Senator RONALD L. RICE
District 28 (Essex)
Revises law concerning eminent domain and municipal redevelopment.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning redevelopment and eminent domain, amending P.L.1971, c.361 and P.L.1975, c.291, and amending and supplementing P.L.1992, c.79.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. (New section) The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. Since 1949, New Jersey municipalities have been authorized by the Legislature to undertake programs of redevelopment, rehabilitation and to provide incentives to promote the expansion and improvement of commercial, industrial, residential and civic facilities in blighted areas and that such powers are set forth in the State Constitution.
b. Since 1949, municipalities have used these programs to arrest and reverse conditions of deterioration and inefficiency in housing, commercial and industrial facilities and to promote sound planning, revitalize their tax bases and improve the public safety, health, and welfare of their communities and in exercising their responsibilities and implementing such programs municipalities have, in certain circumstances, exercised the power to acquire property by eminent domain, also set forth in the State Constitution, to transfer such property to private interests to undertake projects in accordance with approved redevelopment plans and that such power of eminent domain has contributed to the overall effectiveness and success of such redevelopment programs.
c. Since 1949, the laws authorizing such redevelopment programs have been amended from time to time and were last codified in 1992 into one law designed to simplify and codify prior enactments and make the legal mechanisms for exercising such responsibilities and powers in undertaking such improvements more efficient to use and that such changes to the law, together with changing land use and development patterns, have resulted in redevelopment programs being undertaken by municipalities of urban, suburban and rural character.
d. The increase in redevelopment activity throughout the State, including the use of eminent domain, together with the 2005 United States Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut, have focused public attention and scrutiny on municipal redevelopment activities and merits legislative review of and amendment to the laws governing redevelopment programs and the process undertaken by municipalities for authorizing redevelopment programs.
e. The Legislature hereby declares
that redevelopment remains a valid and important public purpose and public use;
implementation of redevelopment programs continues to be a vital tool for municipal officials that must be maintained to allow such officials to continue to meet their governmental responsibilities to arrest and reverse deleterious property conditions within their municipal borders; and that the power of eminent domain remains necessary to effectively implement such redevelopment responsibilities and powers.
f. The Legislature also declares that changes to the existing law are necessary: to ensure that affected property owners and the general public are provided adequate notice of a municipality’s interest in developing a redevelopment program; to afford such stakeholders the opportunity to be heard during the process undertaken to develop such programs; to add transparency to the exercise of a legitimate governmental function; to create certainty that redevelopment programs are authorized and undertaken in a deliberative and open process; to ensure that the social and economic impacts of redevelopment are adequately addressed; to provide that redevelopment programs, once properly adopted, are implemented in a fair and certain manner; to provide a just measure of compensation to property owners who are subject to eminent domain; and to afford protection and finality to such redevelopment programs properly created under these heightened standards for enactment. These changes will restore public confidence in local redevelopment programs by assuring that interested parties are provided access into an open and deliberative process.
g. The Legislature also recognizes that local redevelopment programs are necessary to promote State policies that encourage:
(1) the reuse of existing property, as opposed to the loss of agricultural property and open space to development; and
(2) construction in areas already serviced by public utilities, so that existing infrastructure can be maintained and used in the furtherance of the public good.
2. Section 3 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-3) is amended to read as follows:
3. As used in this act:
“Bonds” means any bonds, notes, interim certificates, debentures or other obligations issued by a municipality, county, redevelopment entity, or housing authority pursuant to this act.
“Comparable affordable replacement housing” means housing offered to households being displaced as a result of a redevelopment project, that is affordable to that household as defined by the Council on Affordable Housing in the Department of Community Affairs, and that is comparable to the household’s dwelling in the redevelopment area with respect to the size and amenities of the dwelling unit, the quality of the neighborhood, and the level of public services and facilities offered by the municipality in which the redevelopment area is located.
“Detrimental to the safety, health, or welfare of the community” means objective evidence of detriment, including but not limited to, substantial building or health code violations, repeated need for police intervention over an extended period of time, environmental contamination, a lack of structural integrity or a continuing exterior appearance that degrades the surrounding properties, and for commercial properties may include objective evidence of a lack of proper utilization of land or structures resulting in conditions that are incompatible with surrounding activities and land uses, impairing the use and productivity of adjacent properties, or impairing the ability of the municipality to pursue economic growth objectives set forth in the municipal master plan.
“Development” means the division of a parcel of land into two or more parcels, the construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation, or enlargement of any building or other structure, or of any mining, excavation or landfill, and any use or change in the use of any building or other structure, or land or extension of use of land, for which permission may be required pursuant to the “Municipal Land Use Law,” P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-1 et seq.).
“Governing body” means the body exercising general legislative powers in a county or municipality according to the terms and procedural requirements set forth in the form of government adopted by the county or municipality.
“Housing authority” means a housing authority created or continued pursuant to this act.
“Housing project” means a project, or distinct portion of a project, which is designed and intended to provide decent, safe and sanitary dwellings, apartments or other living accommodations for persons of low and moderate income; such work or undertaking may include buildings, land, equipment, facilities and other real or personal property for necessary, convenient or desirable appurtenances, streets, sewers, water service, parks, site preparation, gardening, administrative, community, health, recreational, educational, welfare or other purposes. The term “housing project” also may be applied to the planning of the buildings and improvements, the acquisition of property, the demolition of existing structures, the construction, reconstruction, alteration and repair of the improvements and all other work in connection therewith.
“Persons of low and moderate income” means persons or families who are, in the case of State assisted projects or programs, so defined by the Council on Affordable Housing in the Department of Community Affairs, or in the case of federally assisted projects or programs, defined as of “low and very low income” by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Public body” means the State or any county, municipality, school district, authority or other political subdivision of the State.
“Public housing” means any housing for persons of low and moderate income owned by a municipality, county, the State or the federal government, or any agency or instrumentality thereof.
“Publicly assisted housing” means privately owned housing which receives public assistance or subsidy, which may be grants or loans for construction, reconstruction, conservation, or rehabilitation of the housing, or receives operational or maintenance subsidies either directly or through rental subsidies to tenants, from a federal, State or local government agency or instrumentality.
“Real property” means all lands, including improvements and fixtures thereon, and property of any nature appurtenant thereto or used in connection therewith, and every estate, interest and right, legal or equitable, therein, including terms for years and liens by way of judgment, mortgage or otherwise, and indebtedness secured by such liens.
“Redeveloper” means any person, firm, corporation or public body that shall enter into or propose to enter into a contract with a municipality or other redevelopment entity for the redevelopment or rehabilitation of an area in need of redevelopment, or an area in need of rehabilitation, or any part thereof, under the provisions of this act, or for any construction or other work forming part of a redevelopment or rehabilitation project.
“Redevelopment” means clearance, replanning, development and redevelopment; the conservation and rehabilitation of any structure or improvement, the construction and provision for construction of residential, commercial, industrial, public or other structures and the grant or dedication of spaces as may be appropriate or necessary in the interest of the general welfare for streets, parks, playgrounds, or other public purposes, including recreational and other facilities incidental or appurtenant thereto, in accordance with a redevelopment plan.
