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Monmouth County Open Space Plan

Monmouth County Open Space Plan

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the Monmouth County Park System in the preparationof the Preliminary Draft Open Space Plan as well asthe Final Draft Open Space Plan, the adoption processby the Monmouth County Planning Board involves anadditional layer of public review and comment.Before adopting the Monmouth County Open SpacePlan as an Element of the GMG, the MonmouthCounty Planning Board will hold at least one publichearing advertised by Public Notice a minimum oftwenty days prior to the hearing. Further, the FinalDraft Monmouth County Open Space Plan and a copyof the Public Notice is formally distributed to themunicipal clerk and planning board secretary of eachmunicipality in the county and to the county planningboards of adjoining counties. The Monmouth CountyPark System will distribute copies of the Final DraftMonmouth County Open Space Plan to all otheragencies, departments and individuals who receivedthe Preliminary Draft. The document will also bemade available on the Monmouth County PlanningBoard web site, www.monmouthplanning.com andthe Monmouth County Park System web site,www.monmouthcountyparks.com. While thisadditional layer of public review and comment mayseem redundant, it serves to strengthen the planningprocess and results in a more effective plan.Upon completion of the Monmouth County PlanningBoard adoption process, the Plan will be presented tothe Monmouth County Board of RecreationCommissioners for its adoption.Manasquan Reservoir11

LAND PRESERVATION GOAL AND POLICIESThe goal of the Monmouth County Open Space Plan is to permanently preserve publicland of county significance to support future regional conservation and recreationneeds throughout the county. The land should form an integrated system of open spacethat is sufficiently diverse and comprehensive to protect the significant natural and manmadelandscapes that have defined Monmouth County in past generations and to provide awide range of resource-based recreation opportunities for current and future generations.Roles and ResponsibilitiesThe responsibility for the open space system, like otherforms of infrastructure, is shared by public agencies at alllevels of government, non-profit agencies and groups, andprivate citizens and corporate entities.Private citizens and corporate entities play a key role inthe health of the open space system as property owners.Privately owned land, such as farms, stream valleys, andwoodlands, can serve the passive open space functions ofnatural resource preservation, protection of public healthand safety, and enhancement of community character;these benefits, which accrue to the general public at nodirect expense, are often ignored until a developmentproposal threatens their continued existence. Privatelyowned recreation facilities such as marinas, golf courses,swim clubs, horseback riding stables, and health clubs,service a considerable segment of the recreation demand;if they were to cease, levels of service would suffer unlessthere was a significant public investment in such facilities.Non-profit agencies and groups also serve an importantfunction in the open space system. Some groups, such asthe scout organizations and the YMCA, own land andoperate recreational facilities. Private land trusts and otherconservation groups hold title or easements to landdedicated as open space and assist public agencies innegotiating and financing land acquisition. Other groups,both formal and ad hoc, perform an educational andadvocacy role, promoting open space protection.Beyond the obvious role of public park and recreationproviders, government agencies exercise considerableinfluence on the open space system. As owners of land,from large military installations to administrative andpublic works complexes to school complexes to bridgecrossings, they directly control the manner in whichmuch of the county's land area is developed. As thecaretakers of much of our major infrastructure,including roads, water, and sewers, and as regulatorsof development by others through zoning, developmentregulations, permit requirements and other reviewauthority, they are the principal parties determiningwhere and how private development occurs. Asadministrators of programs, from recreation to historicpreservation to shade tree management to communitydevelopment, their commitment of funds and energyreveals the government's resource priorities. As providersof public open space, the relative responsibilities ofthe different levels of government with a presence inMonmouth County can be described as follows:12

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