FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Christie Administration Announces Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grant to Atlantic City

Grant Will Help City with Long-Term Recovery from Sandy and Resiliency Planning

Trenton, NJ – In the Christie Administration’s ongoing effort to promote sound, sustainable long-term recovery from Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III today announced that Atlantic City intends to use $270,000 of its $345,000 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grant award to undertake five planning initiatives designed to help the City become resilient in the event of future significant weather events.  After the award was announced in October 2013, the City brought in a planning consulting team and is now ready to launch planning initiatives focused on building back stronger.

 "Due to the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, Atlantic City continues to face a number of recovery challenges. The Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants are enabling the City to move forward in its efforts to rebound from Sandy and to reduce its vulnerability to future natural disasters," said Commissioner Constable, whose Department is administering many of the Sandy Recovery programs for the state. "We applaud Atlantic City officials for their innovative approach in planning for the long-term and developing ways to revitalize storm-impacted areas in the City."

The grants will fund the development of five plans. They are:

  • Master Plan Reexamination: The reexamination of the City’s Master Plan, which was last updated in 2008, will modify and replace existing Master Plan elements to address post-Sandy issues and establish post-Sandy goals, objectives, strategies and policies.

  • Back Bay Assessment and Mitigation Plan: The back-bay area of the City was severely damaged and contains the majority of the City’s Sandy-damaged homes and repetitive loss properties.  This plan will prepare community design standards specific to flood-hazard areas that will foster communities of place and establish standards for flood resiliency along the City’s back bay.

  • North Inlet Redevelopment Plan: This plan will modify and replace current plans for the North Inlet area, including the historic Gardner’s Basin and Absecon Inlet waterfront. It will include a master plan for Gardner’s Basin and surrounding vacant areas to foster redevelopment, and expand bicycle and pedestrian connections from the Boardwalk to the Basin.

  • Chelsea Heights Neighborhood Plan: This plan will allow the City to prepare a detailed infrastructure needs assessment and environmental design standards, and will also recommend economic development tools to protect and enhance this neighborhood, which has a long history of vulnerability to coastal storm events.

  • Bader Field Redevelopment Plan: This plan will modify existing plans for the former airport facility and identify creative, sustainable reuse of the 143-acre site as well as remedial actions. It will incorporate flood hazard protection measures and opportunities for remediation such as reuse of contaminated soils as fill for capped berms, which will provide for future storm protection.

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 initially allocated to the program is currently available to each of the nine counties most impacted by Sandy as determined by HUD (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union) and all of the municipalities within those counties that have experienced a ratable loss of at least 1% or $1 million due to the storm.

The program provides funding in two phases. The first phase is producing a Strategic Recovery Planning Report, which enables a local government to evaluate the impacts of Superstorm Sandy and identify long-term strategies for resiliency and flood protection in the future. To date, the DCA has awarded 44 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants to assist local governments in completing this planning report. When their planning reports are done, local governments are then eligible to apply for Phase 2 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants, which assist them with implementing the planning priorities identified in their Strategic Recovery Planning Report. For example, Phase 2 planning grants can help local governments fund initiatives to determine infrastructure needs to protect business districts on the waterfront from future storms; design standards to protect and increase resiliency in storm-affected neighborhoods; topographic surveys and preliminary engineering studies to gauge future infrastructure needs; and capital improvement plans that prioritize need based on the safety of residents. The Department has so far awarded Phase 2 Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants to 15 local governments.

To date, the DCA has approved $5 million in Post-Sandy Planning Assistance Grants. 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, which is administering the program, until all funds are exhausted.

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