Karl Kehde

About Karl Kehde, Director, Smarter Land Use Project

Karl has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts from Lehigh University. He also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Rutgers University. Additionally, he served three years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marines.

Karl Kehde was a member of New Jersey Governor Byrne’s original Pinelands Review Committee to initiate policy on one million acres of Pinelands. He also served five years on an Advisory Committee working on New Jersey’s State Department Plan, and eight years as a member of his town planning board. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Clean Water Association and, as a developer, received a Special Award of Merit from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and was awarded the Distinguished Planning Citation by the American Planning Association.

Karl personally designed, developed, and marketed three major residential real estate projects. He has built active and passive solar homes, implemented energy and wildlife conservation deed restrictions, and donated land to conservation organizations.

From 1989 to 2003 Karl worked independently — being funded philanthropically — with neighborhood groups, developers, government officials and environmental groups involved in forty-eight separate proposed land developments to research the principles of effective collaboration detailed in Collaborative Land Use Planning. He has written the guidebook and invented the Land Development Modeling Kit so that you can succeed with collaboration your own with no outside assistance.

Karl is now living and traveling in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem where he is sharing with local governments, ranchers, mining companies, environmental groups, federal and state agencies, and citizens groups, at no charge, his ideas for improving relationships and effective collaboration planning. Located in the corner of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, this 18 million acre ecosystem (larger than Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts combined) of mountains, valleys, rivers, and flood plains is home to elk, bison, deer, bear, cougar, and wolves plus a full complement of other extraordinary wildlife. The valleys, winter home of the grazing wildlife and their predators, are also home to more than a dozen expanding human communities with over three million acres in private ownership. Four Indian reservations and seven national forests round out this magnificent part of the United States. Development pressure is offering an opportunity to implement truly sustainable land use policies. This pressure can also be the catalyst for sustainable collaboration which spawns new ideas that solve age old problems.

karl in 2006

Karl appreciating the flow of Life … near Winchester, Virginia – 2006

1997 Awarded contract from National Park Service to help resolve environmental land use disputes
1994 Awarded Grants from G.R. Dodge Foundation to find a new way to make land decisions
1988 Awarded Grants from NJ Department of Community Affairs to research a solution to Sprawl development
1986 Appointed to Advisory Committee for NJ State Development and Redevelopment Plan
1986 Awarded Grant to Evaluate Pinelands Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program
1985 Appointed to Frankford Township Planning Board
1982 One of 82 Outstanding New Jerseyans presented by New Jersey Monthly
1982 Appointed to Board of Directors, American Clean Water Association, Washington, DC
1981 Awarded Special Mention in National Competition “Sensible Growth” sponsored by the National Association of Homebuilders and Better Homes and Gardens
1981 Received Special Award of Merit from United States Environmental Protection Agency
1980 Awarded Distinguished Planning Citation by the American Planning Association
1977 Appointed to New Jersey Governor Byrne’s Pinelands Review Committee