During May, legislative activity slowed down considerably due to budget negotiations. However, we expect activity to pick back up in the coming days and weeks. Currently, the LAC is addressing the following priority topics:
- Accessory Dwelling Unit (“ADU”) Legislation—There are various pending bills which have been introduced that are intended to make ADU housing easier to construct and develop at existing residential properties in order to address New Jersey’s significant housing shortage. The term ADU refers to the construction of an additional apartment or housing unit as an existing residential lot. The LAC has spoken with many of the key legislators involved in this process in order to have an input regarding how these pieces of legislation impact Common Interest Communities (CICs), since the construction of additional dwelling units may significantly impact the CICs in areas such as use of amenities, sufficiency of parking, and the amount of dues to be paid.
- Building Safety—The LAC’s building safety task force has drafted building safety legislation that will ensure that disastrous collapses such as what occurred at Surfside will not happen in New Jersey. The LAC is in contact with Senator Singleton, the Chair of the Senate Housing Committee, Assemblywoman Lopez, Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, and various other members of the legislature about this critical legislation. We expect a bill to be introduced by the publication of this article.
- A3618 Including Fire Hydrant Maintenance in Municipal Services Act—Assemblywoman Quijano has, after discussions with the LAC introduced a bill to include fire hydrant maintenance as part of the Municipal Services Act, which either require the municipality to undertake the maintenance or reimburse the CIC. We are in discussions with various legislators to identify a Senate sponsor and to gather support for the bill.
- Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (“UCIOA”)—The Governor’s statement vetoing the UCIOA foundation bill in 2021 that was passed by both houses questioned why only part of the model legislation was introduced. Therefore, we are seeking input from the Governor’s office regarding whether there is an actual appetite to address New Jersey’s plethora of CIC laws in a holistic way.
- Radburn Litigation—As many of you know, CAI filed a petition with the Department of Community Affairs (“DCA”) challenging various aspects of the “Radburn” Regulations which relate to, among other things, CIC elections. The DCA agreed with certain challenges and will be drafting amended regulations reflecting same. However, many of the key issues raised were rejected by the DCA, and CAI has re-filed an appeal with the Appellate Division with respect to challenged regulations that the DCA did not agree to modify.
Of course, there are many other pieces of legislation that we are monitoring, supporting, opposing, and seeking to amend. We will keep you fully informed if and when these bills come to fruition. Finally, I would ask that all of CAI-NJ’s members support our PAC, which does vital work in raising funds that are utilized in the PAC’s targeted contribution program developed by our legislative professionals, MBI Gluckshaw.
MATTHEW Z. EARLE, ESQ. KATES, NUSSMAN, ELLIS, FARHI & EARLE, LLP LEGISLATIVE ACTION COMMITTEE CHAIR