- updated under Z-89 on March 2, 2011 city council meeting
- Created: 2012-01-18
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Hoboken 2-21-2007 by Ord. No. DR-298.; amended in its entirety 3-2-2011 by Ord. No. Z-89. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Professional services contracts — See Ch. 20A.
Land use applicant contribution disclosure statements — See Ch. 20B.
Political contribution limits — See Ch. 20D.
Ethics — See Ch. 29.
Editor's Note: This ordinance was submitted by the General Public through petitions which were certified by the City Clerk on January 18, 2007.
§ 20C-2 Prohibition of entering into or amending redevelopment agreements with certain contributors.
It has become more frequent for developers, sometimes at the request of candidates for local elected office or political party officials, to make substantial political contributions to the election campaigns for local government offices, and to the political parties which support them.
The local government officials are, once elected, responsible for deciding the terms of a redevelopment agreement.
Political contributions from developers entering into agreements for redevelopment projects approved by the elected officials who receive such contributions raise reasonable concerns on the part of taxpayers and residents as to their trust in the process of local redevelopment, including but not limited to redevelopment decisions on tax abatements, zoning densities, publicly funded infrastructure improvements, and acquisition of property rights pursuant to eminent domain.
The Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq., provides a mechanism to empower and assist local governments in efforts to promote programs for redevelopment.
N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-8 allows municipalities or a designated redevelopment entity to enter into agreements with redevelopers for planning, replanning, construction or undertaking of any project or redevelopment work without public bidding and at such prices and upon such terms as it deems reasonable within areas designated for redevelopment.
N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-11 provides that redevelopment entities are instrumentalities of the municipality.
Both the exceptions to the Open Public Meetings Act, more specifically N.J.S.A. 10:4-12b and N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-8, provide that negotiations for such agreements can be conducted in executive session, provided the full terms of any such agreements are discussed and approved in open session.
The City of Hoboken has previously or may declare certain areas of Hoboken to be Areas in need of redevelopment under the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, and has or may adopt a Redevelopment Plan.
Given the potential of negotiating with private parties or redevelopers and the entering into agreements with such redevelopers without a formal public bidding process, as permitted by the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, it is necessary to establish certain limitations on political contributions which may undermine public confidence in any redevelopment effort.
The restriction against local political contributions contained herein does not impair in any way the remaining opportunities for such redevelopers to speak, write and publish their sentiments about local elections and candidates or to volunteer or associate with campaigns of their own choosing.
The Policy of the City of Hoboken will be to create such a regulation which states that any entity or individual seeking to enter into a redevelopment agreement or amendment thereto, or is otherwise seeking to obtain rights to develop pursuant to a redevelopment agreement who makes political contributions to Hoboken City elected officials and local and county political committees, will be ineligible to receive such agreements, or rights from the City of Hoboken.
[Added 7-20-2011 by Ord. No. Z-116]
Whenever a term used in this section is not herein defined, the definition found in the New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Report Act, N.J.S.A. 19:44A-1 et seq., or the definitions found in the regulations promulgated thereunder, known as "Regulations of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission," N.J.A.C. 19:25-1.1 et seq., shall govern, for purposes of this chapter.
§ 20C-2 Prohibition of entering into or amending redevelopment agreements with certain contributors.
To the extent that it is not inconsistent with state or federal law, the City of Hoboken and its designated redevelopment agency shall not enter into any agreement, amend any agreement or otherwise contract with any redeveloper, as defined in Subsection C below, for the planning, replanning, construction or undertaking of any redevelopment project, including the acquisition or leasing of any public property in conjunction with the redevelopment of any area within the City of Hoboken pursuant to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, P.L. 1992, c. 79 (N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq.), if that redeveloper has solicited for or made any contribution reportable by the recipient under the New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act, P.L. 1973, c. 83 (N.J.S.A. 19:44A-1 et seq.), which definition shall include all loans and transfers of money or other things of value, all pledges or other commitments or assumptions of liability to make any such transfer (hereinafter "contribution"), to a candidate, candidate committee or joint candidates committee of any candidate for elective municipal office in Hoboken or any person serving in an elective municipal office in the City of Hoboken or to any Hoboken or Hudson County political committee or political party committee or to any continuing political committee or political action committee that engaged in the support of Hoboken municipal or Hudson County elections and/or Hoboken municipal or Hudson County candidates, candidate committee, joint candidate committees, political committees, political parties, political party committees (hereinafter "PAC"), during the applicable time period which, for purposes of this section, shall be defined as the time period between the date that the property which is the subject of the redevelopment project has been included in a memorializing resolution adopted by the governing body directing the Planning Board to conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if the site is in need of redevelopment pursuant to and in accordance with the New Jersey Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq., and the later of the termination of negotiations or rejection of any proposal or the termination of the redevelopment agreement. Contributions will be considered to have occurred on the date of deposit, execution, transfer of rights or guarantee, as the case may be for particular types of contributions.
