New Jersey Permit Extension Act Amended—Qualified Permits and Approvals Now Run Through End of 2014—More Permits Subject to Extension—Extensions Retroactive

In response to the economic challenges facing New Jersey when the recession hit in 2008, lawmakers passed, and then Governor John Corzine signed, The Permit Extension Act of 2008 (the PEA). Acknowledging that obtaining necessary permits and approvals can be time-consuming and costly, the PEA sought to reduce the risk that development projects that could substantially benefit New Jersey would be abandoned before the local and national economy had an opportunity to recover.

The original bill tolled the expiration date of all qualified permits and approvals to July 1, 2010. Unfortunately, the recession has lasted longer than the framers of the original statute anticipated. Accordingly, the bill has been amended twice, with the current termination date for qualified approvals and permits set at December 31, 2014, and a grace period extending until June 30, 2015.

In order to counteract significant opposition from community activists and environmentalists, the original act specifically excluded certain types of approvals or projects. A number of those exceptions still apply, including:

  • Permits or approvals in “environmentally sensitive areas”
  • State Department of Transportation permits, other than right-of-way permits
  • Permits or approvals subject to the provisions of the New Jersey Flood Hazard Area Control Act, except where a project was already underway
  • Permits or approvals issued by the federal government, or where the term of the permit is set by federal law

Areas that were originally excluded by the PEA, but where developers may now (and retroactively) obtain an extension include:

  • The Highlands planning area—A permit or approval may be extended for projects in this area as long as they are not located in State Planning Areas 4B or 5, have not been designated a critical environmental site, and are not in an area that has adopted a Highlands master plan element.
  • Municipalities listed in the Pinelands Commission comprehensive management plan that are not designated as a critical environmental site, or in State Planning Areas 4B or 5

Contact the Business and Real Estate Attorneys at Del Duca Lewis

Our lawyers bring more than five decades of experience and knowledge to businesses and business owners throughout southern New Jersey and the metropolitan Philadelphia area, handling a broad range of commercial and real estate matters. In recognition of the skill we offer our clients, attorney Damien Del Duca has been named a New Jersey Super Lawyer. To schedule an appointment to discuss your legal issues, contact our office online or call us at 856-427-4200.

Commercial Losses as a Result of Hurricane Sandy

Seeking to Recover for the Different Types of Business Losses

If you own or operate a business in New Jersey, you may have experienced a wide range of losses when Hurricane Sandy swept through the East Coast last year. Your property may have been destroyed or flooded. You may have been unable to conduct business for weeks or months, or may still not be back in business. If, like most business owners, you have faithfully paid commercial insurance premiums, you may be anxious to know your prospects for recovering compensation for some or all of your losses.

Property Damage Suffered in Hurricane Sandy

As a general rule, physical damage to commercial buildings is covered by the provisions of a property and casualty policy. Your policy may insure you against “all risks,” in which case loss caused by any event not specifically excluded by the policy will be covered. Such policies can be expensive, so many business owners opt for policies that provide coverage for “named perils.” A “named peril” insurance contract provides coverage only for events or contingencies that are specifically identified in the policy.

Once you have determined whether you have an “all risks” or a “named peril” policy, you must then determine the cause of the damage, and will need to ascertain whether there are specific deductibles that apply in unique situations. It is not unusual for a policy to have a deductible that applies to a certain risk, such as a hurricane. You may also conclude that the damage to your property was the result of combined event, such as wind and water. If you have coverage for wind damage, but not water damage, you may also be subject to limits.

Business Interruption or Income Loss Coverage

Even if you don’t have coverage for physical damage caused by water or flooding, you may be able to seek insurance benefits for loss of income because you could not be open for business. Some insurance policies provide coverage for interruptions that result when the actions or order of a civil authority prevent you from going to your business.

You may be able to seek reimbursement of lost income if a covered peril prohibits access to your business. Even if you can get to and from your business, you may be entitled to insurance coverage for lost profits if you experienced an interruption of critical services, such as power or water, due to a covered peril.

Contact Del Duca Lewis

If you have concerns about insurance coverage for commercial losses suffered in Hurricane Sandy, you want an experienced, knowledgeable and aggressive lawyer to protect your interests. At the law office of Del Duca Lewis, we offer five decades of commercial real estate and business law experience to clients across southern New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area. Attorney Damien Del Duca has been named a New Jersey Super Lawyer.

To schedule an appointment to discuss your real estate or business law needs, contact us online  or call our office at 856-427-4200.