Principal Investigator: David Aimen
Somerset County adopted its County Investment Framework (CIF) map and policy recommendations to serve as the geographic basis for all County planning projects and initiatives and incorporated it as an element of the County Master Plan in April 2014. The CIF established definitions, boundaries and general strategies for development for several investment area categories, including Priority Growth Investment Areas. GIS-based infrastructure, community and environmental asset maps informed a “criteria-based approach” for identifying areas most suitable for growth and preservation in the county.
In collaboration with the Somerset County Office of Planning, Policy and Economic Development (OPPED), Rutgers-VTC is providing planning technical assistance to update the CIF by incorporating emerging planning considerations, refreshing data sets, and developing new approaches to identifying investment areas. OPPED seeks to preserve and enhance the CIF as a model for regional land use planning excellence in Somerset County and statewide.
The CIF is intended to support regional and local smart growth, preservation, economic revitalization, sustainability and resiliency planning initiatives; achieve tactical alignment of land use, infrastructure and preservation plans, resources, programs, policies and investment decisions; and convey a clear investment message about regional and local land use priorities to both public and private sectors. OPPED intends to advance the CIF Update as part of a complete, updated Master Plan Land Use Element for Somerset County that can be endorsed and implemented by all sectors and government jurisdictions and reflective of planning priorities at the state, regional and local levels.