Johnson Bill Permitting Eligible Municipalities to Issue Permits for Alcoholic Beverage Sales in Residential Redevelopment Areas Approved by Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson allowing eligible municipalities to issue permits for alcoholic beverages sales in residential redevelopment areas was approved by the full Assembly Thursday, 54-16-3.

“This bill is a win for our local residents,” said Johnson (D-Bergen) who was sworn in as Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly last month. “Our aim is to reinvigorate and transform the offerings in our town centers, making them more attractive for social, cultural, and entertainment purposes. This is a new approach to bring vitality and economic growth to residential areas, while creating a sense of community.”

The bill (A-1029) allows an eligible municipality to issue non-transferable alcoholic beverage permits, which enable the permitted establishment, which must be located within the redevelopment area, to serve alcoholic beverages to patrons. It is designed to bring a boost to residential redevelopment areas, such as downtown Hackensack.

“By working together with community partners and city officials at the local level, the legislature is able to take unique steps to foster downtown areas we can celebrate. I would like to recognize the hard work and the successful efforts of Hackensack Mayor Labrosse, Members of the City Council, and The Main Street Business Alliance,” said Johnson.

As a result of the bill, certain municipalities can issue a permit for every 100 residential dwellings, such as a house, townhouse, apartment, cooperative or condominium constructed. The municipality sets the requirements for permit applicants, and if applicants outnumber available permits, they will be issued by lottery. The annual fee for each permit is $25,000 for the first year and $15,000 for subsequent years.

To be eligible, a municipality must be a city of the second class in a county of the first class; be a designated transit village; and have a population between 40,000-49,000 residents.

The bill was released by the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee on May 17.