For Immediate Release By Pinelands Commission:
Pinelands Commission certifies South Toms River Borough’s Master Plan
NEW LISBON, N.J. – During its meeting today, the New Jersey Pinelands Commission voted to certify South Toms River Borough’s Master Plan and Land Use Ordinances. The decision means that, for the first time since the Commission was established, all 53 Pinelands Area municipalities have adopted plans that comply with Pinelands rules.
“We’re very pleased with the Borough’s decision to comply with the Pinelands Plan,” said Nancy Wittenberg, the Commission’s Executive Director. “We’re also proud to say that all Pinelands municipalities and counties have plans in place that conform to the rules that preserve,protect and enhance the Pinelands.”
“The Borough is committed to a sustainable environment, and we are excited to receive this certification as reassurance of this commitment,” said Joseph Makhandal Champagne, Jr., Mayor of South Toms River. “We are constantly striving for the betterment of our Borough, and we thank the Pinelands Commission, our engineer, and our Governing Body for all of their hard work.”
The Pinelands Protection Act and the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP)require that each municipality with land in the Pinelands Area submit its master plan and land use ordinances to the Commission. The Commission reviews and determines whether the master plan and ordinances conform with the minimum standards of the CMP, which contains the rules that govern land-use, development and natural resource protection in the Pinelands.
South Toms River Borough has a total land area of 1.2 square miles, of which 360 acres (47 percent) lie within the 938,000-acre Pinelands Area. Another 20 acres lie within the Pinelands National Reserve, outside the state-designated Pinelands Area. The CMP designates the entire
Pinelands Area section of the Borough as a Regional Growth Area.
Although South Toms River Borough has been involved with the conformance process since 1981, significant progress was made only recently. The Borough’s history of not pursuing certification is likely due to the very limited amount of vacant land in the Pinelands Area portion of the municipality and the resulting lack of development activity. Nevertheless, in 2012, the Borough made a commitment to completing the certification process and subsequently adopted a revised Master Plan and Zoning Map, as well as other land use ordinance amendments necessary
for consistency with the CMP.
Actual Press Release