By:  F. Clifford Gibbons, Esq.[1]

          On July 1, 2020, Governor Phillip Murphy signed into law S-2346/A-3919, The Permit Extension Act of 2020 (“PEA 2020″), N.J.S.A. 40:55D-136.2 et seq. PEA 2020 is an omnibus law with the purpose of tolling certain permits and approvals in order to prevent the wholesale abandonment of approved projects and activities due to the unfavorable economic conditions resulting from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, thereby preventing a waste of public and private resources and allowing for the quick resumption of projects when it is safe to restart normal business and government activity. All municipal planning and zoning officials, board professionals, and private land use practitioners should be aware of this important legislation. .



Individuals holding Board Secretary, Zoning Official, and/or Land Use Administrator certificate(s) issued by the Center for Government Services can accrue continuing education hours toward the renewal of their certificate(s) by attending certain sessions at the League of Municipalities virtual conference 2020. Please view the information HERE for more information. This information may be updated as additional event information becomes available.

Check In on Planning & Zoning Offices …  How are you doing?

Applications – Hopefully at this point all PB/ZB Administrators should have some handle as to the status of the applications already in the process.  If you haven’t done so already, reach out via email (if you have remote access to your office system or have someone who is going into your office send them) and ask for an extension through July 31, 2020.

Does your town have a policy that no public can submit to the offices and requiring all submission must be done either electronically or by mail/UPS/Fed Ex etc.?  Check with your supervisors/administration if this is something that can be considered.

Public Meetings

Formal Hearings – Due to the restrictions on public gatherings, public hearings are still in limbo as the various legal teams, state and local, figure out compliance with OPMA & MLUL.  If you are in contact with your Board attorneys, discuss the challenges you face on the municipal side:

  • public access to view application prior to the hearing
  • no electronic process to file applications
  • controlling public comments during the webinars to ensure the Board hearings follow the MLUL/OPMA statutes

At this point, everyone is dealing with the new normal and it will take time to work out all of the details.

General Outreach

Emails – Many applicants and attorneys may seem overly pushy as to when to get back to business.  You’ll receive inquires as to next hearing, when can the sign off occur, need a building permit – the list goes on and on.

This is a good opportunity for you to circle the wagons of your support groups – either by email or meeting electronically through Zoom.  Schedule these meetings weekly.  Talking through what is facing the office on a daily basis and how best to respond provides a tremendous amount of support and shows the public that they are not forgotten.

NJAPZA is here for you through these times … please reach out to us with your questions.

To donate to the Jackie Zelinka Memorial Scholarship, please make your checks payable to : NJAPZA – Jackie Zelinka Scholarship and mail to: Christina Schwartz, Executive Director PO Box 7186 Hillsborough, NJ 08844

About The NJAPZA

The Mission of the NJAPZA is to educate our members to the legal requirements of planning and zoning administration and public employment and thereby to promote a better understanding of the official duties and obligations of its members.


President: David Kois

Vice President: Sal Poli

Treasurer: Erik Brachman

Secretary: Joann Ricks

Click HERE for the Continuing Education Opportunities at the 2019 New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference for Planning/Zoning Board Secretaries, Zoning Officials, and Land Use Administrators

NJAPZA will be awarding this scholarship annually. Individuals new to Planning & Zoning and enrolled in one of the introductory classes offered by Rutgers Center for Government Services seeking certification as either a Board Secretary or Zoning Official are eligible to apply.

To donate, please make your checks payable to : NJAPZA – Jackie Zelinka Scholarship
and mail to:
Christina Schwartz, Executive Director
PO Box 7186
Hillsborough, NJ 08844

NJAPZA Members: Please be aware that due to scheduling conflicts, the NJAPZA Executive Board will not be meeting for their regularly scheduled December 2019 meeting. The Board will resume meetings, in accordance with the meeting schedule, in January 2020.