“Redevelopment agency” means a redevelopment agency created pursuant to subsection a. of section 11 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-11) or established heretofore pursuant to the “Redevelopment Agencies Law,” P.L.1949, c.306 (C.40:55C-1 et seq.), repealed by this act, which has been permitted in accordance with the provisions of this act to continue to exercise its redevelopment functions and powers.
“Redevelopment area” or “area in need of redevelopment” means an area determined to be in need of redevelopment pursuant to sections 5 and 6 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-5 and 40A:12A-6) or determined heretofore to be a “blighted area” pursuant to P.L.1949, c.187 (C.40:55-21.1 et seq.) repealed by this act, both determinations as made pursuant to the authority of Article VIII, Section III, paragraph 1 of the Constitution. [A redevelopment area may include lands, buildings, or improvements which of themselves are not detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare, but the inclusion of which is found necessary, with or without change in their condition, for the effective redevelopment of the area of which they are a part.]
“Redevelopment entity” means a municipality or an entity authorized by the governing body of a municipality pursuant to subsection c. of section 4 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-4) to implement redevelopment plans and carry out redevelopment projects in an area in need of redevelopment, or in an area in need of rehabilitation, or in both.
“Redevelopment plan” means a plan adopted by the governing body of a municipality for the redevelopment or rehabilitation of all or any part of a redevelopment area, or an area in need of rehabilitation, which plan shall be sufficiently complete to indicate its relationship to definite municipal objectives as to appropriate land uses, public transportation and utilities, recreational and municipal facilities, and other public improvements; and to indicate proposed land uses and building requirements in the redevelopment area or area in need of rehabilitation, or both.
“Redevelopment project” means any work or undertaking pursuant to a redevelopment plan; such undertaking may include any buildings, land, including demolition, clearance or removal of buildings from land, equipment, facilities, or other real or personal properties which are necessary, convenient, or desirable appurtenances, such as but not limited to streets, sewers, utilities, parks, site preparation, landscaping, and administrative, community, health, recreational, educational, and welfare facilities.
“Rehabilitation” means an undertaking, by means of extensive repair, reconstruction or renovation of existing structures, with or without the introduction of new construction or the enlargement of existing structures, in any area that has been determined to be in need of rehabilitation or redevelopment, to eliminate substandard structural or housing conditions and arrest the deterioration of that area.
“Rehabilitation area” or “area in need of rehabilitation” means any area determined to be in need of rehabilitation pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-14).
(cf: P.L.1992, c.79, s.3)
3. Section 4 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-4) is amended to read as follows:
4. In exercising the redevelopment and rehabilitation functions provided for in this act:
a. A municipal governing body shall have the power to:
(1) Cause a preliminary investigation to be made pursuant to subsection a. of section 6 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-6) as to whether an area is in need of redevelopment;
(2) Determine pursuant to subsection b. of section 6 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-6) that an area is in need of redevelopment;
(3) Adopt a redevelopment plan pursuant to section 7 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-7);
(4) Determine pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-14) that an area is in need of rehabilitation.
b. A municipal planning board shall have the power to:
(1) Conduct, when authorized by the municipal governing body, a preliminary investigation and hearing and make a recommendation pursuant to subsection b. of section 6 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-6) as to whether an area is in need of redevelopment;
(2) Make recommendations concerning a redevelopment plan pursuant to subsection e. of section 7 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-7), or prepare a redevelopment plan pursuant to subsection f. of that section.
(3) Make recommendations concerning the determination of an area in need of rehabilitation pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-14).
c. The municipality shall be responsible for implementing redevelopment plans and carrying out redevelopment projects pursuant to section 8 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-8). The municipality may execute these responsibilities directly, or in addition thereto or in lieu thereof, [through] may designate by ordinance either a municipal redevelopment agency, or a municipal housing authority authorized to exercise redevelopment powers pursuant to section 21 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-21), but there shall be only one redevelopment entity responsible for each redevelopment project. A county improvement authority authorized to undertake redevelopment projects pursuant to the “county improvement authorities law,” P.L.1960, c.183 (C.40:37A-44 et seq.) may also act as a redevelopment entity pursuant to this act. The redevelopment entity, so authorized, may contract with any other public body, in accordance with the provisions of section 8 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-8), for the carrying out of a redevelopment project or any part thereof under its jurisdiction. Notwithstanding the above, the governing body of the municipality may, by ordinance, change or rescind the designation of the redevelopment [entity responsible for implementing] agency or housing authority designated to implement a redevelopment plan and [carrying] carry out a redevelopment project and may have the municipality assume this responsibility [itself, but]; provided, however, that only the redevelopment entity authorized to undertake a particular redevelopment project shall remain authorized to complete it, unless the redevelopment entity and redeveloper agree otherwise, or unless no obligations have been entered into by the redevelopment entity with parties other than the municipality. This shall not diminish the power of the municipality to dissolve a redevelopment entity pursuant to section 24 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-24), and section 20 of the “Local Authorities Fiscal Control Law,” P.L.1983, c.313 (C.40A:5A-20).
(cf: P.L.1992, c.79, s.4)
4. Section 5 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-5) is amended to read as follows:
5. A delineated area may be determined to be in need of redevelopment if, after investigation, notice and hearing as provided in section 6 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-6), the governing body of the municipality by [resolution] ordinance concludes that within the delineated area any of the following conditions is found:
a. The generality of buildings are substandard, unsafe, unsanitary, dilapidated, or obsolescent, or possess any of such characteristics, or are so lacking in light, air, or space, as to be conducive to unwholesome living or working conditions.
b. The discontinuance of the use of buildings previously used for commercial, manufacturing, or industrial purposes; the abandonment of such buildings; or the same being allowed to fall into so great a state of disrepair as to be untenantable.
c. (1) Land that is owned by the municipality, the county, a local housing authority, redevelopment agency or redevelopment entity, or
(2) unimproved vacant land that has remained so for a period of ten years prior to adoption of the [resolution] ordinance, and that by reason of its location, remoteness, lack of means of access to developed sections or portions of the municipality, or topography, or nature of the soil,
is not likely to be developed through the instrumentality of private capital and is determined to be detrimental to the safety, health, or welfare of the community.
d. Areas with buildings or improvements which, by reason of dilapidation, obsolescence, overcrowding, faulty arrangement or design, [lack of ventilation, light and sanitary facilities, excessive land coverage, deleterious land use or obsolete layout,] or any combination of these or other factors, which, by virtue of these factors, are determined to be detrimental to the safety, health, [morals,] or welfare of the community.
e. A [growing lack or total] lack of proper utilization of areas caused by the condition of the title, diverse ownership of the real property therein or other conditions, [resulting in a stagnant or not fully productive condition of land potentially useful and valuable for contributing to and serving the public health, safety and welfare] which, by virtue of these factors are determined to be detrimental to the safety, health, or welfare of the community.
f. Areas, in excess of five contiguous acres, whereon buildings or improvements have been destroyed, consumed by fire, demolished or altered by the action of storm, fire, cyclone, tornado, earthquake or other casualty in such a way that the aggregate assessed value of the area has been materially depreciated.
