N.J. development map to undergo changes
Trenton Times, Friday, April 25, 2003
Gov. James E. McGreevey's so-called "Big Map," which divides the state
into color-coded regions slated for growth, cautious development and
protection, will be taken off the state's Web site today as
administration officials prepare to redraw it.
McGreevey officials will discuss the map's shadings with planners in
each of the state's 21 counties over the next several months before
adopting a final planning document.
"We don't want to force this down everyone's throat. We'll see where
it's right and where it's wrong," said an administration official
familiar with the map. "This was always just a first draft."
Patrick O'Keefe, president of the New Jersey Builder's Association,
called the map "fraught with errors," charging that administration
officials had used outdated information on development patterns in the
state to compose it.
"The rush to get it out there was a blunder," O'Keefe said. "The map
itself was premature - technologically and statistically defective."
Environmental advocates, who are urging the McGreevey administration to
adopt tight controls on development, said the map had already served an
important purpose, however.
"The purpose of the map is to raise awareness of where environmental
constraints are, and that's been accomplished," said Jeffrey Tittel,
director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club. "Now it's time
to get everyone together to implement the regulations on smart growth."