Technical Advisory Committees
The task of developing a Regional Master Plan for the Highlands Region is a tremendous responsibility and deserves careful and extensive research. The Highlands Act authorizes the Council to appoint advisory groups to help accomplish their work. As part of the continuing outreach efforts and to secure the advice and support of technical experts in the fields of water resources, ecosystems, preservation, planning, agriculture, forestry, economic development, and education, the Highlands Council established eighteen (18) technical advisory committees (TACs). The goal of the TACs is to assemble technical and industry experts to provide input and aid in development of the Regional Master Plan.
- Brownfield Redevelopment
- Community Investment
- Cultural/Historic Resources
- Ecosystem Management
- Geographic Information Systems
- Green Construction
- Land Preservation
- Land Use Planning
- Regional Development and Design
- Sustainable Agriculture
- Sustainable Forestry
- Transfer of Development Rights
- Utility Capacity
- Water Resource Management
The Brownfield Redevelopment Technical Advisory Committee has focused on the many issues associated with the identification, remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites.
The Community Investment Technical Advisory Committee has focused on the types of community investment decisions local governments must address in guiding their towns and counties into the future, and potential gaps between investment needs and available funding.
The Cultural and Historic Resources Technical Advisory Committee has helped develop and review a method to identify the important cultural, historical, and archaeological resources that make up the character of the Highlands region and discuss the stresses on maintaining the integrity of these resources.
This Technical Advisory Committee has helped develop and review a method to identify and classify the natural resources within the Highlands Region and report on the relationship between these resources that include, but are not limited to floral and faunal species, communities and habitats, existing scenic attributes and critical treasures of the Highlands.
The Recreation and Tourism Technical Advisory Committee has explored creative approaches to maintaining a healthy ecosystem while inviting the public to travel to and enjoy the benefits of the Highlands outdoors.
This TAC has three different focuses: how to educate public officials about the Highlands Act, how to inform the public about applying the Act to their own land, be it through the TDR program, farmland preservation, and other conservation options, and recommending an education program for teachers and school children across the Region focusing on the importance of natural resource preservation, protecting land in their own back yards, and how they can protect New Jersey’s Highlands for future generations.
Geographic Information Systems
The Geographic Information Systems Technical Advisory Committee has identified what layers, analysis tools and methods are needed in the preparation of the Regional Master Plan.
The Green Construction Technical Advisory Committee has shared expertise and offered recommendations of methods, strategies and implementation tools to be included in the regional master plan to help foster the development of environmentally responsible structures and landscape elements.
The Housing Technical Advisory Committee has considered housing needs in the Highlands, both for the quantity of housing and a range of housing needs and categories.
The Land Preservation Technical Advisory Committee has explored ways to protect and sustain the critical lands within the Highlands region.
Land Use Planning
The Land Use Planning Technical Advisory Committee has focused on the overall planning principles to be adopted and implemented through the Regional Master Plan.
Regional Development and Design
The Regional Development Design Technical Advisory Committee has considered each of the features, resources, constraints, and pressures of the Highlands from a regional perspective.
The Sustainable Agriculture Technical Advisory Committee has discussed the future of farming as an industry in the Highlands region, including the economic value of the agriculture industry in the region, viability of farming as a sustainable means of making a living, stewardship of prime agricultural resources, the potential for conflicts with surrounding land uses, emerging environmental management concerns related to farming, and preservation of landowner equity for farmers. The Committee will also review the farmland preservation program to make recommendations on how the program can sustain agriculture in the Highlands region.
The Sustainable Forestry Technical Advisory Committee has discussed forestry practices in the Highlands district, including issues of forest biodiversity, silviculture practices, and forest sustainability.
Transfer of Development Rights
The Transfer of Development Rights Technical Advisory Committee has brought their expertise in land use, property valuation, acquisition strategies, finance, and real estate markets to help shape the new Highlands TDR program.
This Technical Advisory Committee has reviewed and provided recommendations regarding the current traffic patterns, town centers, and destination areas as well as what transportation improvements are needed at this point in time and at maximum build out.
This Technical Advisory Committee has helped develop and review a method to assess the current water and wastewater utility infrastructure capacity across the Highlands Region, emphasizing treatment and delivery capacity.
Water Resource Management
This Technical Advisory Committee has helped develop and review the results of a method for identifying and establishing the location of and the quality and quantity of ground and surface water resources throughout, and in some cases beyond the limits of the Highlands Region.