SOMERVILLE, NJ –The Somerset County Planning Board has received the 2018 Achievement in Planning Award from the New Jersey Planning Officials organization.

The NJPO honors agencies for creating projects that reflect logical, sound and model approaches to planning and are beneficial to the community by improving quality of life for its residents, accvording to Somerset County Freeholder Brian Gallagher, planning liason. The county Planning Board received the award in recognition of its adoption of a new Housing Element for the Somerset County Master Plan.  The new Housing Element is an update to the 1987 Housing Element of the Somerset County Master Plan.

“Congratulations to the Planning Board and our planning staff for their exemplary work. They’ve developed a new strategy that is not only viable, but will help our communities thrive,” Gallagher said. “Somerset County’s goal is to continue to make ‘vibrant connections’ by enhancing communities through thoughtful investment and by coordinating infrastructure and planning decisions – and that’s exactly what the Planning Board will achieve with the new plan.”

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The Planning Board adopted the new Housing Element of the County Master Plan in November 2017 in order to help better serve as a guide for local and regional land use, housing plans, policies, programs, regulations and investment decisions. The updated plan provides suggestions for the location and design of residential development throughout the county, as well as recommendations for the appropriate investment of public and private funds to improve infrastructure, facilities, services and public amenities, and to help create sustainable, resilient, healthy and vibrant neighborhoods.    

The Planning Division staff are responsible for land development review and preparation of the Somerset County Master Plan and its various elements.  For more information about the Housing Element or the Somerset County Planning Board, contact Director of planning Walter C. Lane, AICP, PP, at PlanningBd@co.somerset.nj.us or call (908) 231-7021

As a nonprofit organization, NJPO provides education services, support and information to municipal planning boards, zoning boards of adjustment and elected officials. NJPO depends on the annual membership of more than 740 municipal and county planning boards, local zoning boards, governing bodies and is comprised of approximately 400 professionals and individuals for a total membership of 9,000.