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13 N.J.A.R. 361

Pinelands Commission; Orleans Builders v
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Citation: 13 N.J.A.R. 361
Decision Date: 1990
Synopsis: The executive director of the Pinelands Commission recommend- ed granting Orleans, a builder and developer, a waiver of strict com- pliance from the requirements of the Comprehensive Management Plan in order to construct a residential development in the Pinelands. The waiver was granted pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:50-4.66(a)1ii, which has since been repealed. After the waiver was granted, Orleans ap- pealed limitations contained in the waiver. In addition, several en- vironmental groups asked the Commission to reconsider the waiver as it related to wetland areas. The matter was transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law for a heating. The administrative law judge assigned to the case affirmed the waiver. The judge concluded that petitioners failed to establish that the waiver would result in substantial impairment of resources in the Pinelands. The areas to be developed were in wetlands that had already been disturbed and were also isolated from other viable wetlands. The waiver approval precluded development on wetlands which were part of a larger undisturbed wetlands complex. The administrative law judge also recommended an extension of the time when the waiver would expire. Because of the amount of time that elapsed during the challenge to the waiver, the waiver would expire before Orleans could obtain the necessary approvals to com- plete its developmn.t.N.J.A.C. 7:50-4.6(c)2 provides that waivers that were granted under' 4.66(a)lii expire on January 14, 1991 unless all approvals are obtained by that date. The judge recommended that this requirement be relaxed for Orleans because of the special circum- stances of the case. Orleans had been unable to act on the waiver while the waiver was being contested. In addition, Orleans was not respon- sible for the delay, but had acted expeditiously throughout the waiver proceedings. The judge concluded that it would be unfair to affirm the waiver but not give Orleans the extension of time needed to obtain the necessary approvals. Upon review, the Pinelands Commission affirmed this initial decision but modified it by setting a date certain for expiration of the waiver extension. Michael J. Gross, Esq., for Orleans Builders and Developers (Girodano, Haileran & Ciesla, attorneys) Scott Rekant, Deputy Attorney General, for New Jersey Pinelands Commission (Robert J. Del Tufo, Attorney General of New Jersey, attorney) James T.B. Tripp, Esq., for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Pine Barrens Coalition Inc., appearing pro hac vice pursuant to N.J.,4. C. 1:1-5.2. Attorney of Record: Ronald J. Sama, Esq. (Cerrato, O'Connor, Dawes, Collins, Saker & Brown, attorneys) Robert Rogers, Esq., for Evesham Township Planning Board (Rogers & Smith, attorneys)
Rule(s) Cited: 7:50-4.66(a) 1ii 7:50-4.66(c)2 7:50-6.6 7:50-6.14