Corzine Conditionally Vetoes Senate Bill No. 2577

On Monday, May 4, 2009, Governor Corzine placed a conditional veto on Senate Bill No. 2577, which permits the conversion of age-restricted developments to non-age-restricted developments. 

Under the original bill as approved by both houses of the Legislature, developers would be entitled to convert any age-restricted housing development that has received preliminary and final land use approval to a non-age-restricted development provided that the developer (1) has not accepted any deposits or conveyed any units to buyers under the age-restricted program, and (2) agrees to set aside a percentage of units in the development not to exceed 20% to affordable housing. The bill originally provided the local land use board only the right to review parking standards, recreation and other amenities, water supply and sanitary sewer systems to ensure that those elements were adequate for the amended project.

While commending the sponsors of the bill for their efforts to stimulate the development of housing, affordable and otherwise, the Governor recommended the following changes:

  • An amendment to require 20% of the housing units be devoted to affordable housing, instead of “an amount not exceeding 20%.” 
  • An amendment to allow the approving land use board discretion in approving the conversion based on whether the conversion can be granted “without substantial detriment to the public good,” and without “substantially impair[ing] the intent and purpose of the zone plan and zoning ordinance.”
  • An amendment restricting a court’s review of the land use board’s decision to grant or deny such a conversion to “the reasonableness of the decision of the approving board.”

Governor Corzine stated that he believed these changes would go further to ensure the provision of housing for those whose needs the private market has not addressed, and provide local governmental units with the additional approval authority necessary in matters of planning and residential development. 

The bill will now be returned to the Legislature for a vote on the Governor’s recommendations.   If you have an age-restricted housing development project that you believe may be affected by this bill, Fox Rothschild recommends that you consult a land use attorney. 

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