The New Jersey State Development & Redevelopment Plan & Cross-Acceptance

On April 28, 2004, the New Jersey State Planning Commission released its new Preliminary State Development and Redevelopment Plan (State Plan), along with a State Plan Policy Map. This marked the beginning of Cross-Acceptance in New Jersey.

Cross-Acceptance is a process that must occur every three years by State statute. During Cross-Acceptance, public and private interests and residents alike have the opportunity to review and comment on the State Plan and to suggest changes to the Plan. During previous rounds of Cross-Acceptance, counties generally coordinated Cross-Acceptance for their respective jurisdictions. By doing so, they held meetings, workshops and other venues to discuss the State Plan and solicit comments from the public and from specially appointed municipal Cross-Acceptance committees. In addition, Cross-Acceptance is an opportunity to compare municipal and county master plans with the State Plan, determine where consistencies and inconsistencies lie, and recommend changes that should be made.

The Hunterdon County Planning Board received a grant from the NJ Department of Community Affairs to conduct Cross-Acceptance with its municipalities and residents. The Hunterdon County Planning Board authorized the release of a Draft Cross-Acceptance Report on January 13, 2005. The Cross-Acceptance Report is a two-volume document. Volume I contains population projects to the year 2020 and maximum residential build out potential based on current zoning, environmental constraints and other assumptions. Volume II includes numerous appendices with information, municipal resolutions, public and municipal comments and meeting summaries, amount other background materials.

Prior to submitting its Cross-Acceptance Report, the County conducted two public hearings to receive comments on the draft and then final Report.

After Phase I of Cross-Acceptance, the County will enter into the Negotiations Phase of Cross-Acceptance. During this Phase, the County and State negotiate any areas of disagreement identified in the County Cross-Acceptance Report. Municipalities that submit a dissenting report also have the opportunity to conduct negotiations with the State Planning Commission.

Once the State Planning Commission makes a determination on any changes to be made to the State Plan, a final State Plan will be subject to public hearings and ultimately adopted. Over the course of Cross-Acceptance, the State Planning Commission will release various mandated documents for review by the public. These include an Infrastructure Needs Assessment, an Impact Assessment and Draft Final Plan, among other documents. The Infrastructure Needs Assessment assess present and future conditions, needs and costs of public facilities such as water, sewage, transportation systems, etc. The Impact Assessment evaluates the impacts that implementation of the State Plan will have on the State's economy, environment, infrastructure and community life.

The State Plan & The County Growth Management Plan

The Hunterdon County Planning Board will use the citizen input and recommendations contained in the Hunterdon County Cross-Acceptance Report to help frame the County's forthcoming Growth Management Plan. This makes sense for two reasons. First, we want to be sure that our County Growth Management Plan reflects public sentiment about how the State Plan needs to be changed to reflect unique concerns and issues relevant to Hunterdon County. Secondly, it makes sense because we hope to submit the County Growth Management Plan to the State Planning Commission for official plan endorsement once it is adopted by the County.