SOMERSET COUNTY PLANNING BOARD
MUNICIPAL PLAN COMPARISON
Dear Municipal Cross Acceptance Committee:
The following questionnaire focuses on the State Planning Commission’s Proposed Changes to the State
Development and Redevelopment Plan contained in the Preliminary Plan and associated State Plan Policy Map
released on April 28, 2004, which marks the formal commencement of the 2004 State Plan Cross-acceptance
Process. This questionnaire accomplishes the required comparison of municipal plans and policies to that of the
State Plan, and will serve to document the degree of consistency among these plans, in accordance with the State
Planning Act of 1985 (N.J.S.A. 52:18A-196 et. seq.).
Completed questionnaires will be included in the County’s Cross-acceptance Report, and will be used to help
formulate the Cross-acceptance Negotiation Agenda for Somerset County. In order to meet the State Planning
Commission’s adopted schedule for Cross-acceptance and associated deadlines for submitting the County’s Cross-
acceptance Report, it is requested that this survey be completed and submitted to the County Planning Board no
later than July 15, 2004. Enclosed is a copy of this questionnaire on disk for your convenience. Please contact the
County Planning Board office, Phone: (908) 231-7021 or e-mail: PlanningBd@co.somerset.nj.us if you require this
be sent to you electronically. This questionnaire may be completed and submitted via e-mail.
Name of Municipality:
Name and Title of Survey Respondent:
Title/Date of Current Master Plan, Re-examination Report and Ordinances:
SECTION I – Municipal Planning Priorities
1) Please indicate your community’s 3 most important local and regional land use planning goals and
Priority Planning Goals
2) The theme of the 2004 Preliminary State Plan, “Building a Better New Jersey” refers to the actions that are
needed to realize New Jersey’s Vision 2025. Please indicate below, the state, county and/or local tools,
resources, programs and policy changes that your community needs to successfully implement the State
Development and Redevelopment Plan, and achieve it’s smart growth planning goals and objectives. Please
use as much space or additional sheets of paper as necessary.
Municipal Wish List
SECTION II – State Plan Goals, Strategies and Policies
The SDRP’s Goals, Strategies and Policies have been re-organized to strengthen their inter-relationships, and updated to reflect current state agency initiatives. The eight (8) current Statewide Goals and new/revised policies
contained in the 2004 Preliminary SDRP are provided below. Please refer to the 2001 SDRP for the remaining policies or to view the details related to the policies listed below. The SDRP can be reviewed in its entirety at the NJDCA website www.nj.gov/dca/osg/plan.
Below, please indicate “YES” if your municipal master plan’s goals and land use ordinances and capital
improvement programs are consistent and/or in agreement. Indicate “NO/PARTIAL” if they are
inconsistent or in disagreement, or if there is only partial inconsistency or disagreement, and “NA” if they
are not addressed or not applicable. If NO/PARTIAL is selected, please provide comment at the end of this
questionnaire in the space provided, with reference to the item number related to the goal or policy in
question. Space at the end of this questionnaire has also been included for comments related to the 2001
SDRP’s remaining policies.
Item Yes No/ N/A 2001 SDRP STATEWIDE GOALS # Partial 2.1 1. “Revitalize the State’s Cities and Towns” (see SDRP 2001 policies on urban revitalization) 2.2 2. “Conserve the State’s Natural Resources” (see SDRP 2001 policies on coastal and water resources,
special resources, open lands and natural systems)
2.3 3. “Promote Beneficial Economic Growth, Development and Renewal for All Residents of New
Jersey” (see SDRP 2001 policies on economic development, equity, environmental justice and agriculture) 2.4 4. “Protect the Environment, Prevent and Clean-up Pollution” (see SDRP 2001 policies on energy
resources, air quality, waste management, recycling and brownfields)
2.5 5. “Provide Adequate Public Facilities and Services at a Reasonable Cost” (see SDRP 2001 policies on
transportation and infrastructure investment)
2.6 6. “Provide Adequate Housing at a Reasonable Cost” (see SDRP 2001 policies on housing and
2.7 7. “Preserve and Enhance the Historic, Cultural and Scenic, Open Space and Recreational Values (see
SDRP policies on historic, cultural and scenic resources)
2.8 8. “Ensure Sound and Integrated Planning and Implementation Statewide” (see SDRP policies on
comprehensive planning, statutory planning regions and public investment priorities)
Item Yes No/ N/A SDRP STATEWIDE POLICIES - NEW AND REVISED #Partial 2.9 1-1. Equity: “The State Planning Commission urges individuals and groups that have concerns about equity to use all avenues to assure that their concerns are considered in governmental actions and to prevent
inappropriate application, or abuse, of the State Plan. The State Plan is a statement of state policy
formulated to guide planning. Public sector agencies and private organizations, such as lending institutions,
should not use designations and delineations contained in the State Plan to determine the market value of
particular tracts or parcels of land. Accordingly, such uses of the State Plan are inappropriate because it is
not designed to regulate and should not be applied to the future use or intensity of use that direct application
of the State Plan to specific parcels of land may result in inequitable distribution of the benefits and burdens
of public action.”
