Legislative Update

Legislative Update



New Jersey Supreme Court Confirms MLUL Definition of “Application for Development”… -F.Clifford Gibbons, Esq.


In Dunbar Homes, Inc. v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Township of Franklin and the Township of Franklin the New Jersey Supreme Court contemplates what constitutes a complete filed “application for development” in reference to the “Time of Application Rule”, N.J.S.A 40:55D-10.5.  The Court decision reaffirms the authority of the Township zoning ordinance (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-3) and the Zoning Officer’s discretion to determine completeness.  For the full article, CLICK HERE.

This report was prepared by Ann Holtzman, Zoning Officer in the City of Hoboken.

With the New Jersey Legislature 2014-2015 session winding to a close there has been a flurry of activity on a number of bills. They are summarized below.

A3390 (S2309) Permits transmission of certain land use documents via email
Primary sponsors: Craig Coughlin, Nancy Pinkin, Jay Webber and Patrick Diegnan, Jr.

This bill would permit required notices to the clerk of an adjoining municipality and the county planning board to be sent via email with a confirmed receipt that the email was delivered.

The bill was passed by the Assembly by a 73-0 vote November 13, 2014 and sent to the Senate. The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee approved the bill in a 5-0 vote on December 10, 2015 and advanced it to the Senate for 2nd reading.

A4185 (S2424) Requires municipal land use plan element of master plan to address smart growth and storm resiliency, and storm sustainability issues
Primary sponsors: Tim Eustace and Grace Spenser

This bill would require that a municipal master plan’s land use element contain a statement of strategy concerning smart growth, storm resiliency with respect to energy supply and environmental infrastructure, and environmental sustainability.

It was reported out of the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on March 19, 2015 on a 4-1 favorable vote and sent for 2nd reading in the Assembly. The Assembly adopted a floor amendment on June 25, 2015 but has taken no further action.

The Senate bill was reported out of the Senate Environmental and Energy Committee February 9, 2015 on a 4-0 favorable vote and sent up for 2nd reading but no further action has been taken to date.

A4716 Modifies performance and maintenance guarantee requirements under “Municipal Land Use Law”
Primary sponsor: Godon M. Johnson

This bill amends and expands upon those things covered by a performance guarantee for on-site improvements. It further adds provisions for phased projects, “temporary certificate of occupancy bonds” and “safety and stabilization bond” guarantees.

This bill was just introduced on November 11, 2015 and referred to the Assembly State and Local Government Committee. A matching Senate bill has not yet been introduced.

We will watch this bill and keep you informed on its progress. If approved, the new provisions included in the bill may require adoption by ordinance and regulations amended to your local municipal code to be implemented at the municipal level.

A4330 (S2313) Authorizes installation of automatic standby generators in certain residences without zoning or planning board approval
Primary sponsors: Mary Pat Angelini, Samuel L. Fiocchi, Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr., Jay Webber and Erik Peterson.

This bill would streamline the process by which an owner or occupant of a single or two-family residential property may install an automatic standby generator. The bill does prohibit siting of standby generators in front yards without local approval and require that local setback requirements and local ordinances regulating noise levels be followed.

The Senate bill was approved by a 35-0 vote on February 5, 2015. The bill has been received by the Assembly and referred to the Assembly State and Local Government Committee (or Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee) without further action to date.

Bills Previously Noted

Previously brought to your attention on this page are two bills sponsored by Loretta Weinberg and Joseph Pennacchio. S781 (A2900) addressing changes to the Open Public Meetings Act and S782 (A2763) addressing the Open Public Records Act, were introduced in 2014 and sent to committees by each house but have seen no activity during 2015.

S781 (A2900) calls for a wider definition of public bodies to include subcommittees and certain quasi-governmental entities, such as the NJ State League of Municipalities. It also addresses issues related to communication among members of a public body, the recording of meetings, the posting of meeting-related information on the Internet, and the use of closed sessions.

S782 (A2763), companion bill to S781, revises the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and changes the duties of the records custodian. It also revises the composition of the Government Records Council (GRE) and changes its status to “in but not of” the Department of Community Affairs.