About the Smart Growth Economic Development Coalition

The Smart Growth Economic Development Coalition is a collaborative group of statewide business, industry and urban renewal organizations formed in 2007 for the purpose of finding reasonable and balanced solutions for the state’s out-migration of jobs and residents and to address the State’s need for smart growth and development. The group is presently comprised of 22 statewide trade associations:

    1. BioNJ
    2. Building Contractors Association of New Jersey
    3. CoreNet Global – NJ Chapter
    4. Counselors of Real Estate – NJ Chapter
    5. Downtown New Jersey
    6. Economic Development Association of New Jersey
    7. Industrial & Office Real Estate Brokers Association
    8. International Council of Shopping Centers – NJ Chapter
    9. National Association of Industrial and Office Properties – NJ Chapter
    10. Newark Real Estate Board
    11. Newark Regional Business Partnership
    12. New Jersey Apartment Association
    13. New Jersey Association of REALTORS
    14. New Jersey Builders Association
    15. New Jersey Business & Industry Association
    16. New Jersey Laborers’-Employers’ Cooperation and Education Trust
    17. New Jersey Society for Environmental, Economic Development (NJSEED)
    18. New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce
    19. New Jersey Technology Council
    20. PlanSmart NJ
    21. Regional Plan Association/New Jersey
    22. Society of Industrial and Office Realtors – New Jersey Chapter

PlanSmart NJ was asked to join a coalition of groups who were building a package of legislative initiatives to revise laws and regulations to support redevelopment efforts in places around the state that have been identified as being the right places to grow. Because PlanSmart NJ has always supported redevelopment, and because our Smart Growth Economy Project had identified the many regulatory obstacles to redevelopment, the decision to join was an easy one. PlanSmart NJ’s Board supported joining to make sure we had a voice at the table, influencing from within the group the proposals they would make.

The group, the Smart Growth Economic Development Coalition, promoted as its first bill a Permit Extension Act. PlanSmart NJ had never before supported this type of action, and environmental groups with whom we have worked on many other issues, were adamantly opposed to it. Our Smart Growth Economy Project, however, had revealed to us how serious New Jersey’s economic crisis was. We knew that this recession may not be just a cyclical downturn: New Jersey’s economy was in danger of Rust Belt-like obsolescence. We supported the Permit Extension Act as a measure that would ensure that the recession would be as short as possible. We intend to use the time to ensure that land use reforms are enacted that will support better environmental and economic outcomes.

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