Doing The “One–Two” At NJDEP

August 23, 2013 | No Comments
Posted by Steven J. Corodemus

Coastal private land owners’ (and local government units’) burden of restoring waterfront improvements damaged by Super Storm Sandy have been lightened by relief inspired by Governor Christie in the form of emergent permit by rule adoptions by NJ DEP http://www.nj.gov/dep/landuse/sandy.html.  The emergent relief was adopted to expedite the restoration of $Billions of damaged property throughout New Jersey as a result of Sandy’s devastation.  For example, land owners have some flexibility in replacement of bulkheads.  From a DEP permit perspective, replacement bulkheads rebuilt in the same footprint are more easily facilitated.  However, land owners that do obtain DEP permits to construct replacement bulkheads seaward of the damaged bulkhead should beware that this may not be the end of their entanglements with DEP!  Those owners of expanded replacement bulkheads will also have to deal with the Tidelands Management Bureau (TMB), also in NJ DEP, to secure a license for the occupation of tidelands. The permit to rebuild does not include “free parking.”

An application has to be made to TMB for a tidelands license. The license fee would be calculated by TMB on a square footage basis whereby the footprint area of the expanded replacement bulkhead is multiplied by the assessed value of the property.  The terms of the license are typically for seven years although the fee is paid annually. The land owner will be responsible for payment of the license fee regardless of whether the Department of Treasury tenders a bill for payment.   Although TMB and Treasury have recently become more efficient in the processing of these license fees, it would be prudent for landowners to place this bill payment obligation on their calendars.  Payments are due on the anniversary date of the approved TMB license. The license must also be recorded by the land owner as a public record. The failure to timely pay Treasury is tantamount to skipping a tax payment, e.g. the imposition of interest, penalties, liens, etc.

A very helpful list of FAQ regarding coastal improvement reconstruction and tidelands license issues can be found at http://www.nj.gov/dep/landuse/SandyFAQ.html#tidelands

These environmental regulations, laws, and proposed legislation are being tracked by the Environmental Law Department and Government Affairs Department of this law firm for its clients, the business community, and interested parties in the State of New Jersey.

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