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.

What Permits and Approvals Are Not Covered by the Permit Extension Act?

When the recession hit New Jersey and the rest of the country in 2008, concerns that critical development projects would be abandoned before the economy could rebound led then Governor John Corzine to sign into law the New Jersey Permit Extension Act (PEA), keeping qualified governmental permits and approvals open until July 1, 2010. Two subsequent amendments to the statute have tolled the expiration date of these permits to December 31, 2014.

When the legislature first considered extending the termination dates for permits and approvals, it met with significant resistance from community activists and environmentalists. In order to garner the necessary support to pass the bill, sponsors had to agree that certain types of permits or approvals were not subject to extension. These include:

    • Permits or approvals in what are considered to be “environmentally sensitive areas.” Those locations qualifying as “environmentally sensitive areas” are specifically delineated in the 2012 amendment of the PEA. They include, but are not limited to, state planning areas, critical environmental and historic sites, and specific locations within the Highlands Region.
    • Permits or approvals within the State Pinelands Boundary, which are subject to the Pinelands Protection Act, if the extension would necessitate approval from the U.S. Department of Interior, or would violate state or federal laws or regulations.
    • Permits or approvals subject to the New Jersey Flood Hazard Area Control Act, except projects that were already underway when the PEA went into effect
    • Department of Transportation permits issued by the state of New Jersey, except right-of-way permits
    • All permits or approvals issued by the federal government, or any permit or approval with a duration or expiration date set by federal law

Contact Our Office

At the law office of Del Duca Lewis, we bring 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 a meeting to discuss your legal concerns, contact our office online or call us at 856-427-4200.