Real Property & Environmental Law Alert

Real Property & Environmental Law Alert

Transactional Real Estate, Development/Redevelopment & Environmental Law

Tag Archives: New Jersey

Susanne Peticolas Authors Section on Bankruptcy for NJ Environmental Law Handbook

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
Susanne Peticolas, a Director in the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department, contributed a section on environmental issues in bankruptcy to the 8th edition of the New Jersey Environmental Law Handbook. Her section discusses the issues created by the conflicting policies underlying bankruptcy law, focusing on a fresh start for the debtor, as well as environmental law, which focuses on making the polluter pay. The section covers a wide range of relevant topics, including which environmental claims are bankruptcy “claims,” how environmental claims are impacted by the automatic stay, the identity of the claim holder, and the relief that is being sought… Continue Reading

Appraisal Provisions in Leases Mean More Than You Think in New Jersey

Posted in Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
It is a common belief that appraisal provisions in leases governing future renewal rents don't really mean anything. The logic behind this conclusion is that regardless of what the lease says, if the tenant doesn't receive a new rent number that justifies staying, it will leave. There is a lot of truth to this. However, a recent New Jersey Appellate Division decision, Cablevision of Oakland, LLC vs CK Bergen Holdings, LLC, App Div 27-2-3149 demonstrates neither a landlord nor a tenant can rely on conventional wisdom as a reason to forego doing the right job in the documents. If you are concerned about the methodology to be used in the appraisal process you had better make that clear in the lease. And if you want the Court to have the power to review an appraisal to determine whether there was compliance with the methodology mandated by the lease, you better make that clear in the lease, too… Continue Reading

Jason Tuvel Will Speak at the 2014 Land Use Update

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
Jason R. Tuvel, a Director in the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department, will be a speaker at the 2014 Land Use Update on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in West Orange, New Jersey. The all-day program, sponsored jointly by NJICLE and the NJSBA Land Use Section, will cover the past year’s judicial decisions - both reported and unreported - as well as regulatory, legislative and ethical issues that impact this constantly evolving area of practice. The program will provide essential information and strategies for handling the latest and most challenging land use issues… Continue Reading

Remedial Investigation Extension Application Deadline Further Extended to March 21, 2014 by NJDEP

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) has announced that it will continue to accept applications for the two year extension from the May 7, 2014, deadline to complete remedial investigations until March 21, 2014, due to the high number of weather-related statewide closings. Originally, applications had to be filed with NJDEP by March 7, 2014. … Continue Reading

Remedial Investigation Deadline Extended to May 7, 2016 if Conditions Met

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
A number of Responsible Parties are breathing a sigh of relief. On January 21, 2014, Governor Christie signed legislation authorizing a two year extension for Responsible Parties to complete their remedial investigations before risking being placed under direct oversight of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The deadline has been extended from May 14, 2014, to May 7, 2016, under certain circumstances. Pursuant to the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), the deadline applies to all site investigations or preliminary assessments that are being conducted to address discharges or contaminated areas of concern that have been or should have been identified on or before May 7, … Continue Reading

Gibbons Directors Howard Geneslaw and Lawrence Lustberg to Speak at 2014 New Jersey Planning Conference

Posted in Planning
Howard D. Geneslaw, a Director in the Gibbons Real Estate Development practice group, and Lawrence S. Lustberg, a Director in the Gibbons Criminal Defense Department, as well as the Director of the firm's John J. Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest & Constitutional Law, will both speak at the "2014 New Jersey Planning Conference" presented by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association on January 23-… Continue Reading

Funding Available for Site Remediation in New Jersey

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
On December 18, 2013, Susanne Peticolas, a Director in the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department, moderated a panel, "There May Be Money for Your Client for Site Remediation," sponsored by the New Jersey Bar Association's Environmental Law Section. The program focused on the Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund ("HDSRF"). Michael Deely, Supervisor for NJDEP's HDSRF program, cheered the audience by reporting that the long depleted fund once again has money for site remediation grants and loans… Continue Reading

