TRENTON, N.J. – Department of Community Affairs Acting Commissioner Charles A. Richman today awarded a $100,000 grant to Ocean Township through DCA’s “Shore to Grow, Shore to Preserve” Transfer of Development Rights Program. The funding will help Ocean Township plan for and implement a municipal TDR program, which will direct new development into designated growth areas, and preserve the nearby shoreline and environmentally sensitive lands in the Waretown and Oyster Creek watersheds.

“TDR is a good way to accommodate New Jersey’s growing populations without consuming all of our open space,” said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey.

Through its TDR program, Ocean Township plans to specifically transfer much of its future growth into its designated Waretown Center. This transfer of development will preserve the Barnegat Bay shoreline, environmentally sensitive areas East of the Parkway, and undeveloped land in both the Waretown and Oyster Creek watersheds.

“Every community needs a source of economic vitality to give it life, and a successful Jersey Shore uses the assets and strengths of each of its communities,” Commissioner Richman said. “With its plan to transfer future growth to a designated center, Ocean Township will preserve its shoreline while boosting its local economy.”

Ocean is the first municipality in the state to receive funding through the “Shore to Grow, Shore to Preserve” Program. DCA’s Office of Smart Growth will provide technical and financial assistance for the planning associated with implementing a local TDR program.

“Balancing environmental protection with economic development has always been the number one priority for our community and with the Department of Community Affairs “Shore to Grow, Shore to Preserve” TDR grant, we will be able to make that a reality,” Mayor Daniel M. Van Pelt said. “It’s a win-win for the environment and our community.”

The “Shore to Grow, Shore to Preserve” TDR Program was announced last April, and is designed to help shore communities maintain their individual character in such ways as preserving historic structures; protecting marinas, tidal lands, and coastal habitat; ensuring public access to beaches and tidal waters, including recreational fishing areas; and protecting water quality and supply.

TDR is designed to give local governments more control in guiding development in their areas. It can be used in a variety of ways: as a tool for preserving open space or farmland, to preserve historic buildings and resources, and to transfer different types of development from one part of a town to another, or even from one community to another.

Developers purchase development rights to build in a “receiving area” – an area that is targeted for growth. The funding is then used to permanently preserve land in a “sending area” – the open space, farmland, or historic resources – at no cost to taxpayers.

As a result, municipalities have more control over where growth occurs; landowners are compensated fairly for their property; developers have a clear picture of where they can build; and fewer public funds are spent on preservation.

“At its heart, the Transfer of Development Rights is an investment in our future, changing the way development occurs in a community by preserving open space and focusing development in the right places,” Commissioner Richman added.

The TDR Program is implemented through DCA’s Office of Smart Growth, which is leading the statewide effort to promote sustainable development, protect the environment, preserve open space and revitalize older communities throughout New Jersey.