Measure Would Supplement Existing Notification Requirements for Development Applications
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg which would permit municipalities to post signs whenever a property is pending development permit approval was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee today by a vote of 4-0.
“New Jersey residents deserve to know when development and redevelopment projects are taking place around them, and they deserve an opportunity to let their voices be heard on these projects,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “This bill is designed to keep the public informed, and empower average citizens to have a voice in development and zoning decisions within their communities.”
The bill, S-961, would permit municipalities to adopt, through ordinance, a policy of posting signs on a property which is the subject of a development application, for those applications for which public notice of a hearing must be given. Under the bill, a sign must be posted no later than 10 days before the first scheduled public hearing on the application and remain posted for 45 days following the memorialization of any board action. Municipalities would be permitted to charge a fee, not to exceed $75, to cover the actual costs of printing and posting the notices required under the bill.
Municipalities are already required to notify property owners whose property lies within 200 feet of a development application as to the date and time of any public hearing on the application. According to Senator Weinberg, this legislation would serve to supplement the existing notification standards.
“Currently, whenever a project is subject to developmental approval from a municipality, property owners within 200 feet of the proposed project receive a letter via certified mail, giving them an opportunity to voice concerns at a public hearing,” said Senator Weinberg. “However, the current standards fail to recognize that development and redevelopment projects within a community can have a much larger impact beyond the 200-foot buffer zone. By giving municipal officials the opportunity to expand notification of a development application through signage, we can engage the larger community in decisions which will have a sometimes lasting and transformational impact on the community as a whole.”
The bill now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for consideration, before going to the full Senate for review.