NJ Supreme Court Rules on the Validity of Open Space/Recreational Fees and Set Asides

June 25th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 2| comments:

2009-02-17-transfer-481This morning, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed a decision by the Appellate Division striking down ordinances in Jackson Township and Egg Harbor.  The court held that the Municipal Land Use Law does not empower municipal governments to require developers to set aside land for common open space or recreational areas and facilities (or to make payments in lieu of those set-asides), except with regard to applications for planned developments.  » Read the rest of this entry «

Tree Removal Ordinance Aimed at Developers Upheld by the New Jersey Supreme Court

June 5th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 1| comments:

Tree OrdinanceThe New Jersey Supreme Court recently upheld the validity of a Township ordinance that requires developers to replace the trees they remove during development or pay a fee into a special “tree escrow fund” dedicated to planting trees and shrubs on public property. In the case of NJ Shore Builders Association v. Township of Jackson, the state Supreme Court overruled decisions by both the Appellate Division and trial court that found the ordinance invalid because requiring developers to pay a fee for planting trees on public land bore no relationship to the stated purpose of the ordinance – to counter environmental hazards of clear-cutting trees.  The lower courts found that the payment of the fee to plant new trees and shrubs on public property did not ameliorate the negative effects of removing trees on private property.  The NJ Supreme Court disagreed, however, indicating that the Township’s exercise of the police power was rationally related to the broad environmental goals of ordinance. The court viewed the ordinance as a generic environmental regulation and not a planning or zoning initiative that implicates the Municipal Land Use Law.  » Read the rest of this entry «

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