is Smart Growth?
Cherry Hill supports the statewide initiative of "Smart Growth." Smart Growth
America, a public advocacy organization that promotes community growth, defines
Smart Growth as neighborhood livability; better access to destinations and less
traffic congestion; thriving cities, suburbs and towns; shared benefits for
the community by emphasizing mixed-used development; lower municipal costs and
taxes; and preserving open space.
Mayor Bernie Platt, utilizing the framework of these core principles, envisions
smart growth as a process that will improve the quality of life for our residents,
businesses and consumers by finding alternate uses for vacant properties that
are supported by Cherry Hill's existing infrastructure. Our goal is to serve
the community, the economy, and the environment.
Using the principles of smart growth, Cherry Hill remains a vibrant South
Jersey center for commerce, retail and employment. The Township targets vacant
commercial or industrial-zoned properties for revitalization. By working within
the Township's existing infrastructure, municipal costs are lowered, traffic
congestion is reduced and green space remains.
Over the last few years, Cherry Hill has made important strides in its revitalization
effort by designating redevelopment zones (consistent with the New Jersey Redevelopment
and Housing Law). These zones give the Township more flexibility in negotiating
with prospective developers or businesses. The Township's first redevelopment
zone was recently sold to Mercedes-Benz of Cherry Hill, which will build a new
50,000 square foot facility on Route 70. The Cherry Hill Towers is another redevelopment
zone that will add luxury apartments to the Township's commercial center.
Protecting Our Environment
While Cherry Hill is attracting and retaining new businesses, the Township
continues its efforts to acquire and preserve more land for open space. Cherry
Hill established an open space fund for the Township to purchase parcels of
open space. The Cherry Hill Environmental Advisory Committee, a volunteer committee
comprised of Cherry Hill residents with environmental expertise, prioritized
parcels of land for the Township's subsequent purchase. We hope in the coming
months that we will have announcements to make in our quest to preserve more
Businesses in Cherry Hill will soon be required by the New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection's Stormwater Best Management Practice Manual to
upgrade stormwater run-off. These new regulations will create better water quality
throughout our region. Cherry Hill will partner with businesses and environmental
consultants to arrive at the new standards, aimed at eliminating total suspended
solids (sediments, metals, hydrocarbons and floatables) from the Township's
Smart Growth in Action
Garden State Park
The Township and the developer for the Garden State Park site are working together
to provide a mixed-use community consistent with the framework of smart growth.
The 225-acre site will feature a town center, upscale retail, apartments and
condominiums, a central park, a hotel and office space. This new development
will provide a range of housing choices in a distinctive, attractive community
that will be pedestrian-friendly and improve the quality of life in Cherry Hill.
New Master Plan
The Township's new Master Plan will also reflect the values of smart growth.
The document, which will be finished this year, will be a dynamic blueprint
for future improvements, redevelopment and conservation. The Master Plan incorporates
Township-wide and neighborhood vision, providing guidance for improving Cherry
Improving Traffic Flow and Safety
Another key tenet of smart growth is improving access to jobs, homes and other
destinations by reducing traffic congestion. Cherry Hill is working with state,
county and local officials to arrive at traffic solutions. We have taken a regional
approach to improving traffic conditions realizing that congestion does not
begin and end at our borders. We have involved residents, elected officials,
professional planners, engineers and transportation experts to help improve
traffic safety and flow throughout Cherry Hill and the region.
By employing the principles of smart growth, redeveloping its vacant buildings
and working within the Township's infrastructure, Cherry Hill continues to be
the premier community in South Jersey. It is a great place to live, work and
raise a family.
For more NJ Smart Growth information - click