g. In any municipality in which an enterprise zone has been designated pursuant to the “New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zones Act,” P.L.1983, c.303 (C.52:27H-60 et seq.) the execution of the actions prescribed in that act for the adoption by the municipality and approval by the New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone Authority of the zone development plan for the area of the enterprise zone shall be considered sufficient for the determination that the area is in need of redevelopment pursuant to sections 5 and 6 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-5 and 40A:12A-6) for the purpose of granting tax exemptions within the enterprise zone district pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1991, c.431 (C.40A:20-1 et seq.) or the adoption of a tax abatement and exemption ordinance pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1991, c.441 (C.40A:21-1 et seq.). The municipality shall not utilize any other redevelopment powers within the urban enterprise zone unless the municipal governing body and planning board have also taken the actions and fulfilled the requirements prescribed in P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-1 et al.) for determining that the area is in need of redevelopment or an area in need of rehabilitation and the municipal governing body has adopted a redevelopment plan ordinance including the area of the enterprise zone.
h. [The designation of the delineated area is consistent with smart growth planning principles adopted pursuant to law or regulation.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L. , c. .) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)
i. Parcels, either vacant or developed, which historically have been used in an industrial or commercial manner and which have remained vacant or substantially underutilized for a period of 24 consecutive months due to environmental issues associated with such parcels’ historic use.
In addition to parcels included in a delineated area under this section, an area in need of redevelopment may include other parcels containing lands, buildings, or improvements which of themselves are not detrimental to the safety, health, or welfare of the community, but the inclusion of which is found necessary, with or without change in their condition, for the effective redevelopment of the area of which they are a part; provided, however that such parcels, in the aggregate, shall not comprise in excess of 20% of the land mass of such area to be designated as available for private ownership.
(cf: P.L.2003, c.125, s.3)
5. Section 6 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C. 40A:12A-6) is amended to read as follows:
6. a. (1) 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.
(2) In the case of any area of a municipality that is more than 10 acres in area, or that contains more than 100 occupied dwelling units or more than 50 operating business premises, the governing body shall hold a public informational meeting prior to adoption of the resolution authorizing the planning board to undertake a preliminary investigation as set forth in this section. Notice of the public informational meeting shall be as in paragraph (3) of subsection b. of this section, except that notice to individual property owners and tenants shall not be required.
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. If the municipality has an Internet web site, the notice shall be posted thereon. A copy of the notice shall also be posted in such other places within or proximate to the proposed redevelopment area as may be available and appropriate. A copy of the notice shall be mailed by the municipal clerk at least ten days prior to the date set for the hearing to the last owner, if any, of each parcel of property, and to any legal tenant of a residential rental dwelling unit within the area according to the assessment records of the municipality. The municipal clerk shall make a diligent effort to ascertain the names and addresses of legal tenants of rental dwelling units by contacting the legal owner of the rental property or a management company identified by such owner, but if unable to do so shall have a copy of the notice posted on properties known to be rental dwelling units. A notice shall also be sent by the municipal clerk 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) (a) 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. Prior to making any determination that an area is in need of redevelopment, the planning board shall review, in light of the conditions of the area and the purposes of the redevelopment, whether designation of the area as an area in need of rehabilitation, or some other strategy of rehabilitation, preservation or neighborhood improvement, may represent a more appropriate means of addressing the conditions of the area and the purposes of the redevelopment. The report of the planning board shall set forth explicitly the reasons for its determination that such other strategies are less appropriate, and that the area should be designated in need of redevelopment. The report shall also include an inventory of the environmental, historical, and cultural assets in the delineated area.
(b) After receiving the recommendation of the planning board, the municipal governing body may adopt [a resolution] an ordinance determining that the delineated area, or any part thereof, is a redevelopment area. [Upon the] Prior to final adoption of [a resolution] the ordinance, the clerk of the municipality shall, forthwith, transmit a copy of the [resolution] ordinance to the Commissioner of Community Affairs for review. The clerk shall also transmit a copy of the ordinance to the Office of the Public Advocate. 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 [determination] ordinance shall not [take effect] be finally adopted 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 and the ordinance may be finally adopted. 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] ordinance 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.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L. , c. .) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)
(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.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L. , c. .) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)
(8) Notice of final adoption of an ordinance making a determination shall be served, within 10 days after the final adoption of the ordinance making such determination, upon each person who received notice of the public hearing in accordance with paragraph (3) of subsection b. of this section in the same manner as provided therein. Additionally, notice of final adoption of an ordinance making a determination shall be published in the official newspaper of the municipality, together with the date of the first publication of such notice and also a statement that any action or proceeding of any kind or nature in any court questioning the validity of the adoption of the ordinance or the determination contained therein, shall be commenced within 45 days after the first publication of such notice.
(9) The municipality shall not finally adopt an ordinance adopting a redevelopment plan in accordance with section 7 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-7) until 60 days have passed since the ordinance making a determination under this section has been finally adopted.
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)
6. Section 7 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-7) is amended to read as follows:
7. a. Following the determination of an area in need of redevelopment pursuant to section 6 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-6) or a determination of an area in need of rehabilitation pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-14), the municipality may undertake the preparation of a redevelopment plan for all or some part of the area determined to be in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation, directly in accordance with subsection e. of this section, or, by resolution, may direct the municipal planning board to develop such plan in accordance with subsection f. of this section. No redevelopment project shall be undertaken or carried out except in accordance with a redevelopment plan [adopted by ordinance of the municipal governing body, upon its finding that the] relating to a specifically delineated project area that is located in an area in need of redevelopment or in an area in need of rehabilitation, or in both, according to criteria set forth in section 5 or section 14 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-5 or 40A:12A-14), as appropriate.
[The] A redevelopment plan shall include an outline for the planning, development, redevelopment, or rehabilitation of the project area sufficient to indicate:
(1) [Its] The relationship of the plan to [definite] local objectives as set forth in the municipal master plan or other official documents with respect to [appropriate] land uses, density of population, [and improved] improvements or changes to traffic circulation, pedestrian circulation and public transportation, public utilities, recreational and community facilities and other public improvements.
(2) Proposed land uses and building requirements in the project area, including the character, intensity and scale of proposed redevelopment activities, and the design and planning standards and guidelines to govern those activities.
(3) [Adequate provision for] A relocation study adequate to identify available units suitable to the temporary and permanent relocation, as necessary, of residents and businesses in the project area, as required by the “Relocation Assistance Act,” P.L.1971, c.362 (C.20:4-1 et seq.), including, for residents, an estimate of the extent to which [decent, safe and sanitary dwelling units affordable to displaced residents] comparable, affordable replacement housing will be available [to them] in the existing local housing market, an assessment of the disparity between the availability of comparable, affordable replacement housing and the needs of the residents in the project area, an estimate of the amount and type of replacement housing that will have to be provided within or without the redevelopment area in order to meet the relocation needs of residents in the project area, and a plan setting forth the manner and timetable in which that housing, if needed, will be provided.
(4) An identification, by block and lot and street address, if any, of any property within the redevelopment area which is proposed to be acquired in accordance with the redevelopment plan, including an identification for each parcel of the objectives of the redevelopment plan which cannot be realistically achieved without the taking of such property, a consideration of alternatives to the proposed taking, and the reasons that such alternatives do not provide for realistic achievement of the objectives of the redevelopment plan.
