It all started with the Permit Extension Act of 2008, the maiden legislative initiative of the Smart Growth Economic Development Coalition I had formed months earlier. This law saved many projects (and construction lenders) from financial ruin. But many of us were concerned that an economic recovery would not take root by the end of the extension period (2010).
Unfortunately, our concerns were confirmed; in 2010, our Coalition obtained an extension of the Permit Extension Act through 2012. This law saved many more projects (and construction lenders) from financial ruin. But many of us were once again concerned that an economic recovery would not take root by the end of the extension period.
Earlier this year, our Coalition sought yet another extension of the Permit Extension Act through December 31, 2014. We also took this opportunity to clarify the underlying legislative intent of the original 2008 Permit Extension Act that approvals in designated areas of the Highlands and Pinelands should remain valid through the extension period. This past Monday the General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the bill, and I am happy to report that today the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 35-1. The bill is now awaiting consideration by Gov. Christie.
I hope this will be the last permit extension needed by the development community…