The Municipal Master Plan

The New Jersey Legislature has delegated most of the responsibility for land use to municipalities. However, decisions made by state agencies, county governments and even neighboring municipalities also play an important role in the actual development patterns. Ultimately it is the municipal master plan that creates the foundation for the local zoning and land ordinances that govern development. A master plan that clearly states environmental and development goals provides a solid base for the ordinances so vital to protect a community’s public health, safety and general welfare.  Click here for more information about elements of a Master Plan.

As of February 2021, the NJ Municipal Land Use Lase requires a climate change-related hazard vulnerability assessment as a part of any future master plan update.  You can find a Climate Change resiliency plan guide here or go to  Resilient NJ for more information.

Sustainable Communities

There are different approaches to meet present and future environmental, social and economic needs. Elements of a sustainable community include leadership, civic engagement and responsibility, ecological integrity, economic security, and social well-being. For more information and resources on Sustainable Communities download the informational sheet here.

Smart Land Use

ANJEC has created a Smart Growth Survival Kit to help guide ECs  through the Master Planning process and offer practical approaches to managing growth.  ANJEC can provide information and references for pro-active and comprehensive municipal planning to help implement natural resource protection and State Development and Redevelopment consistency.

The Smart Growth Survival Kit includes the following Elements:
Environmental Resource Inventory (resource paper)
Vision Statement
Planning– Build-out Capacity
Affordable Housing
Open Space  (resource paper)
Master Plan

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