June 6, 2012
Re: S-1534/A-2586, Equalizes standing of private and public colleges before land use agencies
The League of Municipalities opposes S-1534, which would exempt certain private colleges and universities from local zoning and planning jurisdiction. It is our understanding that the bill is limited to 14 institutions with campus in 16 municipalities. Despite this narrow scope, the League opposes this bill since these private institutions should continue to be subject to local zoning jurisdiction and we find no reason for them to be provided a special status. Further, this legislation would establish a very troublesome precedent for all municipalities across the State when other non-profits which serve some public purpose inevitably seek equal standing with private colleges.
Specifically, private colleges and universities would receive this special MLUL exemption if they:
1. Are organized as nonprofit corporations under N.J.S.15A:1-1 et seq.; or,
2. Act under the authority of N.J.S.18A:68-6, and are licensed by the State to confer degrees pursuant to N.J.S.18A:68-1 et seq., and which are eligible to receive funds under P.L.1979, c.132 (C.18A:72B-15 et seq.),
S-1534, which is sponsored by Senators Sarlo and Singer, is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee on Thursday, June 7.
The Assembly companion, A-2586, which is sponsored by Assemblywoman Riley and Assemblyman Giblin, is referenced to the Assembly Higher Education Committee, but is not yet scheduled for a hearing.
We recommend reaching out to your State Legislators and ask them to oppose S-1534 and A-2586. Questions on this legislation can be directed to Mike Cerra at email@example.com or 609-695-3481 x120.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.