TRENTON, NJ – The NJ State Planning Commission today adopted its Warehouse Siting guidance. Developed by the Office of Planning Advocacy in the Department of State, the document is the result of several months of research, input gathering, and listening sessions conducted by the Office and the Commission to create comprehensive guidance that local governments can utilize when updating their master plans, zoning and development standards, and when reviewing development applications. State Planning Commission Chairman Thomas K. Wright furthered, “the guidance encourages interagency, municipal, and county cooperation and coordination in taking a more regional and capacity-based approach to accommodating warehouse and logistics industry needs in suitable locations.”
According to Donna Rendeiro, the Executive Director of the Office of Planning Advocacy, 47 comments were received from a variety of groups, individuals, municipalities, and counties, during the 50-day public comment period that closed on July 29. “While OPA understands the concerns expressed by the public, it is important to keep in mind that we are as much a home rule state as we are a logistics state,” said Director Rendeiro. “As land-use planning and development review occur predominantly at the local level in New Jersey, our approach has been to provide technical assistance and guidance within the context of sound planning and policy that balances competing needs – including protecting important resources and impacted communities, while ensuring economic growth and viability.”
According to U.S. Census Bureau economic statistics released in 2021, nearly 12.2% of all jobs located in New Jersey are in the wholesale trade or transportation and warehousing sectors of the economy, those that are devoted primarily to the storage and distribution of goods. This is the highest share among the 50 states. These sectors together are responsible for 15.7% of New Jersey’s total payroll and are the highest in the country.
“The guidance gives communities the tools they need to proactively plan for and locate desired warehouse development in a manner that makes for good neighbors and avoids these negative impacts,” added Melanie Willoughby, Executive Director of the Business Action Center.
While the logistics industry is extremely important to New Jersey’s economy, large-scale warehousing, can if not properly sited and scaled, result in negative regional impacts affecting adjacent communities, and transportation infrastructure that lacks adequate capacity. With the explosion of e-commerce and the resultant demand for warehouse space at an all-time high, both rural and urban areas of the State are feeling the pressure, as are New Jersey’s overburdened communities, valuable farmland, and environmentally sensitive areas.
Secretary of State Tahesha Way stated, “The guidance represents the collaborative efforts and input of many State agencies, counties, communities, and interests, including what we heard from the public. I am happy that we were able to balance concerns on both sides of this issue while working to provide implementable solutions that will allow the logistics industry to thrive more sustainably.”