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State Planning Commission Meets for the First Time Since 2009

February 16, 2011

Today marked the first meeting of the New Jersey State Planning Commission under the Christie administration.

Chairman Ed McKenna presided over the meeting, which was attended by new members Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, Economic Development Authority CEO Caren Franzini, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin and Schools Development Authority CEO Marc Larkins.  Also in attendance were Deputy Commissioner Chuck Richman from the Department of Community Affairs, Monique Purcell from the Department of Agriculture and Andy Swords from the Department of Transportation, along with public members Tom Michnewicz, Kenneth Albert, Mayor Shing Fu-Hseuh and John Eskilson, who was elected vice chair.

Gerry Scharfenberger, executive director of the Office of Planning Advocacy, announced that Dan Kennedy has joined the staff as deputy director.  He formerly served as coordinator of Burlington County’s Farmland Preservation Program and is a member of the Pinelands Commission.  Mr. Scharfenberger also reported that the office will host a Governor’s Institute workshop in the first half of this year; described the status of the office’s grant-making and plan endorsement petitions; and mentioned efforts to align the State Plan with CAFRA rules, as well as prepare a redevelopment database.

The commission’s only substantive action was to grant the Town of Newton’s request for an extension of its interim center and plan endorsement actions, which was approved without discussion.  The next commission meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 16.

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