MILAM BILL TO ENSURE COASTAL RESIDENTS KEPT AWARE OF SETTLEMENTS ON ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE LAND SIGNED INTO LAW

MILAM BILL TO ENSURE COASTAL RESIDENTS KEPT AWARE OF SETTLEMENTS ON ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE LAND SIGNED INTO LAW
(1st LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Matthew W. Milam to require the state to notify coastal municipalities when it enters into settlement discussions with an owner of property containing dunes or other environmentally sensitive areas was signed into law on Monday.
The law (A-3791) stems from an Avalon dispute in which the Department of Environmental Protection reached a settlement with a landowner over a building dispute. The settlement was executed with a stipulation that DEP provide notice of the action, but the notice never happened.
“It’s simple courtesy for the state to notify a municipality – and thus its people – whenever it reaches a decision that impacts communities, especially those that rely on environmentally sensitive areas like dunes for their economic wellbeing,” Milam said. “Unfortunately, that hasn’t always happened, but this law will ensure municipalities and residents are kept informed.”
The law requires the state to offer the governing body of the coastal municipality the opportunity to participate in the settlement discussions.
“Protecting our environmentally sensitive areas is crucial to tourism and thus our local economies, so it’s vital that municipal officials be kept informed about what’s going on in land use disputes and be given the chance to offer input,” Milam said. “This law ensures our towns and residents have full knowledge of what the state is up to in situations like this.”