On June 30, Gov. Christie signed legislation extending the Permit Extension Act for an additional year in those counties most impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The Permit Extension Act, originally signed into law on September 6, 2008, in response to the 2007 recession, effectively extended certain existing property development permits and government approvals by suspending the running of the approval period. The act was further extended in 2010, 2012 and 2014. These extensions extended approvals through December 31, 2015, and in some cases, through June 30, 2016. The act expired on December 31, 2015, however, and as a result, no approvals were extended beyond June 30, 2016. Developers were therefore faced with having to seek extensions of previously granted approvals or to reapply.
The newly signed legislation grants a reprieve to "Superstorm Sandy-Impacted Counties." These are Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union counties. The running of the approval period is suspended through December 31, 2016, for government approvals in existence on December 31, 2015, concerning lands located entirely within one of these counties. The legislation therefore extends approvals in these counties for an additional year, up to June 30, 2017.