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Department of State

Office of Planning Advocacy

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary

State Plan

The State Plan provides a vision for the future that will preserve and enhance the quality of life for all residents of New Jersey. The State Plan is the result of a cross-acceptance process that included thousands of New Jersey citizens in hundreds of public forums, discussing all of the major aspects of the plan - its goals, strategies, policies and application. This process ensures that the plan belongs to the citizens of New Jersey, whose hopes and visions have shaped it.

The purpose of the State Plan is to:

Coordinate planning activities and establish Statewide planning objectives in the following areas: land use, housing, economic development, transportation, natural resource conservation, agriculture and farmland retention, recreation, urban and suburban redevelopment, historic preservation, public facilities and services, and intergovernmental coordination (N.J.S.A. 52:18A-200(f)).

Download the 2001 Plan
New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan: Executive Summary
New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan (entire document)

Section 1: Cover, Welcome, Contents, Preface and Introduction
Section 2: Statewide Goals and Strategies
Section 3: Statewide Policies
Section 4: Color Exhibits and State Plan Policy Map
Section 5: Role of the State Plan
Section 6: Appendices and Back Cover

 

Planning Areas

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The State Development and Redevelopment Plan provides a balance between growth and conservation by designating planning areas that share common conditions with regard to development and environmental features:

  • Areas for Growth: Metropolitan Planning areas (Planning Area 1), Suburban Planning Areas (Planning Area 2) and Designated Centers in any planning area.
  • Areas for Limited Growth: Fringe Planning Areas (Planning Area 3), Rural Planning Areas (Planning Area 4), and Environmentally Sensitive Planning Areas (Planning Area 5). In these planning areas, planning should promote a balance of conservation and limited growth—environmental constraints affect development and preservation is encouraged in large contiguous tracts.
  • Areas for Conservation: Fringe Planning Area (Planning Area 3), Rural Planning Areas (Planning Area 4), and Environmentally Sensitive Planning Areas (Planning Area 5).

State Plan Policy Map

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The State Plan Policy Map reflects these planning polices graphically. Therefore, the State Plan Policy Map serves as the underlying land use-planning and management framework that directs funding, infrastructure improvements, and preservation for programs throughout New Jersey. Simply stated the State Development and Redevelopment Plan with the State Plan Policy Map is a dynamic vision of New Jersey's development and conservation patterns. With that in mind, the State Planning Commission incorporates new data from state agencies, counties and municipalities on an ongoing basis.

Cross Acceptance

Cross-acceptance is a bottom-up approach to planning, designed to encourage consistency between municipal, county, regional, and state plans to create a meaningful, up-to-date and viable State Plan (N.J.S.A. 52:18A-202.b.).

This process is meant to ensure that all New Jersey residents and levels of government have the opportunity to participate and shape the goals, strategies and policies of the State Plan.

Through Cross-acceptance, negotiating entities work with local governments and residents to compare their local master plans with the State Plan and to identify potential changes that could be made to achieve a greater level of consistency with statewide planning policy.

Cross-acceptance concludes with written Statements of Agreements and Disagreements supported by each negotiating entity and the State Planning Commission. The State Planning Commission will incorporate the negotiated agreements into the Draft Final State Plan.

Cross-acceptance is, by definition, a negotiating process. The State Plan and the State Plan Policy Map are intended to represent the input of counties, municipalities and the public so that we can all work together to create a State Plan that makes sense for all of New Jersey.

Please contact the office to arrange review of previous Cross Acceptance Reports

Impact Assessment

The New Jersey State Planning Commission is now in the process of updating New Jersey’s State Development and Redevelopment Plan. The New Jersey State Planning Act (N.J.S.A. 52:18A-196 et. seq.) requires that an Impact Assessment Study of a Draft Final State Plan be performed and the results of the study made available before adoption of a Final State Plan. The purpose of the Impact Assessment is to identify desirable changes, if any, to be incorporated into the State Plan prior to its adoption or re-adoption. The Impact Assessment is to describe the impacts of fully implementing the policies and strategies proposed in the 2005 Draft Final State Plan (“Plan scenario”) relative to the impacts that would most likely occur with the continuation of current (2004) trends in the absence of the 2005 Draft Final State Plan (“Trend scenario”).

