FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 11, 2014

Christie Administration Announces Post-Sandy Planning Grant to Highlands Borough

Grant Will Help Sandy-Impacted Local Government with
Long-Term Recovery and Resiliency Planning

Trenton, NJ – In the Christie Administration’s ongoing effort to assist local governments with long-term recovery from Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III today announced the award of a Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grant to Highlands Borough – the 10th Monmouth County municipality to receive such a grant – to develop a long-range plan to become more resilient in the event of future significant weather events.

The DCA awarded $20,000 to Highlands Borough, which was hard-hit by Sandy. Although less than one square mile in size, approximately 1,200 homes and business in the Borough were impacted by the storm. In its application, the municipality demonstrated how the grant will enable it to plan for greater community resiliency.

“This grant will enable Highlands Borough to develop a strategic recovery plan to serve as its primary guide for actions it takes moving forward to reduce its vulnerability to future storm events,” said Commissioner Constable, whose department is administering many of the Sandy recovery programs for the State. “The grant will also assist the Borough in identifying ways to encourage sustainable growth.”

The Borough can use the grant funding to hire licensed professional planners to help it craft its Strategic Recovery Planning Report. The report will assist the Borough in defining recovery goals and implementation strategies.  Once the Borough completes the planning report and has a long-term plan in place, it can apply for additional Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grant funds to help it address more specific planning challenges, such as developing design standards specific to flood hazard areas, improving the planning and zoning application process, and developing codes, ordinances, standards and regulations necessary to implementing plans for resiliency and mitigation. Other communities in Monmouth County have received Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, including Aberdeen, Belmar, Keansburg, Keyport, Neptune, Oceanport, Rumson, Sea Bright and Union Beach.

The Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are funded through Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery monies provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The $5 million program is available to communities in the nine counties most impacted by Sandy as determined by HUD (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union) that have experienced a ratable loss of at least 1% or $1 million due to the storm.  New Jersey has also allocated additional funding for the program from HUD’s second tranche of CDBG-DR funding.

Applications for Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are still being accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis by the DCA’s Office of Local Planning Services until all funds are exhausted.

For more information on Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, go to