Benefits of the Regional Center 

The state designation of the Somerset County Regional Center provides leadership, technical support, and assistance to the county and three Regional Center municipalities to shape planning policies that ensure that the Regional Center continues to be the premier location in Somerset County to live, work, visit, recreate and learn. Focusing on development, redevelopment, and investment in the Regional Center supports efforts to preserve open space and farms outside of the Regional Center that provide Somerset County its unique character and charm to be protected and preserved.

The Regional Center provides a framework to guide economic development and redevelopment efforts in the three Regional Center municipalities by providing resources for land use studies and initiatives that provide the proper planning for future efforts.

Through broad-based public participation and consensus building, the Regional Center provides an environment where sharing certain common threads is as natural to communities as is home rule. Coordinated planning saves governments money and facilitates the process of being a good neighbor while helping to minimize the impact of development on neighboring communities. The Regional Center serves as a role model for other communities and regions in New Jersey on how to cooperatively address quality-oflife issues that transcend common boundaries without sacrificing home rule and individual community character.

The Regional Center designation entitles the municipal governments of Bridgewater, Raritan, and Somerville to receive a higher priority of consideration for discretionary funding and/or technical support for initiatives that fulfill the intent of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, the Somerset County Investment Framework, and the Regional Center Strategic Plan.

Among the areas that have been identified for funding priorities and technical support are:

  • Enhancing bicycle and pedestrian safety
  • Ensuring the economic competitiveness of Somerset County and the Regional Center
  • Supporting the local economy through creative placemaking
  • Promoting health and wellness initiatives such as encouraging pedestrian movement
  • Supporting efforts to enhance resiliency
  • Increasing awareness of and access to the Raritan River
  • Enhancing historic resources
  • Promoting implementation of linear open space and greenway plans
  • Clean-up and reclamation of brownfield sites
  • Replacement of deteriorating infrastructure such as sewer and water lines
  • Supporting circulation, road intersection, and mass transit improvements