The New Jersey Legislature has held its final voting session until the fall, deciding on a wide variety of bills. Below is the second part of a listing of bills of municipal interest, specifically those that have been opposed by the League and are on Governor Murphy’s desk for his consideration.
A-1653 encourages municipalities to identify appropriate locations for the development of publicly available infrastructure for fueling or charging zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) when adopting redevelopment plans and to build publicly available ZEV fueling and charging stations by allowing municipalities to fund them through revenue streams that are currently available to fund infrastructure related to redevelopment projects. While the League is supportive of this concept and commends the sponsors, it must oppose the legislation as municipalities already have the ability to enact this and it does not need to be codified by the state. (FM)
S-1322 prohibits law enforcement agencies from considering number of arrests made and citations issued when evaluating police officers’ professional performance. Specifically, the bill would prohibit local employers from any consideration of the number of arrests made and citations issued when evaluating a police officer’s performance of duties. Current law appropriately prevents the volume of arrests and citations from being the sole consideration in police employee performance evaluations. The League opposes this bill, which represents an excessive and inappropriate intrusion by the State into purely local personnel management matters. (PAP)
S-3223 provides that electric vehicle charging infrastructure is inherently beneficial, may require minor site plan approval, and is permitted accessory use and structure. While increasing access to vehicle charging infrastructure is laudable and a crucial step necessary in promoting the electrification of the transportation sector, the League must oppose the bill since we remain mindful of the purpose of municipal land use and zoning. A careful balance must be struck between sometimes competing interests of expediting deployment of vehicle charging infrastructure and maintaining land use controls for the health and safety of those who live, work, and travel within our state. (FM)
A-3352 requires all newly constructed warehouses to include a solar-ready zone. The bill defines solar-ready zone as a section of a roof or building overhang designated and reserved for the future installation of a solar photovoltaic or solar thermal system, which is at less 40% of the roof area. That is calculated as the horizontally projected areas minus the area covered by skylights, occupied roof decks, vegetative roof areas, and mandatory access or set back areas required by the State Uniform Construction Code, or as otherwise provided in the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code, Appendix CA, and any successor model code, concerning solar-ready zones. The League opposes the bill as an incentive approach is a better approach than mandating limits. (FM)
S-3926 authorizes certain offshore wind projects to construct power lines and obtain real property interests; grants BPU authority to supersede certain local governmental powers upon petition from offshore wind project. Local government review and approval is the foundation of New Jersey’s land use regulation. Preempting or superseding municipal review and approval of projects related to land use prevents consideration of specific local conditions, critical to ensure the health safety and welfare of our communities. Further, by eliminating local approval requirements, the opportunity for community members to participate and have their concerns considered is severely limited. While a streamlined process for local review may be appropriate the complete elimination of local approval is unwarranted. Without a proper balance the League must oppose this legislation. (FM)
A-1536 adds sign fabrication to the definition of “custom fabrication.” As a result, prevailing wage requirements are expanded to include one or more signs in a project which the cost a total of more than $30,000 and are part of a project upon completion. The League opposes the expansion of the Prevailing Wage Act. (LB)
A-4850 establishes an alternate inspection process, under the State Uniform Construction Code Act (UCC), for property owners willing to pay a premium fee to expedite inspections. The bill would also authorize a property owner to retain a private agency to perform construction code inspections if the local code enforcing agency is unable to complete an inspection within three business days of the time the owner requests the inspection to be performed. The League opposes the bill as while it ostensibly provides for a mechanism for expedited inspections, the more likely unintended consequence of this bill is a complete shift in inspections from being performed by municipal officials to third-party entities. This would be a tectonic shift in the nature and function of construction inspections and is something that needs far more consideration and discussion with a host of impacted stakeholders. Further, language within A-4850 would make the municipal building department a transaction agent for third-party inspection entities, with enforcing agencies acting as a middleman for the collection of fees from applicants only to be turned over to the third-party inspection entities. (FM)
Lori Buckelew, Assistant Executive Director, email@example.com, 609-695-3481, x112.
Paul Penna, Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-695-3481, x110.
Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, FMarshall@njlm.org
or 609-695-3481 x 137.
Andrew LaFevre, Legislative Analyst, email@example.com
, 609-695-3481, x126.