SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan to allow municipalities to authorize a parking authority as a redevelopment entity is now law.
“We know that smart redevelopment can help to revitalize areas within a town or city, but we have to make sure that municipalities have the flexibility to undertake projects in the most effective way,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “This will allow towns and cities to designate a parking authority as a redevelopment entity, allowing these agencies to use their expertise to facilitate improvement projects within the municipality.”
Highland Park Council President Phil George, who brought the initiative to the Senator, said that "in today's state and local economy, we need to look at the local end of redevelopment in relation to revenue streams. Since Parking Authorities are one of the few on-going local sources of revenue, this law would allow us to participate in revenue generation as well as overall planning, particularly in redeveloping and re-purposing our downtown areas."
The law (S2226) will allow a municipality that has created a parking authority under the “Parking Authority Law” and that has also been designated as an area within the municipality to be in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation under the “Local Redevelopment and Housing Law,” to authorize its parking authority as a redevelopment entity.
Redevelopment in any municipality is a process to rebuild or restore an area that is in a measurable state of decline, disinvestment, or abandonment. If used correctly, redevelopment can transform a distressed area into an economically viable and productive part of the community. Under state law, a municipality must implement redevelopment plans and carry out
those redevelopment projects directly through a municipal redevelopment agency, a municipal housing authority, or a county improvement authority authorized to undertake redevelopment projects. Many municipalities, especially smaller ones, lack the number of agencies that could undertake such projects. This new law will expand the ability for municipalities to use their parking authority as a vehicle for redevelopment.
The bill was approved in the Senate by a vote of 33-2. The Assembly approved it 66-8-1. The governor signed the bill on January 8, 2018.