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TRENTON, NJ-The State of New Jersey has launched the Smart Growth Ombudsman’s website, aimed at keeping the public informed about state growth management policy and the activities of the ombudsman, Patrick Gillespie. His position was created as part of the Smart Growth Act, which became law in 2004.

“Smart growth improves quality of life in New Jersey,” says Acting Gov. Richard Codey, who announced the launch of the site. “Through this site, the public will learn more about why well-planned, well-managed growth is so important.”

To state policymakers, smart growth translates as targeting growth that adds new homes and commercial businesses and creates jobs while preserving open space, farmland and environmental resources. The policy has its roots in the administration of former Gov. Christie Whitman and took on heightened emphasis during the administration of former Gov. James McGreevey. Codey took the reins as acting governor a year ago with McGreevey’s resignation.

“The goal of this policy is to alleviate development on our environmentally sensitive land by encouraging development in areas of the state that have the capacity to absorb growth,” Gillespie says. His office coordinates the related efforts of various state agencies and executive departments, notably the Departments of Environmental Protection, Transportation and Community Affairs. The website can be accessed atSmart Growth.

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