Late last month, Gov. Chris Christie again extended the Permit Extension Act of 2008. The statute recognizes that the process of obtaining government approvals can be time consuming and expensive, for both for businesses and government bodies and tolls such permits to prevent the abandonment of approved projects due to the ongoing unfavorable economic conditions.
While first set to expire in 2010, the law has been amended twice to extend the tolling period. Without Assembly Bill Number 3815, the Permit Extension Act would have sunset on December 31, 2014.
As previously discussed on the Scarinci Hollenbeck Government & Law Blog, the Permit Extension Act suspends the running of the period of any covered permit or approval, which is or was in existence during the “extension period,” which now runs from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2015.
The statute applies to many government permits and approvals, such as planning board and zoning board of adjustment approvals for subdivisions, site plans, and variances under the Municipal Land Use Law and wetlands permits from the Department of Environmental Protection. Exceptions include certain approvals or permits issued under the Flood Hazard Area Control Act and certain approvals for projects in an “environmentally sensitive area” (ESA), such as portions of the Highlands Region and the Pinelands, among others.
Under the most recent amendment, the Permit Extension Act of 2008 is now set to expire on December 31, 2015. In accordance with the tolling provision provided in the statute, no approval would be extended beyond six months after the conclusion of the extension period, or until June 30, 2016.
For more information about the Permit Extension Act or the legal issues involved, we encourage you to contact a member of Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Government Law Group.