Former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart and his wife have received a key approval to open an animal sanctuary in New Jersey.

The Colts Neck planning board approved preliminary plans for the historic 45-acre Hockhockson Farm that will be the home of animals saved from slaughterhouses, roadsides and live markets.

Tracey Stewart says Tuesday night's approval means the Monmouth County farm should open by 2018. It will include after-school programs, and be open for student trips and lectures for adults.

The couple will also build a visitor center and reconstruct a barn to function as a lecture room, APP.com reported. 

Jon Stewart says he wants the community to be invested in the project and to love it.

The farm still needs to be approved by a county planning board and state department of environmental protection.

The Stewarts partnered with Farm Sanctuary in 2015 to open an animal sanctuary on their 12-acre property in Middletown, named Bufflehead Farm. 

“We’re going to build new advocates, new curious learners, and new leaders for this very important movement," said Tracey Stewart, announced as a surprise at the Farm Sanctuary’s 2015 Gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

"I was so angry at animals until I met Tracey," Jon Stewart joked in an interview with CBS from his family's property, where a three-legged pit bull also lives. 

With her husband's encouragement, Tracey Stewart, a longtime animal advocate, eventually went back to school to become a veterinary technician, she said in the CBS interview.

The couple regularly posts pictures from the farm on a Facebook page dubbed The Daily Squeal, where recent images feature goats, pigs, and sheep.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.