New Jersey SB2607: Requiring land use plan element of municipal master plan to include climate change-related hazard vulnerability assessment

New Jersey enacted SB2607 on February 4, 2021, amending the required components for municipal master plans in New Jersey to incorporate climate change risks and adaptation strategies. Specifically, the land use element of any master plan adopted after the bill’s passage must include a climate change and extreme weather vulnerability assessment as well as natural hazard mitigation strategies. 

The requirement applies to the land use element of the municipal master plan, which is one of sixteen required planning elements. The requirement does not apply retroactively, but any land use elements adopted after the passage of the bill must include the climate vulnerability assessment step. The assessment must at a minimum address effects of changing temperature, drought, and sea-level rise, and must identify measures designed to mitigate reasonably anticipated hazards, including:

  • coastal storms,
  • shoreline erosion,
  • flooding,
  • storm surge, and 
  • wind.

Lastly, the legislation adds a provision to the municipal master plan process to provide technical assistance in preparing climate risk assessments. A planning board may request such technical assistance from the state department of environmental protection.

Publication Date: February 4, 2021

Related Organizations:

  • State of New Jersey

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  • Laws
  • Legislation

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