA calculated the impacts of residential build-out and shared this information with environmental commissions, planning boards, and citizens of each of the ten towns. The GSWA viewed this information as an educational tool and as a guide to considering potential zoning revisions. GSWA staff reported that that “…we have found the GOZ Model very helpful and easy to use…”

Contact : Julia Somers, Executive Director
Great Swamp Watershed Association
973 966-1900

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) Watershed Management Area Planning Projects

PlanSmart NJ used the GOZ® model in two watershed management projects funded by NJDEP. PlanSmart NJ was the primary contractor for WMA #11, Central Delaware Tributaries, and it worked with DVRPC on WMA #20, Crosswicks and Doctors Creeks. In both projects, PlanSmart NJ used GOZ® to compare existing zoning build-out with alternative zoning scenarios in selected areas of the watershed. The objective was to illustrate the impact of land use / development upon water quality by calculating and comparing the relationship of various zoning provisions with impervious surface and non-point source water pollution.

Urban Growth Targets

PlanSmart NJ used GOZ® in this study to assist in determining the capacity of Trenton to have more development and redevelopment. We used GOZ® to calculate build-out under existing zoning and under various redevelopment scenarios.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Sustainable Development Project

PlanSmart NJ used the GOZ® model in this project to conduct a case study in Washington Township, Mercer County. This study compared the impacts of build-out under the existing zoning ordinance with the impacts of an alternative zoning scenario based upon the town’s new Master Plan. This plan proposed seven small village centers to accommodate future development that existing zoning would allow at low-density “rural residential” zoning. The analysis found that the alternative center-based zoning scenario would have fewer impacts upon the natural and built environment than under existing zoning build-out.

Contact: Rabi Keiber
US EPA, Region II
(212) 637-4448

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust