The State Planning Act mandates the creation of a State Plan to coordinate and guide land-use planning in the state. In November, the State Planning Commission approved the final draft of its new “State Strategic Plan: New Jersey’s Development & Redevelopment Plan”. A good deal of controversy has surrounded this planning process and you can read about that here.
The public is welcomed and encouraged to comment on the plan and can find information about submitting written comments here (scroll down to “Comment on the Draft Final Plan”). The deadline to submit comments is April 2, 2012.
The League of Women Voters of New Jersey has submitted comments outlining our concerns. Read the League’s comments.
While the plan does express admirable goals, there are underlying problems. For example, there is a lack of specificity. The plan itself and the proposals for implementing it are so vague that it is impossible to predict what conformance would consist of and what the results of conformance would achieve.
To make it more specific, the League proposes, among other things, including wetlands, floodplains, stream corridors, aquifer recharge areas, steep slopes, areas of unique flora and fauna, and areas with scenic, historic, and recreation values in the geographic criteria list for priority preservation. Other suggestions include greater emphasis on affordable housing and proximity of development to public transportation.
The League of Women Voters of New Jersey looks forward to the adoption of the State Plan. With the benefit of the comments submitted at the hearings and during the comment period, we hope to see a more specific, augmented, coherent plan that can be relied upon for predictable outcomes.