Issue 435 November 3, 2003
While Governor McGreevey’s anti-sprawl legislation appears in limbo, one smart growth bill (S. 2093) — which allows towns to consider traffic impacts of development — still has a chance for approval this year. It was approved by the Senate Community Affairs Committee last May, but has yet to be voted on by the full Senate or Assembly.
Since 1975, New Jersey law has prevented municipalities from considering the traffic that developments would cause on nearby roads. S. 2093 would allow cities and towns to adopt congestion standards in their master plans and judge new projects against them. If a proposed development exceeds the standards, the planning board could negotiate for impact fees and improvements, or ultimately deny the application.
The bill is sponsored by Senators Shirley Turner (D-15) and Leonard Lance (R-23), and Assembly members Reed Gusciora (D-15) and Jerry Green (D-22). It has wide bi-partisan report. Thirty legislators have co-sponsored the Senate bill and its companion in the Assembly. Officials from nine municipalities – including Asbury Park, Montgomery, and North Plainfield – testified in favor of the bill at the Senate hearing last spring. In addition, three of Governor McGreevey’s commissioners sent a letter supporting it to the committee chairs.
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