Real Property & Environmental Law Alert

Real Property & Environmental Law Alert

Transactional Real Estate, Development/Redevelopment & Environmental Law

Tag Archives: Permit

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Proposes New Rules Aimed at Streamlining Coastal Permitting Process

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
On June 10, 2014, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) introduced a series of proposed technical revisions to land use rules -- via a 1,055 page proposal -- designed to encourage redevelopment in coastal areas decimated by Hurricane Sandy. DEP Commissioner Bob Martin -- who also served on Governor Christie’s Red Tape Review Commission, which was launched in 2011 to streamline regulatory processes across state government -- explained that “[t]hese revisions will add clarity to our regulatory processes and provide better predictability in the regulatory process.”… 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

“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

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

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

New Jersey Grants Out-of-State Wineries Direct Access to Consumers & Retailers

Posted in Liquor Licensing
On January 17, 2012, Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bill allowing out-of-state winemakers to sell directly to New Jersey consumers and retailers. The bill was in response to the Third Court's decision in Freeman v. Corzine, which we reviewed on this blog a year ago. The decision invalidated a New Jersey law allowing certain New Jersey farmers and wineries to skip wholesalers and sell directly to retailers and consumers. The Court determined that the law ran afoul of the Constitution's Dormant Commerce Clause because it imposed restrictions benefiting in-state wineries and farmers at the expense of their out-of-state competitors. This new law is intended to balance the competing rights of in-state and out-of-state wineries… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania’s Alcohol Sale Privatization Debate: What Does It Mean for Retail Beer and Wine Sellers?

Posted in Liquor Licensing
Pennsylvania's state-run stores could be on the verge of losing their decades-old monopoly on wine and liquor sales. On December 13, 2011, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives' Liquor Control Committee voted 15-10 to approve an amended version of Pennsylvania House Bill 11, ("Pa. H.B. 11"), which would allow the state's 1,200 beer retailers to sell wine to the public, in competition with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's ("PLCB") 620 state-run stores. Notably, large supermarket chains within the state stand to gain an enormous benefit from the proposed law, which would allow for the first time in-store wine sales, as well as limited in-store tasting events. The proposed legislation now sits before the full House, awaiting floor debate, additional amendments, and a possible vote. The process could begin as early as this month… Continue Reading

Either/Or: Third Circuit Reads Rapanos as Establishing Two Alternative Tests for Federal Regulatory Jurisdiction Over Wetlands

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
The Clean Water Act regulates the placement of fill into the "waters of the United States." That term has come to include wetlands -- or at least some wetlands. The Supreme Court's last attempt, in Rapanos v. United States, to clarify which wetlands fall within the statute's coverage caused great confusion, as the five Justices who agreed on the judgment (a four-Justice plurality led by Justice Scalia, and Justice Kennedy, who concurred separately) generated two separate tests for jurisdiction. Which test should lower courts apply? In an opinion released on October 31, the Third Circuit said, "both" -- if the wetlands in question satisfy either Justice Scalia's test or Justice Kennedy's test, they fall within the statute's reach… Continue Reading

DEP Launches Coastal E-Permitting Program

Posted in Environmental & Green Issues
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ("NJDEP") launched a new e-permitting program that will allow the public to apply on-line for certain coastal permits. The program is consistent with the Governor's "Common Sense Principles" outlined in Executive Order No. 2 which focused on the need to reduce the high costs and regulatory burdens that are thought to impede growth and opportunity in the State of New Jersey… 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

NJ Senate Considering Whether to Limit Power of DEP, DCA Commissioners

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
On February 17, 2011, the Assembly unanimously adopted bill A 2722. The bill, which is intended to implement some of the findings of the Red Tape Review Group, would amend the Administrative Procedures Act and provide administrative law judges ("ALJs") with more tools to streamline contested administrative law cases. Interestingly, however, the bill would also strip the Commissioners of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ("DEP") and Department of Community Affairs ("DCA"), as well as some others, of their power to review, modify, or reject ALJs' decisions in contested cases… Continue Reading

NJDEP Site Remediation Implements Steps to Increase Permit Efficiency

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues
One perennial criticism leveled at the Department of Environmental Protection ("NJDEP") is that it takes too long to issue permits. There have been a long list of initiatives intended to ensure that the NJDEP makes permit decisions which are predictable and timely. Indeed, Commissioner Martin has repeatedly commented on the need to ensure that NJDEP perform efficiently and focus on servicing all stakeholders - including applicants, and included this goal in his 2010 Vision Statement for the department. At long last, NJDEP appears to be taking concrete steps to implement efficiencies in the permit process. On January 27, 2011, NJDEP announced that it would begin to tackle this problem by changing the way it processes the most common land-use permits for contaminated sites and landfill closures… Continue Reading

Third Circuit Overturns Alcoholic Beverage Control Perks for New Jersey Wineries and Farms

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
New Jersey, like most other states, has a three-tier alcohol distribution system: (1) manufacturers and suppliers sell to wholesalers; (2) wholesalers sell to retailers; and (3) retailers sell to consumers. New Jersey's Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws ("ABC Laws"), which are enforced by the Director of the Division of the Alcoholic Beverage Control ("ABC"), have allowed certain New Jersey farmers and wineries to skip the wholesalers and sell directly to retailers and consumers. Out-of-state wineries and wine aficionados cried foul and challenged the special privileges given to New Jersey producers. On December 17, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued its opinion in Freeman v. Corzine and sided against the New Jersey … Continue Reading

Taking on the NJDOT: Appellate Division Broadens Objector’s Ability to Challenge NJDOT Permits

Posted in Development/Redevelopment
It is not uncommon in New Jersey for businesses to fight tooth and nail to prevent competitors from obtaining development approvals. This month, in In the Matter of the Issuance of Access Conforming Lot Permit No. A-17-N-N040-2007 by the New Jersey Department of Transportation for Block 136, Lots 2 and 3 in Mahwah Township, New Jersey, the Appellate Division dragged the New Jersey Department of Transportation ("NJDOT") into the fight and provided objectors with another path to delay or even prevent a business competitor from moving into town… 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

Solar Energy Development in New Jersey: Right Time, Right Place!

Posted in Development/Redevelopment, Environmental & Green Issues, Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
All of us are intrigued by the concept of utilizing a clean, renewable energy source to generate abundant and cheap power for our homes and businesses. Some of us have even investigated installing a renewable energy system, but have come away disappointed due to onerous regulatory obstacles and the high cost associated with these installations. That is, unless you are looking into installing a solar energy power facility in New Jersey… Continue Reading

Kick the Tires and Check under the Hood: Due Diligence Provisions in Pennsylvania Agreements of Sale; Posting 3 of 3

Posted in Transactional Real Estate & Leasing
Of the pre-closing due diligence triad, the property investigation almost always covers the most ground. While representations and warranties will help you spot and clarify issues during the negotiation of the Agreement of Sale, and title review will identify and locate recorded encumbrances, the property investigation is where the Buyer gets its hands dirty… 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

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
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