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Permit Extension Act of 2008, as Amended through 2012

  • Overview
  • Eligible Approvals
  • FAQ

On September 6, 2008 the Permit Extension Act (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-136.1 et seq.) was signed into law. The purpose of the Permit Extension Act was to revive and extend State, county, and local government approvals in an effort to provide the regulated community, developers, property owners, and the real estate sector with relief in recognition of the ongoing economic downturn. On January 18, 2010 and more recently on September 21, 2012 the Permit Extension Act was amended. The 2012 amendments further extended some approvals through to December 31, 2014 and in other cases up to June 30, 2015.

Approvals issued by the Department’s Division of Land Use Regulation may be eligible for extension under the Act. An "approval" for the purpose of this website may be a permit, waiver, or other decision issued by the Division of Land Use Regulation. If your regulated activity is located in an Environmentally Sensitive Area according to the State Plan, your approval is not eligible for an extension under the Permit Extension Act. Please be advised however, that your approval may eligible for a standard extension pursuant to the applicable statute’s rules. Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) tab for more information.

Please be advised that this advisory guidance is non-binding. Site location, project specifics, permit types, and regulations can impact Permit Extension Act applicability and the required course of action upon conclusion of the Permit Extension Act. As such, any interested party or permit holder should not in any way rely to any extent on the advisory guidance provided herein. This advisory guidance should not be construed as legal advice.

If your regulated activity is located in an Environmentally Sensitive Area according to the State Plan, your approval is not eligible for an extension under the Permit Extension Act. Please be advised however, that your approval may be eligible for a standard extension pursuant to the applicable statute’s rules.

 

Ineligible Division of Land Use Regulation Approvals

  1. Approvals which expired before January 1, 2007
  2. Approvals for regulated activities in Environmentally Sensitive Areas:
    • Planning Area 4B- Rural Environmentally Sensitive
    • Planning Area 5- Environmentally Sensitive
  3. Freshwater Wetlands approvals issued pursuant to N.J.S.A. 13:9 B-1 et seq. and the Federal Clean Water Act 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.
  4. Freshwater Wetlands Individual Permits and Freshwater Wetlands General Permits affecting wetlands that are Waters of the United States

Potentially Eligible Division of Land Use Regulation Approvals

  1. Waterfront Development Permits issued pursuant to the Waterfront Development Law N.J.S.A. 12:5-3 et seq.;
  2. Coastal Wetland Permits issued pursuant to the Wetlands Act of 1970 N.J.S.A. 13:9A-1 et seq.;
  3. Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA) Permits issued pursuant to the Coastal Area Facility Review Act N.J.S.A. 13:19-1 et seq.;
  4. Freshwater Wetlands approvals issued pursuant to the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act N.J.S.A. 13:9 B-1 et seq.:
    • Letters of Interpretation
    • Transition Area Waivers
    • Freshwater Wetlands General Permit 6 affecting wetlands that are not Waters of the United States
    • Freshwater Wetlands General Permits affecting transition areas only
    • Exemption Letters
  1. Flood Hazard Area Control Act Permits issued pursuant to the Flood Hazard Area Control Act N.J.S.A. 58:16A-50 et seq. provided site improvements have commenced prior to the expiration of the permit.
    • Site Improvements, as defined by Municipal Land Use Law, include streets, grading, pavement, gutters, curbs, sidewalks, street lighting, shade trees, surveyor's monuments, water mains, culverts, storm sewers, sanitary sewers or other means of sewage disposal, drainage structures, erosion control and sedimentation control devices, public improvements of open space and, in the case of site plans only, other on-site improvements and landscaping.

Extension Periods for Eligible Approvals

  1. If your approval expired between January 1, 2007 and July 1, 2007 it may be eligible for an extension through “tolling.”  Tolling starts after December 31, 2014 and will end on June 30, 2015. 

For example:

  • A permit which expired on January 5, 2007 will now expire on January 5, 2015 as a result of tolling.
  • A permit which expired on May 31, 2007 will now expire on May 31, 2015 as a result of tolling.
  1. Approvals with an expiration date between July 1, 2007 to present day may be extended until June 30, 2015.

For example:

  • A permit which expired on July 1, 2007 will now expire on June 30, 2015.
  • A permit which expired on July 1, 2010 will now expire on June 30, 2015.
  • A permit which expired on July 1, 2013 will now expire on June 30, 2015.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please be advised that this advisory guidance is non-binding.   Site location, project specifics, permit types, and regulations can impact Permit Extension Act applicability and the required course of action upon conclusion of the Permit Extension Act.  As such, any interested party or permit holder should not in any way rely to any extent on the advisory guidance provided herein.  This advisory guidance should not be construed as legal advice.

1) Which Land Use permits, if applicable, can be extended under the Permit Extension Act?

2) How are Waterfront Development Permits affected by the Permit Extension Act?

3) How are CAFRA Permits affected by the Permit Extension Act?

4) Can Waterfront Development Permits and CAFRA Permits be extended beyond the expiration date of the Permit Extension Act? 