(5) Any significant relationship of the redevelopment plan to (a) the master plans of contiguous municipalities, (b) the master plan of the county in which the municipality is located, and (c) the State Development and Redevelopment Plan adopted pursuant to the “State Planning Act,” P.L.1985, c.398 (C.52:18A-196 et al.).
(6) The social and economic impact of the redevelopment area, including its effect on those parts of the municipality adjacent to the redevelopment area, and on the low and moderate income residents of the area.
(7) An explanation of how any development controls contained in the redevelopment plan are consistent with smart growth planning principles adopted pursuant to law or regulation.
(8) An estimate of the number of dwelling units for low and moderate income households that may be required as a result of implementing the redevelopment plan in order to meet the municipality’s obligations under the "Fair Housing Act," P.L.1985, c.222 (C.52:27D-301 et al.) and the municipality’s plan for meeting these obligations within or outside the redevelopment area.
(9) Provision for the replacement of any housing constructed for low and moderate income households under the provisions of any State or federal housing subsidy program which is to be removed as a result of the redevelopment plan; provided that any such replacement units shall not be counted toward the municipal obligation under paragraph (8) of this subsection. Any rental housing constructed under this subsection shall remain affordable to low and moderate income households for a period of no less than 45 years or such other period established in State or federal financing programs.
(10) Preservation or conservation strategies and goals for the assets contained in the inventory of environmental, historical and cultural assets in the delineated project area.
(11) A statement setting forth the municipal planning board’s ability, if any, to grant relief to applicants from elements of the redevelopment plan when reviewing and approving development applications.
b. [A] In addition to that housing provided pursuant to paragraph (8) of subsection a. of this section, a redevelopment plan may include the provision of affordable housing in accordance with the “Fair Housing Act,” P.L.1985, c.222 (C.52:27D-301 et al.) and the housing element of the municipal master plan.
c. The redevelopment plan shall describe its relationship to pertinent municipal development regulations as defined in the “Municipal Land Use Law,” P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-1 et seq.). The redevelopment plan shall supersede applicable provisions of the development regulations of the municipality or constitute an overlay zoning district within the redevelopment area. When the redevelopment plan supersedes any provision of the development regulations, the ordinance adopting the redevelopment plan shall contain an explicit amendment to the zoning district map included in the zoning ordinance. The zoning district map as amended shall indicate the redevelopment area to which the redevelopment plan applies. [Notwithstanding the provisions of the “Municipal Land Use Law,” P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-1 et seq.) or of other law, no notice beyond that required for adoption of ordinances by the municipality shall be required for the hearing on or adoption of the redevelopment plan or subsequent amendments thereof.]
d. All provisions of the redevelopment plan shall be either substantially consistent with the municipal master plan or designed to effectuate the master plan; but the municipal governing body may adopt a redevelopment plan which is inconsistent with or not designed to effectuate the master plan by affirmative vote of a majority of its full authorized membership with the reasons for so acting set forth in the redevelopment plan.
e. [Prior to the adoption of a redevelopment plan, or revision or amendment thereto, the] If a municipality prepares a redevelopment plan directly, the municipal governing body shall refer the proposed redevelopment plan to the municipal planning board for review. Such referral may be by resolution. The municipal planning board shall transmit to the governing body, within 45 days after referral, a report containing its recommendation concerning the redevelopment plan. This report shall include an identification of any provisions in the proposed redevelopment plan which are inconsistent with the master plan and recommendations concerning these inconsistencies and any other matters as the board deems appropriate. The governing body, when considering the adoption of a redevelopment plan or revision or amendment thereof, shall review the report of the planning board and may approve or disapprove or change any recommendation by a vote of a majority of its full authorized membership and shall record in its minutes the reasons for not following the recommendations. Failure of the planning board to transmit its report within the required 45 days shall relieve the governing body from the requirements of this subsection with regard to the pertinent proposed redevelopment plan [or revision or amendment thereof]. Nothing in this subsection shall diminish the applicability of the provisions of subsection d. of this section with respect to any redevelopment plan or revision or amendment thereof.
f. The governing body of a municipality may direct the planning board to prepare a redevelopment plan [or an amendment or revision to a redevelopment plan] for a designated redevelopment area. After completing the redevelopment plan, the planning board shall transmit the proposed plan to the governing body for its adoption. The governing body, when considering the proposed plan, may amend or revise any portion of the proposed redevelopment plan by an affirmative vote of the majority of its full authorized membership and shall record in its minutes the reasons for each amendment or revision. When a redevelopment plan [or amendment to a redevelopment plan] is referred to the governing body by the planning board under this subsection, the governing body shall be relieved of the referral requirements of subsection e. of this section.
g. Amendments to redevelopment plans shall be prepared and adopted in the same manner as provided for a redevelopment plan.
h. The redevelopment plan shall be adopted by ordinance of the municipal governing body. Prior to final adoption of the ordinance, the municipal governing body shall conduct a public hearing on the ordinance and all interested persons shall be allowed to speak. Notice of the public hearing shall state the date, time, and location of the public hearing, shall identify where the proposed redevelopment plan is available for examination and shall identify, by block and lot and street address, if any, the parcels that may be subject to eminent domain under the proposed redevelopment plan. The full text of the redevelopment plan to be considered by the governing body along with any maps or other exhibits thereto, shall be made available to the public in the municipal building and shall be posted on the municipality’s Internet web site, if any, at the time such notice to such hearing is to be provided. Copies of the proposed redevelopment plan shall be available for purchase by any interested party. A copy of the notice of the public hearing 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 10 days prior to the date set for the hearing, and shall be posted on the municipality’s Internet web site and in such other public places within or proximate to the proposed redevelopment area as may be available and appropriate. A copy of the notice shall be mailed by the municipal clerk at least 10 days prior to the date set for the hearing to the last owner, if any, of each parcel of property and any legal tenant of a residential rental dwelling unit, within the area according to the assessment records of the municipality. The municipal clerk shall make a diligent effort to ascertain the names and addresses of legal tenants of residential rental dwelling units by contacting the legal owner of the rental property or a management company identified by such owner, but if unable to do so shall have a copy of the notice posted on properties known to contain residential rental dwelling units. A notice shall also be sent by the municipal clerk 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. Failure to mail any such notice shall not invalidate the redevelopment plan. At such public hearing, the municipal governing body shall hear all persons who are interested in or would be affected by the provisions of the redevelopment plan, although the governing body may, by vote of its majority, restrict or limit the amount of time afforded each such person to speak. A record of the public hearing shall be kept by the municipal clerk. Upon the close of the public hearing, the municipal governing body may vote to finally adopt the ordinance.
i. Notice of final adoption of an ordinance adopting a redevelopment plan shall be served, within 10 days after the final adoption of the ordinance making such determination, upon each person who received notice of the public hearing in accordance with subsection h. of this section in the same manner as provided therein. Additionally, notice of final adoption of an ordinance making a determination shall be published in the official newspaper of the municipality, together with the date of the first publication of such notice and also a statement that any action or proceeding of any kind or nature in any court questioning the validity of the adoption of the ordinance or the determination contained therein, shall be commenced within 45 days after the first publication of such notice.
j. The municipality may not finally authorize and execute an agreement with a redeveloper until 60 days next following the final adoption of the ordinance adopting a redevelopment plan pursuant to this section.
