Tagged: Coronavirus

Permit Extension Act of 2020 Alters Timing for Applications for Development, and Extends Certain Existing Approvals During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Permit Extension Act of 2020 Alters Timing for Applications for Development, and Extends Certain Existing Approvals During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

On July 1, 2020, Governor Murphy signed the Permit Extension Act of 2020, enacted as P.L. 2020, c. 53, a stand-alone piece of legislation modifying timelines for review of applications for development before the land use boards of the State of New Jersey and tolling existing development approvals that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. This legislation ends a saga that saw the proposal of an amendment to the Permit Extension Act of 2008, which was enacted following the Great Recession; a conditional veto of that legislation; and the concurrence of both houses of the New Jersey legislature with the language of the conditional veto message. This new law will provide significant help to developers throughout New Jersey who were forced, whether by governmental order or economic infeasibility, to put projects on hold during the course of the present public health emergency. However, there are potential pitfalls of which developers should be aware, as set forth below, including a requirement that all state-level permits that developers wish to have extended be registered. The Permit Extension Act of 2020 provides as follows: Scope: Much like the original Permit Extension Act, this law serves to extend a wide...

Issues for NJ and NY Retailers and Food and Beverage Establishments to Consider Upon Reopening for Outdoor Sales and Service

Issues for NJ and NY Retailers and Food and Beverage Establishments to Consider Upon Reopening for Outdoor Sales and Service

On June 3, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 150 (the “Order”), which permitted, effective June 15, 2020, restaurants and other food and beverage establishments to offer on-site outdoor service. The Order also allowed municipalities to make outdoor shared spaces, such as sidewalks and streets, available to these establishments. Previously, these establishments had been limited to offering take-out services as a result of executive orders issued in response to the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency. Simultaneous with the issuance of the Order, the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (NJABC) issued a special ruling to create a COVID-19 Expansion of Premises Permit (the “Special Ruling”). We discussed the special ruling here. Similarly, the State of New York – on a region-by-region basis – is entering Phase 2 of its reopening plan in response to the COVID-19 health emergency, and the New York State Liquor Authority (NYSLA) issued guidance to permit liquor licensees with on-premises service to resume outdoor, on-premises service of alcoholic beverages and food. We discussed the guidance here. In sum, both states have taken significant steps to provide relief to business establishments that have been hurt by the COVID-19 health emergency. These measures allow...

NJABC Issues Special Ruling Creating COVID-19 Expansion Permit and Provides Guidance on To-Go Cocktails

NJABC Issues Special Ruling Creating COVID-19 Expansion Permit and Provides Guidance on To-Go Cocktails

Earlier this month, the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“Division”) issued a special ruling to create temporary COVID-19 permits to expand licensed premises and an advisory notice regarding cocktails-to-go. These are summarized briefly below. Special Ruling Establishing Temporary COVID-19 Permit to Expand Licensed Premises This special ruling issued on June 3, 2020 establishes a COVID-19 Expansion of Premises Permit (“COVID-19 Expansion Permit”) to coincide with Executive Order No. 150, which allows licensees or permittees with on-premises retail consumption privileges to reopen and serve patrons in outdoor areas. The COVID-19 Expansion Permit allows the licensees and permittees to expand their licensed premises into outdoor areas, either contiguous or non-contiguous to their permanently licensed premises. All licensees and permittees with on-premises retail consumption privileges may apply for this permit, but no permit issued would be effective before June 15, 2020. The special ruling sets forth certain criteria that must be met for issuance of the COVID-19 Expansion Permit. In all cases, the licensee is required to demonstrate that it has a possessory interest and control over the expansion areas, and that it will exercise only the same privileges afforded to it on its existing licensed premises. For example, licensees that...

