Community Planning Assistance Program

Message from Tom Schulze, CPAP Coordinator

Welcome and thank you for your interest in APA-NJ’s Community Planning Assistance Program.   Our goal is to provide volunteer planning support to municipalities and community-based organizations in New Jersey.  

The types of issues that could be addressed in the program include; developing vision plans, housing needs assessment, environmental planning, site planning, local transportation plans or traffic circulation studies, parking strategies, transit oriented development and redevelopment conceptual plans, developing a planning process, guidance on neighborhood-based plans, economic development initiatives, and recreation needs.

We are entering the third year of the program and have successfully completed over a dozen community driven plans throughout New Jersey. You can see a brief description of these below.

If you have any questions or need more information, I encourage you to contact me.

 CPAP Projects & Updates

Community Planning Workshops

posted on March 10th, 2014 in CP Assistance Program

Chapter volunteers have conducted two Community Planning Workshops to introduce planners and Community based groups to the benefits of developing community-driven plan for their areas. The goal of the workshops is to make community based organizations more aware of how a plan can support their overall objectives and to introduce planners to the needs of this relatively untapped market for planning.

Urban League of Essex County

posted on December 20th, 2013 in CP Assistance Program

CPAP was contacted by the Urban League to support their efforts to resist a plan by the local utility to place a major electric switching station in the middle of the Fairmount neighborhood in Newark’s Central Ward. The site being proposed for the switching station was identified the Fairmount neighborhood’s plan as for mixed use, job-generating commercial and residential development. Chapter volunteers advised the neighborhood on technical issues related to the utility’s proposal and supported their efforts prepare testimony to given to Newark’s Board of Adjustment.

West Side Park Neighborhood (Newark)

posted on December 16th, 2013 in CP Assistance Program

The CPAP team was invited to develop a strategic plan for this neighborhood surrounding the West Side County Park in Newark’s Central Ward. The neighborhood has many of the challenges facing older city neighborhoods throughout New Jersey, including poverty, high crime, challenged schools, abandoned buildings and lot, a lack of jobs, and inadequate recreational activities for children. All of these challenges have become more severe since the recession that started in 2008, now exacerbated by the high number of foreclosed residential properties.

Jewish Renaissance Foundation – Reinvigorating Perth Amboy’s Smith Street

posted on December 16th, 2013 in CP Assistance Program

CPAP volunteers were invited to Perth Amboy to work with the public, municipal officials, and business owners to develop strategies for improving the City’s commercial street, Smith Street. The effort was concentrated on the portion of Smith Streets west of the NJ TRANSIT train station. The planning work was carefully coordinated with several other planning efforts that were underway in the area, including a Together North Jersey funded TOD study at the train station and larger area-wide plan funded by the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. The planning work involved two meetings with the public, a survey or business owners and customers on Smith Streets, and numerous field visits.

Seaside Heights Charette

posted on December 14th, 2013 in CP Assistance Program

Chapter volunteers participated in a public charette in Seaside Heights on October 29 to support the non-profit, Architecture for Humanity. AfH is working with the community to design a new event center on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights. The event center will be funded with money raised by MTV after Superstorm Sandy damaged the Seaside Heights boardwalk.

Bergen Communities United Neighborhood Plan

posted on November 16th, 2013 in CP Assistance Program

CPAP volunteers worked with this Community Based Organization in the Bergen Hill section of Jersey City to update its community plan so it would continue quality for funds from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The team held two public meetings to see how priorities in the neighborhood changed since the original plans were prepared. The plan was then updated with the new information.

Perth Amboy Post Sandy Plans for Rebuilding the Waterfront

posted on April 29th, 2013 in CP Assistance Program

CPAP volunteers were asked to review the plans by the City’s engineer for quickly rebuilding the waterfront area along Kill Van Kull and Raritan Bay. The area was badly damaged in the storm, and the city wanted to begin the repairs in time for the 20__ summer season on the waterfront. The volunteers attended a presentation by the engineer to the city officials, then, within several days, delivered a review of the proposals. The review affirmed the majority of the engineer’s proposals, and made some recommendations for making the waterfront more resilient in future storms.