After municipalities obtain Initial Plan Endorsement they become eligible for a limited set of benefits. Once a municipality has an endorsed plan, they can pursue Advanced Plan Endorsement in order to receive a more comprehensive set of benefits.
Initial Plan Endorsement requires the submission of the municipal master plan and sub-elements, as well as population and employment projections, zoning and land use maps, a natural resource inventory, a farmland preservation plan and other relevant planning documents itemized in the 2004 Plan Endorsement Guidelines. Additionally, the municipality must submit a Planning and Implementation Agreement (PIA). The PIA identifies the means and the schedule for achieving the goals of the endorsed plan.
Prior to initiating Plan Endorsement, municipalities can request a pre-petition meeting with the Office of Smart Growth and representatives of state agencies such as the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture and the Council on Affordable Housing. At that time state representatives will explain the process of Plan Endorsement, including the requisite planning documents that must be submitted for review.