Ocean City Receives Plan Endorsement
City's Land Use Plan Consistent With State Plan's Sustainability Goals

TRENTON - New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Acting Commissioner Charles A. Richman and State Planning Commission Chairman Edward McKenna today announced that Ocean City received Initial Plan Endorsement from the New Jersey State Planning Commission. The purpose of Plan Endorsement is to assist government agencies in developing and implementing land use plans that are in line with the State Plan's goals of developing the New Jersey economy while protecting natural resources, providing adequate and diverse housing, redeveloping cities, and controlling sprawl.

"I congratulate Ocean City for its extraordinary planning efforts, which have helped it become one of the most desirable communities in the State of New Jersey," said Acting Commissioner Richman, who is a member of the State Planning Commission. "The Commission's endorsement of Ocean City's land use plan is richly deserved and signals this shore community will be vibrant for years to come."

As part of the Plan Endorsement process, a municipal, county or regional plan and accompanying development regulations are reviewed for consistency with the guidelines adopted by the State Planning Commission. If the Commission finds the plan consistent, it is endorsed and becomes eligible for priority assistance and incentives that flow from such endorsement. The DCA's Office of Smart Growth (OSG) provides technical assistance throughout the endorsement process. The Office also facilitates state agency coordination, recommends specific changes to local development regulations, and works with the municipality to implement the changes. The new regulations are aimed at curbing suburban sprawl and directing compact development to areas already served by infrastructure.

Plan Endorsement is a voluntary review process. Ocean City is the 10th municipality to receive State Planning Commission endorsement. It joins Asbury Park City, Brick Township, Cape May Point Borough, Ocean Township, Plainsboro Township, Stafford Township, Upper Township, West Cape May Borough, and Woolwich Township. The Commission has also granted three non-municipal endorsements for the Hudson County Urban Complex, Sussex County and the Route 130/Delaware River Corridor Strategic Plan.

"Ocean City officials are to be commended for the incredible concern they've shown for the environment," said State Planning Commission Chairman McKenna. "They have created a community where quality of life is a first priority."

Under its land use plan, Ocean City will direct any future growth to its designated Regional Center, which encompasses most of the developed sections of the shore community. The City also established a conservation zone, set aside areas for recreation and open space, and planned for affordable housing.

Ocean City Mayor Salvatore Perillo stated: "The Plan Endorsement Process has confirmed that the City's initiatives are consistent with the principles of sustainability espoused in New Jersey's State Plan."

For more information on the Office of Smart Growth and Plan Endorsement, log on to http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/osg/ on the DCA's website.