Governor Christie Signs New Bill Amending New Jersey's Redevelopment Law
September 11, 2013
On September 9, 2013, Governor Christie signed bill A3615 into law. A3615 revises New Jersey’s Local Redevelopment and Housing Law by addressing the concerns raised by the courts in Gallenthin Realty Development v. Borough of Paulsboro and Harrision Redevelopment Agency v. DeRose. Among other things, A3615 redefines the threshold that must be met when declaring a property in a stagnant and unproductive condition and sets forth additional notice requirements in an effort to protect the due process rights of property owners.
Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, A3615 creates two different tracks for pursuing redevelopment – one that allows the use of eminent domain and one that does not. A3615 requires the resolution authorizing a preliminary investigation to state whether the redevelopment area determination authorizes the municipality to use all of those powers provided by the legislature for use in redevelopment areas – including the use of eminent domain (a “Condemnation Redevelopment Area”), or authorizes the municipality to use all of those powers provided by the legislature for use in a redevelopment area except eminent domain (a “Non-Condemnation Redevelopment Area”).
The passage of A3615 requires a redeveloper and the applicable municipality to determine up front whether or not eminent domain may be necessary to acquire property. In the event eminent domain is not necessary, the designation of a Non-Condemnation Redevelopment Area will allow a redeveloper and municipality to avail themselves of the other benefits provided by New Jersey’s Local Redevelopment and Housing Law without the baggage and potential litigation that come with the threat of eminent domain.
In any event, A3615 changes the process by which any redeveloper or municipality may implement a redevelopment project and as such it is imperative that all redevelopers and municipalities undertaking or considering a redevelopment project understand and implement the provisions of A3615.
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