Governor Christie Signs Legislation Amending Municipal Land Use Law Regarding the Time of Application Rules

March 5, 2010
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By Patrick J. McNamara | Governor Christie has signed Assembly Bill 437 (S-82) which amends the Municipal Land Use Law to preclude a municipality from amending its land development ordinances to adversely impact an application for development that has been filed before a local land use board. The legislation states that the land use ordinances that are in effect on the date of the submission of an application for development shall govern the review of that application and any decision made by a planning board or zoning board of adjustment regarding the application. Any provision of a land use ordinance, except those relating to health and public safety, which is adopted after the date the application has been submitted shall not apply to the application for development. New Jersey was only one of a handful of states that had not yet enacted this type of legislation.

It is important to note that this statute will not take effect until May of 2011. Thus, the prudent course for a municipality would be to undertake an examination of its current land use ordinances by way of master plan re-examination to determine whether these ordinances are suitable for the long range needs of the municipality. Once that is accomplished, then the municipality can proceed to undertake enacting the requisite amendments to its land use ordinances.

This Scarinci Hollenbeck Legal Update has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.