Photo of Adam J. Faiella

Adam J. Faiella is a Member of the Sills Cummis & Gross Real Estate Department and focuses his practice on land use, redevelopment, zoning, and related litigation.

Pending legislation aimed at establishing the new fourth round of rules for affordable housing has taken a major step forward. On February 8, the Assembly Appropriations Committee considered the bill, made significant amendments, and moved the bill forward to a vote by the full Assembly. The Assembly is scheduled to vote on the bill, A-4, on Monday, February 12.Continue Reading Affordable Housing Legislation Takes Major Step Forward

Legislation aimed at establishing the new fourth round of rules for affordable housing and the process for same was re-introduced as Assembly Bill A-4 and Senate Bill S-50 in the new legislative session with minor changes from the previous session’s bills (click here and here to view my earlier posts on this subject). Most of the provisions in the previous session’s bills remain unchanged. Notably, the re-introduced bills remove the requirement for the Supreme Court to appoint special masters for regional areas of the state to calculate regional needs on municipal present and future obligations, instead assigning the Department of Community Affairs to calculate these needs. Both bills are progressing through the two houses and have been moved to appropriations committees.Continue Reading Update on Re-Introduced Sweeping Affordable Housing Legislation

Bill to be Reintroduced in New Two-Year Session Beginning Tuesday at Noon

Assembly Bill A-4, which aimed to implement the new fourth round of rules for affordable housing and change the administration of affordable housing in New Jersey (click here to view my earlier post), was held by the Assembly Appropriations Committee yesterday.

With just a few days remaining in the two-year legislative session, State lawmakers introduced and are swiftly pushing towards enactment of a bill that would radically change the administration of affordable housing in New Jersey and set forth a single standard to determine affordable housing obligations. Since 2015, no standard has been in place. Instead, the calculation and administration of the required affordable housing has been led by courts and court-appointed special masters. With an impending new round of affordable housing obligations set to begin on July 1, 2025, this legislation could provide clarity to municipalities and developers. The Assembly Appropriations Committee was scheduled to discuss the bill today. The Assembly and Senate are likely to consider the bill next week.Continue Reading Sweeping Legislation Could Reshape Affordable Housing in New Jersey for at Least a Generation

The City of Newark recently introduced an ordinance that would amend its Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance (“IZO”) to expand the scope of the IZO, while offering certain density and other bonuses to developers. The City Council voted to introduce the ordinance on first reading and refer the ordinance to the Central Planning Board for review. After the Central Planning Board reviews the legislation, the ordinance will go back to the City Council for a second and final reading, and potential adoption.Continue Reading Newark Introduces Ordinance to Expand Its Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance

Three recently introduced bills in the New Jersey State Legislature could hint at an emerging policy shift away from the state’s time-honored respect for “home rule” and towards a more regional approach to land use planning. While the proposed legislation does not eliminate a local municipality’s jurisdiction to consider certain land use applications, the introduction of additional regional planning approaches could lead to a general erosion of home rule. Specifically, the introduction of Senate Bill 3910 would create the “Palisades Cliffs Protection and Planning Act,” aimed at protecting the Gold Coast from high-rise development. Similarly, Senate Bill 3688 would require certain warehouse development projects to seek approval from County planning boards or the State Planning Commission prior to receiving local land use approvals. Those warehouse development opportunities (and any other development opportunities) would diminish further by the enactment of proposed Assembly Bill 5793, which would prohibit municipalities from designating farmland as an area in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation area.
Continue Reading Is New Jersey Moving Away From Home Rule?

On September 8, 2020, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) issued a Public Notice pursuant to the New Jersey Permit Extension Act of 2020, P.L. 2020, c. 53 (the “Act”), which extended the term of numerous government permits and approvals that were in effect on March 9, 2020. The Act suspends the running of the periods of eligible permits and approvals from March 9, 2020 until six (6) months after the end of the Public Health Emergency declared by Governor Murphy in response to COVID-19.
Continue Reading New Jersey Extends Numerous Permits and Approvals Under the Permit Extension Act of 2020; Mandatory Registration Required by October 8th

Governor Murphy signed the Permit Extension Act of 2020 (the “Act”) into law, automatically suspending the running of the period of eligible permits and approvals during the “COVID-19 Extension Period.” The COVID-19 Extension Period is defined as the time period beginning on March 9, 2020, and continuing for as long as a public health emergency has been declared by the Governor in response to COVID-19 and is in effect. This suspension will not shorten the duration of any permit or approval to a duration less than it otherwise would have had in the absence of the Act, and extends any permit or approval for at least six months beyond the end of the COVID-19 Extension Period.
Continue Reading Governor Murphy Signs Permit Extension Act of 2020 Into Law

In recent years, retailers have begun to convert unused space in their stores, including the sales floor area, to warehouse and distribution operations for online orders as e-commerce has increased. This trend has accelerated in response to the surge of home deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many retailers are utilizing even more floor area, and sometimes entire stores, as fulfillment centers. Re-purposing vacant or unused space can aid brick and mortar retailers in competing with pure-play online merchants and help property owners prevent lease defaults and maintain healthy occupancy levels. Municipalities also benefit when the rent roll of a commercial tax ratable of any kind, especially a shopping center, is stabilized. However, retailers and their landlords need to proceed carefully because converting unused retail space to “dark stores” for warehouse and distribution could have land use implications.*
Continue Reading Going Dark: Land Use Implications of Converting Retail Space to “Dark Stores” for Fulfilling Online Orders

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, state legislators are set to vote on a bill on April 13 that would  revive the Permit Extension Act, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-136.1 et seq. (the “Act”). If the legislation is enacted, the Act would once again automatically suspend the running of the period of eligible permits and approvals—this time, during the “COVID-19 Extension Period.” The COVID-19 Extension Period is defined as the time period beginning on March 9, 2020, and continuing for as long as a public health emergency or a state of emergency, or both, has been declared by the Governor in response to COVID-19 and is in effect.
Continue Reading What’s Old Is New Again: Legislation up for a Vote in Trenton Would Revive Permit Extension Act