Welcome to Lovely Picturesque Woolwich Twp.
Three little words. One bright horizon for Woolwich Township.
The words: Transfer of Development Rights (TDR). The outcome: sweeping changes that have propelled the quiet township into the limelight as the fastest growing community in Gloucester County and the second fastest in the entire northeast.
Much of the township's dynamic growth can be attributed to its exceptional location.
Woolwich Township is located between the parallels of Route 295 and the New Jersey Turnpike at a point where they are bisected by Route 322. At the heart of the nation's most active commercial market, Woolwich offers all the advantages and amentities of a cosmopolitan environment, yet provides an expansive country setting.
The odyssesy of transforming the rural agricultural area into a bustling Metrocenter began with approvals for Weatherby, a 4500-unit residential development.
Subsequently, Woolwich was selected as one of the six municipalities to participate in the TDR project- a state program developed to help municipalities to protect agricultural, natural and historic resources- while the township works to achieve a balance between preservation and growth.
Woolwich's innovative plan centers on the creation of two mixed-use, walkable town centers and simultaneously preserves more than 4,000 acres of open space and farmland.
Key components include development of retail, office, and hotel space on Route 322 at Exit 2 of the New Jersey Turnpike and a new town center along Center Square Road, where retail and professional office space will be joined by a supermarket.
Despite the enormity of its development plan, township administrators are intent on avoiding problems associated with suburban sprawl by adhering to principles of 'smart growth'. The resulting clustering development will link with the township's parks and open spaces with a network of bikes and walking trails.
Even during its formative years, Woolwich is receiving accolades and awards for its proactive approach.
Most notably, Woolwich is the first municipality to have its TDR program endorsed by the state.
"Woolwich Township has set a great example of planning and implementing smart growth principles," says Joseph V. Doria Jr., commissioner of the NJ Department of Community Affairs.
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) honored Woolwich Township as its "regional land use project of the year". Hundreds of federal, state, and local officials, as well as representative of the private sector, were on hand to applaud DVRPC's selection of Woolwich as "a positive model for managing suburban growth".
As the vision becomes reality, residents of Woolwich Township look forward to an enhanced quality of life in a vibrant community where they can live, shop, work and recreate and still enjoy the scenic vistas of preserved farmland.
Woolwich Twp. Links:
Woolwich Twp., NJ: Official Municipal Website
Kingsway Regional School District
MOMS Club of Woolwich Twp., NJ