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Corey Klein is an Associate in the Sills Cummis & Gross Real Estate Department and focuses on land use, redevelopment, zoning and related litigation.

Bill Would Now Give County Planning Boards, State Planning Commission say in “Large Warehouse” Applications before NJ Land Use Boards

A bill pending in the New Jersey State Legislature would send developers to county planning boards or the State Planning Commission for an added layer of approvals when adjacent towns object to warehouse development projects outside of their jurisdiction. The revised version of the bill, sponsored by State Senate President Steve Sweeney and co-sponsored by State Senator Troy Singleton, still gives neighboring towns a say in whether warehouse development is approved across their borders. [CLICK HERE TO READ OUR PREVIOUS POST ON THE ORIGINALLY INTRODUCED BILL.] However, instead of creating “Inter-Municipal Land Use Boards” to consider the regional impact of the proposed warehouse development when neighboring towns object, as the original version of the bill prescribed, the revised bill would require the county planning board to hold a hearing on the regional impacts of any proposed warehouse project opposed by neighboring towns. The revised version of the bill goes further and provides that when a warehouse project is proposed in a town that borders another county, the State Planning Commission would hold the hearing (instead of the county planning board) to consider the regional impacts of the proposed warehouse development. The revised legislation also removes language defining what constitutes a “retail warehouse” that would trigger the requirement for the added layer of approvals when neighboring towns object. Instead, the revised bill leaves it up to the State Planning Commission to define what constitutes a “Large Warehouse.”Continue Reading Legislation Creating “Inter-Municipal” Land Use Boards Revised, Approved in Senate Committee

A bill just introduced in the New Jersey State Legislature could significantly slow the development of warehouse space even as demand soars nationwide. The bill, sponsored by State Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, would amend the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1, et seq.) to require a town where a new warehouse development is pending to invite neighboring towns into the land use approval process — thereby extending what is already an onerous, time-consuming, and costly process by requiring an additional layer of approvals. Under the proposed legislation, a host municipality would be required to provide notice to each adjoining municipality whenever an application for a “retail warehouse” is filed and deemed complete and at least 30 days prior to the scheduled public hearing on the application. The bill defines “retail warehouse” as a facility designed for the storage of goods and materials with restricted access to the general public and does not include facilities that repackage or assemble products.
Continue Reading “Inter-Municipal” Land Use Boards? Proposed Legislation Would Include Neighboring Towns in Review of Warehouse Development Applications

Eight days after Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 122 (EO 122), which “ceased the physical operations of non-essential construction projects indefinitely,” the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), on April 14, 2020, imposed an additional requirement for builders of “essential construction projects.” Those builders must submit documentation to the local building department “attesting to how the project qualifies” to be among those that may proceed and certifying that the project is complying with the COVID-19-driven safety and social distancing measures spelled out in paragraphs 3 and 4 of EO 122.
Continue Reading NJDCA to Builders: “Essential Construction” Must Adhere to Guidelines, “Non-Essential Construction” Must Use or Lose Permits After Restrictions Lifted

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services (DLGS or Division) yesterday issued “Operational Guidance” to the state’s municipal Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Adjustment to “ensure continuity of Land Use application procedures” while New Jersey’s State of Emergency remains in effect. The guidance document seeks to “ensure due process is afforded hearings and to remind local units to adhere to appropriate social distancing and health measures as they implement this process.”
Continue Reading NJDCA Issues Guidelines Clearing the Way for Virtual Zoning and Planning Board Hearings