June 25, 2009
NEW JERSEY SUPREME COURT RULES OPEN SPACE SET ASIDE ORDINANCES INVALID
In the case of NJ Shore Builders v Township of Jackson and Builders League of South Jersey v Egg Harbor Township, the New Jersey Supreme Court has affirmed the Appellate Division decision and held that municipal ordinances requiring open space set asides or payments in lieu of such set asides from developers are not authorized by the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL) and therefore are invalid.
The Court acknowledged that recreation and open space are important considerations in land use planning under the MLUL, but held that more specific authorization was required for municipalities to require set asides or contributions from developers for these purposes, and such authority does not exist in the statutes.
League Executive Director Bill Dressel said, “It is certainly a disappointing decision and will have the effect of limiting the abilities of municipalities to balance development with the important public interest in open space and recreation as part of the quality of life for their residents. The Court has made it clear that a legislative solution will be necessary.”
For further information, contact Bill Dressel, League Executive Director, at (609) 695-3481. ext. 122or cell (609) 915-9072.