On Monday, December 7, 2009, the founding partners of Long, Marmero, & Associates, LLP, Douglas Long and Albert Marmero, conducted a seminar regarding newly enacted New Jersey Senate Bill S1303. Among attendees were Long, Marmero clients including Provident Development, Millenium Land Development, Solular Energy, and other individual property owners with an interest in pursuing solar energy.
On November 20, 2009, Governor Jon Corzine signed New Jersey Senate Bill S1303, which now goes into effect immediately and acts as an amendment to New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law, also known as the “MLUL.” This amendment finally defines the term “inherently beneficial,” which had previously been only a common law term that was derived from years of New Jersey case law. In New Jersey, in order to receive a use variance, an applicant must make statutory proofs which are known as the positive criteria and the negative criteria. Pursuant to New Jersey case law, uses that were classified as “inherently beneficial” were deemed to automatically fit the positive criteria, meaning an applicant would only have to prove the negative criteria. Essentially, a use classified as “inherently beneficial” only faced half the battle as other uses, making it much easier for an applicant to receive a use variance.
Now, for the first time, the concept of “inherently beneficial” uses is now codified as law, through Senate Bill S1303. According to managing partner Douglas Long, “of particular importance to our clients is that “inherently beneficial” is now defined to include solar energy, as the definition specifically includes “a wind, solar or photovoltaic energy facility or structure.” In other words, it is now much easier for an applicant to receive a use variance for the use of solar energy. Unless the municipality can show that the solar use is somehow detrimental to the surrounding area, the applicant will be entitled to a use variance.”
If you, your company or your municipality are considering a green energy project this will certainly help streamline the process. Call the attorneys at Long, Marmero to discuss your project and how to move the project through the pipeline.