Land Use Alert

Title:
Land Use Alert
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2012 PERMIT EXTENSION ACT SIGNED INTO LAW

On September 21, 2012, Governor Christie signed the 2012 Permit Extension Act into law. The new Permit Extension Act extends the expiration date of most State and local government land development approvals through at least December 31, 2014. If you have active or pending development projects that are dependent on State or local approvals, you may benefit from this most recent extension.


Background:

The original Permit Extension Act of 2008 (PL 2008, c. 78) extended the life of a variety of state and local government land development approvals that were otherwise scheduled to expire between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2010. The Act was modified on January 18, 2010 to further extend most approvals through June 30, 2013.

What's New:

The new 2012 Permit Extension Act ("the Act") automatically extends most land development approvals another 18 months through December 31, 2014. Qualifying approvals that were valid as of January 1, 2007 will now remain valid up to six months after December 31, 2014.  For example, the time for a permit that was set to expire on February 1, 2007 would be tolled from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2014. On December 31, 2014, that permit would be released from tolling and run its remaining 30 days of validity until January 31, 2015. Most permits and approvals qualify for extension, including: Municipal Land Use Approvals, numerous NJDEP approvals, NJDOT permits, sewer and water approvals, soil erosion and sediment control approvals and dozens of other government permits and approvals.

While some approvals are excluded, the new Act is broader in its geographical reach than prior versions. Importantly, the Act applies to certain areas of the Highlands Region and the Pinelands Region that were not covered under the original Permit Extension Act. However, "Environmentally Sensitive" areas within the Highland's Planning Area remain excluded unless they are designated "Growth" areas.

Following the enactment of the 2008 Permit Extension Act, and the subsequent amendments, many State agencies released guidance documents explaining which types of permits qualified for extension and we anticipate a similar approach will be taken with the new Act.