(cf: P.L.1992, c.79, s.7)
7. 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, however, that for properties to be acquired under the terms of an agreement entered into pursuant to a redevelopment plan adopted after the effective date of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the valuation of such properties shall take into account the uses permitted for such property under the redevelopment plan and shall be based on the date the municipality files the declaration of taking or the date of adoption of the redevelopment plan, whichever yields the higher valuation.
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, and that the selection of the party has taken place subject to the provisions of section 11 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), if applicable, notwithstanding the provisions of any other 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.
o. Authorize and execute a written agreement designating a redeveloper or redevelopers to undertake a project or projects in accordance with the redevelopment plan; provided, however, that if such project or projects will involve the conveyance of land owned by the municipality or any project, 20% or more of which will be constructed upon land subject to acquisition by the municipality pursuant to the redevelopment plan, such designation shall be based upon the results of a competitive process undertaken in accordance with section 11 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).
(cf: P.L.1992, c.79, s.8)
8. Section 14 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-14) is amended to read as follows:
14. a. A delineated area may be determined to be in need of rehabilitation if the governing body of the municipality determines by resolution that a program of rehabilitation, as defined in section 3 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-3), may be expected to prevent further deterioration and promote the overall development of the community and that there exist in that area conditions such that:
(1) a significant portion of structures therein are in a deteriorated or substandard condition and there is a continuing pattern of vacancy, abandonment or underutilization of properties in the area, [with] which may be reflected in a persistent arrearage of property tax payments thereon; [or]
(2) [more than half] a significant amount of the housing stock [in the delineated area is at least 50 years old, or a majority of the water and sewer] or infrastructure in the delineated area, or both, is [at least 50 years old and is] in need of repair or substantial maintenance; [and]
(3) [a program of rehabilitation, as defined in section 3 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-3), may be expected to prevent further deterioration and promote the overall development of the community] (Deleted by amendment, P.L. , c. .) (pending before the Legislature as this bill);
(4) areas with buildings or improvements evidencing dilapidation, obsolescence, overcrowding, faulty arrangement or design, lack of ventilation, light and sanitary facilities, excessive land coverage, deleterious land use or obsolete layout, or any combination of these or other factors; or
(5) a growing lack or total lack of proper utilization of areas resulting in a stagnant or not fully productive condition of land potentially useful and valuable for contributing to and serving the public health, safety, and welfare.
The resolution determining that the area is in need of rehabilitation shall be based upon a written report documenting the conditions that provide the basis for the determination that the area is in need of rehabilitation. Where warranted by consideration of the overall conditions and requirements of the community, a finding of need for rehabilitation may extend to the entire area of a municipality. Prior to adoption of the resolution, the governing body shall submit [it] the proposed resolution together with the report that provides the basis for the determination to the municipal planning board for its review. Within 45 days of its receipt of the proposed resolution, the municipal planning board shall submit its recommendations regarding the proposed resolution, including any modifications which it may recommend, to the governing body for its consideration. Thereafter, or after the expiration of the 45 days if the municipal planning board does not submit recommendations, the governing body may adopt the resolution, with or without modification. The resolution shall not become effective without the approval of the commissioner pursuant to section 6 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-6), if otherwise required pursuant to that section.
b. A delineated area shall be deemed to have been determined to be an area in need of rehabilitation in accordance with the provisions of this act if it has heretofore been determined to be an area in need of rehabilitation pursuant to P.L.1975, c.104 (C.54:4-3.72 et seq.), P.L.1977, c.12 (C.54:4-3.95 et seq.) or P.L.1979, c.233 (C.54:4-3.121 et seq.).
(cf: P.L.2003, c.125, s.5)
9. Section 15 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C40A:12A-15) is amended to read as follows:
15. In accordance with the provisions of a redevelopment plan adopted pursuant to section 7 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-7), a municipality or redevelopment entity may proceed with clearance, replanning, conservation, development, redevelopment and rehabilitation of an area in need of rehabilitation. [With respect to a redevelopment project in] In an area in need of rehabilitation, the municipality or redevelopment entity, upon the adoption of a redevelopment plan for the area, may perform any of the actions set forth in section 8 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-8), except that [with respect to such a project] the municipality shall not have the power to use eminent domain to take or acquire private property by condemnation in furtherance of a redevelopment plan, unless [: a. the area is within an area determined to be in need of redevelopment pursuant to this act; or b.] exercise of that power is authorized under any other law of this State.
(cf: P.L.1992, c.79, s.15)
10. Section 19 of P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-28) is amended to read as follows:
19. [Preparation; contents; modification.] a. The planning board may prepare and, after public hearing, adopt or amend a master plan or component parts thereof, to guide the use of lands within the municipality in a manner which protects public health and safety and promotes the general welfare.
b. The master plan shall generally comprise a report or statement and land use and development proposals, with maps, diagrams and text, presenting, at least the following elements (1) and (2) and, where appropriate, the following elements (3) through ( 15):
(1) A statement of objectives, principles, assumptions, policies and standards upon which the constituent proposals for the physical, economic and social development of the municipality are based;
(2) A land use plan element (a) taking into account and stating its relationship to the statement provided for in paragraph (1) hereof, and other master plan elements provided for in paragraphs (3) through ( 15) hereof and natural conditions, including, but not necessarily limited to, topography, soil conditions, water supply, drainage, flood plain areas, marshes, and woodlands; (b) showing the existing and proposed location, extent and intensity of development of land to be used in the future for varying types of residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, educational and other public and private purposes or combination of purposes; and stating the relationship thereof to the existing and any proposed zone plan and zoning ordinance; and (c) showing the existing and proposed location of any airports and the boundaries of any airport safety zones delineated pursuant to the "Air Safety and Zoning Act of 1983," P.L.1983, c.260 (C.6:1-80 et seq.); and (d) including a statement of the standards of population density and development intensity recommended for the municipality;
(3) A housing plan element pursuant to section 10 of P.L.1985, c.222 (C.52:27D-310), including, but not limited to, residential standards and proposals for the construction and improvement of housing;
(4) A circulation plan element showing the location and types of facilities for all modes of transportation required for the efficient movement of people and goods into, about, and through the municipality, taking into account the functional highway classification system of the Federal Highway Administration and the types, locations, conditions and availability of existing and proposed transportation facilities, including air, water, road and rail;
(5) A utility service plan element analyzing the need for and showing the future general location of water supply and distribution facilities, drainage and flood control facilities, sewerage and waste treatment, solid waste disposal and provision for other related utilities, and including any storm water management plan required pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1981, c.32 (C.40:55D-93 et seq.). If a municipality prepares a utility service plan element as a condition for adopting a development transfer ordinance pursuant to subsection c. of section 4 of P.L.2004, c.2 (C.40:55D-140), the plan element shall address the provision of utilities in the receiving zone as provided thereunder;
(6) A community facilities plan element showing the existing and proposed location and type of educational or cultural facilities, historic sites, libraries, hospitals, firehouses, police stations and other related facilities, including their relation to the surrounding areas;
(7) A recreation plan element showing a comprehensive system of areas and public sites for recreation;
