• Place type

    New Neighborhoods (directly related)

  • Location

    Chesterfield, New Jersey, a rural community in Burlington County, New Jersey

  • Site

    560-acre master-planned site.

  • Program

    When complete: 1,200 attached and unattached single-family houses, affordable units scattered throughout village (twins and quads that look similar to single family detached homes, row houses and apartments above shops), an elementary school, recreation facilities, village center with neighborhood-scale retail and office uses, network of streams and walking paths.

  • Developer

    Matzel & Mumford, Toll Brothers, K. Hovnanian Companies. Planning consultants Clarke-Caton-Hintz


The TDR (Transfer of Development Rights) program has thus far facilitated the preservation of over 2000 acres of farmland in the surrounding Township, while other state preservation programs have facilitated the preservation of another 4800 acres. As of 2008, no major subdivision applications for land in the Township’s Sending Area has been processed by the Planning Board since TDR was enacted. Virtually all of the residential development during that period has been channeled into the Receiving Area.

Open front porches, bicycle and walking paths, street furniture, and pocket parks encourage pedestrian activity and neighborly interaction. The zoning ordinance requires that developers build according to a variety of site planning and architectural guidelines. At the neighborhood scale, this includes guidelines for an interconnected street network, the open space network, stormwater management, and recreation facilities. Homes are situated close to the sidewalks in front of them, and many garages open onto rear alleys.


Old York Village will contain a mix of uses including a school, recreation facilities, residences, and neighborhood-scale retail.

Tools and Actions

The key policy for preserving farmland while accommodating population growth has been the Township’s TDR program. This strategy was outlined in Chesterfield’s 1997 master plan and enacted in 1998 through changes in the zoning ordinance. Through this program, the residential development rights in rural parts of the township (the “sending area”) are transferred to the 560-acre “receiving area,” known as Old York Village.

With funding through a Smart Growth Planning Grant from the NJ Department of Community Affairs, the Township commissioned the conceptual design of the Planned Village according to Traditional Neighborhood Development. This design is embodied in a Master Plan amendment adopted in 2002 and was incorporated into the zoning ordinance. Therefore, although most of the village is being constructed by five private-sector builders, it has an aesthetic similar that is to the Township’s historic villages.

Historically, Chesterfield has not had a municipal sewer system. To facilitate denser development in Old York Village and increase the attractiveness of the site to developers, the state of New Jersey authorized the township to use an underutilized sewer system that serves the correctional facilities in the township. As opposed to the common practice of the first developer funding the infrastructure and then seeking repayment from subsequent developers, the village instead developed a system in which the costs of some of the infrastructure in the development were shared among developers on a per-unit basis.

Financial and technical assistance has been pivotal to the township’s planning and implementation efforts. This assistance has come from several sources, including Burlington County, The State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, and The State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.