New Jersey laws provide broad powers to municipal governments to protect public health, safety, and welfare through local planning and ordinances. The New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL) requires that a Master Plan be is prepared for municipalities to have the right to zone. The MLUL also requires that the Master Plan include:
Statement of Purpose: “A statement of objectives, principles, assumptions, policies, and standards upon which the proposals for the development of the municipality are based.” The proposals in the plan are based on the Vision Report, which provides a clear statement of objective and guiding principles. Each Topic Report includes specific goals as well as a background on why the City chose those goals. Finally, the Master Plan includes previous reports and studies that form a foundation of knowledge and assumptions.
Relationships with Other Plans: The Master Plan is required to describe its compatibility or consistency with other regional plans.
The State also requires two “Elements.” In this plan, “Elements” are referred to as “Reports.” The required reports include:
Land Use Report: The State requires that the Master Plan describe the future desired land use in relationship to natural features such as topography, soils, geology, groundwater recharge, streams, floodplains, wetland, and woodlands. The State requires that it include maps of existing and proposed development in relation to current and proposed zoning ordinances, and recommends standards for development densities. The Land Use Report of this plan meets these requirements. The Land Use and Community Form Plan, a section of the Land Use Report, provides information on the proposed zoning.
Housing Report: The Housing Report is intended to describe available housing types and strategies to achieve present and prospective housing needs. The inventory of current housing conditions is provided in the Laying the Foundations for Strong Neighborhoods Report (New Jersey Community Capital, Center for Community Progress, Isles, Inc., Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, Rutgers University-Newark, 2015). It is provided in Appendix C. The strategies to achieve present, and prospective housing needs are provided in the Housing Report.
In addition to these Elements, the City can adopt additional Elements that focus a wide variety of issues and needs. The City has written the following Reports:
Education and Workforce Development
Health and Food Systems
The City has plans to adopt the following additional Reports when funding becomes available:
Arts & Culture
Capital Improvement Plan
Community Facilities and Services
Energy Use and Greenhouse
Parks, Open Space, and Recreation
Solid Waste & Recycling
Storm Water Management