(8) A conservation plan element providing for the preservation, conservation, and utilization of natural resources, including, to the extent appropriate, energy, open space, water supply, forests, soil, marshes, wetlands, harbors, rivers and other waters, fisheries, endangered or threatened species wildlife and other resources, and which systemically analyzes the impact of each other component and element of the master plan on the present and future preservation, conservation and utilization of those resources;
(9) An economic plan element considering all aspects of economic development and sustained economic vitality, including (a) a comparison of the types of employment expected to be provided by the economic development to be promoted with the characteristics of the labor pool resident in the municipality and nearby areas and (b) an analysis of the stability and diversity of the economic development to be promoted;
(10) A historic preservation plan element: (a) indicating the location and significance of historic sites and historic districts; (b) identifying the standards used to assess worthiness for historic site or district identification; and (c) analyzing the impact of each component and element of the master plan on the preservation of historic sites and districts;
(11) Appendices or separate reports containing the technical foundation for the master plan and its constituent elements;
(12) A recycling plan element which incorporates the State Recycling Plan goals, including provisions for the collection, disposition and recycling of recyclable materials designated in the municipal recycling ordinance, and for the collection, disposition and recycling of recyclable materials within any development proposal for the construction of 50 or more units of single-family residential housing or 25 or more units of multi-family residential housing and any commercial or industrial development proposal for the utilization of 1,000 square feet or more of land;
(13) A farmland preservation plan element, which shall include: an inventory of farm properties and a map illustrating significant areas of agricultural land; a statement showing that municipal ordinances support and promote agriculture as a business; and a plan for preserving as much farmland as possible in the short term by leveraging monies made available by P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-1 et al.) through a variety of mechanisms including, but not limited to, utilizing option agreements, installment purchases, and encouraging donations of permanent development easements; [and]
(14) A development transfer plan element which sets forth the public purposes, the locations of sending and receiving zones and the technical details of a development transfer program based on the provisions of section 5 of P.L.2004, c.2 (C.40:55D-141); and
(15) A redevelopment plan element identifying all areas that have been designated in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation in the municipality as well as additional areas that may be so designated in the future, the goals and objectives of projected redevelopment activities in those areas during the time period covered by the master plan, the manner in which those activities further the social, economic, and physical improvement of the municipality, and the manner in which redevelopment activities are linked to other activities being carried out by the municipality pursuant to the municipal master plan, including improvements to infrastructure, transportation improvements, and the construction of public and community facilities.
c. The master plan and its plan elements may be divided into subplans and subplan elements projected according to periods of time or staging sequences.
d. The master plan shall include a specific policy statement indicating the relationship of the proposed development of the municipality, as developed in the master plan to (1) the master plans of contiguous municipalities, (2) the master plan of the county in which the municipality is located, (3) the State Development and Redevelopment Plan adopted pursuant to the "State Planning Act," sections 1 through 12 of P.L.1985, c.398 (C.52:18A-196 et seq.) and (4) the district solid waste management plan required pursuant to the provisions of the "Solid Waste Management Act," P.L.1970, c.39 (C.13:1E-1 et seq.) of the county in which the municipality is located.
In the case of a municipality situated within the Highlands Region, as defined in section 3 of P.L.2004, c.120 (C.13:20-3), the master plan shall include a specific policy statement indicating the relationship of the proposed development of the municipality, as developed in the master plan, to the Highlands regional master plan adopted pursuant to section 8 of P.L.2004, c.120 (C.13:20-8).
(cf: P.L.2004, c.120, s.60)
11. (New section) a. Whenever a redevelopment project or projects involve the conveyance of land owned by the municipality, or any project, 20% or more of which will be constructed upon land subject to acquisition by the municipality or redevelopment entity pursuant to the redevelopment plan, the municipality shall approve, by ordinance, a written agreement designating a redeveloper selected in accordance with this section.
b. The municipality or redevelopment entity shall prepare or have prepared request for proposal documentation, which shall include: all requirements deemed appropriate and necessary to allow for full and free competition between potential redevelopers; information necessary for potential redevelopers to submit a proposal, including a copy of the redevelopment plan, a general description of the project or projects, and such municipal public records relating to buildings and improvements within the redevelopment area, including, but not limited to, services provided by public utilities, building permit, and assessment records; and a methodology by which the municipality will evaluate and rank proposals received from potential redevelopers.
c. The methodology for selecting a redeveloper shall be based on an evaluation and ranking which may include overall design, technical expertise, demonstrated experience on projects similar to the proposed project, the ability to finance the proposed project, and such other stated criteria as the municipality shall deem relevant.
d. At no time during the proposal solicitation process shall the municipality or redevelopment entity, or any employee or agent thereof, convey information to the public or any potential redeveloper which could confer an unfair advantage upon that potential redeveloper over any other potential redeveloper. If the municipality or redevelopment entity desires to change proposal documentation, the municipality or redevelopment entity shall notify only those potential redevelopers who received the proposal documentation of any and all changes in writing, and all existing documentation shall be changed appropriately.
e. All proposals shall be required to contain a statement of corporate ownership in accordance with the provisions of section 1 of P.L.1977, c.33 (C.52:25-24.2) and specifications concerning equal employment opportunity and affirmative action pursuant to P.L.1975, c.127 (C.10:5-31 et seq.)
f. A notice of the availability of request for proposal documentation shall be published in an official newspaper of the municipality at least 30 days prior to the date established for the submission of proposals. Such notice shall provide the name, address, and phone number of the person who can provide additional information and a proposal document to an interested party. The municipality or redevelopment entity shall promptly reply to any request by an interested party by providing a copy of the request for proposals. The municipality or redevelopment entity may charge a fee for the proposal documentation that shall not exceed $50 or the cost of reproducing the documentation, whichever is greater.
g. Each interested potential redeveloper shall submit a proposal which shall include all the information required by the request for proposals. Failure to meet the requirements of the request for proposals may result in the municipality or redevelopment entity disqualifying the potential redeveloper from further consideration.
h. The municipality or redevelopment entity shall review and evaluate all proposals only in accordance with the methodology described in the request for proposals. The review shall be conducted in a manner that avoids disclosure of the contents of any proposal prior to the selection of a redeveloper. The municipality or redevelopment entity may conduct discussions with a potential redeveloper submitting a proposal for the purpose of clarifying the information submitted in the proposal. The municipality or redevelopment entity may at any time revise its proposal document after the review of the submitted proposals if it notifies simultaneously, and in writing, each potential redeveloper that submitted a proposal of the revision and provides a uniform time within which the potential redevelopers may submit a revised proposal for review.
i. The municipality or redevelopment entity shall select the proposal that received the highest evaluation and shall negotiate an agreement with the potential redeveloper that submitted the selected proposal. If the municipality or redevelopment entity is unable to negotiate a satisfactory agreement with the potential redeveloper that submitted the selected proposal, it may select the proposal that received the second highest evaluation from among those submitted and proceed to negotiate a satisfactory contract with the potential redeveloper that submitted the proposal. The process shall continue until a redeveloper is selected or the process is abandoned by the municipality or redevelopment entity. The decision to abandon the proposal process shall be by a resolution adopted by the governing body of the municipality or redevelopment entity.
