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.
Proposed Legislation Will Require Shopping Center Developments in NJ to Provide Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles
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.
New Jersey case law has consistently held that new or modified development ordinance provisions apply to pending land use applications, even if the proposed zoning was specifically introduced to thwart a pending application. This has historically been known as the “time of decision” rule. On May 5, 2011, the time of decision rule will run out of time.
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.
What You Need to Know About Variances and Existing Non-Conformities for Your Next Development Application in NJ
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.
On March 15, 2010, the New Jersey Assembly passed A-437, the “Time of Application” bill, by a vote of 52-15. The bill, which takes effect one year following enactment, provides that those development regulations which are in effect on the date of submission of an application for development shall govern the review of that application for development, and any decision made with regard to that application for development. A-437 now heads to the Governor’s desk.