Appellate Division Invalidates 20-Acre Downzoning

Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in Downzoning, Municipal Land Use Law

By: Thomas F. Carroll, III, Esq.

On August 29, 2013, the Appellate Division reversed a trial court decision in Griepenburg v. Ocean Township and invalidated 20-acre zoning, ruling that no environmental features justified the downzoning. The court so ruled despite the fact that the land was within PA 5. The court also said that “preserving open space” was not a valid reason since the town has to pay fair market value to property owners if it wants such open space.

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New “Vertical GDP” Law Provides Options to Developers

Posted by on Jul 19, 2011 in Developer's Agreements, General Information, Legislation, Municipal Land Use Law, Redevelopment, Retail/Commercial

By: Michael J. Lipari, Esq.
In an effort to provide certainty to development projects in the urban and more developed areas of the State, legislation has been adopted that extends general development plan (GDP) protection to large development projects situated on smaller sites.

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Challenges to Planning Board Decisions Get More Complex

Posted by on Jul 21, 2010 in Municipal Land Use Law, Variances

By: Michael J. Lipari, Esq.
In a decision just issued by the Appellate Division, the court held that if a trial court hearing a challenge to a planning board decision perceives a substantial question concerning the validity of the zoning ordinance under which the approval was sought, the court should join the governing body to the action and determine the validity of the zoning ordinance prior to hearing the merits of the board’s decision. (See Jackson Holdings, Inc. v. Jackson Township Planning Board.)

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Legislature Primed to Nullify “Time of Decision” Rule

Posted by on Mar 16, 2010 in Municipal Land Use Law, Time of Decision

By: Henry T. Chou, Esq.
*Update: Both Houses of the Legislature have now passed this bill, which will become law if and when Governor Christie signs it.*
Committees of both houses of the New Jersey Legislature have now approved a proposed bill that would change New Jersey’s longstanding “time of decision” rule, and the full Legislature is now poised to vote on the measure. On March 4, 2010, the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee referred A-437 to the full Assembly. One month prior, on February 4, 2010, the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee referred its identical version of the bill, S-82, to the full Senate.

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Court Reiterates Effect of Developer’s Agreements

Posted by on Jan 7, 2010 in Developer's Agreements, Municipal Land Use Law

By: Henry T. Chou, Esq.
Applying the principles recently ennunciated by the New Jersey Supreme Court in Toll Brothers, Inc. v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of Burlington County, the Appellate Division has determined that the terms of a developer’s agreement did not bar a developer from requesting an extension of time to finish the construction of improvements associated with a development project in South Brunswick.

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New Jersey Supreme Court to Review New Notice Requirements for Land Use Applications Imposed by Appellate Division

Posted by on Jan 5, 2010 in Municipal Land Use Law, Notice Requirements

By: Henry T. Chou, Esq.
The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to consider arguments that the Appellate Division improperly imposed new, subjective notice requirements on developers applying for local land use approvals. On November 13, 2009, the Court granted the petitions for certification filed by a developer, American Properties, and the Ewing Township Planning Board, seeking to challenge the Appellate Division’s decision in GF Properties v. Ewing Township Planning Board.

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