New Jersey Assemblyman Danielsen Introduces Legislation to Address Warehouse Sprawl

New Jersey Assemblyman Danielsen Introduces Legislation to Address Warehouse Sprawl

 

TRENTON – Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (LD-17) has introduced legislation to address the ongoing issue of warehouse sprawl throughout the state. Assembly bill A5802 would establish a $1 million pilot program in the Office of Planning Advocacy (OPA) to reimburse municipalities for expenditures related to reexamining and updating municipal zoning ordinances concerning warehouse development or conducting a warehouse mitigation study.

 

This bill builds on the warehouse guidance provided by OPA and ensures that municipalities have the tools to responsibly site warehouse development. It also directs OPA to create one or more model zoning ordinances detailing different regulatory options for the siting of warehouses to help communities avoid negative impacts such as increased traffic volume, wear on infrastructure, increased stormwater runoff, deceased public health, or any other impact category determined by the office.

 

“Right now the Office of Planning Advocacy can offer warehouse guidance to municipalities, but it does not have the associated resources to help communities reexamine relevant plans and ordinances,” said Assemblyman Danielsen. “This pilot program will provide municipalities with the proper resources to adapt their land use policies to account for significant increases in warehouse development throughout the state and mitigate potential impacts on their environment and community.”

 

The pilot program would provide grant funding to reimburse a municipality for:

  • A reexamination of the municipality’s master plan and adoption of a zoning ordinance consistent with OPA’s guidance on warehouse development
  • A mitigation study on the potential effects of pending warehouse development site plan applications and, regardless of the results of the mitigation study, adoption of a zoning ordinance consistent with OPA’s guidance on warehouse development

“We support this legislation because warehouse projects should not come at the cost of clean air, public health or severe flooding,” said Katie Perrone, Policy Assistant, New Jersey LCV. “Warehouses are being sited in places that just don’t make sense–such as near schools, on farmland, in beloved green spaces, in communities already suffering from air pollution, and in places where there are already flooding concerns from overdevelopment.”

 

“Communities across the state have outdated municipal zoning ordinances and master plans, especially when it comes to ensuring responsible warehouse placement,” said Zoe Baldwin, NJ Director, Regional Plan Association. “This pilot program would provide critical resources to local governments that will facilitate smart land use decisions, and ultimately reduce the impact of these facilities on our communities.”

“This legislation is a good first step to address warehouse sprawl,” said Tom Gilbert, Co-Executive Director, New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “Without proper planning, warehouse development will continue to result in the loss of important farmland and open spaces, and add to already poor air quality in overburdened communities.”

 

“We are excited to see the legislature take this first step toward the siting of warehouses by providing funding to municipalities to reexamine how they zone warehouse development,” said Sabrina Rodriguez, Advocacy and Government Affairs Manager, New Jersey Future. “When poorly sited, warehouses can undermine the quality of life, public health, the environment, and the economy. This will be an excellent precursor to upcoming legislative efforts that will make for a more transparent and regionally relevant process.”

 

Assemblyman Danielson and supporters hope this bill will provide municipalities with the proper resources to adapt their land use policies to account for significant increases in warehouse development throughout the state and mitigate potential impacts on their environment and community.

 

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