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Permit Extension Bill Threatens Open Space

December 14th, 2011 by

A bill to allow time extensions for certain development permits has been introduced in both houses of the state legislature. While we at New Jersey Future understand the desirability of deadline extensions during difficult economic times, our position is that they should only be granted in smart-growth areas. We are very concerned that this bill in its current form:

  • Creates a new definition of smart-growth areas that includes open space and farmland previously not designated for growth;
  • Amends the definition of environmentally sensitive areas, where deadline extensions were not allowed, in such a way that both the Pinelands and Highlands would no longer be off-limits;
  • Runs counter to the principles espoused in Gov. Christie’s new State Strategic Plan.

We have opposed the bill in its current form, and have recommended changes that would still allow appropriate deadline extensions in smart-growth areas without jeopardizing our valued open space or environmentally sensitive areas. (Full statement (PDF), issued in partnership with the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association and the Regional Plan Association.) We look forward to working with all affected stakeholders on amendments to the bill.


2 Responses to “Permit Extension Bill Threatens Open Space”

  1. Theodore Chase Jr says:

    What happened to this at the end of the legislative session? We (in Franklin Township) have dormant projects we would like to see die.

    • Chris Sturm says:

      The bill was not considered by the Assembly Budget and Appropriations committee as scheduled, and did not make it through the Senate. But it has been reintroduced in both houses for the new legislative session. We expect that it will pass, but there may be amendments that generally just extend the deadline, but don’t expand where the extensions are available. You should contact your legislators to share your views.

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