2.10 1-2. Environmental Justice: “Adopt planning principles aimed to ensure the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of the public in land-use decision-making in accordance with Federal and State Environmental
Justice Policies. Ensure that planning policies and regulations prevent disproportionate adverse exposure to
environmental health risks, including fine particulate pollution, by communities of color and low-income
2.11 2-3. Planning Education and Training: “Provide for adequate planning education and training for professional and citizen planners serving at all levels of government, Boards of Education, school
administrative officials and for students in primary and secondary schools.”
2.12 2-25. State Agency Plan, Regulations and Programs: “Coordinate the development, revision and implementation of state agency functional plans, regulations and funding programs, to the maximum extend
permitted by law, so that they are consistent with and promote the goals, strategies and policies of the State
2.13 [ ].Transitional Land Use: “Promote land use decisions at the local level that provide for transitional or buffering land-uses between two or more incompatible uses such as those that protect environmental features
or commercial and residential neighborhoods form the adverse impacts of industrial sites, agricultural sites
or high intensity land uses”
2.14 4-[ ]. Infrastructure Investments and Public Education: “Promote the delivery of quality public education for all New Jersey school-age residents by renovating existing schools where cost effective and by strategically
locating schools and utilizing existing schools in order to enhance community life and provide, through
community involvement, community-based, multi-purpose facilities that are safe, healthy and conducive to
2.15 4-[ ]. Historic and School Structure Re-use: “Promote adaptive reuse of historic structures and existing school facilities to provide community schools, where appropriate, in ways that respect architectural and
historic community integrity”.
2.16 4-[ ], Public Use of Public Lands and Facilities: “Provide for public recreational use of public lands and facilities, including schools”.
2.17 4-[ ]. Safe Routes to Schools: “promote safe routes to school projects that encourage and enable children to walk and cycle to school through a combined package of practical and educational measures that: improve
road and pedestrian safety and reduce child casualties; improve children’s health and development; and
reduce traffic congestion and pollution through traffic calming”/
2.18 4-[ ]. Energy Efficient School Buildings: “All new school buildings should be energy efficient, and existing buildings should be retrofitted and weatherized to reduce energy demand and operational costs. The design,
location and orientation of school facilities, including lighting plans,
2.19 [ ]. Inter-jurisdictional and Regional Planning and Coordination: “Coordinate school project activities both horizontally on each level of government and vertically among the levels f government, particularly between
adjacent school districts and host communities, but also between public and private school systems
especially in regard to those plan, regulations, programs and projects that potentially have “greater-than-
local” impact to minimize adverse regional and local impacts”.
2.20 [ ]. Integrated Plans, Regulations and Programs: “Ensure that regulations, as well as infrastructure investments and other related programs, are consistent with approved school facility plans, on an intra-and
2.21 1-[ ]. Educational Facility Financing: “Promote improvements in public education, including investments to provide educational facilities that ensure a thorough and efficient education for all school-age children,
while ensuring that responsibility is shared equitably by the State, its various jurisdictions and all citizens of
2.22 5-[ ]. Community-based Economic Development: “Generate local capacity for economic development by promoting economic growth that maintains and enhances the entire community by locating job opportunities
in mixed-use places where infrastructure is available or can be expanded or upgraded, or that are accessible
by public transit”.