5) How are Flood Hazard Area Permits (formerly known as Stream Encroachment Permits) affected by the Permit Extension Act? Can Flood Hazard Area Permits be extended beyond the expiration date of the Permit Extension Act?

6) Can Flood Hazard Area Verifications and Flood Hazard Area Applicability Determinations be extended under the Permit Extension Act?

7) How are Freshwater Wetlands Permits affected by the Permit Extension Act?

8) Can a Freshwater Wetlands Permit be extended beyond the expiration date of the Permit Extension Act? 

9) When multiple Land Use permits are issued under one blanket permit, how is Permit Extension Act applicability determined?    

10) For sites located partially in an Environmentally Sensitive Area, can permit(s) and/or approval(s) be extended under the Permit Extension Act?

11) For sites located in Planning Area 5B also known as “Environmentally Sensitive Barrier Island,” can permit(s) and/or approval(s) be extended under the Permit Extension Act?

12) Are Mainland Coastal Centers extended under the Permit Extension Act?


1) Which Land Use permits, if applicable, can be extended under the Permit Extension Act?

Waterfront Development Permits issued pursuant to the Waterfront Development Law N.J.S.A 12:5-3, Coastal Wetlands Permits issued pursuant to the Wetlands Act of 1970 N.J.S.A. 13:9A-1 et seq., Coastal Area facility Review Act (CAFRA) Permits issued pursuant to the Coastal Area Facility Review Act N.J.S.A. 13:19-1 et seq., Flood Hazard Area Control Act Permits, previously known as Stream Encroachment Permits, issued pursuant to the Flood Hazard Area Control Act N.J.S.A. 58:16A-50 et seq., and specific Freshwater Wetlands Permits and documents issued pursuant to the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act N.J.S.A. 13:9B-1 et seq.

2) How are Waterfront Development Permits affected by the Permit Extension Act?
 
Waterfront Development Permits issued for structures below the Mean High Water Line are automatically extended under the Permit Extension Act because the State Planning Area designation does not extend below the Mean High Water Line. 

Waterfront Development Permits issued for structures above the Mean High Water Line shall be extended provided the site is not located in an Environmentally Sensitive Area or a Pinelands Management Area (excluding Pinelands Regional Growth Areas, Villages, or Towns). 

3) How are CAFRA Permits affected by the Permit Extension Act?
 
CAFRA Permits shall be extended provided the site is not located in an Environmentally Sensitive Area or a Pinelands Management Area (excluding Pinelands Regional Growth Areas, Villages, or Towns). 

4) Can Waterfront Development Permits and CAFRA Permits be extended beyond the expiration date of the Permit Extension Act? 

Yes, permits for projects in which construction has commenced prior to the expiration date of the extended permit can be extended beyond the expiration of the Permit Extension Act, with the exception of permits issued for activities located below the Mean High Water Line. 

Pursuant to the Coastal Permit Program rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7-1.5, Waterfront Development Permits and CAFRA Permits shall be valid authority to commence construction of a development for a period of five years from its issuance date.  Where construction has commenced within this five year period, the permit (with the exception of permits issued for activities located below the Mean High Water Line) shall be valid upon written authorization of the Department provided construction continues until the project is complete.  Please be advised that if construction continues beyond the five year period, and then, prior to project completion, construction stops for a cumulative period of one year or more, the permit shall expire.  However, projects of unusual size or scope or projects which are delayed due to circumstances beyond the permittee's control (such as a delay in the financing of a public works project) may be extended for a total of 10 years from the original effective date.  In these situations, the applicant shall submit an extension request to the Department prior to the expiration of the original permit.  All requests for authorization to continue construction beyond the expiration of a permit shall be submitted to the Department no later than 20 business days prior to the expiration date of the permit.

Permits issued for activities located below the Mean High Water Line shall be effective for a term not to exceed five years.  Therefore, projects which are not complete by the expiration date of the extended permit will require application and receipt of a new permit.  All regulated activities shall cease upon permit expiration and cannot resume until a new permit is obtained.   Applications submitted after the expiration of an extended permit will be reviewed under the standards in place at the time the application is deemed complete for final review. 

5) How are Flood Hazard Area Permits (formerly known as Stream Encroachment Permits) affected by the Permit Extension Act? Can Flood Hazard Area Permits be extended beyond the expiration date of the Permit Extension Act? 

Flood Hazard Area Control Act Permits shall be extended if and only if work, i.e. “site improvements” as defined by Municipal Land Use Law, have commenced prior to the expiration date of the permit.  If site improvements have commenced, the permit may be extended provided the site is not located in an Environmentally Sensitive Area, Highlands Preservation Area, some Highlands Planning Areas, or a Pinelands Management Area (excluding Pinelands Regional Growth Areas, Villages, or Towns).

