TOD Glossary

Click on the term to read relevant articles.

Area in Need of Redevelopment: an area within a municipality that is determined need significant redevelopment and improvements, consistent with the community’s development objectives. Must meet the requirements of the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law.

Brownfield: Former industrial or commercial facilities abandoned partly because of its environmental contamination. More information

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT): High-capacity buses that operate on dedicated bus lanes or roads to maximize speed and efficiency. Cheaper and more flexible than rail, and faster than conventional bus service. More information

Business Improvement District (BID) or Special Improvement District (SID): An area of a municipality, typically in the downtown, within which the businesses pay an additional tax that goes toward funding improvements within the district. Improvements can include improving the pedestrian and streetscape environment, marketing, and making capital improvements. More information

Charrette: A short, intensive planning or design session (typically over the course of a few days) during which citizens offer input on the plan(s) planners and designers have created to come up with a final vision for development. Citizens are able to give real-time feedback and participate in the planning process. More information

Commuter Rail: Transit characterized by travel between a central city and adjacent suburbs with frequent stops. Examples in New Jersey: NJ TRANSIT

Complete Streets: Streets designed to allow safe access for all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. More information

Eminent Domain: The legal power for government to take private property, with just compensation, for a use deemed to be in the public interest, typically for public facilities. See also: Hot Issue: Eminent Domain in New Jersey in Issue 3.

Form-Based Code: A method of regulating the physical realm by controlling primarily physical form, rather than through land use, as is usually done. The codes regulate development based on the physical form and scale of the buildings, typically emphasizing the needs of pedestrians rather than automobiles. See also: Utilizing a Form-Based Planning Approach in Dover, New Jersey in Issue 4. More information

Health Impact Assessment (HIA): A systematic process that uses primary research and input from stakeholders to determine the potential health effects of a proposed policy or plan on a population. An HIA provides recommendations of monitoring and mitigating the effects. More information

Heavy Rail: Transit that moves high volumes of passengers within a metropolitan area, typically in a smaller geographical area than commuter rail. Examples in New Jersey: PATCO, PATH.

Land Use: The type human activity carried out on a particular area of land. Regulated by municipalities typically through a zoning ordinance (but also more broadly at the county, state, and federal levels), land uses fall into a number of general categories, such as industry, agriculture, commercial, and residential uses.

Light Rail: Transit that carries a low volume of passengers, locally, with frequent stops, typically with only one or two cars. Examples in New Jersey: Hudson Bergen Light Rail, Newark Light Rail, RiverLINE

Master Plan: A long-range document that establishes a vision for development in a municipality, county, or other political region. It guides the area’s growth, and includes analyses and proposals for its economy, housing, transportation, civic facilities, open space, and land use. It is developed with the help of public input through forums, surveys, charrettes, and other community-building processes. It is a policy document only, and is not binding. More information

Minimum Parking Requirements: Municipalities require that all new developments – whether residential, industrial, or commercial – include a minimum number of parking spaces. This may be based on a number of different factors, including number of residents or projected number of customers per day.

Mixed-Use: Development characterized by a mix of land uses in a multi-story building. Typically consists of commercial uses on the first floor and residential uses on the upper floors.

New Urbanism: Urban design that promotes the development of walkable neighborhoods, mixed-use development, attractive public spaces, architecture designed at a human scale, and a range of housing and job types within a single community. More information

Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT): A payment by a developer of a project to a local government made in place of taxes.

Smart Growth: Often containing mixed-use development, it entails building communities with a mix of housing, transportation, job opportunities, retail, and schools. Smart Growth also strives to conserve natural resources through protecting open space and farmland. More information

Sprawl: Characterized by the increase of single-use development in suburban and rural areas outside of nearby urban centers. Typical sprawl development may include strip malls alongside local highways, office parks, and residential subdivisions. Streets are generally not safely walkable and public transit is scarce. More information

Subway: Rail transit that runs below ground in a tunnel.

Tax Increment Financing: A financing measure that allows governments and public agencies to raise funds based on anticipated property tax revenues that will come from major infrastructure improvements.

Transfer of Development Rights: Permits the transfer of unused development rights (typically the right to build to a certain height) from a in one zone to a lot in another zone. Allows for greater density for the lot receiving the rights while preserving cultural resources or open space. More information

Transit Village: An incentive program run by the New Jersey Department of Transportation that encourages communities to redevelop areas surrounding train stations using TOD design standards to create pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods where residents can live, shop, and play without relying on cars. More information

Urban Enterprise Zones: New Jersey program that gives 32 designated urban areas tools to encourage private sector investment, including reduced sales tax, financial assistance from the NJ Economic Development Agency, and tax credits. More information

Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit: Tax credit program administered by the NJ Economic Development Agency to encourage private development and employment near one of the nine designated transit hubs. More information

Zoning: A land use device process used by municipalities that designates permitted uses of land based on a series of zones. The zones geographically separate one set of land use from another. Regulations in each zone may include building height, residential density, and the location of the building on the lot. The most common zones are residential, commercial, office, open space, and industrial. Train stations are often located within a commercial zone. More information