Supreme Court Reinstates Downzoning Ordinance

Property owners who had successfully challenged a municipal open space ordinance that downzoned their property from one unit per acre to one unit per twenty acres on the purported basis of promoting “smart growth” and protection of environmentally sensitive lands achieved only a short-lived victory.  In the January 22, 2015 decision of Griepenburg v. Ocean […]

“Convenience Dumping” – Not So Convenient After All

NJDEP’s launched its “Don’t Waste Our Space” initiative in March 2014 to crack down on illegal waste disposal practices, focusing particularly on protection of State owned lands.  The problem of illegal dumping of construction-related and household waste and debris is apparently real as over first six months the vigorous enforcement initiative has resulted in 20 […]

Earth Day – Dredging Passaic River

Earth Day is an appropriate time to reflect on the progress that we have made to make our environment a better place to live, work and enjoy. Recently the Chris Christie Administration announced an agreement with the US EPA to take action to address a very significant problem that has existed for decades – the […]

Sewer Reservation Agreement Ordinance Withstands Challenge Preserving Development Rights

A threshold due diligence question for developers is whether public water and sewer is available for development.  If connection to public water and sewer is not possible or is too expensive, or sufficient capacity is not available, a developer may look elsewhere.  For developers who decide to move forward with a site, water and sewer […]

Doing The “One–Two” At NJDEP

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  The emergent relief was adopted to expedite the restoration of $Billions of damaged property throughout […]

Have A Green Fourth of July

The July 4th celebration of this nation’s declaration of independence from Great Britain has been celebrated since 1776 and has become the pinnacle of summer fun. It’s the day to travel with your family and friends to the shore or your favorite lake, grill some hot dogs and hamburgers and watch the fireworks display after […]

The War On Property Owners Refusal To Execute Easements For Sand Dunes Are Heating Up Down The Shore

Several municipalities located along the Jersey Shore are putting pressure on various property owners to grant easements to permit dunes to be constructed on their properties.  By way of example, Long Beach has publically posted names of several homeowners who they believe have inappropriately refused to execute the easements.  Toms River has expressed the fact […]

The State House Commission’s 60th Anniversary May Be Dampened By New Proposed Legislation

The State House Commission of New Jersey is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.  Two bills making their way through the legislative process will dramatically change the Commission’s jurisdiction concerning Green Acres land dispositions. The Commission’s original mandate by the legislature was to oversee the construction of buildings in the State Capital – the City […]

Highlands Plan Conformance Guidelines Withstand Challenge

In review of a challenge to municipal petitions for plan conformance under the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act, the Appellate Division determined that the Highlands Council Water Protection and Planning Council had authority under the Highlands Act to adopt Plan Conformance Guidelines (“PCGs”) as a component of the Highlands Regional Master Plan (“RMP”) to […]

Court Reaffirms “Reasonable Use Rule”

New Jersey has long followed the “reasonable use rule” in cases where one landowner sues another for diverting or discharging stormwater that allegedly causes flooding.  In the 1956 case of Armstrong v. Francis Corp., the New Jersey Supreme Court held that one owning or occupying land “is legally privileged to make reasonable use of his […]

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