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Contact the NJ Business Action Center
New Jersey Department of State
225 West State Street
P.O. Box 820
Trenton, NJ 08625-0820

Tel: (866) 534-7789
Fax: (609) 292-5509

Email: Feedback@sos.state.nj.us

Smart Growth Benefits

New Jersey Residents

Smart Growth is all about improving quality of life, preserving valued resources, and saving tax money for everyone who calls New Jersey home. It’s a comprehensive strategy for sustainable development – meeting the present needs of your community without compromising its future.

  • Quality of Life
    By creating new opportunities for residential development in urban and mature suburban communities (with their existing roads and sewers), sprawl is managed and new housing becomes more affordable. And, by encouraging corporate urban redevelopment, the jobs will be there to support it. Suburban areas would contain greater ranges of housing options and more efficient transportation systems including walkable communities, bike paths and better access to mass transit. Finally, Smart Growth preserves the history, charm and lifestyle of our rural areas. This is, after all, the Garden State.
  • Historic and Environmental Preservation
    In addition to over 1 million acres already in the process of being preserved as open space and farmland, 122,000 more acres of agricultural and environmentally fragile land that might otherwise be developed would be protected. And, Smart Growth encourages special recognition and protection for historic sites and districts, which provides incentives for builders and developers to revitalize historically significant buildings and areas.
  • Economic Prosperity
    The Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University projects tax savings of $160 million annually in municipal, county and school taxes, $870 million in local road costs and $1.45 billion in water and sewer infrastructure costs if Smart Growth guidelines are followed in full. On the jobs front, urban revitalization will help more businesses to stay or locate in New Jersey, encouraging small business and improving New Jersey's status as a corporate location.
  • Common-Sense Planning
    What is your town's vision for the future? Can it peacefully coexist with the next? Today what one town does often has a direct impact on every surrounding municipality. Smart Growth provides guidance for local governments to plan their communities for regional and statewide good. It creates opportunities for town leaders to talk to each other, finding common ground, cost-saving opportunities and shared interests. This gives citizens more control, participation and predictability over their futures. It's the way things should be. And can be.

Municipalities

Public and municipal participation is at the very heart of Smart Growth. Fortunately, leaders of the state's 566 municipalities have the most to gain from an approach that recognizes each jurisdiction's independence and interdependence.

Specifically, by using Smart Growth, you will:

  • Gain Control
    There's no question that the decisions made by neighboring municipalities and counties impact your town. By encouraging a comprehensive dialogue and partnerships among municipal, county and state officials, Smart Growth ensures that your vision for the future is preserved. You can even request a "no obligation review" of your master plan to help guide your planning process.
  • Save Time
    Municipalities that have obtained center designation or plan endorsement can receive expedited permit reviews and enhanced technical and planning assistance.
  • Save Money
    Municipalities that have their plans endorsed by the State Planning Commission gain higher priority for funding from state agencies. Just as important, following Smart Growth will save millions of dollars a year on capital and operating costs for municipalities.
  • Preserve Open Space and the Environment
    Planning for compact development and redevelopment minimizes impact on farmland and environmentally sensitive lands.  But Smart Growth doesn't stop development - it guides it. The result? 122,000 less acres of land developed statewide, land that is available for other uses deemed important by your residents.
  • Grow Sensibly
    Smart Growth is a comprehensive strategy for sustainable development—meeting the present needs of your community without compromising its future. In plain English, we'll protect our water and air quality—while continuing to invest in public infrastructure.

Cities and Towns

Compact growth is a key tenet of Smart Growth, and that favors our cities and towns. More corporations and residents are seeing the diversity, accessibility, culture and infrastructure of New Jersey’s cities as attractive alternatives to suburban sprawl. Coordinated, well-planned development and redevelopment will keep these places vibrant and relevant well into the future.

  • Job Creation and Renewed Tax Bases
    Planned revitalization encourages more businesses to stay/locate, resulting in a projected doubling of jobs in urban communities. More jobs equal more tax revenue with less tax burden on residents. Smart Growth will save $160 million annually in municipal, county and school taxes and $1.45 billion in water and sewer infrastructure.
  • More Affordable Housing
    Smart Growth focuses housing growth in urban and mature suburban communities and rural areas with centers, rather than new suburbs which require new and expensive infrastructures such as roads and sewers. Mixed-income neighborhoods featuring a variety of housing styles, sizes, prices and locations, will grow within walking and biking distance to community resources, schools and jobs.
  • Brownfields Clean Up
    Smart Growth will turn burdens into assets. Environmentally compromised sites will be carefully chosen, cleaned up and put back into productive use for business, recreation, housing and more.
  • A Renewed Sense of Community
    Somewhere during the suburban land rush, New Jersey became more a state of commuters than of neighbors. Smart Growth encourages a reinvestment in cities and towns where schools, city halls, libraries, shopping districts, cultural facilities and parks will again become community focal points. Residents will drive community planning efforts, establishing a renewed sense of ownership. And, a statewide network of trails, walkways and efficient mass transit will tie these vital neighborhoods together.

Environment

Smart Growth doesn’t stop growth – it guides it. The result? Fewer acres of land—developed more efficiently—statewide. Smart Growth is a comprehensive strategy for sustainable development that meets the present needs of our communities without compromising their futures.

The tenets of Smart Growth deliver:

  • Job Creation and Renewed Tax Bases
    Planned revitalization encourages more businesses to stay/locate, resulting in a projected doubling of jobs in urban communities. More jobs equal more tax revenue with less tax burden on residents. Smart Growth will save $160 million annually in municipal, county and school taxes and $1.45 billion in water and sewer infrastructure.
  • More Affordable Housing
    Smart Growth focuses housing growth in urban and mature suburban communities and rural areas with centers, rather than new suburbs which require new and expensive infrastructures such as roads and sewers. Mixed-income neighborhoods featuring a variety of housing styles, sizes, prices and locations, will grow within walking and biking distance to community resources, schools and jobs.
  • Brownfields Clean Up
    Smart Growth will turn burdens into assets. Environmentally compromised sites will be carefully chosen, cleaned up and put back into productive use for business, recreation, housing and more.
  • A Renewed Sense of Community
    Somewhere during the suburban land rush, New Jersey became more a state of commuters than of neighbors. Smart Growth encourages a reinvestment in cities and towns where schools, city halls, libraries, shopping districts, cultural facilities and parks will again become community focal points. Residents will drive community planning efforts, establishing a renewed sense of ownership. And, a statewide network of trails, walkways and efficient mass transit will tie these vital neighborhoods together.