TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Commissioner Susan Bass Levin today announced the appointment of Benjamin Spinelli as Acting Director of New Jersey’s Office of Smart Growth, a division of DCA.

“For the past year, Ben has been an integral part of the Office of Smart Growth,” said Commissioner Levin.  “His experience in environmental protection and smart growth principles make him an ideal choice to head up the division as we continue our efforts towards well-planned, well-managed growth that adds new homes and creates new jobs, while preserving open space, farmland, and environmental resources.”

Prior to his appointment, Spinelli served as Chief Counsel and Director of Policy for the New Jersey Office of Smart Growth, where he was responsible for coordinating policies, programs and goals of state agencies with the New Jersey State Plan and directing and assisting individual municipalities and counties with comprehensive land use planning.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of leading the Office of Smart Growth,” said Spinelli.  “I believe in the mission of this office to help plan a sustainable and prosperous future for New Jersey. Working with our partners at the state, county and municipal level and with our talented staff on the important issues that face our state is an incredible opportunity that I am honored to have.”

Among his previous roles, Spinelli served as Mayor of Chester Township from 1998 until 2007.  He served as a trial attorney for Chubb Group Insurance Companies and Wald & Del Vento, P.A. as well as being as an assistant Essex County prosecutor from 1984-1986.

He has been a member of the Highlands Council, the Chester Township Planning Board, the New Jersey Conference of Mayors and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation-Black River Greenway Advisory Council.

Spinelli has also served as president of the Morris County League of Municipalities and the Raritan-Highlands Compact and is the former chairman of the Morris County Open Space Trust Fund and the Chester Township Environmental Commission.

A resident of Chester Township, Spinelli has been admitted to both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Bar and was awarded the “2004 Champion of the Highlands” Award by the Highlands Coalition.
Benjamin Spinelli, Acting Director
Benjamin Spinelli