Apparently concerned that the economy may not be recovering rapidly enough, the 215th New Jersey Legislature now convened, introduced a new bill (A337) on January 10, 2012, by Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer of District 12, to change the definition of the “extension period” under the Permit Extension Act so that it runs through December 31, 2015. Therefore, based on the 6-month tolling provision currently in the Permit Extension Act, approvals received for development applications during the extension period could be extended as far out as June 30, 2016. Bill A337 has been referred to the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.

In 2008, as the economy was sliding into recession, the New Jersey Legislature passed the “Permit Extension Act,” which tolled the expiration of all development approvals that were granted during the “extension period” as defined in the statute. The intent was to preserve the benefit of permits until the economy improved. The “extension period” is currently defined as “the period beginning January 1, 2007 and continuing through December 31, 2012.” The definition of “approvals” under the Permit Extension Act covers most permits issued by State rule or regulation, including, preliminary and final approvals for development applications under the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law.

If signed into law, Bill A337 could provide developers with an opportunity to wait a little longer for the economy to turn around in order to build projects that have received approvals and are considered dormant at the present time.

Jason R. Tuvel is an Associate in the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department.