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Sarlo Shills for Banks and Builders (again)

We have an economic emergency in the housing sector – homeowners desperately need a moratorium on foreclosure; middle class people need affordable housing and access to credit; renters need relief; and the poor and homeless need basic public housing.

Senator Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen)

Senator Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen)

But, instead of protecting homeowners and people, Senator Sarlo again shills for the economic interests of the banks and builders (see also where he attacked DEP clean water rules).

He is sponsoring S3137 which would extend the expiration date of certain permits pursuant to controversial “Permit Extension Act of 2008.” Passage of that Act was strongly opposed by the environmental community and local governments.

We described the initiative as a “cruel hoax” and urged Governor Corzine to veto the bill.

The bill would exempt an unknown number of development projects from new DEP clean water rules and necessary restrictions to assure that there is an adequate supply of drinking water to support the project. By extending old approvals, the bill also would exempt new development from necessary standards and mitigation/offset requirements to meet energy efficiency and green house gas reduction goals, water conservation, and other innovative “sustainable development“, “green design” and “low impact development” approaches that are in high demand by housing consumers.

The bill would lock the development community into antiquated designs that don’t meet current market or environmental conditions. This would be like locking GM into building SUV’s just as the market is transitioning to electric cars.

Changes in local zoning and Master Plans would be over-ridden as well.

The lame duck bill is an attack on the environment and local land use planning. It is up today in the Senate Economic Growth Committee at 1 pm

STATEMENTUnder this bill, the “extension period,” as defined
in the “Permit Extension Act of 2008,” P.L.2008, c.78
(C.40:55D-136.1 et seq.), would be extended until December
31, 2012, rather than July 1, 2010 as provided in current

Thus, under this bill, government approvals, as defined
and extended by the “Permit Extension Act of 2008,”
would continue to be valid until December 31, 2012.  In
accordance with the tolling provision provided in the
“Permit Extension Act of 2008,” no approval would be
extended beyond six months after the conclusion of the
extension period, or until June 30, 2013 under this bill.

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