March 2012

Thomas C. Martin, Esq.
Nowell Amoroso Klein Bierman, P.A., Chair, CAI-NJ Legislative Action Committee

We have all heard of “Lin-Sanity!”

Now we have “Legis-Sanity” as the electorate is bombarded with one proposed law after another affecting common ownership interest associations. Our efforts in this regard are geared toward seeking to reduce unfair burdens on our community association volunteer leaders and the overall membership in general.

We are making substantial progress on fostering legislation to clarify the current requirements against conflicts of interest in connection with contract awards by common ownership interest associations. Our proposal seeks to provide realistic guidance to volunteer board members on this issue and to help provide a modicum of certainty as it relates to contract awards for outside vendors. By providing a baseline, we hope to achieve a balance that informs the membership and assists the board in carrying out its functions.

We are also monitoring recently proposed laws regarding the following:

  • mandating certain additional disclosures of unit owner rights and obligations in common ownership interest associations (A-2246 (Prieto));
  • amending existing laws regulating the application and exemption of certain chemical fertilizers in common areas (S-893 (Smith)); and
  • amending laws regulating certain age-restricted community associations (S-1334 (Beck)).

There are many other proposed laws affecting common ownership interest associations pending in the Legislature in Trenton. They are too many to name here. Suffice it to say, we are monitoring many proposed laws in order to address the needs and concerns of our membership. As an overall goal, we work to try to achieve real-world guidance for our volunteer community leaders. This is not an easy task. As we are sure you all can understand, there are many diverse and competing interests in Trenton all vying for time and attention. In light of the reality of 21st century politics, we are doing everything we can to make sure the voice of our membership is heard in Trenton.

In addition, Atlantic City, New Jersey is hosting the nationally-recognized Council of State Governments – Eastern Regional Conference this July 20 – 23, 2012.

This conference is a unique opportunity especially because it is in our own “backyard,” so to speak. This annual conference includes interests from Maine to Maryland, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands and five Canadian Provinces on a diverse spectrum of issues from land use, transportation and logistics, health care, insurance, environmental issues, criminal justice and agriculture.

If you wish to consider attending or for more information, you may please feel free to visit their website at

With the relatively mild winter so far, at least we can all conserve our snow plowing budgets this year. Good luck and enjoy the remainder of the winter and looking forward to spring.

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