Saturday, July 2, 2016

Gov. Christie signs permit-extension bill for Sandy counties

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed into law A-3617. The bill extends certain government approvals for land located in the Superstorm Sandy-impacted counties until December 31, 2016 and, for many, to June 30, 2017.

The new law sets the nine Superstorm Sandy-impacted counties as Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union.

Bill sponsors explained that:
"Once-approved permits are in danger of expiring or lapsing because gaining a permit extension is difficult and costly and developers do not have the resources to obtain extensions. The effects of Superstorm Sandy exacerbated this problem as areas in this State attempt to recover from the devastation caused by the storm.

"As permit approvals lapse, lenders must re-appraise and thereafter substantially lower real estate valuations established in conjunction with approved projects, thereby requiring the reclassification of numerous loans. This in turn affects the stability of the banking system and reduces the funds available for future lending, thus creating more severe restrictions on credit and leading to a vicious cycle of default.
"Accordingly, this bill would extend permits which have been granted by State, regional, county, and municipal agencies for an additional one year in the Superstorm Sandy-"impacted counties in order to prevent a waste of public and private resources.
The New Jersey Sierra Club had urged legislators to vote no, asserting that the measure would result in new construction in high-risk flood areas of the coast. The legislature disagreed and approved the measure on a 78-0 vote in the Assembly and 39-0 in the Senate.

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