STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2006 SESSION
Assemblyman PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.
District 18 (Middlesex)
Assemblyman MICHAEL J. PANTER
District 12 (Mercer and Monmouth)
Requires DCA approval for designation of areas in need of redevelopment and requires referendum before condemning land for private economic development.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel
An Act concerning requirements for the exercise of eminent domain power for redevelopment and amending P.L.1992, c.79.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 6 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-6) is amended to read as follows:
6. a. No area of a municipality shall be determined a redevelopment area unless the governing body of the municipality shall, by resolution, authorize the planning board to undertake a preliminary investigation to determine whether the proposed area is a redevelopment area according to the criteria set forth in section 5 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-5). Such determination shall be made after public notice and public hearing as provided in subsection b. of this section. The governing body of a municipality shall assign the conduct of the investigation and hearing to the planning board of the municipality.
b. (1) Before proceeding to a public hearing on the matter, the planning board shall prepare a map showing the boundaries of the proposed redevelopment area and the location of the various parcels of property included therein. There shall be appended to the map a statement setting forth the basis for the investigation.
(2) The planning board shall specify a date for and give notice of a hearing for the purpose of hearing persons who are interested in or would be affected by a determination that the delineated area is a redevelopment area.
(3) The hearing notice shall set forth the general boundaries of the area to be investigated and state that a map has been prepared and can be inspected at the office of the municipal clerk. A copy of the notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality once each week for two consecutive weeks, and the last publication shall be not less than ten days prior to the date set for the hearing. A copy of the notice shall be mailed at least ten days prior to the date set for the hearing to the last owner, if any, of each parcel of property within the area according to the assessment records of the municipality. A notice shall also be sent to all persons at their last known address, if any, whose names are noted on the assessment records as claimants of an interest in any such parcel. The assessor of the municipality shall make a notation upon the records when requested to do so by any person claiming to have an interest in any parcel of property in the municipality. The notice shall be published and mailed by the municipal clerk, or by such clerk or official as the planning board shall otherwise designate. Failure to mail any such notice shall not invalidate the investigation or determination thereon.
(4) At the hearing, which may be adjourned from time to time, the planning board shall hear all persons who are interested in or would be affected by a determination that the delineated area is a redevelopment area. All objections to such a determination and evidence in support of those objections, given orally or in writing, shall be received and considered and made part of the public record.
(5) After completing its hearing on this matter, the planning board shall recommend that the delineated area, or any part thereof, be determined, or not be determined, by the municipal governing body to be a redevelopment area. After receiving the recommendation of the planning board, the municipal governing body may adopt a resolution determining that the delineated area, or any part thereof, is a redevelopment area. Upon the adoption of a resolution, the clerk of the municipality shall, forthwith, transmit a copy of the resolution to the Commissioner of Community Affairs for review. [If the area in need of redevelopment is not situated in an area in which development or redevelopment is to be encouraged pursuant to any State law or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto, the] The determination shall not take effect without first receiving the review and the approval of the commissioner. [If the commissioner does not issue an approval or disapproval within 30 calendar days of transmittal by the clerk, the determination shall be deemed to be approved. If the area in need of redevelopment is situated in an area in which development or redevelopment is to be encouraged pursuant to any State law or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto, then the determination shall take effect after the clerk has transmitted a copy of the resolution to the commissioner.] The determination, if supported by substantial evidence and[,] if [required,] approved by the commissioner, shall be binding and conclusive upon all persons affected by the determination. Notice of the determination shall be served, within 10 days after the determination, upon each person who filed a written objection thereto and stated, in or upon the written submission, an address to which notice of determination may be sent.
(6) If written objections were filed in connection with the hearing, the municipality shall, for 45 days next following its determination to which the objections were filed, take no further action to acquire any property by condemnation within the redevelopment area.
(7) If a person who filed a written objection to a determination by the municipality pursuant to this subsection shall, within 45 days after the adoption by the municipality of the determination to which the person objected, apply to the Superior Court, the court may grant further review of the determination by procedure in lieu of prerogative writ; and in any such action the court may make any incidental order that it deems proper.
c. An area determined to be in need of redevelopment pursuant to this section shall be deemed to be a "blighted area" for the purposes of Article VIII, Section III, paragraph 1 of the Constitution. If an area is determined to be a redevelopment area and a redevelopment plan is adopted for that area in accordance with the provisions of this act, the municipality is authorized to utilize all those powers provided in section 8 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-8).