j. After a redeveloper has been selected and a satisfactory agreement has been negotiated, but prior to the execution of the agreement by the governing body or redevelopment entity, the municipality or redevelopment entity shall prepare a report concerning the proposal selection process. The report shall list the names of all potential redevelopers who submitted a proposal and shall summarize the proposals of each potential redeveloper. The report shall (1) rank the potential redevelopers in order of evaluation; (2) summarize, in general terms, any unsuccessful negotiations with potential redevelopers that submitted proposals which were ranked higher than the proposal of the selected redeveloper; (3) recommend the selected redeveloper; and (4) summarize the project to be undertaken and the relevant terms of the proposed agreement. The report shall be made available to the public at least 48 hours prior to the introduction of an ordinance authorizing an agreement with the redeveloper.
k. The governing body of the municipality or redevelopment entity shall have the right to reject all proposals for any reason, but such reason must be given and the municipality shall not authorize another request for proposals concerning the same project or projects for a period of 30 days after the date of rejection or abandonment by the governing body.
l. Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of a municipality to convey property within a redevelopment area for nominal consideration to any of the entities designated in section 21 of the “Local Lands and Buildings Law,” P.L.1971, c.199 (C.40A:12-21) for any of the uses set forth therein, and to enter into redevelopment agreements with such entities for such uses without complying with the provisions of this section.
12. (New section) If any agreement between a redevelopment entity and a redeveloper shall provide for the use or potential use of eminent domain by the redevelopment entity, such agreement shall contain:
a. a block and lot identification of all parcels which may be subject to eminent domain at the request of the redeveloper;
b. a schedule of acquisition by the redeveloper; and
c. a provision stating that the ability of the redeveloper to request acquisition by eminent domain shall lapse within five years of the effective date of the agreement, which provision may only be further extended by an ordinance adopted by the governing body after notice to any property owner whose rights will be directly affected by such an extension.
All mandatory schedules and time limitations within these provisions may be subject to tolling for any contingencies set forth in the agreement.
13. (New section) Every resident displaced as a result of a redevelopment project shall have a limited right of first refusal to purchase or lease a dwelling unit subsequently constructed within the redevelopment project as set forth in this section:
a. At such time residents are provided notice pursuant to the Workable Relocation Assistance Plan pursuant to rules and regulations of the Department of Community Affairs, they shall be provided with the opportunity to have their names entered into a registry of residents seeking the opportunity to purchase or lease a dwelling unit in the redevelopment project. The registry shall be maintained by the municipal relocation officer designated under the Workable Relocation Assistance Plan.
b. At such time that any residential development containing more than 10 dwelling units shall be constructed in any redevelopment area as a redevelopment project, the developer shall notify each individual on the registry, by registered mail and by e-mail to their last known mailing or e-mail address, as may be available, of their opportunity to purchase or lease a dwelling unit. It shall be the sole responsibility of the individual to maintain a current mailing address with the registry, and the developer shall be under no obligation to provide notice except as set forth in this subsection.
c. From the date of mailing of the notice, the individuals on the registry shall have eight business days before the units in such development are offered to the general public in order to enter into a contract of purchase or a lease for a unit in the development. Such contract or lease shall be on the same terms and at the same price as those on which the unit is initially offered to the general public.
14. Section 6 of P.L.1971, c.361 (C.20:3-6) is amended to read as follows:
6. Whenever any condemnor shall have determined to acquire property pursuant to law, including public property already devoted to public purpose, but cannot acquire title thereto or possession thereof by agreement with a prospective condemnee, whether by reason of disagreement concerning the compensation to be paid or for any other cause, the condemnation of such property and the compensation to be paid therefor, and to whom payable, and all matters incidental thereto and arising therefrom shall be governed, ascertained and paid by and in the manner provided by this act; provided, however, that no action to condemn shall be instituted unless the condemnor is unable to acquire such title or possession through bona fide negotiations with the prospective condemnee, which negotiations shall include an offer in writing by the condemnor to the prospective condemnee holding the title of record to the property being condemned, setting forth the property and interest therein to be acquired, the compensation offered to be paid and [a reasonable disclosure of the manner in which the amount of such offered compensation has been calculated] a copy of the appraisal upon which the offer has been based and which was approved by the condemnor, and such other matters as may be required by the rules. Prior to such offer the taking agency shall appraise said property and the owner shall be given an opportunity to accompany the appraiser during inspection of the property[. Such offer] and provide information, data or otherwise raise issues of concern to the owner relating to the valuation of the property and damages to the remainder arising from the proposed acquisition. The written offer made by a condemnor to a prospective condemnee holding record title to the property shall be served by certified mail by a private courier or in person along with a copy of the approved appraisal. In no event shall such offer be less than the taking agency's approved appraisal of the fair market value of such property. [A rejection of said offer or failure to accept the same within the period fixed in written offer, which shall in no case be less than 14 days from the mailing of the offer, shall] The prospective condemnee shall be afforded 45 calendar days from receipt of the written offer to review the offer and the approved appraisal upon which the offer was based, to seek clarification thereof as well as any other relevant information, to allow an opportunity to negotiate the compensation to be paid, and to request an opportunity to discuss the offer and the basis thereof with a representative of the condemnor in person. Prior to the expiration of this 45-day period, the prospective condemnee may request, in writing, an extension of this 45-day period for a period not exceeding an additional 25 days, for a total of 70 calendar days, which shall not be denied except for good cause shown by the condemnor. During this period, as it may be extended, the prospective condemnee may seek additional relevant information regarding the offer or regarding the project. Within the time period, as may be extended, the condemnor shall provide reasonable and timely responses to requests for information and for explanations and shall afford an opportunity for the condemnee to meet in person on at least one occasion with a representative of the condemnor to discuss the offer and the basis thereof. The prospective condemnee may also obtain its own appraisal and share it with the prospective condemnor and seek a review thereof by the prospective condemnor. If the prospective condemnee rejects the written offer of the condemnor or otherwise does not affirmatively respond to the offer, the condemnor may then send in writing by certified mail, private courier, or in person, a letter setting forth an intent to commence condemnation proceedings in the Superior Court. Such letter, upon receipt, shall conclude bona fide negotiations between the prospective condemnor and condemnee. A disagreement over the amount of the offer, how the offer was calculated, or the method or manner in which the property was appraised shall not constitute grounds to continue negotiations or prevent the condemnor from successfully acquiring the property through the commencement of a condemnation proceeding and the appointment of condemnation commissioners. Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring a condemnor to increase the amount of an offer during the review and negotiation period. A condemnor may file a complaint for condemnation in the manner provided by the Rules of Court anytime after expiration of the review and negotiation period provided for in this section, including any extension thereof, without the consent of the prospective condemnee, provided the condemnor is otherwise empowered to exercise the power of eminent domain and the condemnor has complied with the provisions of this section. Proof of the delivery of a written offer and a copy of the approved appraisal and the delivery of a letter of intent at the expiration of the negotiation period as set forth above, shall be deemed to be conclusive proof of the inability of the condemnor to acquire the property or possession thereof through negotiations. When the holder of the title is unknown, resides out of the State, or for other good cause, the court, upon application as a notice of motion as provided by the Rules of Court, may dispense with the necessity of such negotiations. Neither the offer, the amount thereof, nor the refusal thereof by the prospective condemnee shall be evidential in the determination of compensation.
