(N.J.S.A. 40:55D-90), the section of the Municipal Land Use Law (“MLUL”) on moratoriums and interim zoning, is divided into subsections (a) and (b). The expiration of subsection (b) of the statute in 1979 created confusion among land use practitioners and municipal attorneys with respect to interpretations of the law regarding zoning moratoriums. Some believed that all zoning moratoriums were prohibited. Others believed that all reasonable zoning moratoriums were permuted subject to limitations imposed by case law. For this reason, Superior Court Judge Eugene D. Serpentelli called for the state Legislature to clarify the law in N.J. Shore Builders Assoc v. Dover Township Committee, 191 N.J. Super, 631 (Law Div. 1983) (“Dover Township”).
The state Legislature answered this call for clarification in 1986 by amending subsection (b) of (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-90). While new issues have arisen under this amendment, one thing is now clear: all zoning moratoriums are now prohibited except under very limited circumstances. This article will explore the law regarding zoning moratoriums both before and after the recent amendment.
For the full article click here: Moratorium_Ordinances_NJL_Summer_1998