TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher which would require developers to notify military facility commanders of any proposed development within a 3,000 foot radius of the military facility which might impact on the operations of the facility was unanimously approved today by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
“Our State’s military bases are a vital component in New Jersey’s contribution to the national armed forces, and we must ensure that they can operate without impedance from encroaching development,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “In New Jersey, overdevelopment and sprawl are constantly pushing developers to build on property that would be better left undeveloped. However, when that property borders a military base, the potential for a loss in the quality of life of the residents, and in the viability of military operations on that base, is too great to ignore.”
The bill, S-2207, would require applicants of building permits that may impact on a military installation to give prior notice of the development under the “Municipal Land Use Law” to a military facility commander who is registered with the municipality under the bill. The bill would require the notice if the property to be developed was within 3,000 feet of a military facility.
“The 3,000 foot buffer zone established in this bill would allow the military facilities in New Jersey to continue operations without worrying about the impact on nearby civilian development,” said Senator Karcher. “With the ongoing war in the Middle East, it is essential that our troops get the training they need without having to worry about civilians living in the line of fire next to our military bases.”
Senator Karcher added that her bill is part of a larger bill package designed to make New Jersey more hospitable to military bases, in response to continued threats from the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process that some of New Jersey’s military facilities may be in danger of closing.
“The BRAC process does not take into account the local impact of base closings that will devastate New Jersey’s economy and leave thousands of military and civilian personnel jobless,” said Senator Karcher. “If we can take steps through the legislative process to avoid base closings, it is in the best interests of the entire State that we do so. Failure on our part to protect our military bases would result in an economic crisis, and would take away New Jersey’s vital role in improving our national security and the spread of liberty abroad.”
The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.