Infrastructure planning ensures that the County's physical infrastructure such as our roads, intersections, and bridges are maintained and enhanced as the population of Atlantic County continues to grow. While the OPPD works closely with the Division of Engineering in the design, construction, and inspection of these capital improvements, it also works in conjunction with the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO) - the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the South Jersey region. This agency is responsible for the equitable distribution of State and Federal transportation dollars for capital road and bridge improvements.
Atlantic County's robust employment and population growth has resulted in the need for strong regional planning due to the stress placed on the County's physical infrastructure as well as the services of County and municipal governments. In an effort to provide for this growth the Atlantic County Department of Regional Planning and Development updated, in October of 2000, the Atlantic County Master Plan and the Atlantic County Open Space and Recreation Plan. On June 4, 2002 the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted revised Atlantic County Land Development Standards. These design guidelines apply to all development applications submitted to the Atlantic County Development Review Committee.
One of the biggest impacts of growth has been the tremendous pressure exerted on the County's transportation infrastructure. Atlantic County through its involvement in the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO) - the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) responsible for allocating State and Federal Transportation funds has guaranteed that our roads, intersections, and bridges remain in good condition through regular capital road and bridge improvements.
The Atlantic County Land Development Standards adopted in June 2002 provide procedures and standards for review of land development by Atlantic County. The Atlantic County Development Review Committee (DRC) exists within the department and as a subcommittee of the County's Planning Advisory Board, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40: 27-6.8.
In 2000, the Great Egg Harbor Watershed Effort was launched to preserve and protect our regions main watershed. The Great Egg Harbor Watershed, also know as Area #15, spans a vast portion of Atlantic County and constitutes a valuable natural resource.
Serving in an advisory capacity, the Atlantic County Planning Advisory Board (PAB) was created within the County Division of Planning in lieu of the County Planning Board to consult with the Department of Planning on all planning matters which affect the County. This involvement is evidenced by PAB support for such County initiatives such as applications for land acquisition, support for amendments to the Water Quality Management Plan, support for the renewal of the State of New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund and support of the State's Development and Redevelopment Plan, the Strategic Growth Initiative, and the Great Egg Harbor Watershed planning effort.
With respect to amendments to the Atlantic County Water Quality Management Plan, the PAB provides recommendations to the Board of Chosen Freeholders. The Freeholders, in their capacity as the designated area wide planning agency, adopt these amendments in accordance with Section 208 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
The PAB is also the lead public agency for public participation in planning and sponsors public meetings and informational seminars of current interest. Lastly, the PAB hears appeals to decisions of the DRC when contested by aggrieved applicants or affected parties.