2.23 6-[ ]. Urban Waterfront Redevelopment: “Promote investment within the urban complex or designated centers that looks to redevelop deteriorated properties along waterfronts with the purpose of promoting
mixed-use. Provide access to and cleanup of water features. Establish design criteria that look at integrating
the built environment with the restoration of the natural environment”. 2.24 7-2. Age-restricted Housing: “Planning for age restricted housing should be grounded in local master plans that are balanced with housing for a range of ages and incomes and should be physically integrated into or
connect to Centers or other areas with facilities and services. Encourage and support the development f
senior housing so that elderly households can find housing that is affordable, that is in good condition, and
that can accommodate their physical capabilities or assistance needs”.
2.25 8-23. Goods Movement: “Enhance the movement of goods into, out of, through, and within New Jersey by strategically investing in a comprehensive multi-modal network that supports local, regional, interstate, and
global commerce, including, where appropriate:
o Improving access to and the connectivity between seaports, airports, railroads, highways,
warehouse/distribution centers, and industrial properties.
o Encouraging the movement of gods by rail and inland waterway to and from the ports and
elsewhere, while balancing the needs of other users.
o Dredging channels to provide shipping access.
o Enhancing the existing port facilities, and developing new port facilities through improved multi-
modal landside access and coordinated land use practices.
o Encouraging goods movement and related development such as warehouse/distribution centers,
value added facilities, and other logistics supportive enterprises in the vicinity of strategic highway
interchanges, corridors and junctions.
o Encouraging goods movement related development near access points that benefit existing inter-
modal transfer areas, and major regional and global gateways such as ports and air terminals.
o Utilizing and preserving brownfields redevelopment sites for new goods movement related
o Providing exclusive rights-of-way congestion bypasses for local port and distribution activities and
regional through movement of trucks.
2.26 15. Agriculture: “Secure and promote the future of New Jersey Agriculture by implementing economic development strategies that support the industry, encourage programs and policies to sustain farm viability,
and incorporate innovative planning techniques that preserve farmland, accommodate growth and conserve
our natural resources.
2.27 15-3. Coordinated Planning: “Strategically coordinate planning efforts at all levels of government to promote the agricultural industry and farmland preservation efforts, including agricultural retention
programs and policies, with emphasis on proactive land use initiatives, updating data for farmland
preservation activities, and better coordination of farmland preservation efforts with open space, recreation
and historic preservation efforts.
2.28 19. “In recent years, researchers, foundations and practitioners within the health care industry have become increasingly aware of close linkages between community design, land use patterns, and public health. Land
use patterns characterized by fragmented and segregated land uses, low-intensity residential settlements,
widespread strip commercial development along roadways and lack of connectivity within and between
neighborhoods, or sprawl, are creating deleterious impacts on public health. More and more, smart growth
development practices are becoming recognized as a viable alternative solution to the threats on public
2.29 19-[ ]. Public Health Benefits of Smart Growth Design: “Planning that reduces reliance upon the automobile by providing opportunities for people to walk or bicycle to community destinations, such as neighborhoods,
shops, work places, such as part of their daily routines, should be encouraged.
SECTION III – State Plan Key Concepts and Policy Objectives
The State Planning Commission (SPC) also requests that consideration be given to the substantially revised ten (10)
“Key Concepts and Policy Objectives of the State Plan” contained in the SPC adopted 2004 Cross-acceptance Manual. Please indicate “YES” if your municipal master plan’s goals, land use ordinances and
capital improvement programs are consistent and/or in agreement. Indicate “NO” if they are inconsistent
or in disagreement, and “NA” if they are not addressed or not applicable.
Item # Yes No/ N/A KEY CONCEPTS AND POLICY OBJECTIVES Partial 3.1 1. Planning that is comprehensive, citizen based, collaborative, coordinated,
equitable and based on capacity analysis is essential prerequisite to implement the
goals of the State Plan.
3.2 2. Planning should be undertaken at a variety of scales and should focus on
physical or functional features that do not necessarily correspond to political
3.3 3. Planning should be closely coordinated with and supported by investments,
programs and regulatory actions.