With the exception of public projects which meet the Flood Hazard requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:13-9.4(b), the regulations do not allow for extension beyond the expiration date of the Permit Extension Act.  Therefore, projects which are not complete by the expiration date of the extended permit will require application and receipt of a new permit.  All regulated activities shall cease upon permit expiration and cannot resume until a new permit is obtained.   Applications submitted after the expiration of an extended permit will be reviewed under the standards in place at the time the application is deemed complete for review. 

6) Can Flood Hazard Area Verifications and Flood Hazard Area Applicability Determinations be extended under the Permit Extension Act?

Flood Hazard Area Verifications and Applicability Determinations can be extended provided the site is not located in an Environmentally Sensitive Area, Highlands Preservation Area, some Highlands Planning Areas, or a Pinelands Management Area (excluding Pinelands Regional Growth Areas, Villages, or Towns). 

7) How are Freshwater Wetlands Permits affected by the Permit Extension Act?
                                                                                                                                         
The Permit Extension Act does not extend those permits or approvals for which the duration of effect is specified or determined pursuant to federal government law or regulation.   Although the State has assumed the Federal 404 Clean Water Act Program, the Federal Government has retained the rights to all Waters of the US through a Memorandum of Agreement.  Therefore, all Freshwater Wetland Permits that impact Waters of the US are not extended under the Permit Extension Act. 

Freshwater Wetlands authorizations that can be extended under the Permit Extension Act include Freshwater Wetlands Letters of Interpretation, Freshwater Wetlands Transition Area Waiver Permits and Freshwater Wetland Statewide General Permit 6 if the affected wetlands are not Waters of the US.  All Freshwater Wetlands Statewide General Permits issued for activities in transition areas only are extended under the Permit Extension Act provided the site is not located in an Environmentally Sensitive Area, Highlands Preservation Area, some Highlands Planning Areas, or a Pinelands Management Area (excluding Pinelands Regional Growth Areas, Villages, or Towns). 

8) Can a Freshwater Wetlands Permit be extended beyond the expiration date of the Permit Extension Act? 

Freshwater Wetland Permits can be extended for an additional five years from the original expiration date of the permit or the Permit Extension Act extended date, provided requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-14.6 of the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules are met.  N.J.A.C. 7:7A-14.6 specifically requires the permittee to apply for the extension 90 days prior to the expiration date of an Individual Transition Area Waiver, and at least 30 days prior to the expiration date of a General Permit authorization.  The rule also requires the permittee to demonstrate that there has been no significant change in the project and activities that were approved in the original permit, the rules governing the site and the conditions on the site, including the wetlands boundary and resource classification between the date the permit was issued and the date the application for extension is submitte

9) When multiple Land Use permits are issued under one blanket permit, how is Permit Extension Act applicability determined?    

For multiple permits issued under one blanket permit, the extension criteria will be applied separately to each individual permit type.  If multiple permits were issued for one activity, the Permit Extension Act only extends the permits that meet the criteria; others will expire on the original date.  For example, if a CAFRA Permit is issued along with a Freshwater Wetlands Individual Permit and both permits were to expire on October 26, 2012, only the CAFRA Permit may be extended under the Act.  The Freshwater Wetlands Individual Permit will expire on October 26, 2012.  Similarly, if a Flood Hazard Area Individual Permit is issued for the reconstruction of an outfall structure which also included a Freshwater Wetlands General Permit 11, if site improvements had taken place or if construction had begun, the Flood Hazard Area Individual Permit may be extended.  However, the Freshwater Wetlands General Permit 11 will expire on the original date.  As a result, no work will be permitted under the Flood Hazard Area Individual Permit until a new Freshwater Wetlands General Permit 11 is obtained.

10) For sites located partially in an Environmentally Sensitive Area, can permit(s) and/or approval(s) be extended under the Permit Extension Act?

Yes, provided the regulated activity is not located in the Environmentally Sensitive Areas.  It is recommended that the Division be contacted for specific guidance during these situations.   

11) For sites located in Planning Area 5B also known as “Environmentally Sensitive Barrier Island,” can permit(s) and/or approval(s) be extended under the Permit Extension Act?

Yes, the permit(s) and/or approval(s) can be extended because the Environmentally Sensitive Barrier Island planning area is not considered an Environmentally Sensitive Area.

12) Are Mainland Coastal Centers extended under the Permit Extension Act?

In accordance with the Permit Extension Act, the extension of the Coastal Centers is contingent upon a municipality seeking plan endorsement by March 15, 2007 and compliance with the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7E.  Pursuant to the CZM rules, Mainland Coastal Centers were scheduled to expire on March 15, 2007.  Therefore, in these situations, the new expiration date is March 15, 2015 as a result of tolling.

More Information

For general Permit Extension Act questions please contact the Department’s Office of Permit Coordination and Environmental Review online through the Contact Form located at http://www.nj.gov/dep/permitextension/contact.html or by calling (609) 292-3600. 

For Permit Extension Act questions related to Division of Land Use Regulation permits, please contact the Division’s Technical Support Center online through the Contact Form located at http://www.nj.gov/dep/landuse/contact.html or by calling (609) 777-0454. 

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