Real Property & Environmental Law Alert

Real Property & Environmental Law Alert

Transactional Real Estate, Development/Redevelopment & Environmental Law

Tag Archives: Municipal

Starting January 1, 2015 New York Households Will Be Required to Recycle E-Waste

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
Beginning January 1, 2015, any New Yorker who disposes of an old computer, television, or even an iPod, i.e., “electronic waste” (“e-waste”), by placing that item in the garbage or leaving it on the curb for collection will be in violation of the New York State Electronic Recycling and Reuse Act, N.Y. Envtl. Conserv. Law § 27-2601, et seq.. Individual consumers will instead be required to recycle such e-waste by dropping it off at a registered e-waste collector or by returning it to an e-waste manufacturer, or risk being fined $100 each time they fail to do so… Continue Reading

The Philadelphia Land Bank – What You Need to Know

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
One stop shopping. That is the goal of the bill that Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed into law on January 13, 2014, creating the Philadelphia Land Bank. The Land Bank, which is to be fully operational by the end of this year, is intended to streamline and consolidate the process by which the City acquires and sells vacant and tax delinquent properties. The Land Bank will also act as the single repository for the approximately 9,500 vacant and surplus properties currently owned by the City through three separate entities: the City, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation… Continue Reading

“From Ink to Occupancy” Real Estate Program at Gibbons P.C. Armed Attendees with Fundamentals & Information on the Latest Trends

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
"From Ink to Occupancy, A Game Plan for a Successful Real Estate Project," the latest installation of the Gibbons Women's Initiative Seminar Series, was held earlier last week and attracted a great crowd, including real estate professionals and in-house counsel. Nancy A. Lottinville, Jennifer M. Porter and Ivette P. Alvarado guided attendees through the nuts and bolts of a commercial real estate contract, due diligence and the land use approvals process, with a focus on New Jersey and New York. A portion of the program was also dedicated to the current "Hot Topics" of real estate in New Jersey and New York, including FEMA's Advisory Base Flood Elevations and cross-access easement issues. Thanks to various requests from attendees for more information, the RPE Law Alert will be posting blogs over the course of the next few weeks expanding on the topics covered during the program. Watch for the next installation: "Properly Identifying the Property in the Contract: Are You Sure You Know What You're Getting?"… Continue Reading

Brand New Philadelphia Zoning Code Amended After Only 5 Months

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
Well that didn't take long. Last August, following a four year process, the City of Philadelphia's comprehensive new zoning code became law. Because of the law's broad scope and sweeping changes, it was agreed that the Code would be revisited one year after its enactment to determine its effectiveness and to consider making any necessary changes. Yet, on January 24, 2013, a mere 5 months later ,the Philadelphia City Council, overriding a veto by Mayor Michael Nutter, passed Bill No. 120889 by a vote of 13-3 and amended the new Code, significantly complicating pre-hearing interaction between neighbors and developers which the Code was intended to streamline. While Council has enacted some minor "clean-up" amendments to the Code since August, this amendment could have substantial consequences… Continue Reading

Developer Alert: Philadelphia Looking to Establish Land Bank Under New State Legislation

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Tax Abatement
The redevelopment of vacant and blighted parcels has been a cumbersome, frustrating and, in many cases unsuccessful, process for municipalities and developers alike. Pennsylvania's new land bank legislation could change all that. Philadelphia, with its own land bank legislation is poised to take advantage of the state legislation… Continue Reading

Rebuilding New Jersey After Sandy – Potential Property Tax Relief for Owners of Damaged Properties

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
This article is the second in a series that deals with the legal implications of Superstorm Sandy, which devastated many areas of New Jersey on October 29, 2012. Owners of property with a structure that has suffered substantial damage or that has been destroyed should be aware that they may qualify for a lower property tax assessment, which may result in lower property taxes next year… Continue Reading