3.4 4. Planning should create, harness and build on the power of market forces and
pricing mechanisms while accounting for full costs of public and private actions. 3.5 5. Planning should maintain and revitalize existing communities. 3.6 6. Planning, designing, and constructing development and redevelopment projects,
that are residential, commercial, industrial or institutional and that contribute to
the creation of diverse, compact human scale communities (i.e., communities of
3.7 7. Identifying areas for development, redevelopment and environs protection in
suburban and rural New Jersey.
3.8 8. Identifying cores and nodes as places for more intensive redevelopment in
metropolitan New Jersey.
3.9 9. Emphasizing public support for physical design, public investment and
government policy through access to information, services, jobs, housing, and
3.10 10. Planning for the protection, restoration, and integration of natural resources
and systems as well as the preservation of agricultural farmland.
SECTION IV – SPPM Planning Area Policies
The State Plan Policy Map (SPPM) provides the spatial context for the SDRP and integrates the concepts of
planning areas; centers, cores and nodes; the environs; critical environmental sites; historic and cultural sites; and
parks and preserved lands. The SDRP’s stated “Intent” and “Delineation Criteria” for each of the five (5) Planning
Areas are included below. Please indicate “YES” if your municipal master plan’s goals; land use ordinances;
capital improvement programs; and existing land use and development patterns are consistent and/or in
agreement. Indicate “NO/Partial” if they are inconsistent or in disagreement or if there is only partial
consistency, and “NA” if they are not addressed or not applicable. A comparison of the 2004 Preliminary
SPPM, current zoning map and schedule for your municipality and 2001 SDRP Planning Area delineation
criteria, policy objectives and implementation strategies is recommended in preparing your responses. If
you answer NO/Partial, Please state the reason in the space provided, adding additional lines as needed.
YES NO/Partial NA PA1 – Metropolitan Planning Area
INTENT DELINEATION CRITERIA o Provide for much of the state’s future redevelopment o Density of more than 1,000 people/sq. mi. o Revitalize cities and towns o Existing, accessible public water, sewer & transit
o Promote growth in compact forms o Land area of greater than one square mile o Stabilize older suburbs o A population of not less than 25,000 people o Redesign areas of sprawl o Contiguous with other Metropolitan Planning Areas o Protect the character of existing stable communities
YES NO/PARTIAL NA PA2 – Suburban Planning Area
INTENT DELINEATION CRITERIA o Provide for much of the state’s future development o Population density of les than 1,000 people/sq. mi. o Promote growth in centers and other compact forms o Natural systems and infrastructure systems reasonably o Protect the character of existing stable communities anticipated to be in place by 2020 that have the capacity o Protect Natural Resources to support development that meets the Policy Objectives o Redesign areas of Sprawl of PA2 o Reverse the current trend toward further sprawl o A land area contiguous to the Metropolitan Planning o Revitalize cities and towns Area
o Land area greater than one square mile
YES NO/PARTIAL NA PA3 – Fringe Planning Area
INTENT DELINEATION CRITERIA o Accommodate growth in centers o Population density of less than 1,000 people/sq. mi. o Protect the Environs primarily as open Lands o Generally lacking in major infrastructure investments: o Revitalize cities and towns o The circulation system is mainly provided by state o Protect the character of existing stable communities and county roadways with a major emphasis on o Protect natural resources moving traffic through the area o Provide a buffer between more developed o Some Centers are served by public water and Metropolitan and Suburban Planning Areas and less
sewer developed Rural and Environmentally Sensitive
Planning Areaso Land area greater than 1 sq. mi.
o Does not include land that meets the criteria of Rural or o Confine programmed sewers and public water to
Centers Environmentally Sensitive Planning Areas
o Area is adjacent to Metropolitan or Suburban Planning
PA4 – Rural Planning Area YES NO/PARTIAL NA
INTENT DELINEATION CRITERIA o Maintain the Environs as large contiguous areas of o Population density of less than 1,000 people/sq. mi.
farmland and other lands o Area greater than one sq. mi.
o Revitalize cities and towns o Land currently in agricultural or natural resource production or
o Accommodate growth in centers having strong potential for production:
o Promote a viable agricultural industry o Soils of local importance as determined by the County
o Protect the character of existing, stable communities Agricultural Development Board o Confine programmed sewers and public water o Prime and unique soils as determined by the U.S.
services to Centers Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources
o Soils of statewide importance as determined by NJ
Department of Agriculture, State Soil Conservation
o Undeveloped wooded tracts; vacant lands; large, contiguous
tracts of agricultural lands; and other areas outside Centers
predominantly served by rural two-lane roads and individual
wells and septic systems, with some Centers served by sewers
and public water.