Pursuant to the State Planning Act, the State Planning Commission is also required to [..] “Prepare and adopt as part of the State Plan a long-term Infrastructure Needs Assessment, which shall provide information on present and prospective conditions, needs and costs with regard to State, county and municipal capital facilities, including water, sewerage, transportation, solid waste, drainage, flood protection, shore protection and related capital facilities” (N.J.S.A. 52:18A-199.b).

Both the 2001 Impact Assessment Study and the  2001 Infrastructure Needs Assessment are available.

Download the 2000 Impact Assessment

Executive Summary
The Costs and Benefits of Alternative Growth Patterns: The Impact Assessment of the New Jersey State Plan

Prepared by

Robert W. Burchell, Ph.D., William R. Dolphin, Catherine C. Galley
Center for Urban Policy Research, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

With the assistance of

Richard K. Brail, Ph.D., Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; Alex Zakrewski, Center for Urban Policy Research, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; Nancy C. Neuman, Ph.D., Sandstone Environmental Associates

Reviewed by

John Epling, D.P.A., The Epling Corporation; Charles L. Siemon, Esq., Siemon Larsen and Marsh; David Slater, Hammer Siler George Associates; James C. Nicholas, Ph.D., Univeristy of Florida; Neil Muller, Muller Bohlin Associates

 

Download the 1992 Impact Assessment

Many participants in the initial State Planning process were supportive of the goals of the State Planning Act, but worried that the costs may be too great to absorb. The New Jersey Legislature responded to these concerns by amending the Act in 1989 to provide for an assessment of the Plan's impacts. Because the Plan would be designed to achieve a number of conflicting goals, the Legislature acted to include impacts on the State's fiscal, economic, environmental, housing, infrastructure, intergovernmental coordination and quality of life feature in the study. In 1990, the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University assembled a team of academic and private sector experts in these areas and, after exhaustive research and computer modeling, their findings, published in 1992, supported the Plan's policy recommendations.

The researchers found that compared to a continuation of current development patterns, by the year 2010, implementation of the State Plan could save $700 million in road costs, $562 million in water supply and sewer infrastructure costs, $178 million in school capital facilities, and up to $380 million per year in operating costs to local governments and school districts during this planning period.

By the year 2010, when compared to a continuation of current development patterns, implementation of the State Plan can also result in significant improvements to natural resources and the environment by protecting an additional 30,000 acres of environmentally fragile lands, preserving 40,000 additional acres of farmland, and reducing water pollutants by 40%.

Copies of the study are available directly from the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University.

Rules and Legislation

The State Strategic Plan Steering Committee was established by Governor Christie's Executive Order No. 78 on October 20, 2011. The Office for Planning Advocacy serves both the State Strategic Steering Committee and the New Jersey State Planning Commission.

The order states that the Committee will "…work closely with the SPC and OPA to ensure that relevant State departments and agencies incorporate the goals, objectives, and values of a new SPC adopted State Plan into Department Strategic Plans..."

The New Jersey State Planning Commission and the Office of State Planning (now the Office for Planning Advocacy) were established by New Jersey State Planning Act(N.J.S.A. 52:18A-196 et seq.; available for reference at the New Jersey Legislature) which was signed into law on January 5, 1986. The Act called for a State Development and Redevelopment Plan to be prepared through a statewide planning process called cross-acceptance.

In the Act, the Legislature declared that the State of New Jersey needs sound and integrated "statewide planning" to "…conserve its natural resources, revitalize its urban centers, protect the quality of its environment, and provide needed housing and adequate public services at a reasonable cost while promoting beneficial economic growth, development and renewal."

The Act authorizes the State Planning Commission to adopt formal rules and procedures to govern its actions.

The process of planning in New Jersey is also governed by these other statutes:

For further information on any New Jersey State laws and pending legislation, including status reports and full text retrieval, see the New Jersey Legislature Web site or call the Legislative Information and Bill Room toll-free (in New Jersey) at 800-792-8630.

Documents

Rules

New Jersey Register

State Planning Act

The State Planning Act created the New Jersey State Planning Commission and the Office of State Planning.