Rebuilding New Jersey After Sandy – Hurdles for Nonconforming Uses

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy devastated many areas of New Jersey, with the coastal areas seeing unprecedented devastation. Residents and business owners from the Jersey Shore, including the bayshore areas, face the daunting task of rebuilding. Many business and property owners, however, cannot simply apply for a building permit to replace damaged structures. For many, it will be an uphill legal battle to rebuild. This is particularly true for property owners who had been operating nonconforming uses… Continue Reading

NJ Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument on COAH Third Round Affordable Housing Regulations

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
On November 7, 2012, the New Jersey Supreme Court will be hearing oral argument as to whether the latest regulations adopted by the Council on Affordable Housing ("COAH") are valid. Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules, the decision will have a far-ranging impact on the future of affordable housing in New Jersey and is being watched closely by developers, municipalities and public interest groups… Continue Reading

Residential Property Tax Relief Could Be On Its Way to Philadelphia

Posted in Tax Abatement, Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
All in favor of residential property tax relief, raise your hand! And, if you own an eligible home in the City of Philadelphia, apply now. The City is offering its residential homeowners the opportunity to apply for a Homestead Exemption. The Homestead Exemption would reduce the assessed value of an eligible home by $15,000 or more, and consequently lower the real estate taxes owed by the homeowner because the homeowner would pay real estate tax only on the reduced assessment… Continue Reading

The New Philadelphia Zoning Code – Coming Soon to a Property Near You

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
Ready or not, the revised Philadelphia Zoning Code becomes effective on August 22, 2012. This massive and comprehensive overhaul of the Zoning Code, its first since 1962, required over four years to complete. It was coordinated by the thirty-one member Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission, and is the culmination of countless hours of work by the ZCC, including scores of regular meetings, informational meetings, community meetings, meetings with stakeholder groups and public hearings. The changes from the current Code are many and significant, with important modifications to base and overlay zoning districts, use categories, area and bulk requirements, floor area ratio calculations, parking standards and, perhaps most meaningful, the administrative process. We will be examining these and other major revisions in this blog on a regular basis, both as the Code's implementation date approaches as well as after it is in effect… Continue Reading

The Extension of the Permit Extension Act is on the Move, To Be Reviewed Today By Assembly Appropriations Committee

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues, Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
About two months ago, several NJ Legislators, including State Senator Paul Sarlo (Bergen/Passaic) and Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, proposed bills that would amend the 2008 "Permit Extension Act." Designed to give developers breathing room in the sluggish economy by extending the validity of development approvals, Proposed Bill S743 (the "Bill" or "S743") is gaining traction and is moving through the necessary legislative committees. On March 5, 2012, S743 passed by a vote of 4-0 by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The Bill is scheduled to go before the Assembly Appropriations Committee on March 12, … Continue Reading

The Permit Extension Act May Keep Extending

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues, Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
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… Continue Reading

National Association of Women Lawyers Confers Outstanding Member Award on Nancy Lottinville

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
On Thursday, July 21, 2011, Nancy A. Lottinville, Esq., Counsel to Gibbons P.C.'s Newark based Real Property & Environmental Department was awarded the Virginia S. Mueller Outstanding Member Award by the National Association of Women Lawyers, the first national bar association for women established in 1899. Ms. Lottinville, along with six other attorneys chosen from NAWL's nationwide membership, accepted the award at NAWL's Annual Meeting held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. NAWL presents the Outstanding Member Award to NAWL members for exemplary contributions to NAWL. Ms. Lottinville's contributions include several years of service on multiple committees including the 2011 Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting Logistics Committee, as well as Program Committee member for the 2010 New Jersey NAWL Night of Giving and the 2011 New Jersey Supreme Court Appellate Advocacy Program… Continue Reading

Proposed Legislation Will Require Shopping Center Developments in NJ to Provide Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues, Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
One of the problems with electric cars (EVs) is - what do you do when the battery runs down? Currently there are 500 charging stations in the United States and 400 of them are in California. In an attempt to address the dead battery problem and encourage purchase of EVs, on March 21, 2011, the New Jersey State Senate introduced Bill S2784 (the "Bill") which requires owners of shopping center developments to include charging stations. Under the Bill, owners of a "shopping center development" must equip not less than five (5%) percent of the parking spaces for the shopping center development with electric vehicle charging stations. Moreover, such stations must be available for use during the hours of operation of the shopping center development… Continue Reading