YES NO/PARTIAL NA PA4B – Rural/Environmentally Sensitive Planning Area
INTENT DELINEATION CRITERIA o Same as its underlying Rural Planning Area (PA$) o Land satisfying the delineation criteria for PA4 that also meets
for existing uses of the land plus: the delineation criteria for PA5. This includes promoting
o Respect the natural resources and environmentally agricultural practices that prevent or minimize conflicts with
sensitive features of the area sensitive environmental features
PA4B – Rural/Environmentally Sensitive Planning Area YES NO/PARTIAL NA
INTENT DELINEATION CRITERIA o Protect environmental resources through the o Population density of less than 1,000 people per sq. mi.
protection of large contiguous areas of land o Land area greater than one sq. mi. o Accommodate growth in Centers o One or more of the following features outside Centers: o Protect the character of existing stable communities o Trout production waters and trout maintenance waters o Confine programmed sewers and public water and their watersheds
services to Centers o Pristine non-tidal Category I waters and their
o Revitalize cities and towns watersheds upstream of the lowest Category 1 Stream
o Protect environmental resources through the o Watersheds of existing or planned potable water
protection of large contiguous areas of land supply sources and carbonate formations associated
o Accommodate growth in Centers with recharge areas or aquifers; o Protect the character of existing stable communities o Habitats of populations of endangered or threatened
o Confine programmed sewer and public water plant or animal species
services to Centers o Contiguous freshwater wetlands systems o o Significant natural features of landscapes such as
critical slopes, ridge lines, gorges and ravines, and
important geological features (including those
associated with karst topography) or unique
o Prime forested areas, including mature stands of native species
SECTION V -Critical Environmental Sites (CES) and Historic and Cultural Sites (HCS)
The current policy of the State Planning Commission is not to map CESs and HCSs within Planning Areas already
considered environmentally sensitive (PAs 4B and 5), since the policies associated with PAs 4B and 5 apply to
CESs and HCSs and would therefore be redundant. In the current State Plan, CESs and HCSs are delineated
Features for CES Delineation: Prime or locally important aquifer recharge areas; Wellfields and wellhead
protection areas; public water supply reservoirs; critical slopes, endangered or threatened species and other
critical habitats; wetlands; stream corridors, unique geologic or natural features; and prime forested areas.
Features for HCS Delineation: Greenways and trails; dedicated open space; historic sites and districts;
archeological sites; scenic vistas and corridors; and natural landscapes of exceptional aesthetic or cultural
1) The 2004 Preliminary Plan indicates that consideration is being given to maintaining the distinction between
Critical Environmental Sites and Historic and Cultural Sites in the Updated State Plan. Please indicate YES
herein if your municipality supports this distinction being made, or if it does not. NO
The 2004 Preliminary Plan also contains mapping policy changes for designating CESs. The associated
Preliminary State Plan Policy Map includes new proposed CESs based on new statewide data available through the
NJ Department of Environmental Protection. According to the new definition, a “CES is an area generally less
than a square mile, depicted on the SPPM, which includes one or more environmentally sensitive features located
either outside of a Planning Area classified as environmentally sensitive or within designated centers located
outside such planning areas. CESs and HCSs can be isolated, or delineated in tandem to create linkages of among
environmentally and culturally significant resources”.