Navigating the Impact of Executive Orders on Shore Rentals and Hotels

Navigating the Impact of Executive Orders on Shore Rentals and Hotels

With prom season and summer approaching, the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges and confusion for shore rentals and hotels. Unlike the regulation of most other businesses during the pandemic, the regulation of short-term lodging and hotels has been delegated to municipalities and counties by the state. As a result, there now exists a patchwork of varying regulations on a county-by-county and town-by-town basis. Those who own hotels or rental properties, and thwarted travelers looking for remedies, must undertake a careful evaluation of municipal and county directives in effect for the relevant locations. Executive Orders No. 107 and No. 108 and Administrative Order No. 2020-8 Executive Order No. 107, entered March 21, 2020, expressly closed all “non-essential retail businesses” and all recreational and entertainment businesses. In an effort to standardize restrictions throughout the state, Executive Order No. 108, entered on the same day, invalidated any existing or future restriction by a county or municipality that “in any way will or might conflict with any of the provisions of Executive Order No. 107, or which will or might interfere with or impede its achievement, or the achievement of Administrative Orders issued as authorized by [the Governor’s] Executive Orders.” Executive Order No. 108,...

COVID-19 – The “Real World” Market Impact We See To Date

COVID-19 – The “Real World” Market Impact We See To Date

Over the last several weeks, our phones have been ringing – a lot. Landlords and tenants want to know what lease obligations they can temporarily forego and what rights they do or do not have, given all that has been wrought by COVID-19, including mandatory closures, suggested closures, social distancing, and the inability to access government offices or courts, to travel, to obtain inventory, supplies, or materials, and, generally, to conduct business and meet responsibilities as contemplated when the governing document was signed. In the last four weeks, there has been much written about the lease clauses and avenues to pursue that are the most relevant to a technical analysis of the questions posed – the force majeure (a/k/a impossibility of performance) clause; the long-shot condemnation clause; the equitable theories based on impossibility, mutual mistake, or simple fairness; insurance recovery; and bankruptcy. So what’s happening in the “real world”? Here’s what we are seeing in our practice. 1. Everyone is nervous. Although this anxiety is, in large measure, due to the facts that we know, it is also clearly driven in large measure by having to plan for the unknown – how bad, how long, what does the “recovery” look...

IRS Extends Deadlines for Section 1031 Exchanges and Investments in Qualified Opportunity Funds

IRS Extends Deadlines for Section 1031 Exchanges and Investments in Qualified Opportunity Funds

In response to the challenges faced by taxpayers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS issued Notice 2020-23 on April 10, 2020, which extends many tax filing and payment due dates to as late as July 15, 2020. Notably, this guidance includes deadlines associated with like-kind property exchanges under Section 1031 and investments in Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) under the Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) regime. A like-kind exchange is a tax-deferred transaction that allows for the disposal of an asset, typically real property, and the subsequent acquisition of another similar asset without generating capital gains tax liability from the sale of the initial asset. QOFs allow taxpayers to invest qualified capital gains into real property or businesses located in QOZs, and to defer and partially reduce taxation on the original capital gain while potentially eliminating all taxation on appreciation while in the QOF. Under Notice 2020-23, any person with a specified federal tax payment obligation or a federal tax return or other form filing obligation that would otherwise be due to be performed (originally or pursuant to a valid extension) on or after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020 is deemed to be an affected taxpayer...

Relaxation of Notary Rules Allows Remote Notarization in New Jersey and New York

Relaxation of Notary Rules Allows Remote Notarization in New Jersey and New York

With some banks and municipal offices closed to walk-ins, non-essential employees working from home, and social distancing requirements in place, the ordinarily mundane task of having documents notarized has become much more challenging. The very act of taking an acknowledgment requires that the notary personally interact with the signatory, verify identity, and witness document execution. This, of course, is wholly inconsistent with the COVID-19 world in which we find ourselves. Although electronic (rather than pen and ink) notarization has become more common in many jurisdictions, few states permit online or webcam notarization where the person signing a document is not in the physical presence of the notary. As a result of COVID-19, the rules have been relaxed in New Jersey and New York in order to permit video notarization in some instances. New Jersey New Jersey is utilizing a legislative process to amend the Notaries Public Act of 1979 (the “Act”). A bill designated as A-3903 was signed into law on April 14, 2020, as P.L. 2020, ch. 26. It takes effect immediately and will remain in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency as declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103. It provides that a notary appointed...

