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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.