As seen on: www.app.com
By: Daniel Munoz

Warehouses and distribution centers are popping up across New Jersey as consumers embrace online shopping, and the state’s top lawmakers seem to have little appetite for legislation to slow the trend.

Despite complaints about “warehouse sprawl” from some local communities and environmental groups, leading Democrats and Republicans told

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?

Legislation was introduced in Trenton this week that would allow developers to opt for an expedited construction plan review program, pursuant to which an agency would have ten (10) calendar days to render a decision under the State Uniform Construction Code Act, N.J.A.C. 52:27D-119, et seq. The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Robert J. Karabinchak, would allow a municipal governing body to adopt a program requiring its construction code enforcing agency to conduct such expedited plan reviews at the request of property owners. In the event a municipality elects not to offer the optional program, the bill provides for the licensure and authorization of private plan review agencies to conduct such expedited plan reviews. The municipal enforcing agency would retain jurisdiction over projects, including the issuance of the certificate of occupancy, regardless of whether an expedited review is conducted by the municipality’s code enforcement personnel or a private plan review agency.

Continue Reading Legislation Introduced to Establish Optional LSRP-Styled Municipal Construction Code Review Program