NO 2) Please indicate or herein if your master plan, land use ordinances and investment YES
programs are consistent with the 2004 Preliminary Plan’s stated “Intent” for CESs and HCSs, which is to
“fulfill the goals of conserving natural resources and systems and of preserving and enhancing areas with
historic, cultural, scenic, open space, and recreational values through:
o Recognition of the need for strategic investment decisions designed to protect and enhance rather than
adversely impact them
o The application of Statewide Policies, including, but not limited to, those specifically relating to water
resources, open lands and natural systems, coastal areas, and historic, cultural and scenic resources
o The application of relevant provisions of the Environmentally Sensitive Planning Area to these sites in all
other Planning Areas.
3) Please list in the space below, the mechanisms your municipality is utilizing to achieve the State Plan’s
CES and HCS “Intent”, i.e., Municipal Open Space Trust Fund; Stream Corridor Conservation Plan; Scenic Roadway Preservation Plan; Designated Historic District; Shade Tree Ordinance; etc:
SECTION VI - Agricultural Industry Nodes
The 2004 Preliminary Plan includes proposed new language that encourages the development of related
agricultural industries in close proximity, where appropriate, to reduce transportation needs and reinforce the
industry. It states “Communities may identify new heavy industry, transportation, utility or agriculture facilities
and activities as part of their plans submitted to the SPC for Plan Endorsement. New concentrations of commercial,
agricultural, light manufacturing or warehousing and distribution facilities and activities should be organized in a
compact form and located in Centers and other appropriate areas in PA1 and 2 or Centers in PA 3, 4, 4B or 5 as
part of plans submitted to the SPC for Plan Endorsement.” Please indicate herein if your municipality YES
supports this concept, or if it does not. NO
SECTION VII - Proposed Changes to the Preliminary State Plan Policy Map
The Preliminary State Plan Policy Map (SPPM) has undergone a number of changes, which also are another important focus
the County’s Cross-acceptance efforts. The County Planning Board has obtained GIS planning consultant services through the firm of Remington and Vernick Engineers, to provide technical assistance, and facilitate county and municipal review of the
Preliminary SPPM and its associated policies and new data layers. The County and its consultant have obtained, and are
assessing the Preliminary SPPM and the State Agency data layers upon which it is based. You are strongly encouraged to
review these maps and data layers, which are available on the NJ Office of Smart Growth Web Page and the CD that has been
forwarded to your municipality by the State Planning Commission. The County Planning Board is currently preparing printed
copies of the countywide Cross-acceptance “Delta” Map, and associated Preliminary Plan documents for each municipality,
the County Library and key stakeholder groups. The Delta Map will illustrate the major changes to Planning Areas proposed
in the State Plan Policy Map. These will be distributed at the June 14, 2004 Somerset County Cross-acceptance
Information Meeting to be held
from 6:30 – 9:00 P.M. in the Freeholder Meeting Room, Third Floor, Somerset County Administration Building, 20
Grove Street, Somerville, NJ.
Remington and Vernick will be preparing a series of GIS analyses comparing the Preliminary SPPM and associated
State Agency Data Layers to County GIS data layers for Zoning, Land Use and other GIS. The results of these
analyses will be presented at both the countywide and municipal levels during mid-summer, 2004, and are intended
to serve as a tool in identifying and delineating proposed changes to the Preliminary SPPM. Additional
information will be forthcoming regarding the schedule the GIS Map comparison results will provided to
municipalities. The results will also be presented at 3 sub-area meetings to be held in various locations throughout
the county in late summer, 2004. Remington & Vernick will also assist municipalities and the county in
delineating any proposed SPPM changes for submission to the State Planning Commission in accordance with the
In the meantime, Municipal Cross-acceptance Committees are encouraged to commence review of the Preliminary
SPPM, and to begin a dialogue among your elected officials, planning boards and other municipal commissions,
organizations, residents and stakeholder groups to facilitate public participation in the process of proposing
changes to the Preliminary SPPM. The following are some questions that your Municipal Cross-acceptance
Committee should consider when reviewing and discussing the Preliminary SPPM and associated data layers. You
are encouraged to submit answers to any of these questions at this time, (partial answers are acceptable), and/or
complete this section of the survey in a more detailed way when the results of Remington & Vernick’s Mapping
Comparison Work is provided to facilitate your municipality’s Cross-acceptance map review process. The County
will be forwarding guidance on the submission of proposed changes to the Preliminary SPPM along with said map
comparison results to you in mid-summer 2004.