Governor Chris Christie signed into law this week A-3615, which makes several important changes to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law (the “Redevelopment Law”). These changes will impact developers, municipalities and property owners. The legislation gives municipalities the option to specify when designating an area in need of redevelopment that they will not exercise their power of eminent domain to acquire property in the Redevelopment Area. All other provisions of the Redevelopment Law for designated areas in need of redevelopment, including the ability to grant 30 year tax abatements, would apply to both types of redevelopment areas.
The amended Redevelopment Law requires the governing body’s resolution authorizing the Planning Board to investigate whether an area qualifies as an area in need of redevelopment to state whether the redevelopment area designation will authorize the municipality to use eminent domain. Under the legislation, areas in need of redevelopment in which the municipality is authorized to use eminent domain are called “Condemnation Redevelopment Areas.” Areas in need of redevelopment in which the municipality may not use eminent domain are called “Non-Condemnation Redevelopment Areas.” When the planning board issues a notice of a public hearing regarding the redevelopment area designation, it must specify whether a redevelopment area determination will authorize the municipality to exercise eminent domain.