Gibbons Director Presents at New York County Lawyers’ Association Program

Posted in Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
Ivette P. Alvarado, a Director in the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department, recently spoke at the New York County Lawyer's Association "New Jersey Bridge the Gap" program. A returning speaker, Ms. Alvarado's presentation on December 6, 2013, "An Introduction to Real Estate Closing Practices in New Jersey," focused on the intricacies of residential and commercial real estate transactions in New Jersey… Continue Reading

Legislature Contemplates Extension of Moratorium on Statewide Non-Residential Development Fee

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
At the end of last week, the New Jersey State Senate ("Senate") introduced Bill S3116 that proposes to continue the moratorium on the statewide non-residential development fee (the "Fee") that expired on July 1, 2013. Since July 1, 2013, developers and land use attorneys have been in a state of flux with regard to whether the fee applies to development projects. If passed, this legislation would extend the moratorium to December 31, … Continue Reading

Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department Ranked in 2014 Best Law Firms

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues, Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
Gibbons P.C. is proud to announce that five practices within its Real Property & Environmental Department have achieved national and metropolitan rankings in the 2014 edition of Best Law Firms, published by U.S. News and Best Lawyers®, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. In addition, 11 attorneys in the Department have been individually ranked… Continue Reading

May 14, 2014 Remedial Investigation Deadline Approaching for Discharges Discovered Prior to May 7, 1999

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
Many Responsible Parties will be scrambling to meet the May 7, 2014 deadline to complete their remedial investigations. Failure to meet the deadline risks that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) will undertake direct oversight of an entire contaminated site. Pursuant to the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), the May 2014 deadline applies to all discharges or contaminated areas of concern that have been or should have been identified on or before May 7, 1999, due to an obligation to complete a site investigation or preliminary assessment… Continue Reading

May 7, 2014 Remedial Investigation Deadline Approaching for Discharges Discovered Prior to May 7, 1999

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
Many Responsible Parties will be scrambling to meet the May 7, 2014 deadline to complete their remedial investigations. Failure to meet the deadline risks that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) will undertake direct oversight of an entire contaminated site. Pursuant to the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), the May 2014 deadline applies to all discharges or contaminated areas of concern that have been or should have been identified on or before May 7, 1999, due to an obligation to complete a site investigation or preliminary assessment… Continue Reading

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds That Claimants in Continuous-Trigger Environmental Coverage Cases Must Exhaust Policy Limits of Solvent Carriers Before Seeking Payment From Fund for Insolvent Carriers

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
Almost twenty years after establishing a methodology for allocating remediation costs among insurance policies in so-called "long-tail" cases, the New Jersey Supreme Court was faced with a new question: what happens when one of the insurers is insolvent? Applying a 2004 statutory amendment and interpreting it as reversing the result in a 1997 Appellate Division case, the Court held, in Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Salem v. New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association that in such a case the policy limits of all solvent carriers must be exhausted before a claimant can recover any benefits from a special statutory fund created to stand in the place of insolvent insurers. The decision has important ramifications for corporations with complex insurance programs and potential environmental issues regarding sites where contamination may have been present over many years… Continue Reading

Appellate Division Finds a Six Year Statute of Limitations Applicable to New Jersey Spill Act Claims

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
In what is a potential game changing decision, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey, in Morristown Associates v. Grant Oil Company, et al., Docket No. A-0313-11T3 (App. Div. Aug. 23, 2013) recently held that the six year statute of limitations applicable to property damage claims is applicable to private claims pursuant to the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act… Continue Reading

From Ink to Occupancy – Part Three: Land Use Due Diligence – The Title Myth

Posted in Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
As the third installment in the series, "From Ink to Occupancy, A Game Plan for a Successful Real Estate Project," stemming from the Gibbons Women's Initiative Seminar Series held in May, this blog addresses the question of whether title review alone is sufficient for purposes of ascertaining what restrictions are in place for a property being acquired. The simple answer is NO. All too often commercial buyers anxious to close on a property take shortcuts and limit their due diligence to title review as opposed to conducting land use due diligence. This blog explains why, particularly in New Jersey, it is critical to conduct land use and zoning due diligence in addition to title review prior to the acquisition of a property, so that you can be fully aware of any potential restrictions impacting the property… Continue Reading

