2015 Planning Assistance Projects Announced – Call for Volunteers

The APA-NJ Community Planning Assistance Program (CPAP) is looking for volunteer planners to work on this year’s projects. The program is initiating 5 projects throughout the state, with a variety of issues that we are being asked to address. As you will see, each of these projects is extremely interesting, and the clients are very excited about working with us. Please take a look at the project descriptions below and consider volunteering, either as a team leader or a member of a project planning team.

To submit your interest, please identify the project you are interested in along with your resume to Tom Schulze at cpap@njplanning.org.

Thanks in advance for considering this very worthwhile effort.

2015 Community Planning Assistance Projects

Transit Village Designation in Boonton, NJ

APA- NJ’s CPAP program is looking for volunteers to support a Transit Village planning project in downtown Boonton, NJ.

The Town would like to prepare an application for Transit Village designation, and needs planners to support that application. The designation would allow them to advance efforts to revitalize their downtown commercial area along Main Street. They are looking to select boundaries for the Transit Village area surrounding the NJ TRANSIT train station, and to develop strategies to create higher density housing in the district, to increase population to support the areas’ business and increase transit ridership. The township is open to the possibility of developing a brand for the area to help achieve their goals. There are also some open spaces that could be used to enhance recreational activities in the Main Street area. 

We are looking for planners with experience in the following areas:

  • Transit Village designation
  • Pedestrian improvements
  • Local economic development
  • Housing
  • Meeting facilitation
  • Strong project management skills

South Ward Children’s Alliance – Strategic Planning for Community Development – Newark, NJ

The CPAP program will be supporting the South Ward Children’s Alliance as they look for community development strategies that will support the families in their school with the challenges they face in their communities outside the school. The work will center on the students and their families attending BRICK Avon and Peshine Academies.

We are looking for planners with experience in the following areas:

  • Outreach strategies
  • Facilitation skills
  • Community development and improvement strategies in health, housing, workforce development, and youth development.
  • Strategic planning
  • Asset mapping/GIS
  • Data analysis
  • Strong project management skills

New Brunswick Tomorrow – French Street Commercial Area – New Brunswick, NJ

The CPAP project will support the non-profit community group, New Brunswick Tomorrow, to develop a strategic plan for addressing French Street’s most pressing issues. French Street is a multi-block retail area in the heart of New Brunswick’s Latino community. It is a central corridor in the larger, 57-block area that is the focus of NBT’s Esperanza Neighborhood Project, a comprehensive revitalization effort that began in 2014. The street is relatively healthy economically, with few vacant stores, and many businesses that do well. The goal of this effort will be to determine strategies for strengthening the area by making it more attractive and welcoming to existing customers and attracting people who do not currently visit the street, such as Rutgers students and employees, employees from other surrounding businesses and people from surrounding communities who could visit the streets numerous restaurants. They would like to have some analysis done of the area – both data analysis and field trips. They would like to have at least one public meeting as well as a meeting with a stakeholder group to seek feedback about potential solutions to the corridor’s most pressing issues. New Brunswick Tomorrow will use their existing networks in the community to recruit for meetings, and would be willing to partner with the CPAP team in design and facilitation of the meetings.

We are looking for planners with experience in the following areas:

  • Streetscape design
  • Traffic planning and calming
  • Pedestrian planning
  • Economic development strategies
  • Branding
  • Public meeting design and facilitation
  • Crime prevention through design
  • Creative placemaking
  • Strong project management skills

St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society – Strategic Planning for Housing and Truck Traffic – City of Gloucester

The APA- NJ CPAP program is looking for volunteer planners to work on a community driven strategic planning effort in the City of Gloucester, NJ. The City is a relatively stable community of about 11,000 people on the eastern bank of the Delaware River across from Philadelphia. While there is a waterfront park used mostly by residents, the majority of the waterfront is taken up by marine freight activities, mostly for Del Monte. The client will be St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society, who has been asked by the City to support them in the development of this strategic plan. The goal of the plan is to develop strategies to do the following:

  • Address up to 400 unoccupied housing units in the neighborhood.
  • Keep trucks that are going to and from the waterfront docks on designated truck routes and off local community streets.
  • Deal with large trucks that idle, sometimes for hours, as they wait to load and unload at the docks.
  • Strengthen the business climate in the neighborhood for small community owned businesses.

Ideal volunteers for this project will have some experience in the following areas:

  • Local level economic development
  • Housing
  • Truck/transportation planning
  • Strong project management skills

City of Passaic – Market Street Commercial Area Revitalization – Passaic, NJ

The City of Passaic is looking for a team of volunteer planners to support their efforts to revitalize Market Street in the East Side neighborhood. The city has taken several steps to encourage redevelopment along Market Street, including a redevelopment plan for several old under-used industrial properties that borders Market Street, and rezoning Market Street properties to allow higher density housing over first floor retrial building. These efforts have had some success. The City is getting a grant for streetscape improvements along Market Street. Also, they are easing parking requirements on Market Street to encourage larger ground floor stores, rather than parking on the ground floor.

The City would like to intensify their efforts by creating design standards for a facade improvement program they will fund with remaining UEZ funds, and design standards for a program to encourage higher density development on vacant parcels and parcels with one story retail buildings. 

We are looking for planners with experience in the following areas:

  • Commercial revitalization and redevelopment.
  • Local economic development.
  • Urban design – especially design of retail facades and infill multi-level housing.
  • Branding and other marketing strategies
  • Strong project management skills