Property Transfers Among Family Members Do Not Negate Innocent Party Status For Remediation Funding Grants

The cost to remediate contaminated sites can be significant and the scope of liability under environmental laws is deliberately broad.  In many cases under theories of strict, joint and several liability, property owners inherit liability for environmental contamination caused by predecessor owners.  The affirmative innocent purchaser defense is intended to provide a mechanism to limit […]

Appellate Division Reaffirms Position that Pinelands Protection Act Supersedes the Municipal Land Use Law

In a recent unpublished decision, Peg Leg Webb, LLC v. New Jersey Pinelands Commission, A-4016-15T4 (Unpub. App. Div. October 11, 2017), a panel of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, reaffirmed that the Pinelands Protection Act (Act), as well as any regulations or authorities promulgated thereto, supersede any authority vested under the municipalities […]

Applying Equitable Principles, New Jersey Appellate Division Expands Spill Act Liability

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently construed the Spill Compensation and Control Act (the Spill Act) as permitting a property owner to compel neighboring owners to share in the costs of an investigation into the cause of and responsibility for contamination without first establishing the neighbors contributed to the contamination. This decision is significant, as […]

Court Defines Time of Application Trigger

A February 14, 2017 decision of the Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court may make it more difficult for developers to gain the benefit of the “time of application” rule enacted by the Legislature in 2011. Prior to that, courts in New Jersey applied the “time of decision” rule, under which a decision concerning […]

COURT REJECTS AUTOMATIC APPLICATION OF “TIME OF FILING” RULE IN BUILDER’S REMEDY LITIGATION

Developers who bring builder’s remedy lawsuits under New Jersey’s Mount Laurel doctrine often cite the so-called “time of filing” rule.  The contention is that in determining whether a municipality is compliant with its affordable housing obligations, the court must base its decision on the zoning ordinances in effect at the time the developer initially filed […]

APPELLATE DIVISION SENDS PIPELINE CASE BACK TO PINELANDS COMMISSION FOR FURTHER REVIEW

In a setback to plans by the South Jersey Gas Company (SJG) to construct a natural gas pipeline through the Pinelands, the Appellate Division of Superior Court rejected a decision by the Executive Director of the Pinelands Commission that would have permitted construction of the pipeline without review by the full Commission. Because the proposed […]

The Highest and Best Use Valuation for Property – The Synergy Between the Condemnation Award and the Escrow Amount

The Appellate Division of Superior Court recently published a decision providing further clarification of the seminal New Jersey Supreme Court condemnation case Housing Authority v. Suydam Investors, L.L.C. By way of background, in Suydam, the Court held that a condemned contaminated property should be valued “as if remediated” rather than “as is” when determining the […]

COURT DOES ABOUT-FACE, SIDES WITH LANDOWNER IN PRESERVED FARM DISPUTE

Scattered throughout rural New Jersey are signs that say “Preserved Farmland – Private Land, Public Legacy.” A preserved farm is land that remains under private ownership, but is subject to an easement restricting the property to agricultural use, typically in perpetuity. A common means of preserving farmland is through New Jersey’s Agriculture Retention and Development […]

NJ SUPREME COURT REFUSES TO REVIEW DECISION INVALIDATING DEP’S COASTAL PUBLIC ACCESS RULE

The uncertainty involving the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (“DEP”) Public Access Rule promulgated in 2012 under the Coastal Zone Management Rules continues. The Supreme Court by Order dated June 17, 2016 denied the State’s Petition for Certification to challenge the Appellate Division’s Hackensack Riverkeeper, Inc. and NY/NJ Baykeeper v DEP, 443 N.J. Super […]

The Appellate Division Reverses COAH’s Gap Period Requirement

This is big. Affordable housing in New Jersey has taken another major turn in the Court system due to the latest decision in the Appellate Division handed down on July 11, 2016. Most importantly, the Court’s decision holds that the plain language of the Fair Housing Act of 1985 does not require a municipality to […]

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