An Act concerning members of planning boards and zoning boards of adjustment and amending and supplementing chapter 55D of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 4 of P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-8) is amended to read as follows:
C.40:55D-8 Municipal fees; exemptions.
4. a. Every municipal agency shall adopt and may amend reasonable rules and regulations, not inconsistent with this act or with any applicable ordinance, for the administration of its functions, powers and duties, and shall furnish a copy thereof to any person upon request and may charge a reasonable fee for such copy. Copies of all such rules and regulations and amendments thereto shall be maintained in the office of the administrative officer.
b. Fees to be charged (1) an applicant for review of an application for development by a municipal agency, and (2) an appellant pursuant to section 8 of this act shall be reasonable and shall be established by ordinance. In addition to covering the administrative costs associated with the implementation of P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-1 et seq.), these fees shall be used to defray the cost of tuition for those persons required to take the course in land use law and planning in the municipality as required pursuant to P.L.2005, c.133 (C.40:55D-23.3 et al.).
c. A municipality may by ordinance exempt, according to uniform standards, charitable, philanthropic, fraternal and religious nonprofit organizations holding a tax exempt status under the Federal Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (26 U.S.C. s. 501(c) or (d)) from the payment of any fee charged under this act.
d. A municipality shall exempt a board of education from the payment of any fee charged under this act.
e. A municipality may by ordinance exempt, according to uniform standards, a disabled person, or a parent or sibling of a disabled person, from the payment of any fee charged under this act in connection with any application for development which promotes accessibility to his own living unit.
For the purposes of this subsection, "disabled person" means a person who has the total and permanent inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment, including blindness, and shall include, but not be limited to, any resident of this State who is disabled pursuant to the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. s.416), or the federal Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 (45 U.S.C. s.231 et seq.), or is rated as having a 60% disability or higher pursuant to any federal law administered by the United States Veterans' Act. For purposes of this paragraph "blindness" means central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens. An eye which is accompanied by a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees shall be considered as having a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less.
C.40:55D-23.3 Preparation, offering of basic course in land use law and planning; requirement.
2. a. The Commissioner of Community Affairs shall cause to be prepared and offered a basic course in land use law and planning within six months from the effective date of P.L.2005, c.133 (C.40:55D-23.3 et al.) for current and prospective members and alternate members of local planning boards pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-23) and section 13 of P.L.1979, c.216 (C.40:55D-23.1),zoning boards of adjustment pursuant to section 56 of P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-69) and combined boards as authorized under law. The basic course to be prepared and offered pursuant to this section shall consist of no more than five hours of scheduled instruction and shall be structured so that a member may satisfy this requirement within one calendar day. The commissioner shall work in conjunction with the New Jersey Planning Officials in establishing standards for curriculum and administration of the course of study.
b. On or after the first date on which a course in land use law and planning is offered, except as otherwise provided in section 3 of P.L.2005, c.133 (C.40:55D-23.4), a person shall not be seated as a first-term member or alternate member of a local planning board pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-23) or section 13 of P.L.1979, c.216 (C.40:55D-23.1),a zoning board of adjustment pursuant to section 56 of P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-69) or a combined board as authorized under law, unless the person agrees to take the basic course required to be offered under subsection a. of this section, which the person shall successfully complete within 18 months of assuming board membership in order to retain board membership.
c. Except as otherwise provided in section 3 of P.L.2005, c.133 (C.40:55D-23.4), any person who is serving as a member or alternate member of a planning board or zoning board of adjustment or combined board as authorized under law on the first date on which a course in land use law and planning is offered shall be required to complete that course within 18 months of the date upon which the course is first offered in order to retain membership on that board.
d. A hearing or proceeding held, or decision or recommendation made, by a planning board or zoning board of adjustment shall not be invalidated if a member has participated in the hearing or proceeding or in the decision making or recommendation and that member is subsequently found not to have completed the basic course in land use law and planning required pursuant to P.L.2005, c.133 (C.40:55D-23.3 et al.).
C.40:55D-23.4 Exemptions from educational requirements.
3. The following persons shall be exempt from the educational requirements established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.2005, c.133 (C.40:55D-23.3):
a. (1) The mayor or person designated to serve on a planning board in the absence of a mayor who serves as a Class I member pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-23);
(2) A member of the governing body serving as a Class III member pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-23);
b. Any person who is licensed as a professional planner and maintains a certificate of license issued pursuant to chapter 14A of Title 45 of the Revised Statutes which is current as of the date upon which that person would otherwise be required to demonstrate compliance with the provisions of subsection b. or c. of section 2 of P.L.2005, c.133 (C.40:55D-23.3);
c. Any person who offers proof of having completed a more extensive course in land use law and planning than that required by section 2 of P.L.2005, c.133 (C.40:55D-23.3) within 12 months of the date upon which that person would otherwise be required to demonstrate compliance with the provisions of subsection b. or c. of section 2 of P.L.2005, c.133 (C.40:55D-23.3) and which, in the determination of the commissioner, is equivalent to or more extensive than that course offered pursuant to subsection a. of section 2 of P.L.2005, c.133 (C.40:55D-23.3).
4. This act shall take effect immediately.
Approved July 7, 2005.