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.
Legislation Introduced to Establish Optional LSRP-Styled Municipal Construction Code Review Program
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.
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Legislation Creating “Inter-Municipal” Land Use Boards Revised, Approved in Senate Committee
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.”
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“Inter-Municipal” Land Use Boards? Proposed Legislation Would Include Neighboring Towns in Review of Warehouse Development Applications
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.
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Ted Zangari Reappointed MXD Counsel to New Jersey Builders Association
Sills Cummis & Gross is pleased to announce that Ted Zangari, Chair of the Firm’s Real Estate Department, has been appointed to another term as Mixed-Use (MXD) Counsel to the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA). He has served in this capacity for eight years and was among the founders of the MXD division of NJBA nearly a decade ago.
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Good News for Developers: NJ Finally Has a Replacement Redevelopment Incentive Program
The new “NJ Aspire” incentive program, enacted last week by Gov. Murphy as part of the Economic Recovery Act of 2020, is intended to close project financing gaps in proposed redevelopment projects through the issuance of transferable/pledgeable state tax credits. The program replaces the Economic Redevelopment Growth (ERG) grant program that expired in June 2019. The real estate attorneys at Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. have digested the 249-page bill and prepared a detailed summary of the “NJ Aspire” program.
NJ Finally Has a Replacement Business Incentive Program
New Jersey has been without a public financial incentive to attract and retain businesses since June 2019 when the GrowNJ program expired. Earlier this week, Gov. Murphy signed into law the Economic Recovery Act of 2020 which includes a replacement incentive program to be known as “Emerge.” The real estate attorneys at Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. have digested the 249-page bill and prepared a detailed summary of the “Emerge” program.
Newly Enacted Incentives Legislation Includes Important Amendments Giving Relief to Grow NJ Tax Credit Recipients
Relief Requires Time-Sensitive Action on the Part of Businesses
You may have read that the recently enacted New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 will create a successor business attraction and retention incentive program to Grow NJ to be known as “Emerge.” Lost in all the news coverage, however, is the fact that this new law includes important amendments to the Grow NJ statute that may provide pandemic-related relief to your company as a tax credit recipient.
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New Jersey Economic Development Authority — News Release: NJEDA Board Approves Brownfields Loan Program
NJEDA Board Approves Brownfields Loan Program
Contact: New Jersey Economic Development Authority
TRENTON, N.J. (November 13, 2020) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board of Directors today approved the creation of the Brownfields Loan Program. This program will make low-interest loans of up to $5 million available to brownfield redevelopment projects for all aspects of brownfield revitalization, including assessment, investigation, and demolition. It will be one of the only funding sources available to cover pre-construction planning, demolition, asbestos, PCB removal, and lead-based paint remediation. More information is available at https://www.njeda.com/brownfields.
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New Jersey Extends Numerous Permits and Approvals Under the Permit Extension Act of 2020; Mandatory Registration Required by October 8th
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.
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