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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2005

Contact: Erin Phalon
Elaine Makatura
(609) 984-1795

DEP PROPOSES AMENDMENTS TO COASTAL CENTER RULES

Proposal Would Reestablish Coastal Centers in Towns Seeking Plan Endorsement

(05/71) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced proposed changes to the Coastal Zone Management rules that address the development of coastal centers that expired February 7, 2005. The proposed changes are designed to provide relief to municipalities that began their approval process for plan endorsement by the Department of Community Affairs Office of Smart Growth.

"The proposed amendment provides an incentive for municipalities to engage in the State Planning process which considers growth, population trends and other issues that impact our precious coastal environment," said Commissioner Campbell. "The changes provide a compromise toward protecting the state's coastal resources while accommodating future development needs."

The proposed rule amendments would reestablish coastal centers for municipalities that are actively engaged in the state planning process on July 5 and municipalities that initiate the state planning process by August 2. The latter must submit to the state Office of Smart Growth a petition for initial plan endorsement and obtain a completeness determination by March 16, 2006.

The proposed amendments would protect ecologically sensitive lands from inappropriate development. Wetlands, endangered and threatened wildlife habitat, natural heritage priority sites, dedicated open space, special water resource protection areas and critical environmental sites would not be considered part of the reestablished mainland coastal center, except for Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA) permit applications received prior to February 7, 2005.

Coastal centers reestablished through the proposed rule would remain effective until approved as CAFRA centers or until March 15, 2007. CAFRA centers have been formally approved by the State Planning Commission and permanently adopted by DEP.

Coastal center designation is used to determine the impervious cover allowed and vegetative cover required for proposed developments in coastal areas. Coastal Zone Management rules set standards for protection of natural resources and appropriate land use and development while maintaining public access to coastal resources.

Special rules governing the development of coastal centers expired February 7, 2005. Towns containing coastal centers were given 5 years to get development plans approved.

 

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NJDEP Coastal Management Program
http://www.nj.gov/dep/cmp/czm_news.html

 

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