The Act established the following mandates for the Commission:

  • prepare and adopt within 36 months after the enactment of the Act, and revise and re-adopt at least every three years thereafter, a State Development and Redevelopment Plan which shall provide a coordinated, integrated and comprehensive plan for the growth, development, renewal and conservation of the State and its regions;
  • prepare and adopt as part of the State Plan a long-term infrastructure needs assessment, which shall provide information on present and prospective conditions, needs and costs with regard to State, county and municipal capital facilities;
  • develop and promote procedures to facilitate cooperation and coordination among State agencies and local governments;
  • provide technical assistance to local governments;
  • periodically review State and local government planning procedures and relationships;
  • review any bill introduced in either house of the Legislature which appropriates funds for a capital project; and
  • take all actions necessary and proper to carry out the provisions of the Act.

The State Development and Redevelopment Plan defines a comprehensive strategy to achieve the goals enumerated in the State Planning Act. The Act instructs the State Planning Commission to prepare, adopt, revise and update the State Plan in consultation with local governments. The Plan should establish statewide planning objectives, coordinate planning activities and guide policies concerning economic development, urban renewal, natural resource preservation, land use, other infrastructure improvements and capital expenditures. It should also identify areas for growth, limited growth, agriculture, open space conservation and other appropriate designations. In addition, the Plan is to promote development and redevelopment in a manner consistent with sound planning and where infrastructure can be provided at private expense or with reasonable expenditure of public funds.

The Office of State Planning is required to publish an annual progress report on achieving the goals of the State Planning Act. It should include a discussion of the State Plan's effectiveness in promoting consistency among municipal, county and State plans, and an accounting of the State's capital needs and progress towards providing housing where such a need is indicated.

State Planning Rules

The New Jersey State Planning Act authorizes the State Planning Commission to establish rules governing its administrative procedures. The State Planning Rules are in Chapter 5:85 of the New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.). By adopting the State Planning Rules, New Jersey joins the ranks of “first” States to address growth and preservation in a Statewide-planning document for municipalities and counties. The State Planning Act (N.J.S.A. 52:18-196 et. seq.) defined a process, entitled cross-acceptance. Cross-acceptance on a statewide level involves extensive public participation and corporation with our local partners, municipalities and counties. In addition, the Act allows the State Planning Commission (Commission) to collect, analyze, and synthesize policies and implementation mechanisms into the creation of the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan (State Plan). The Act specifies that the Commission will create rules and regulations to define the process of cross-acceptance and procedures for solicitation and receipt of comments for the State Plan.

A brief review of this year’s changes to the State Planning Rules demonstrates just how dynamic planning is in New Jersey. The Rules took the legislative mandate for cross-acceptance, “. . . a process of comparison of planning policies . . . with the purpose of attaining compatibility . . . (N.J.S.A. 52:18A-202(b)) and defined the procedural aspects. The procedural aspects include several steps; first and foremost the Commission must notify interested parties and the counties of the Commission intent to begin revisions to the State Plan. The next steps for the Commission is to approval and distribute the Preliminary Plan with a Cross-Acceptance Manual and conduct 21 County Informational Meetings. The following steps represent an all inclusive process between the State and the negotiating entity and result in an opportunity to review technical reports highlighting possible modifications for the Preliminary Plan in the form of Cross-Acceptance Reports and an identification of issues formalized in a Statement of Agreements and Disagreements. The process also provides for an analyzing the planning policies and scenarios (Impact Analysis & Infrastructure Needs Assessment) to identify implementation mechanisms for the State Plan. Lastly, through a variety of public hearings, a new Final State Plan is approved. This State Plan becomes the official blueprint for which growth and preservation policies are decided on in New Jersey.

The Commission also requested that further rule refinement consider a mechanism that would effectively implement the planning policies of the State Plan. This in turn led to the Commission to establish Plan Endorsement. Plan Endorsement is a voluntary process, that considers how to ensure consistency of all local governmental plans with the State Plan and to ensure a minimum level of State technical assistance along with specified regulatory and funding priority benefits. Plan endorsement has two stages. The first stage, initial plan endorsement, allows petitioners to submit to the Commission the fundamental planning documents, such as the master plan. The second stage, advanced plan endorsement, allows petitioners to submit more extensive planning efforts; this stage is encouraged and not required.

The Commission continues to define and redefine the process and procedural aspects of the preparation, revision, and readoption of the State Plan through its State Planning Rules to significantly enhance planning strategies for the benefit of the citizens of New Jersey.

 

Page Last Updated: 07/24/19

 

 


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