Thursday, July 14, 2005

Slow Down!

Acting Gov. Codey extended the order to delay the fast-track legislation for developers. This is a law, passed last summer in three days with almost no debate, which grants permits to developers if state agencies don't answer within 45 days. The implementaion of the law is delayed only until portions which conflict with federal law are reconciled.

This law is a sprawl nightmare, and should be repealed. I understand the delay in processing is a deterrent to some development and often over-long, but the impact of any development in Our Fair State should be studied thoroughly before it is rushed through. Forgive me, but it bears repeating: throwing another Wall-Mart and some McMansions up on every cornfield hasn't helped Our Fair State so far (see the state of property taxes and the $4bil deficit for examples), what makes anyone think it will in the future? Shouldn't we spend some time looking before we leap?

There are bills to repeal the fast-tracklaw, S2157 and A3650, which are both sitting in committe for more than six months. Now we're in summer and nothing will happen. But a delay in the implementation of this law is a step in the right direction.


DBK said...

I agree. Development is epidemic in this state and has led to some things, like an eminent domain issue in my own township, which I find objectionable.

It isn't like developers are just going broke so fast they are fleeing the state.

Andrew said...

In the article, Doug Fenichel from K. Hovnanian is complaining about a four-month aproval process, which certainly sounds bad on the surface. Everybody who has done any kind of home improvement knows it can be frustrating to get the permits taken care of.

But Fenichel isn't talking about your basic permit for kitchen remodeling. Anyone who's seen a Kovnanian development knows what kind of scale we're talking about - they're huge. It takes all kinds of analysis to figure out the potential impact of development on that scale.

You only have one chance to do the analysis right. Once the houses are built, that's it. And if they did a rush job and denied a permit request, the DEP would be crucified.