July 18th, 2012 | Posted by:
On July 17, 2012, Department of Environmental Proptection Comissioner Bob Martin anounced that 21 Counties have updated their sewer maps in order to priovide clear direction on where sewer service and potential development is approprate, while protecting nearly 210,000 acres of environmentally sensitve lands. The NJDEP Alert issued on July 17 summaries the current status:
Counties and municipalities across the state worked with the DEP since January to meet a July 15 deadline set by the Legislature to submit to the DEP either a sewer service area map or full wastewater management plans. These plans had been stalled for several years due to unworkable rules set up by a previous administration that left vulnerable lands unprotected and put counties in a no-win bureaucratic bind. » Read the rest of this entry «
October 31st, 2011 | Posted by:
By Mark Maser, Esq.
With an apparent indifference to one of the worst housing markets in recent decades, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently breathed new life into an effectively dormant rule that undoubtedly has the potential to increase costs and slow production rates for the already struggling residential construction industry. Specifically, on December 22, 2010 – less than a week after the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced that privately-owned housing starts in November 2010 were 5.8 percent below the November 2009 rate — OSHA issued a new directive, Fall Protection in Residential Construction (STD 03-11-002), that rescinded the agency’s Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction (STD 03-00-001) (hereinafter “Interim Guidelines”). See 75 F.R. 80315 (Dec. 22, 2010).
» Read the rest of this entry «
October 8th, 2010 | Posted by:
Today, the Appellate Division issued a decision invalidating the Council of Affordable Housing’s growth share methodology, commonly referred to as the third round rules. The Court provided the following conclusion:
In summary, we invalidate the parts of the revised third round rules that use a growth share methodology for determining the prospective need for affordable housing. We also conclude 71 A-5382-07T3 that the adoption of valid third round rules should not be further delayed by allowing COAH to adopt another methodology for determining prospective need that relies upon a growth share approach. Accordingly, we remand to COAH to adopt new third round rules that use a methodology for determining prospective need similar to the methodologies used in the first and second rounds. This determination should be made on the basis of the most up-to-date available data. The remand shall be completed within five months.
We also invalidate N.J.A.C. 5:97-3.2(a)(4)(iv), which authorizes a municipality to obtain substantive certification of a compliance plan that proposes to construct municipally-funded affordable housing without any specifics regarding the location of the site or source of funding; those parts of the third round rules that fail to provide sufficient incentives for the construction of inclusionary developments; N.J.A.C. 5:97-3.5, which governs rental bonuses for prior round obligations; and N.J.A.C. 5:97-3.18, which authorizes compliance bonuses for affordable housing units approved during the period from December 20, 2004 to June 2, 2008. Consequently, COAH must either eliminate or modify those parts of the third round rules in conformity with this opinion.
September 20th, 2010 | Posted by:
As of July 1, 2010, the 2.5% fee on non-residential development is once again in effect. This 2.5 % fee was originally applied in 2008 with the enactment of the Statewide Non-Residential Development Fee Act (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-8.1-8.7) and was later suspended as part of the New Jersey Stimulus Act of 2009. With the introduction of Senate Bill S-1, it was anticipated that the 2.5% commercial fee would be eliminated or removed from the affordable housing formula. S-1 passed the Senate in June, 2010 but has been held up by the House for further discussion. As we work through the affordable housing mess, developers and municipalities should be cognizant that the 2.5% non-residential development fee is currently in effect. This could and should change soon but as of July 1, 2010, the fee is no longer suspended. Stay tuned as these issues will be further reviewed and discussed this fall.
October 13th, 2009 | Posted by:
Based on recent studies on indoor radon and lung cancer, the World Health Organization is recommending that homeowners remediate radon levels that exceed 2.7 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). WHO’s prior threshold — and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current recommended action level – is 4.0 pCi/L. According to WHO, radon is the second cause of lung cancer in the general population, after smoking, and epidemiological studies have provided convincing evidence of an association between indoor radon exposure and lung cancer, even at the relatively low radon levels commonly found in residential buildings. » Read the rest of this entry «
July 22nd, 2009 | Posted by:
By Joshua Kaplowitz, Esq., LEED
On June 26, the House of Representatives approved the American Clean Energy and Security (“ACES”) Act, legislation aimed at curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While most of the media attention has centered around the bill’s establishment of a mandatory cap on GHG emissions and a complex emissions credit market (i.e. “cap-and-trade”), ACES contains several sweeping provisions which will dramatically impact the green building industry and national land use policies.
» Read the rest of this entry «
July 17th, 2009 | Posted by:
With some modifications Senate Bill S-2577 (A-3772), allowing the conversion of age-restricted housing developments, has finally been signed by Gov. Jon S. Corzine and takes effect immediately. As reported earlier, the new legislation permits the conversion of age-restricted housing units to non-age-restricted housing units and modifies laws concerning affordable housing. In May, Gov. Corzine returned the legislation back to the Senate with recommendations. The new law has evolved to better protect municipalities, making it clear that the reviewing municipal board should approve the conversion where there is no substantial detriment to the public good or impairment of the the intent and purpose of the zone plan and zoning ordinance. The appeal language has also been modified, allowing an appeal directly to court. Unlike a typical prerogative writ action, however, the appeal must be filed within 30 days of the applicant’s receipt of the resolution of denial. For further details and a copy of the Advanced Law click here.
May 28th, 2009 | Posted by:
On May 4, 2009, Governor Corzine returned Senate Bill No 2577 back to the Senate with recommendations, indicating that he was concerned that the “bill does not go far enough in ensuring the provision of housing for those whose needs the private market has not addressed, and further recommend providing local governmental units with additional approval authority in matters of planning for residential developments.” The bill, as discussed in a prior post, would permit the conversion of age-restricted housing developments to non-age restricted housing developments under certain circumstances. In application, it would make modifications to the municipalities affordable housing requirements. » Read the rest of this entry «
April 16th, 2009 | Posted by:
On March 31, 2009, Governor Corzine signed into law The Residential Development Solar Energy Systems Act, which will require developers to provide more information and options regarding renewable energy to potential buyers. The Act applies to residential developments with 25 or more units (that are owner occupied) and requires the developer to include information on solar energy systems and the specific costs in the developer’s advertisements. Click here to view the Pamphlet Law
March 18th, 2009 | Posted by:
On March 16, 2009, the New Jersey Assembly and Senate adopted bill A3772/S2577. If signed by the Governor, the act would allow for the conversion of age-restricted housing units, pending approval by the local planning or zoning board (who seem to have very little discretion to deny the conversion). The Bill has met with substantial resistance from local governments and it remains to be seen if it will be signed into law by the Governor.
To be eligible for conversion, the developer must agree to set aside a percentage of the units in the development (not to exceed 20 %) for the provision of affordable housing. These units would count towards fulfilling the municipality’s affordable housing obligation. To be eligible for conversion, the developer must have received preliminary or final approval prior to the bill’s effective date and the developer can not have any deposits from buyers. » Read the rest of this entry «