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Local Government: Land Use, Zoning and Redevelopment

COMPLEXITIES OF A REDEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

COMMON or NOT?

Municipalities considering redevelopment plans frequently require legal assistance in a broad range of areas. HCK attorneys have represented municipalities, planning and zoning boards and joint land use boards on land use matters that include the drafting of ordinances and redevelopment plans. In addition, HCK attorneys provide legal guidance through the public hearing process, including the litigation that sometimes occurs. 

HCK New Jersey land use attorneys have represented individuals and businesses seeking approvals for subdivisions, site plans, general development plans, planned unit developments, variances and rezoning requests. Our experience in representing municipalities and land use boards gives us the insight to guide clients through the often confusing and challenging approval process.

Every municipality that considers a redevelopment plan has to review many options and opinions in reaching a consensus of what best meets each municipality’s needs. History, tradition, emotion and regulation all complicate the discussions. One area frequently fraught with pitfalls is the availability of liquor sales in a community.

To compete in the 21st Century you have determined that your municipality needs to undergo an economic redevelopment; a revitalization of the downtown is being planned.  In reaching that determination, you foresee an area in your community that offers a variety of goods and services within a walkable downtown setting, including a vibrant restaurant row. You expect that the restaurants that you envision as a critical component of your redevelopment project will want to serve alcohol. Unfortunately, there are no Plenary Retail Consumption Licenses available in your community.  What do you do?

We are all aware that under New Jersey’s statutory scheme, the number of Licenses is directly tied to population.  You find yourself in a situation not uncommon in New Jersey: embarking on a program intended to redevelop and revive your downtown community:  Great plans frustrated because of the inability to issue new Licenses.  At first blush, this absence of Licenses would appear to dampen the prospects of developing a successful restaurant row.

Municipalities confronted by this reality are not without options.  The attorneys practicing alcoholic beverage law at Helmer, Conley and Kasselman, understand the frustrations experienced by local governments as they formulate their redevelopment plans.  Our attorneys have served in municipal government and on school boards.  They understand the need to expand the municipal tax base.  They have represented local government and land use boards in the development and adoption of Master Plans and Redevelopment Plans.  More importantly, they have the expertise and experience to assist local government in achieving the dream of having a restaurant row within the walkable downtown.  Our attorneys have the experience necessary to guide municipalities in utilizing State Concessionaire Permits and License splitting as tools to advance municipal redevelopment. 

As we all know, redevelopment can be, and often is, a bumpy road to travel. Liquor licenses are but one of the areas that require resolution in a complex, or even a simple, redevelopment project. We look forward to assisting you with identifying your challenges and smoothing the way forward.   Allow us to help fill in some of the potholes you may encounter in your redevelopment journey.

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Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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