NJABC Relaxes Additional Regulations in Response to COVID-19 Crisis

NJABC Relaxes Additional Regulations in Response to COVID-19 Crisis

On April 7, 2020, we published a blog explaining the guidance and forms of relief recently provided by the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“Division”) to liquor license holders throughout the state. The issued guidance and relief pertain to operations of alcoholic beverage licensees and permittees during the state of emergency declared to address the COVID-19 crisis. Since that time, the Division has issued three new special rulings to address additional COVID-19 related issues. Each special ruling is summarized briefly below. Special Ruling Granting Relaxation of Signature Requirement, Product Returns, Credit, Notices of Obligation, and Bill and Hold This special ruling grants relaxation of several regulations promulgated under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (the “Act”), as well as under a previous special ruling. Signature on Invoices: To comply with social distancing protocols, the Division temporarily suspended the requirement that a licensee must sign and date a delivery slip, invoice, manifest, waybill, or similar document at the time of delivery of any alcoholic beverage by a licensed manufacturer, importer, or wholesaler. It sets forth acceptable alternative methods for signature, which includes methods like sending a contemporaneous email confirming receipt, photographing the invoice and confirming electronically with the wholesaler, or...

Governor’s New Executive Order Halts Non-Essential Construction Projects Throughout New Jersey

Governor’s New Executive Order Halts Non-Essential Construction Projects Throughout New Jersey

On April 8, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 122 (EO 122), which further limited non-essential business operations throughout the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Executive Order halts all non-essential construction as of 8:00 PM on Friday, April 10, 2020. The Executive Order expressly identifies those limited projects that may continue construction during the state of emergency. Of note, these include: Projects necessary for the delivery of healthcare services, including, but not limited to, hospitals, other healthcare facilities, and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities Transportation projects, including roads, bridges, and mass transit facilities or physical infrastructure, including work done at airports/seaports Utility projects, including those necessary for energy and electricity production and transmission, and any decommissioning of facilities used for electricity generation Residential projects that are exclusively designated as affordable housing Schools projects Projects involving single-family homes that are under contract, or a project underway on a single-family home or single apartment where an individual already resides Projects involving facilities for the manufacture, distribution, storage, or servicing of goods sold by online retailers or essential retailers Projects involving data centers or facilities that are “critical” to a business’s ability to function Projects necessary for the delivery of essential social services, including...

NJABC Issues Guidance and Provides Relief to Certain Licensees and Permit Holders During COVID-19 Crisis

NJABC Issues Guidance and Provides Relief to Certain Licensees and Permit Holders During COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unforeseen challenges to countless businesses across the country. Businesses that serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption have been hit particularly hard. Through Executive Order No. 107 (the “Order”), and in connection with the declared State of Emergency, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy imposed certain restrictions on restaurants and bars. On March 30, 2020, the State of New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“Division”) issued Advisory Notice 2020-03, which outlines the Division’s interpretation of the Order and provides guidance to licensees concerning the activities in which they may engage in during the COVID-19 crisis. All license holders in the state should review the advisory notice in full, in addition to some of the major points outlined below. Following those points is an explanation of the special ruling regarding Limited Brewery License holders that was issued by the Division concurrently with the advisory notice, and a summary of some recent changes in protocol for interactions with the Division and its staff. Lastly, there is a brief summary of the April 1, 2020 order issued by the Division authorizing the extension of certain alcoholic beverage permits. Advisory Notice 2020-03 Retail consumption licensees: Bars, restaurants, or other establishments...