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Monday, July 15, 2024

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CMCo’s Comprehensive Plan Update Pushed to Spring 2021

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By Vince Conti

COURT HOUSE – The Cape May County Planning Board is required to develop and adopt “a master plan for the physical development of the county.” 
In Cape May County, that document is called the Comprehensive Plan. The first such plan was adopted in 1962, and the most recent iteration dates to 2002.
Last fall, the county’s Planning Department Director Leslie Gimeno said the department was working on an update to the plan, with a goal of a draft document for public comment in spring 2020. The effort to redo the plan is a year behind the original goal due to the pandemic.
The document, last circulated and reviewed in 2005, deals with an overview of traditional master plan elements on a county level, even though county government has little control over land-use issues. Leadership and authority in that realm rest with the county’s 16 municipalities.
The current, aged plan does not provide a vision for the county’s future.  It is almost bereft of maps, current data, or detailed recommendations. Gimeno said last year that she hopes this sixth iteration of the plan can be constructed in such a way that it will present an integrated vision of county development, useful to officials and the public.
A statement published on the Planning Department’s website says that the revision is expected in spring 2021. This time, the county planners will have help from a professional planning firm. The expectation is that following the distribution of a draft document in the spring, hearings will be scheduled for public comment.

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