The goal of the Hudson County Master Plan Re-examination is to help the County and municipalities incorporate smart growth and sustainable community approaches into their development plans, regulations, and hazard mitigation goals and objectives, particularly to increase their flood resilience. Flood resilience means measures taken to reduce the vulnerability of communities to damage from flooding and to support recovery after an extreme flood. “Growing smart” in Hudson County means using existing resources efficiently and preserving the land, buildings, and environmental features that shape the regions. Communities can become more resilient to future flooding events by taking a multi-faceted approach to land use and development that includes, for example, locating development in safer locations, designing development and infrastructure so it is less likely to be damaged during flooding events, and revising zoning and ordinances to encourage these changes.
The County must address not only the probability of flooding and the vulnerability of its structures and infrastructure, but the consequences of those hazard to populations and their communities. The Plan will address the idea of social vulnerability as being as significant as the damage to the built environment. People and communities have difficulty bouncing back after significant flooding events – these affect entire communities. Hurricane Sandy demonstrated that damage to infrastructure and critical facilities, displacing people and businesses, and disabling transportation systems had great impacts to people’s psyche and everyday lives. While ratable loss, business interruption and tourism losses can be accurately estimated, the toll on the fabric of communities is more difficult to quantify and has a pervasive and long-lasting impact. A resilient County Plan will support public safety, economic stability and future prosperity.
In updating the Hudson County Master Plan the report will:
- Identify the major challenges and objectives relating to land development from the 2002 Master Plan and 2008 Re-Examination;
- Determine if the challenges and objectives have been addressed; and
- Identify any significant changes in assumptions, policies and objectives forming the basis for the plan, with particular regard to land development regulations.
In addition to these statutory requirements, H2M will:
- Prepare a performance measure matrix that visually conveys how the county and its municipalities are progressing in key areas of interest; and
- Identify specific projects which will serve to implement the goals and objectives of the plan.
The report will identify what changes have occurred since the 2002/2008 Plans, which may impact the municipal and county land use policy, assumptions, and objectives. This includes discussing the impacts of major events and contemporaneous issues (i.e., Superstorm Sandy and other storm events); changes in demographics; changes in housing conditions; physical changes to land use; major development projects and approvals; transportation infrastructure; shifts in local priorities; and local policies and regulations.