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Highlands Draft Regional Master Plan November 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Highlands Draft Regional Master Plan November 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Highlands Draft Regional Master Plan November 2006

2 I. OVERVIEW Enactment August 2004 Comprehensive Resource Assessment Data Analysis and Refinement Public Participation Policy Decisions Release of Draft Regional Master Plan Public Comment Period Plan Adoption Pre-conformance Conformance Revision and Re-adoption every 6 years

3 II. HIGHLANDS REGION 850,000+ acres (18%) 65% of States drinking water 5.4 million People 115 billion gallons consumed each year

4 Development Pressure 3,000 – 5,000 acres lost each year -2/3rds from forest -1/3rd from farmland

5 Long-Standing State Protection Effort The Highlands watersheds are the best in the State in respect to ease of collection, in scantiness of population, with consequent absence of contamination…These watersheds should be preserved from pollution at all hazards, for upon them the most populous portions of the State must depend for water supplies. There has been too much laxness in the past regarding this important matter Potable Water Commission Report

6 III. RESOURCE ASSESSMENT Legislature mandated that Council develop a regional master plan that would protect the water and other natural resources based on a RESOURCE ASSESSMENT.

7 New Jersey Highlands Experts On staff US Geological Survey Rutgers University NJ DEP Hatch Mott MacDonald NJ Water Supply Authority North Jersey District Water Supply Commission Meadowlands Stream inventory 250 miles of previously unmapped streams Experts, New Data & Applications

8 Whats new in the Plan Comprehensive, science based land use plan 1 st Regional water analysis at sub-watershed level Parcel data: 1 st time major plan on lot by lot level New regional resource data bases: incl. forests; preserved open space & farmland Regionally shared zoning database: ability to update zoning changes at municipal level

9 Findings of Resource Assessment Compromising ability to meet future water needs 54% of watersheds demand already exceeds availability Additional 10% at risk in near future Population growth increases water demand

10 Need for Funding To protect drinking water sources we need to preserve land Requires adequate funding

11 …Funding Over the next 10 years, over $750M from county and municipal open space taxes and private preservation funds Plan calls for additional State preservation funding Priority list

12 IV. REGIONAL MASTER PLAN Fulfill the intent of the Act Protect our vital water supply

13 Zones Like local zoning 3 Major overlay zones Protection (Water & resource protection) Conservation (Promote agriculture) Planned Community (Human needs/ economic viability) Each zone has standards

14 Protection Zone The most important natural resource lands Protecting natural resources, especially water

15 Conservation Zone Captures regionally significant agricultural lands Established to promote agriculture within the framework of the Highlands environment

16 Planned Community Zone Areas of existing development Established for the purpose of working with municipalities and counties to determine appropriateness of further development given the presence or absence of water and sewer and the desire of the town to grow.

17 Changing the Way We Value & Use Land Increase land use efficiency – Revitalization –Adaptive Reuse –In Fill –Property Assemblage –Still protect natural resources Washington Borough

18 How Plan Applies to a Property To determine how the Plan applies –Consult the Map or Atlas to determine the zone –Refer to the Plan for the standards that apply in that zone –Check for site-specific standards

19 Zone Standards (generally) Protection: prohibit the disturbance of natural resources or expansion of infrastructure. Conservation: promote agriculture and allow limited development where appropriate Planned Community: support development and State funding incentives consistent with site design, green building, resource restoration & other site specific provisions.

20 V. SIGNIFICANT NOTES This STARTS a process of discussion with counties, municipalities, and the public Key concepts are included Council expects to make changes before adoption; the Plan will evolve Vote to Release Draft Plan

21 Key Points No mandatory growth Promotes agriculture Establishes funding as a priority Works collaboratively with COAH goals Promotes new, efficient land use

22 Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) TDR program to provide additional funding for preservation needs. TDR feasibility grant program ($1M) Initial capitalization of TDR Bank Municipal interest in TDR receiving zones

23 Respect Drinkable Water Wells dont run dry Pre-Act valuation Preservation funding TDR Exemptions/Waivers Fairness and just compensation Residents, Land Owners, Farms & Businesses

24 Conformance Council will make it a friendly process Clear, straight forward procedures Benefits to towns: legal shield, presumption of validity, planning grants $12M a year in grant funding already available Towns benefit whether conform or not (latest science and technical assistance)

25 VI. SCENARIOS Environmentally Sensitive Areas Promoting Agriculture Example of growth in the Highlands

26 Environmentally Sensitive Areas Exemptions (& threat to natural resources) Preservation priority & TDR bonuses Specially planned areas

27 Promoting Agriculture Promote agriculture within the framework of the Highlands environment Protect agricultural lands Consider agricultural needs Consider clustering in appropriate circumstances

28 Example of growth in the Highlands Growth must be appropriate Approach growth in a new way Focus on redevelopment opportunities Washington Borough, Warren County

29 Adjustments and Revisions During public comment and conformance Information-driven process Agency Coordination Serve as lead agency in Region

30 VII. NEXT STEPS Extensive Distribution Public Comment –6 Hearings –Open Houses Comments and changes Adoption

31 Pre-Conformance Conformance –Clear process with Council guidance, assistance & funds –Conformance Incentives Legal defense shield Presumption of validity Planning grants –Conformance Initiation 9-15 months after adoption

32 Please give us your input Welcome to the process



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