def #155 08/11/10
OCEAN COUNTY SUPPORTS REGIONAL PLANNING GRANT PROGAM
TOMS RIVER - Noting that Ocean County continues to be one of the fastest growing counties yet is underserved by mass transit, officials here are
providing support to a regional planning program that targets future growth in transit accessible locations in order to better connect existing jobs
"Ocean County continues its ongoing efforts to secure better mass transit opportunities for its residents," said Freeholder Director James F.
Lacey. "We believe that by signing on to this planning grant program, it will help in addressing our future needs."
Lacey, on behalf of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, wrote to Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development, noting the county was pleased to provide a letter of support and commitment for the North Jersey Sustainable Communities Consortium's
application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development FY 2010 Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program.
"We understand that the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program is intended to support regional planning efforts that integrate
housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation and infrastructure investments," Lacey wrote.
He added this planning program would provide benefits to Ocean County because it looks at how jurisdictions can consider interdependent challenges of
economic competitiveness and revitalizations while balancing this with public health and environmental impacts.
Lacey noted the unique makeup of Ocean County, which includes large environmentally sensitive areas, must be considered when undertaking regional
"We have and continue to take into consideration our environment when it comes to development in Ocean County," Lacey said. "We look at water quality,
open space, the impact on Barnegat Bay and a host of other items and we work toward a balance that will benefit the environment and the economy in
Lacey stated in his letter that Ocean County will be an enthusiastic partner in the North Jersey Sustainable Communities Consortium if the state's
grant application being made by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority is successful.
The federal government is making grants of up to $5 million available to encourage regional consortiums in metropolitan areas to engage in planning
that promotes livable communities, as envisioned by the partnership of HUD, the federal Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection
Lacey said the NJTPA region which covers 13 New Jersey counties including Ocean County, is ready for such a regional planning effort and there would be
no cost to the county.
"This three-year study will provide us with a voice in planning initiatives on a greater scale," said Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and
Public Safety. "This will help create a more sustainable future for our region."