New Hersey State of Muncicipalities FacebookTwitter Linkedin with NJSLOM       





   

January 11, 2011

Re:      Legislative Recap
            I.          S-1451 Revisions to the Redevelopment Law
            II.        Bills Passed Both Houses
            III.       Other Bills Passed Senate
            IV.       Other Bill Passed Assembly

Dear Mayor:

Yesterday in Trenton, the legislature took action on a number of bills that could affect your municipality. Here is a brief recap.

I.          S-1451 Revisions to the Redevelopment Law

S-1451, which would revise the laws concerning local redevelopment, relocation assistance and eminent domain, was amended on the Senate floor.  As previously reported (see January 7 Dear Mayor letter), the League opposes this legislation because it will have a negative impact on redevelopment and hinder local governments’ tools to promote economic growth. 

The bill was amended on January 7th. The amendments would prohibit a municipality from utilizing eminent domain for lands and buildings as part of a redevelopment area if the lands or buildings are not detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare. In addition, the amendments remove the provision that provides that up to 20% of the total land area in need of redevelopment may consist of property that is not in and of itself “blighted”, thus requiring all property condemned by a municipality to be blighted. 

Yesterday, the amended bill was before the full Senate and failed by a vote of 12-14.  After the bill failed Senator Rice, the sponsor, requested that the bill be pulled.  Senate President Sweeney pulled the bill.  We will keep you apprised of any further developments on S-1451.

II.        Bills Passed Both Houses

The following bills have passed both the Assembly and Senate and now await action by Governor Christie:

A-2853/S-6, which streamlines the process for State and local agency business permits related to economic development, is a voluntary system that would encourage and provide incentives to municipalities that join in a collaborative “project management” arrangement with State agencies for all necessary permits, except permits and approvals required by the Municipal Land Use Law.  We support this legislation.

A-2859/S-1964, which authorizes the sale and lease of unneeded public property to certain nonprofits for gardening and urban farming and exempts such urban farm from property taxation, is a permissive bill would allow a city of the first, second, third or fourth class to lease for a tract of land less than 5 acres to a non-profit corporation or association to cultivate and sell fresh fruits and vegetables.  In order to enter into the agreement and grant the property tax exemption the governing body will be required to adopt an ordinance, which would also require a public hearing.  The League supports this bill.

S-483/A-3295 expands the availability of general development plan approvals and long-term vesting of preliminary and final site plan approvals in Smart Growth areas.  It is our understanding that the purpose of the bill is to expand the availability of a General Development Plan (GDP) to projects smaller in scale than is currently authorized by the Municipal Land Use Law, and to afford an option to municipalities to grant a longer period of vested rights for projects of a size described in the bill.

III.       Other Bills Passed Senate

A-1851/S-659, theHistoric Property Reinvestment Act,” which provides credits against certain taxes for certain costs of rehabilitating historic properties, unanimously passed the Senate and was received in the Assembly for second reading to concur with the Senate amendments.  A-1831/S-659 would provide homeowners or businesses with an economic incentive to revitalize older neighborhoods and reuse historic structures by providing a state tax credit for their rehabilitation. Although the State provides some funding for the rehabilitation of publicly owned historic structures, we are fast becoming the only state in the region without an incentive for private owners of historic structures. Accordingly, we support this bill.

S-1353, which revises statutes concerning permissible lengths of time between certain public questions in certain municipalities, unanimously passed the Senate, and was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee. This bill revises the statutes concerning permissible length of time between public questions in municipalities operating under the “Optional Municipal Charter Law,” and the commission, town, and municipal manager forms of government.  The time period in these municipalities for consideration of referendum questions concerning the number, terms of office, or the method of election of local governing body members is currently  once every 10 years.  S-1353 would change the time period from 10 to 5 years. The League agrees with this revision.

IV.       Other Bill Passed Assembly

S-2068, which provides a dedicated line item on property tax bill to fund municipal free public libraries and joint free public libraries, passed the Assembly 76-1-1 and was received in the Senate for 2nd reading to concur with Assembly amendments.  We are currently reviewing the amendments and will report back to you.

If you have any questions on the above actions please contact jmoran@njslom.com or lbuckelew@njslom.com.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

Privacy Statement | NJLM FAQ
New Jersey State League of Municipalities • 222 West State Street • Trenton, NJ 08608 • (609) 695-3481
  FAX: (609) 695-0151