In 1985, the State Legislature of New Jersey
adopted the State Planning Act, which created a 17-member
State Planning Commission to establish a Statewide planning process,
prepare a State Development and Redevelopment Plan, provide technical
assistance to local governments, review State and local planning
procedures and make recommendations for improvement.
In 1992, the State Planning
Commission adopted a State Development and Redevelopment Plan in
response to legislative and public demand for organizing future
growth and guiding decisions about the location of development and
redevelopment efforts to maximize public investment and efficient
use of infrastructure, environmental, natural, and economic systems.
Within the Plan, the
Statewide Policy Structure presents planning goals, each accompanied
by a strategy defining how these goals might be achieved by agencies
at each level of government and by the private sector. This section
also includes a series of Statewide Policies that cover 17 subject
areas, including equity, comprehensive planning, economic development,
housing, and public investment priorities.
development dictates and informs decisions about public investment
in infrastructure that will be required, not state or local agencies.
The Plan attempts to restore the role of government to plan where
and how development and redevelopment takes place by providing a
long-term perspective, quantitative analysis, and technical planning
assistance. It seeks to reduce the state's vulnerability to short-term
business cycles while increasing its competitiveness in the global
economy. The Plan is a policy guide that is intended to coordinate
state and local agencies, as well as encourage private entities,
to engage in long-term, regional planning.
The Plan identifies "Centers"
as the organizing principle for the form of growth that would allow
New Jersey to grow and prosper on a sustained basis without eroding
the State's quality of life. As an alternative to traditional sprawl,
future growth and development would be organized in and around Urban
and Regional Centers that would serve as a focal point for regional
activities. These centers would include a mix of uses, accommodate
alternative modes of transportation, achieve economies of scale
and provide for economic, social and cultural interaction.
The Plan is still evolving.
A series of public hearings in all 21 counties of New Jersey are
being held to give local residents an opportunity to make recommendations
and proposals for guiding New Jersey's growth. The State Planning
Act required a monitoring and evaluation program for the Plan to
keep a watchful eye on variables and indicators relating to economic
growth, fiscal conditions, and environmental quality. The Plan's
implementation relies upon the sense of responsibility of the public
and private sectors to participate and collaborate in regional planning.
It does not replace local master plans, but rather, provides a policy
and strategic vision that is left up to local planning agencies