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Assembly Panel Approves Green Bill to Extend Building Permits for Counties Hit Hardest by Superstorm Sandy

An Assembly panel on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Jerry Green to extend building permits for the nine counties impacted the most by Superstorm Sandy in order to continue aiding rebuilding efforts.

“This bill will extend permits which have been granted by state, regional, county, and municipal agencies for an additional year in our counties that were hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy- in order to prevent a waste of public and private resources,” said Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “When permits expire, builders and developers are forced to jump through bureaucratic hoops to re-up them, which impacts financing on the projects, creates headaches and ultimately delays rebuilding. That’s the last thing we want for the counties that were devastated by Sandy.”

Specifically, the bill (A-3617) would further extend the “Permit Extension Act of 2008” one additional year in the nine most Superstorm Sandy-impacted counties, as identified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which are Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties.

The Permit Extension Act of 2008 originally suspended the running of certain government approvals until July 1, 2010. Subsequent laws extended the extension period to December 31, 2012, December 31, 2014 and December 31, 2015.

As permit approvals lapse, lenders must re-appraise and thereafter substantially lower real estate valuations established in conjunction with approved projects, thereby requiring the reclassification of numerous loans. This in turn affects the stability of the banking system and reduces the funds available for future lending, thus creating more severe restrictions on credit and leading to a vicious cycle of default.

The bill was approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.