The Advantages of the Local Housing and Redevelopment Law

The Advantages of the Local Housing and Redevelopment Law

Redevelopment is a powerful tool provided by the legislature of the State of New Jersey to repurpose underutilized or blighted properties. It offers a structured process that can lead to securing favorable zoning requirements and potential tax exemptions, both short and long-term. However, navigating this process requires a thorough understanding of the legal framework and cooperation with municipal authorities.

The Basics of Redevelopment

Redevelopment aims to transform properties that are not contributing optimally to the community. These properties might be:

  • Blighted: Physically deteriorated or unsafe.
  • Underutilized: Not being used to their full potential or have a substantial vacancy for a lengthy period of time.

By redeveloping these properties, municipalities can improve community aesthetics, increase property values, and boost economic activity and consequently, increase municipal revenue.

The Role of the Municipality

The redevelopment process is municipality-centric. All the necessary steps to investigate whether the property should be redeveloped , declare it as an area of redevelopment, and plan for redevelopment must be performed by the municipality. Here is an outline of the typical process:

  1. Investigation: The municipality investigates areas to determine if they qualify as in need of redevelopment.
  2. Declaration: If an area qualifies, the municipality formally declares it as an area in need of redevelopment.
  3. Plan Adoption: The municipality develops and adopts a redevelopment plan, outlining the vision and guidelines for the area’s transformation.

A private party interested in redeveloping a property must secure the support and cooperation of the municipality, as they are the sole entity that can initiate and execute these steps. While municipalities can start this process without the input of property owners, the inverse is not possible.

Benefits of Redevelopment

For municipalities, redevelopment is a strategic tool to:

  • Improve Public Welfare: Enhance community aesthetics, health, safety and morals by transforming blighted areas.
  • Increase Tax Revenue: Repurpose underutilized properties to boost economic activity and tax ratables.
  • Attract Investment: Offer incentives to private developers, making investment in the area more appealing.

For private developers, engaging in a redevelopment project can offer significant advantages:

  • Favorable Zoning Requirements: Obtain zoning changes that might be difficult through regular channels.
  • Tax Abatements: Secure short or long-term tax exemptions, reducing the financial burden during the development phase.

How to Navigate the Redevelopment Process

While the concept of redevelopment is straightforward, the execution is complex. Here are key steps for private parties to successfully navigate the process:

Secure Municipal Support

  • Engage Early: Approach the proper municipal officials early in your planning process to discuss your vision and seek their support.
  • Align Interests: Ensure your redevelopment goals align with the municipality’s broader development plans and community needs.

Develop a Strong Proposal

  • Community Benefits: Highlight how your project will benefit the community, such as creating jobs, improving infrastructure, or enhancing public spaces.
  • Financial Viability: Present a solid financial plan demonstrating the economic feasibility of your project.

Collaborate with Stakeholders

  • Public Participation: Involve community members and stakeholders in the planning process to build support and address concerns.
  • Transparency: Maintain open communication with all parties involved to ensure a smooth and cooperative process.


Redevelopment is a valuable legislative tool that can transform underutilized or blighted properties, benefiting both municipalities and private developers. While the process is complex and requires municipal cooperation, the potential rewards make it a worthwhile endeavor. By securing municipal support, understanding legal requirements, and presenting a compelling proposal, developers can successfully navigate the redevelopment process and contribute to the revitalization of their communities. To talk to a professional about your redevelopment needs, contact Semeraro & Fahrney, LLC, today!

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