View Resource

Planning: Build-Out and Capacity Analysis

New Jersey
Urban | Suburban | Rural
The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions put together a Smart Growth Survival Kit that includes documents on the Environmental Resource Inventory, Affordable Housing, the Master Plan, and using Ordinances to protect local natural resources. Planning: Build-Out and Capacity Analysis is a part of the Survival Kit which details what Build-Out and Carrying Capacity are as well as the steps that must be taken in order to complete the analyses.

A Build-Out Analysis helps determine what a municipality will look like if all the vacant land has been built on to the capacity allowed under the current zoning. This document breaks down everything needed to complete a Build-Out Analysis step by step, including which documents are necessary to determine the study area, the different types of land involved in the study, as well as the data that should be obtained to complete the study. The document also includes a Build-Out example, a case study of Stafford Township’s Build-Out, and additional resources from New Jersey to provide further information on the process.

The Capacity Analysis is similar to a Build-Out but analyzes the capacity of the environmental and the infrastructure system to support development. The document emphasizes that a professional should be hired to complete the analysis and lays out a general approach to a Capacity Analysis, as well as pointing out limitations of mathematical models that are used to complete the analysis. Links to Regional and Statewide Comprehensive Plans are given so that a municipality may review them. The document also sets forth a case study on Evaluating Impacts from Impervious Coverage done by Connecticut as well as additional resources a municipality can use to complete the analysis.