New Jersey Supreme Court Strikes Down Local Ordinances Requiring Developers to Provide Open Space

September 8, 2009
by JOHN GULLACE
Client Alert Newsletter September 2009

In New Jersey Shore Builders Assoc. v. Twp. of Jackson, decided June 25, 2009, the New Jersey Supreme Court, in two consolidated appeals, struck portions of two local ordinances that required developers to set aside open space or make payments in lieu thereof, as a condition of municipal approval for development projects. The Court concluded that the Municipal Land Use Law ("MLUL") must be strictly construed and that "municipalities must exercise their powers relating to zoning and land use in a manner that will strictly conform with that statute's provisions." Since the MLUL does not provide for open space set asides, they cannot be imposed. An effort to overturn the Supreme Court's decision through amendment of the MLUL is anticipated.