In Dune Construction Dispute, N.J. Supreme Court Holds that “Just Compensation” in Partial-Takings Cases Must Be Reduced by Value of All Reasonably Calculable Benefits

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
When the Borough of Harvey Cedars took a portion of the beachfront property of Harvey and Phyllis Karan to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to construct a protective dune, the Karans lost their view of the ocean, and a court awarded them $375,000 as compensation for the drop in the value of their $1.7 million home. In a momentous decision with important ramifications for shore protection efforts and for a much broader category of eminent domain cases, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that "just compensation" for the Karans should also have reflected the quantifiable benefits that they received as a result of the improved flood protection provided by the dune… Continue Reading

Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Lawyers Listed as Leaders in Their Fields

Posted in Construction, Development/Redevelopment, Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
Thirteen lawyers in the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department were listed by New Jersey Super Lawyers and New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Stars as leaders in their fields for 2013. In addition, Department associate Uzoamaka N. Okoye was featured in a Rising Stars spotlight, in which she discusses her background and her reasons for becoming a lawyer. Overall, 80 lawyers in the firm were featured in these two publications… Continue Reading

From Ink to Occupancy – Part Two: Properly Identifying the Property in the Contract: Are You Sure You Know What You’re Getting?

Posted in Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
As the second installment in the series, "From Ink to Occupancy, A Game Plan for a Successful Real Estate Project," presented at the Gibbons Women's Initiative Seminar Series held last month, this blog addresses the basic question - what are you buying? Most purchasers (and sellers) of commercial property will tell you they know exactly what they are buying (or selling): the land and the building. But are they right… Continue Reading

“Operation Swill”: New Jersey ABC and Division of Criminal Justice Raid 29 Bars and Restaurants That Allegedly Served Cheap Alcohol as “Premium” Brands

Posted in Liquor Licensing
On May 23, 2013, New Jersey's Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa and Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control ("ABC") Director Michael Halfacre announced the details of "Operation Swill," a year-long investigation involving more than 100 investigators throughout New Jersey. Operation Swill reached its climax one day earlier when ABC and Division of Criminal Justice personnel executed raids on 29 establishments throughout New Jersey suspected of substituting premium alcoholic beverage brands with "well brand spirits," i.e., non-premium brands. N.J.A.C. § 13:2-23.19 prohibits a licensee from substituting another brand other than ordered by a customer unless agreed to by the customer. Approximately 1,000 bottles were seized during the raids, which will be held for further testing by the ABC and manufacturers… 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

May I Come In?: N.J. Supreme Court Approves Warrantless DEP Searches of Residential Property Subject to Freshwater Wetlands Permit

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
In a unanimous decision that was at once sweeping and limited, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) need not obtain a warrant before entering a residential parcel to ensure compliance with the terms of a wetlands permit. The Court stopped short of a blanket validation of all warrantless searches under the wetlands statute, or of all warrantless searches of residential property subject to any sort of permit, instead grounding its holding in the protections afforded by the process that DEP must follow, and limiting it to searches of properties that are subject to a wetlands permit… Continue Reading

More Streamlining of Permit Procedures for Rebuilding After Superstorm Sandy

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
A recent news release on the NJDEP website discusses new efforts by the Christie Administration to streamline vital rebuilding projects necessitated by the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy. The new rules, which were adopted on an emergency basis on April 16th, are intended to eliminate some of the red tape typically associated with permit procedures, while ensuring the protection of coastal resources and encouraging the rebuilding of a more resilient New Jersey coastline. This is just the latest action taken by the Governor and NJDEP to ease the burden on residents, businesses and municipalities seeking to rebuild. Beginning as early as five days after the storm swept through New Jersey, actions were already being taken to waive permitting requirements for those rebuilding vital infrastructure such as roads and bridges. More recently, the Christie Administration adopted a streamlined process for property owners wanting to rebuild to new elevation standards in flood zones… Continue Reading
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