Court Better Defines “Completion” Under New Jersey’s Five-Year Exemption and Abatement Law

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Tax Abatement
Crucial to New Jersey's Five-Year Exemption and Abatement Law is the time within which an application for the tax exemption or abatement must be filed with the municipal tax assessor. A recent Tax Court of New Jersey decision provides the first published opinion interpreting a crucial provision of the statute used to calculate such period of time. Under N.J.S.A. 40A:21-16, written application for a tax exemption or abatement must be made to the municipal tax assessor within 30 days (including Saturdays and Sundays) following the completion of an improvement, conversion alteration, or construction on the property for which tax abatement or exemption is sought. The statute defines "completion" of a project as the date on which same is "substantially ready for the intended use"… Continue Reading

A New Jersey Statute That May Go a Long Way On Your Next Solar or Wind Project!

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
Experienced New Jersey developers and land use attorneys understand the challenges that face an applicant when the proposed use is not expressly permitted in the municipality's zoning district wherethe subject property is located. The challenge is only more complicated if the proposed use involves novel or unfamiliar technology such as renewable energy. However, in New Jersey, the government has been proactive in welcoming renewable energy projects through grants and legislation, making New Jersey definitely the place to be if you want to develop property geared towards the creation of a renewable energy facility powered by solar or wind… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About Variances and Existing Non-Conformities for Your Next Development Application in NJ

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
Earlier this month, the New Jersey Appellate Division decided and approved for publication Cortesini v. Hamilton Township Planning Board, a case that addressed the issue of whether a developer must apply for a variance in connection with a pre-existing non-conforming condition created by a prior/non-appealable development approval. The Court's answer was a resounding "no" based on the facts presented… Continue Reading

Will the New Jersey Supreme Court Respect “Repose” for the Diligent Developer?

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues, Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
For a real estate developer in New Jersey, it seems that there is no "repose" when it comes to the finality of land use approvals. Repose you ask? While the word may garner images of warm weather days at poolside, a developer can only think of repose as the day the appeal period expires on hard-won land use approvals, especially after facing objecting citizens at multiple hearings… Continue Reading

Land Use Public Notices: N.J. Developers/Attorneys Beware!!!

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
In the most recent case decided in New Jersey on the issue of the adequacy of a land use public notice, the court continued the trend of requiring applicants on development applications to put as much information in their notices as possible to make the general public aware of the nature of the matter under consideration. In Neshanic Coalition for Historic Preservation v. Hillsborough Township Planning Board, Judge Buchsbaum ruled that the applicant's public notice failed to meet the statutory requirement of setting forth the "nature of the matters to be considered" under the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law because it omitted the fact that the building to be demolished was located in an historic district… Continue Reading

NJ State Comptroller Releases Report Critical of Municipal Tax Abatements/PILOT Agreements

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Tax Abatement, Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
The New Jersey State Comptroller released a report Wednesday entitled "A Programmatic Examination of Municipal Tax Abatements." The Comptroller's report is critical of both five year abatements and long term abatements granted by municipalities and was being widely reported in the press yesterday… Continue Reading

Want to Expedite Your Real Estate Development Approvals in New Jersey? Want to Get Your Building Permit as Soon as Possible? Did You Know About This Regulation?

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
In New Jersey, it is very typical for a municipality's building department to refuse to accept a developer's construction drawings until the developer has received all of its local, county, state, and other applicable agency approvals (e.g. site plan approval, an NJDEP permit; or an NJDOT permit). This should not be happening… Continue Reading

New Jersey Proposes Addition of Solar Power Facilities to its Green Initiative

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues, Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
Solar and Wind Energy Generation facilities may soon join the category of uses designated as permitted of right by New Jersey statute rather than by individual municipal ordinance, thus preempting municipal zoning powers granted under the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq. (MLUL)… Continue Reading
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