February 13, 2004
Municipal Land Use Center Now at TCNJ
Ewing, NJ—The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) is pleased to partner with the state to form the Municipal Land Use Center (MLUC) at TCNJ, which will be discussing its future plans and goals at an open house on the TCNJ campus on February 27 at 10 a.m. in Paul Loser Hall room 106. Congressman Rush Holt will be the keynote speaker. County and municipal elected and appointed officials will be in attendance as well as representatives of the New Jersey League of Municipalities and New Jersey Planning Officials and non-governmental organizations concerned about land use throughout the state.
Difficulties resulting from suburban sprawl have become a major concern throughout the country, and nowhere is the concern greater than in New Jersey. With a $1.9 million, three-year federal grant from the Federal Highway Administration(FHWA) obtained through Rush Holt’s office, the MLUC will primarily serve municipalities in the five counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Somerset. The Center will seek to supplement municipal resources through training and by providing valuable technical assistance, while acknowledging municipalities as the key point of intervention to improve land use decision-making in the five-county region. It will also attempt to draw upon and apply the appropriate resources of The College of New Jersey in its efforts.
“Despite laudable efforts by the state as well as regional planning initiatives, municipalities and counties often make decisions without the information necessary to see how those decisions impact the region,” noted Martin Bierbaum, executive director of the MLUC at TCNJ. “The MLUC at TCNJ will support local land-use decision making by providing technical assistance and facilitating access to valuable state, federal and non-governmental resources. We seek to promote smart growth, which takes into account local and regional impacts related to fiscal, transportation, environmental and affordable housing concerns.”
The Municipal Land Use Center at TCNJ is currently staffed by Bierbaum, executive director, Donna Drewes, principal planning coordinator, and Linda Rosner, executive assistant. A data analyst is expected to be hired shortly. In addition, the MLUC has a five member board overseeing direction of the center. The board members are: Edmund “Ted” Stiles, a professor of biology at Cook College, Rutgers University, who currently serves as president of the board; the Honorable Larry Fink, mayor of Holmdel Township; Ingrid W. Reed, director of New Jersey Projects at the Eagleton Institute, Rutgers University; Martin E. Robins, Director, Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, Edward J. Bloustein School, Rutgers University; and Robert J. Wolfe, principal, Picus Associates, a land development and management firm.
Bierbaum holds masters’ degrees in political science and city and regional planning, a J.D., and a Ph.D. in planning and public policy. He has been on the graduate faculty in public administration at Rutgers University as well as having worked as an attorney and planning consultant. From March 2002 to April 2003, Bierbaum served in the McGreevey administration’s Governor’s Policy Office as Deputy Policy Director responsible for smart growth-related issues. During his 16-year state government career before working in the Governor’s Policy Office, he held policy-making positions as assistant director of the Office of State Planning, Director of Environmental Planning within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Special Assistant to the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. He also served as Commissioners’ designee on the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority the Urban Coordinating Committee and the New Jersey State Planning Commission.
Drewes is an award-winning professional planner with nearly 24 years’ experience in community and natural resource planning in New Jersey. She has worked for public agencies and non-governmental organizations, and as a private planning consultant. Her experience includes extensive work in the development of master plan and conservation plan elements and ordinance drafting with an emphasis on rural and environmental resource management issues. Drewes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Soil Science and a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning, both from Rutgers University.
Rosner’s academic background includes a master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University. Rosner has worked in academic and medical settings for over 25 years. She worked at Mercer County Community College counseling students and working collaboratively with New Jersey colleges and universities to develop and administer articulation agreements to establish seamless pathways for students transferring from two year to four year schools. Beginning in 1999, Ms. Rosner was employed by the American Red Cross, Central New Jersey Chapter, engaged in a wide variety of special events and fundraising activities.