(cf: P.L.2003, c.125, s.4)
2. Section 8 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-8) is amended to read as follows:
8. Upon the adoption of a redevelopment plan pursuant to section 7 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-7), the municipality or redevelopment entity designated by the governing body may proceed with the clearance, replanning, development and redevelopment of the area designated in that plan. In order to carry out and effectuate the purposes of this act and the terms of the redevelopment plan, the municipality or designated redevelopment entity may:
a. Undertake redevelopment projects, and for this purpose issue bonds in accordance with the provisions of section 29 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-29).
b. Acquire property pursuant to subsection i. of section 22 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-22).
c. Acquire, by condemnation, any land or building which is necessary for the redevelopment project, pursuant to the provisions of the "Eminent Domain Act of 1971," P.L.1971, c.361 (C.20:3-1 et seq.); provided that, in the case of a redevelopment project that contemplates the sale or transfer of condemned property to a private entity for economic development purposes, the acquisition by condemnation first shall be approved by the voters of the municipality at the next general election occurring at least 60 days following the adoption of the redevelopment plan. Whenever a referendum shall have been had in any municipality pursuant to this subsection, no further referendum on the same question shall be held therein prior to the general election to be held in that municipality in the fifth year thereafter; and so long as such referendum remains effective, all ordinances, resolutions or regulations inconsistent with the result of such referendum shall have no effect within the municipality.
d. Clear any area owned or acquired and install, construct or reconstruct streets, facilities, utilities, and site improvements essential to the preparation of sites for use in accordance with the redevelopment plan.
e. Prepare or arrange by contract for the provision of professional services and the preparation of plans by registered architects, licensed professional engineers or planners, or other consultants for the carrying out of redevelopment projects.
f. Arrange or contract with public agencies or redevelopers for the planning, replanning, construction, or undertaking of any project or redevelopment work, or any part thereof; negotiate and collect revenue from a redeveloper to defray the costs of the redevelopment entity, including where applicable the costs incurred in conjunction with bonds, notes or other obligations issued by the redevelopment entity, and to secure payment of such revenue; as part of any such arrangement or contract, provide for extension of credit, or making of loans, to redevelopers to finance any project or redevelopment work, or upon a finding that the project or redevelopment work would not be undertaken but for the provision of financial assistance, or would not be undertaken in its intended scope without the provision of financial assistance, provide as part of an arrangement or contract for capital grants to redevelopers; and arrange or contract with public agencies or redevelopers for the opening, grading or closing of streets, roads, roadways, alleys, or other places or for the furnishing of facilities or for the acquisition by such agency of property options or property rights or for the furnishing of property or services in connection with a redevelopment area.
g. Lease or convey property or improvements to any other party pursuant to this section, without public bidding and at such prices and upon such terms as it deems reasonable, provided that the lease or conveyance is made in conjunction with a redevelopment plan, notwithstanding the provisions of any law, rule, or regulation to the contrary.
h. Enter upon any building or property in any redevelopment area in order to conduct investigations or make surveys, sounding or test borings necessary to carry out the purposes of this act.
i. Arrange or contract with a public agency for the relocation, pursuant to the "Relocation Assistance Law of 1967," P.L.1967, c.79 (C.52:31B-1 et seq.) and the "Relocation Assistance Act," P.L.1971, c.362 (C.20:4-1 et seq.), of residents, industry or commerce displaced from a redevelopment area.
j. Make, consistent with the redevelopment plan: (1) plans for carrying out a program of voluntary repair and rehabilitation of buildings and improvements; and (2) plans for the enforcement of laws, codes, and regulations relating to the use and occupancy of buildings and improvements, and to the compulsory repair, rehabilitation, demolition, or removal of buildings and improvements.
k. Request that the planning board recommend and governing body designate particular areas as being in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation in accordance with the provisions of this act and make recommendations for the redevelopment or rehabilitation of such areas.
l. Study the recommendations of the planning board or governing body for redevelopment of the area.
m. Publish and disseminate information concerning any redevelopment area, plan or project.
n. Do all things necessary or convenient to carry out its powers.
(cf: P.L.1992, c.79, s.8)
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill amends the "Local Redevelopment and Housing Law" to require that all determinations by a municipal governing body that a particular area is in need of redevelopment be reviewed and approved by the Department of Community Affairs. Under current law, approval is automatic if the Commissioner of Community Affairs does not disapprove, within 30 days of transmittal by the municipal clerk, the municipal resolution to designate an area as an area in need redevelopment. Also, under current law, a municipal resolution to designate an area as an area in need of redevelopment is effective upon transmittal to the commissioner when the designation refers to an area in which development or redevelopment is to be encouraged pursuant to any State law or regulation. This bill eliminates automatic approvals in both cases so that no municipal resolution designating an area in need of redevelopment will be effective until the commissioner affirmatively approves the designation.
This bill further requires that before any property is subject to condemnation proceedings pursuant to a redevelopment plan for the purpose of being sold or transferred to a private entity for economical development purposes, the question of the condemnation must be approved by a majority of the voters at a general election occurring not less than 60 days following adoption of the redevelopment plan. This referendum requirement is intended to be burdensome in order to ensure that the residents of the municipality knowingly approve of the government taking a person's home or business, without the owner's consent, in order to sell or transfer the property to a private entity for its own economic interests.