TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan to allow municipalities to authorize a parking authority as a redevelopment entity was approved today by the Senate.
“We know that smart redevelopment can help to revitalize areas within a town or city, but we have to make sure that municipalities have the flexibility to undertake projects in the most effective way,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “This measure will allow towns and cities to designate a parking authority as a redevelopment entity, allowing these agencies to use their expertise to facilitate improvement projects within the municipality.”
The bill (S2226) would allow a municipality that has created a parking authority under the “Parking Authority Law” and that has also been designated as an area within the municipality to be in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation under the “Local Redevelopment and Housing Law,” to authorize its parking authority as a redevelopment entity.
Redevelopment in any municipality is a process to rebuild or restore an area that is in a measurable state of decline, disinvestment, or abandonment. If used correctly, redevelopment can transform a distressed area into an economically viable and productive part of the community. Under current law, a municipality must implement redevelopment plans and carry out those redevelopment projects directly through a municipal redevelopment agency, a municipal housing authority, or a county improvement authority authorized to undertake redevelopment projects. Many municipalities, especially smaller ones, lack the number of agencies that could undertake such projects. This bill would expand the ability for municipalities to use their parking authority as a vehicle for redevelopment.
The bill was approved in the Senate by a vote of 32-5. It now heads to the Assembly for consideration.