(cf: P.L.1971, c. 361, s. 6)
15. This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month next following enactment. Any final action taken by a municipality or redevelopment entity with respect to: a determination that an area is in need of redevelopment or in need of rehabilitation; enactment of a redevelopment plan; or designation of a redeveloper, prior to the effective date of this act shall have full force and effect, but any subsequent official action by the municipality or redevelopment entity after the effective date of this act shall be subject to its provisions.
This bill amends and supplements the provisions of the “Local Redevelopment and Housing Law” and the "Eminent Domain Act of 1971." In June, 2005, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut, 125 S.Ct. 2655 (2005), which dealt with the exercise of eminent domain by a local government to promote economic development. While the facts of that case are different than the law in New Jersey, the case sparked a great deal of debate on the propriety of the use of eminent domain by New Jersey municipalities exercising their redevelopment powers. The sponsor convened a working group comprised of various groups and individuals with interest and expertise in the area and the working group produced numerous recommendations to improve the accountability of and transparency in the redevelopment process and the use of eminent domain in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Constitution of 1947, Article VIII, Section III, paragraph 1, provides that “the clearance, replanning, development or redevelopment of blighted areas shall be a public purpose and public use, for which private property may be taken or acquired. Municipal, public or private corporations may be authorized by law to undertake such clearance, replanning, development or redevelopment; and improvements made for these purposes and uses, or for any of them, may be exempted from taxation, in whole or in part, for a limited period of time during which the profits of and dividends payable by any private corporation enjoying such tax exemption shall be limited by law. The conditions of use, ownership, management and control of such improvements shall be regulated by law.” This power was first implemented by the Legislature with the adoption of the Blighted Areas Act in 1949. The law was amended and modified several times and was last re-codified by the Legislature in 1992 as the “Local Redevelopment and Housing Law,” N.J.S.A.40A:12A-1 et seq.
As presently enacted, the “Local Redevelopment and Housing Law” is broader than the law first drafted in 1949. The sponsor believes that in many cases, this broadening was an attempt by prior Legislatures to respond to the changing needs of New Jersey municipal officials. In 1949, blight was largely an urban issue, characterized by abandoned factories and substandard housing. In the ensuing 50 years, the concept was broadened to include issues such as environmental contamination, faulty land use decisions, and underproductive land that could be found in urban, suburban and rural parts of our State. In turn, local government officials representing all three types of municipalities have undertaken redevelopment projects permitted under existing law. Following the Kelo decision, these activities have fallen under greater public scrutiny and led to the reexamination of the law by the Legislature and the introduction of this bill.
This bill does not seek to prevent the exercise of eminent domain, but it does seek to ensure that it is used more judiciously and produces equitable results. The criteria for finding property to be an “area in need of redevelopment” would be reorganized and certain criteria would be amended to remove the possibility of a property owner losing their homes simply because a “better” use could be envisioned by a local government official. Further, the ability to include non-qualifying parcels in an area in need of redevelopment would be limited to 20% of the land mass within the proposed redevelopment area. If eminent domain is going to be used, the bill would require that the redevelopment agreement contain a timeframe for the acquisition of such property and a requirement that all requests for the use of eminent domain be made within five years of the date of the redevelopment agreement. Awards for eminent domain would be based on the highest value of the property, either at the time of taking or the time of the adoption of the redevelopment plan and would be based on the uses permitted under the plan. Additionally, any resident dislocated by the use of eminent domain would be granted a right of first refusal to purchase or lease a unit within the redevelopment project that resulted in their displacement.
The notice provisions for designing and undertaking a redevelopment project would be greatly enhanced under the bill. The bill would require an informational meeting before the process is formally begun for larger redevelopment projects. Notice to impacted property owners, including tenants, would be greatly expanded to include direct notice during, (1) the study of a proposed redevelopment area by a planning board, (2) the designation of an area in need of redevelopment by the governing body, and (3) the formulation and adoption of a redevelopment plan. For the adoption of a redevelopment plan, such notice would also be required to identify which parcels within the redevelopment area would be subject to acquisition by eminent domain. Additionally, the bill would require all significant steps of the process to be undertaken by ordinance so that public hearings are held by the governing body at each critical point in the process. Once a critical step is taken, the bill would provide a mandatory waiting period before moving onto the next step. This period would allow for proper planning and a chance for the impacted property owners, residents and neighbors to educate themselves about what has occurred and seek legal redress if they so choose. Once the waiting period has run, municipalities will be able to continue the process with a sense of finality and larger degree of certainty that their previous actions are valid and safeguarded from judicial attack in the future. These amendments to the eminent domain and land use laws will add transparency to a process that is often subject to unnecessary miscommunication and will provide for the opportunity for greater public input and consensus.
The bill would also expand the scope of future redevelopment plans to identify, not just the benefits inherent in future redevelopment projects, but also the costs. In addition to an analysis of the land use controls, a redevelopment plan would be required to contain an inventory of environmental, historical and cultural assets within the redevelopment area, together with preservation and conservation strategies for such assets. Additionally, the redevelopment plan would need to quantify the impact of the plan on surrounding areas and the legal obligations applicable to low and moderate income persons within the municipality and the relocation needs arising from any displacement of residents or businesses as a result of the plan. Finally, the redevelopment plan would need to document consistency with smart growth planning principles. These amendments are designed to ensure that local governing bodies consider all relevant factors before adopting a plan.
The bill would also establish a process for selecting redevelopers for redevelopment projects that involve a significant amount of land that is either municipally owned or could be assembled by a municipality using eminent domain. Other changes include expanding the criteria for areas in need of rehabilitation. Areas in need of rehabilitation exist today and can be subjected to the controls and visions set forth in the redevelopment plan. Municipalities have the same powers to implement a redevelopment plan for an area in need of rehabilitation as a redevelopment area, except that municipalities cannot exercise the power of eminent domain. The proposed changes are designed to permit certain parcels to be designated an area in need of rehabilitation if they would be qualified for designation as an area in need of redevelopment under current law but would not support such designation under the proposed amendments. The bill would allow municipalities to identify areas that may be studied in the future for designation as redevelopment or rehabilitation areas when revising municipal master plans.
Finally, the bill amends the “Eminent Domain Act of 1971” in order to provide more protections to property owners and to codify current practices.
This bill would be effective on the first day of the first month that occurs at least 90 days following enactment. Recognizing that a redevelopment process contains three distinctive steps: designation of an area in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation, adoption of a redevelopment plan and authorization of a redevelopment agreement, this bill would grandfather existing redevelopment activities to the extent such activities are matured. Thus, if an area has already been designated as a redevelopment area under existing law, or a redevelopment plan has already been adopted, or a redevelopment agreement has already been authorized and executed, these actions would remain valid and given full force and effect. Future actions occurring after the effective date of this bill, however, would be governed by its provisions.