On Monday, January 18, 2010, as one of his last acts before leaving office, former Governor Corzine signed an Amendment to the Permit Extension Act (A4347) (the “PEA Amendment”) further extending the validity of most land use and construction approvals and permits (hereinafter “Approvals”), which would otherwise expire, until at least December 31, 2012. Due to the recession, the Permit Extension Act of 2008, N.J.S 40:55D-136.1, et seq., (the “PEA”) was initially adopted in 2008 to provide for a tolling of expiration for specified Approvals through at least July 1, 2010 (together with additional extensions thereafter that might apply). In order for the validity of an Approval to be extended under the PEA, it must have been valid or issued on or after January 1, 2007.
The time period for validity of Approvals is now further extended by the PEA Amendment until at least December 31, 2012 before the time begins to run on the validity of an Approval. Subsequent to December 31, 2012, permits and approvals have a phased expiration whereby any unexpired portion of the term of the Approval further extends the Approval, limited to up to six (6) months from December 31, 2012, i.e., no later than June 30, 2013. In addition to the foregoing, a developer may exercise any unexercised extension applicable to such Approval. For example, if a developer were issued a permit on November 30, 2010 that was valid for two (2) years with the right to an additional one (1) year extension, the PEA Amendment would stop the clock on the expiration of this permit that would otherwise expire on November 30, 2012 and extend the expiration of the permit from November 30, 2012 to June 30, 2013. Should the developer be timely granted the one (1) year extension applicable under this scenario, the June 30, 2013 expiration would thereby be extended until June 30, 2014.
The Amendment is applicable to most municipal, county, regional and state development permits and approvals, but sets forth specific exceptions and limitations. Property owners and developers with permits and approvals that are effective on or after January 1, 2007 should seek legal advice to determine the effect the PEA and the PEA Amendment may have on their development rights.