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August 8, 2013

Re:      Governor Signs Legislation

I.          Cluster Development
II.        Exemption to development regulation for raising certain structures
III.       Establishes the Disaster Relief Emergency Financing Program within New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust Financing Programs
IV.       EMT and Mobile Intensive Care Paramedic Certification for Certain Veterans
V.        Creation of Craft Distillery License
VI.       Cable Television Service Outage Compensation

Dear Mayor:

Yesterday, Governor Christie signed 23 bills into law. Among the bills signed, the following may be of interest to you:

I.          Cluster Development

P.L. 2013, c. 106 clarifies the use of cluster development under the Municipal Land Use Law.  The law expands the existing provisions of law that authorize cluster development. It also clarifies a provision of law that authorizes a related planning tool, lot-size averaging.  A number of municipalities have successfully implemented planning strategies like clustering, while others have been frustrated in their efforts due to ambiguities in current law.  This law is a permissive tool for municipalities to support good planning, preserving open space and farmland while focusing development near existing infrastructure.  P.L. 2013, c. 106 took effect on August 7, 2013.

II.        Exemption to development regulation for raising certain structures

P.L. 2013, c. 107 would provide a person with a limited exemption from any development regulation, including variances, when raising an existing structure to meet certain State or federal flood elevation standards, if raising the structure would otherwise result in a violation of the local land use restriction.  The exemption applies when raising a structure to FEMA base flood elevation, plus 3 feet. Moreover, the law would clarify that the exemption would also apply to the construction of a staircase or other attendant structure necessitated by such raising.  This exemption shall apply only to the minimum extent or degree necessary to allow the structure to meet the new and appropriate elevation with adequate means of ingress and egress.  This exemption will not apply to a person who has altered the original dimensions of a structure, except to the extent that the alteration was absolutely essential, in order to meet the new and appropriate elevations. We are awaiting guidance from the State.  The law took effect August 7, 2013.

III.       Establishes the Disaster Relief Emergency Financing Program within New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust Financing Programs

P.L. 2013, c. 93 establishes the Disaster Relief Emergency Financing Program within the NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust Financing Program.  The law permits NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust to make emergency short-term or temporary Disaster Relief Emergency Program loans to local government units to finance or refinance the costs incurred in the environmental planning and design associated with wastewater treatment system projects or water supply projects.  The law took effect immediately.

IV.       EMT and Mobile Intensive Care Paramedic Certification for Certain Veterans

P.L. 2013, c. 101 requires that the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, with the approval of the State Board of Medical Examiners, to establish EMT-Basic certification standards for a veteran, who has equivalent training or experience in any branch of the Armed Forces or the National Guard.  Applicants for EMT-Basic certification or Mobile Intensive Care Paramedic certification shall be certified by the Commissioner if the Commissioner determines that the applicant’s military training and experience exceed or are equivalent to the certification standards established by the Commissioner.  P.L. 2013, c. 101 will take effect on January 1, 2014.  However, the Commissioner may take any anticipatory action in advance for timely implementation of this law.

V.        Creation of Craft Distillery License

P.L. 2013, c. 92 creates a new liquor license known as the Craft Distillery License.  The License, issued by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, permits the license holder to manufacture not more than 20,000 gallons of distilled alcoholic beverages. Licensees would also be authorized to sell and distribute to wholesalers and licensed plenary retailers, as well as maintain a warehouse.  The licensee is permitted to sell to retail customers on their licensed premise but only in connection with a tour and no more than 5 liters per person.  No consumption is permitted on the premise except for samples that cannot exceed one-half ounce.  Samplings are limited to no more than three samples per calendar day per person.  In addition, the licensee is prohibited from selling food or operating a restaurant on their premise. The law will take effect December 1, 2013.

VI.       Cable Television Service Outage Compensation

P.L. 2013, c. 97 permits a Cable Television Company that has a service outage lasting six hours or longer to provide to its subscribers other forms of compensation, in lieu of a credit or rebate, to compensate for the loss of services.  However, the Cable Television Company cannot require the customer to accept this alternative form of compensation.  The law also permits the Cable Television Company to provide information on the alternative forms of compensation on their website in lieu of periodic written notice.  However, the Cable Television Company must offer the customer the option to receiving periodic notices in written form on an annual basis.  P.L. 2013, c. 97 took effect on August 7, 2013.

If you have any questions or need additional information please do not hesitate to contact Mike Cerra at mcerra@njslom.org, Jon Moran at jmoran@njslom.org or Lori Buckelew at lbuckelew@njslom.org.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

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