On January 8, the New Jersey Legislature passed bill S3499/A5250 (the bill), which amends the sewer and water connection fee law in several ways to address existing inequities regarding connection (or tapping) fees. The bill establishes certain credits for and reductions in sewer and water connection fees, including those for all affordable housing.
New Jersey sewer and water laws have frustrated developers for many years because they are outdated and charge connection fees based on math that is not very transparent. Sewer and water connection fees are typically an important line item in a developer's pro forma. Both residential and commercial developers will welcome this bill if it is signed into law.
Most notably, under the existing statute, public housing authorities and nonprofit organizations (but not for-profit developers) building affordable housing projects were entitled to a 50 percent reduction in sewer and water connection fees for connecting new units to the sewer and water system. The bill amends this section of the statute to expand to all affordable housing (including that built by for-profit developers) the 50 percent reduction in new connection fees and the credit against the connection fee for affordable units previously connected to the sewer and water system that were demolished or refurbished.
Additionally, the bill generally allows credits to be applied to connection fees for reconnection of certain disconnected properties that were previously connected to the sewer or water system for at least 20 years and have not been disconnected for more than five years. The credit is calculated based on several factors, including but not limited to whether the reconnection does not require any new physical connection, increase the nature or size of service, or expand the use of the system or whether a connection fee was previously paid for the existing use.
For properties already connected to the sewer and water system, the bill allows local or regional authorities to charge a new connection fee for an addition, alteration or change in use that "materially increases" (as defined in the bill) the level of use and imposes a greater demand on the utility system but does not involve a new physical connection of the property to the system. The connection fees for any new or additional connections are still imposed.
This bill, if signed into law, would be a first step in addressing some of the shortcomings of the existing sewer and water laws. This alert only summarizes the bill. For more information or questions as to the status of the bill, please contact Craig M. Gianetti, Nicole M. Magdziak or any member of the Day Pitney real estate team.
Luke Pontier and Nicole Magdziak co-authored an article, "A Cautionary Tale of Orphan Signature Pages," published in the Fall 2019 issue of Dimensions, a newsletter of the New Jersey Builders Association.
On January 17, Craig Gianetti and Justin Hannan will be speaking on a panel, "Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Opportunity Zones: Synergies and Conflicts," at the 2020 Economic Leadership Forum, produced by the New Jersey Bankers Association.
On December 11, Craig Gianetti will be speaking at "The Land Use Institute: Mt. Laurel and Other Hot Topics," a program presented by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE) in cooperation with the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Land Use Section and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planners Association.
On October 25, Christopher Stracco and Katharine Coffey co-presented a webinar for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE), entitled "The Legal Aspects of Electronic Billboards and Signs."
Katharine Coffey and Peter Wolfson are serving as the organizers of Redevelopment Planning Law, a two-day course presented by the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority Redevelopment Training Institute (NJRA-RTI) that will be held on October 23 and 24 at Kean University in Union, NJ.
Craig Gianetti is featured in a Market Forecast special section in the January 2020 issue of Real Estate New Jersey.
Day Pitney LLP announced today that April F. Condon has joined the firm as a partner in the Real Estate and Environmental group in its Stamford office. She joins from Robinson & Cole LLP.
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Firm Ranked Tier 1 Nationally for Energy Law and Trusts and Estates Law
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Craig Gianetti, a partner in Day Pitney's Real Estate & Land Use group, has been elected to serve as Vice Chair of the Land Use Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJBSA).