Eustace & Spencer Bill to Advance Environmental Sustainability Among Municipalities Clears Assembly Panel

Measure Charts Path for Smart Growth, Storm Resiliency & Environmental Sustainability
Legislation Assemblyman Tim Eustace and Assemblywoman Grace Spencer sponsored to promote environmentally friendly policies among local governments in New Jersey was advanced Thursday by an Assembly panel.

The bill (A-4185) would require the land use plan element of municipal master plans to address smart growth, storm resiliency and environmental sustainability.

“As one of the most densely populated and ecologically diverse states in the country, it’s appropriate for New Jersey to develop ways to advance the wellness of people and the environment,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Local boards familiar with local land use issues are uniquely situated to consider and adopt strategies that will benefit their communities. This legislation will encourage them to keep the environment in mind as they work to achieve that end.”

“Plans incorporating environmentally sensitive, community-oriented development can deliver numerous fiscal benefits for municipalities throughout New Jersey,” said Spencer (D-Essex). “Particularly in light of the costs New Jersey incurred during Hurricane Sandy, resiliency planning must be an integral component of all municipal master plans. Furthermore, because compact development ultimately costs less to operate, smart growth can decrease taxpayer funds spent on overall maintenance.”

The measure was released by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, of which Spencer is chair.