§§1 - 3
P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 233, approved August 30, 1997
Senate, No. 1262 (Second Reprint)
An Act concerning economic development in the Pinelands, 1[and]1 supplementing P.L.1979, c.111 (C.13:18A-1 et seq.), and making an appropriation.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. The Legislature finds and declares that the Pinelands comprehensive management plan and its accompanying land use regulations place a number of restrictions on opportunities for economic development in portions of the region in which growth is restricted and which are largely devoted to conservation and agriculture; that within these areas, there is potential for limited development that may be undertaken in a manner that does not detract from ecological protection goals; and that certain types of economic development can be identified that are compatible with the environmentally sensitive and rural character of the region.
The Legislature further finds and declares that small villages exist in non-growth portions of the region that include areas zoned for commercial and other uses but are isolated in the rural municipalities and lack the staff and resources for planning and economic development; that economic development of a certain type, such as ecotourism, retail sales and services, recreation, and light manufacturing, may be viable alternatives for these areas; and that in order to promote opportunities for these areas, it is necessary to create a program to research and test viable economic development opportunities and to design implementation strategies to bring development to these areas compatible with the ecologically sensitive nature of the region.
2. a. The Pinelands Commission shall develop a pilot program to assist rural Pinelands municipalities in non-growth regions in the Pinelands area in identifying economic development opportunities that complement regional requirements for resource protection and in attracting such development to the area. The pilot program shall be developed by the Pinelands Commission, together with several rural municipalities within non-growth areas in the Pinelands area chosen by the commission, to enable similarly situated municipalities to match local conditions with 1compatible1 economic development opportunities. The commission shall choose municipalities to participate in the program based on the extent to which: the entire municipality or large portions thereof are located in an environmentally sensitive area; limited sites are available for development; sewer service is unavailable in most of the municipality; large portions of the municipality are owned by the State; and no local resources are available for economic development planning.
b. The Pinelands Commission shall establish a partnership with each municipality participating in the program. The municipality shall be given technical and other assistance in developing a local economic development entity. Each local economic development entity shall, together with the commission, perform a community assessment to determine community interests and opportunities for development, and to identify sites for development that are compatible with resource protection and that take into account constraints on the scale of allowable development. The commission, together with the local economic development entities shall develop strategies for attracting development and shall develop promotional materials for that purpose, and shall develop links with county and regional economic development entities. The commission shall develop strategies for the expedited review of development applications and permits for such projects.
3. Not later than two years after the effective date of this act, the Pinelands Commission shall prepare and submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature describing the pilot program developed pursuant to this act, evaluating its effectiveness, 2detailing the expenditure of the funds appropriated pursuant to section 4 of P.L. , c. (C. )(now pending before the Legislature as this bill)2 and discussing its applicability to other regions of the State. The commission shall also make the report available, upon request, to any municipality in the State.
4. There is appropriated from the General Fund, the sum of $250,000 to the Pinelands Commission in order to implement the provisions of this act.
5. This act shall take effect immediately.
Establishes economic development project in the Pinelands; appropriates $250,000.