WHEREAS, transportation is essential to New Jersey’s economy and it is critical to foster a collaborative approach to make the best use of transportation resources; and
WHEREAS, institutional, jurisdictional, and regulatory requirements may impede the most efficient and effective use of transportation resources; and
WHEREAS, an integrated approach provides the best foundation for understanding the total State investment needed in roads, bridges, and public transit; and
WHEREAS, active proposals for private investment and development, focused on the casino industry and valued in the range of $10 to $15 billion over the next five to 10 years, are in various stages of construction, design, and planning in the City of Atlantic City; and
WHEREAS, such private investment is reasonably expected to generate approximately 40,000 new casino jobs and another 25,000 casino-related jobs and will attract millions of new visitors annually over the next 10 to 12 years, making the Atlantic City region one of the primary economic growth centers in the State; and
WHEREAS, the existing local and regional transportation systems and infrastructure serving Atlantic City frequently experience periods of congestion during weekends and the summer high tourism season and are inadequate to meet future regional demands given the expected economic expansion of the Atlantic City market; and
WHEREAS, the State must begin now to develop an implementation plan that addresses the foregoing expansion and the requisite transportation systems, infrastructure enhancements, and related workforce housing requirements; and
WHEREAS, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority was established to effectuate local and regional economic growth, among other priorities, including the planning and implementation of transportation and affordable housing initiatives; and
WHEREAS, since May 2007, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Transportation and in cooperation with more than twenty institutional stakeholders, has identified multimodal projects to improve local and regional transportation operations, infrastructure, and service to meet the near and long-term travel requirements of the Atlantic City region, and is in the process of preparing an implementation plan entitled the “Atlantic City Regional Transportation and Land Use Plan;” and
WHEREAS, no less than 15 State, county, and local agencies and governments have jurisdiction regarding the review, approval, and permitting of private development and related transportation improvement projects through the application of appropriate but often complex regulatory processes; and
WHEREAS, the timetable for governmental reviews and approvals can be unpredictable because of competing demands on staff resources and differing perspectives regarding priorities and interpretation and application of permit, design, and mitigation requirements; and
WHEREAS, several of the casino developments and near-term transportation projects require prompt, focused attention to deliver needed benefits to municipalities, the region, and the State; and
WHEREAS, the scale, complexity, and accelerated timing of the economic development, and the associated transportation investment to enable that growth, require efficient and expedited action by the approving agencies to capture market opportunities; and
WHEREAS, achieving the positive impact these developments may provide for the regional and State economies, in light of the current fiscal condition of the State, requires that the State take steps to provide for the timely development and implementation of private and public projects in the Atlantic City region; and
WHEREAS, the Commissioner of Transportation is uniquely qualified and ideally situated to centralize the strategic transportation infrastructure program as Commissioner of Transportation and Chairman of the New Jersey Transit Corporation, and as Chairman of the South Jersey Transportation Authority and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JON S. CORZINE, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
- There is hereby created, pursuant to Article V, Section IV, paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, the Atlantic City Regional Implementation Group for Housing and Transportation “AC RIGHT”. The mission of AC RIGHT shall be to coordinate and facilitate the implementation of near and long-term transportation infrastructure and systems and synergistic workforce housing projects primarily necessitated by casino resort development in Atlantic City.
- The AC RIGHT shall be composed of: the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation; the Executive Director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority; the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs; the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection; the Executive Director of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission; the Executive Director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority; the Executive Director of the New Jersey Transit Corporation; the Chief of the Office of Economic Growth; the Executive Director of the South Jersey Transportation Authority; a designee appointed by the Governor and serving at his pleasure; and such additional heads of appropriate State agencies and departments as the Chair of the AC RIGHT shall determine necessary and desirable in consultation with the Vice-Chair and the Office of the Governor. Vacancies on the AC RIGHT shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. Each of the members of the AC RIGHT may designate an officer or employee of their respective organizations to represent the member of the AC RIGHT and each designee may lawfully vote or otherwise act on behalf of the member for whom the designee serves.
- The AC RIGHT is authorized to engage relevant stakeholders, including county, municipal, and planning constituencies, including but not limited to the City of Atlantic City, Atlantic County, the Cross County Transportation Management Association, and the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization, as well as affected community, business, and industry groups.
- The Commissioner of Transportation shall serve as Chair of the AC RIGHT, and the Executive Director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority shall serve as Vice-Chair. They shall manage the AC RIGHT and issue biannual progress reports to the Governor.
- In furtherance of its mission, the AC RIGHT shall be authorized to:
- Identify the multi-agency and governmental regulatory processes applicable to a particular project that falls within its mission;
- Coordinate the expeditious multi-agency and governmental regulatory review of projects that fall within its mission;
- Make recommendations to improve or streamline the regulatory review processes for projects that fall within its mission;
- Conduct public meetings to increase public awareness of, and participation in, the mission and projects of the AC RIGHT; and
- Work with business and community groups to advance the mission of the AC RIGHT and facilitate necessary and desirable communication with all affected stakeholders.
- In addition to the member agencies and departments, the AC RIGHT is authorized to call upon any other department, office, division, or agency of this State to supply it with data and other information, personnel, or assistance available to such agency as the AC RIGHT deems necessary to discharge its duties under this Order. Each department, office, division, or agency of this State is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law, to cooperate fully with the AC RIGHT and to furnish the AC RIGHT such assistance on as timely a basis as is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order. The AC RIGHT may consult with experts or other knowledgeable individuals in the public or private sector on any aspect of its mission.
- The AC RIGHT, in collaboration with the Office of Economic Growth, shall, as necessary or desirable, convene agency executives to brief them on progress and to work in collaboration with other agencies to resolve policy matters that may impede implementation of AC RIGHT initiatives.
- The CRDA may provide staff in support of the AC RIGHT to assure experienced personnel and dedication of resources necessary and desirable to advance the elements of the Atlantic City Regional Transportation and Land Use Plan and the mission of the AC RIGHT.
- This Order shall take effect immediately.
GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 14th
day of May, Two Thousand and Nine,
and of the Independence of the United
States, the Two Hundred and Thirty-third.
/s/ Jon S. Corzine
/s/ William J. Castner, Jr.
Chief Counsel to the Governor