Land preservation bill becomes law

Trenton. Governor signs bill sponsored by State Sen. Steve Oroho, Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths.

04 Aug 2019 | 10:04

    Municipalities can preserve land they acquire through tax foreclosures under a new law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy.

    Sen. Steve Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths sponsored the legislation exempting towns from community fees on land acquired for open space.

    “Municipalities that own foreclosed land, like Sandyston Township in our district, can protect open space and save money for property taxpayers under this new law,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “We always look to work cooperatively with our towns when help is needed, and were pleased to do so again in getting this latest bill enacted into law.”

    The bill eliminates deed covenants that have blocked the state Department of Environmental Protection’s purchase of three parcels from Sandyston for the last four years.

    “This encourages land preservation where it makes sense, and brings in new revenue to municipalities,” said Wirths (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “Towns can use the proceeds to hold the line on property taxes. It’s a win-win.”

    “This measure promotes open space while protecting the rights of landowners,” said Space (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “Property taxpayers are on the hook for these properties once the town takes over. Unnecessary restrictions interfere with efforts by municipalities to sell unwanted parcels.”