All development agreements or amendments thereto entered into by the City of Hoboken shall contain a provision prohibiting redevelopers, as defined in Subsection C below, to solicit or make any contribution to a candidate, candidate committee or joint candidates committee of any candidate for elective municipal office in Hoboken or any person serving in an elective municipal office in the City of Hoboken or to any Hoboken or Hudson County political committee or political party committee or to any PAC, as the term is defined in § 20C-2A herein, between the date that the property which is the subject of the redevelopment project has been included in a memorializing resolution adopted by the governing body directing the Planning Board to conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if the site is in need of redevelopment pursuant to and in accordance with the New Jersey Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq., and the later of:
As defined in N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-3, a "redeveloper" means: (i) an individual, including the individual's spouse and any child or children; or (ii) sole proprietorship, firm, corporation, partnership and any partner thereof, limited-liability company, limited-liability partnership and any partner thereof, business trust, organization, association, public body or any other legal commercial entity organized under the laws of the State of New Jersey or of any other state or foreign jurisdiction, including any principal; or (iii) any individual, partner, principal, stakeholder or other entity which owns or control 10% or more of the profits, assets, equity, stock, ownership or income interest in a person or entity, as defined in (i) or (ii) above, and any determination of percentage, ownership or control will combine the individual's interest with those of the individual's spouse and child or children; or (iv) all partners or officers of such an entity, in the aggregate, and their spouses and child or children; (v) any subsidiary directly or indirectly controlled by the redeveloper, as the term is defined herein; and (vi) any political organization organized under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 527) that is directly or indirectly controlled by the business entity, other than a candidate committee, election fund or political party committee; that shall enter into or propose to enter into an agreement with the City of Hoboken or any redevelopment agency of the City of Hoboken or any other redevelopment entity for the redevelopment or rehabilitation of an area in need of redevelopment or an area in need of rehabilitation, or any part thereof, under the provisions of this act, or for any construction or other work forming part of a redevelopment or rehabilitation project within the City of Hoboken. For the purposes of this chapter, the definition of a redeveloper, redevelopment and any related terms, generally defined by the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, P.L. 1992, c. 79 (N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq.), shall include and incorporate areas in need of rehabilitation and all related terms, as defined in the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, P.L. 1992, c. 79 (N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq.).
Contributions or solicitations of contributions made prior to the effective date of the most recent amendment to this chapter shall be governed by the language of the chapter effective at the time of contribution. Contributions or solicitations of contributions made on or after the effective date of the most recent amendment to this chapter shall be governed by the current chapter. Any contract in effect at the time of any amendment to this chapter shall be governed by the current chapter.
Prior to arranging and entering into a redevelopment agreement with any redeveloper, the City of Hoboken or any of its departments, agents, agencies or independent authorities, as the case may be, shall receive a written certification made under penalty of perjury from the redeveloper that the redeveloper has not made any contribution in violation of § 20C-2. The City of Hoboken, through any appropriate redevelopment agent, agency, officer, authority or department, shall be responsible for informing the City Council that the written certification has been received and that the redeveloper is not in violation of this chapter, prior to awarding or entering into the agreement. Furthermore, the redeveloper shall have a continuing duty to report any violations of this chapter that may occur between the time of arranging and entering into the redevelopment agreement and termination of the agreement. The certification required under this subsection shall be made prior to entry into the agreement with the municipality and shall be in addition to any other certifications that may be required by any other provision of law.
It shall be the municipality's continuing responsibility to give notice of this chapter when the municipality gives notice of redevelopment pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-6, when the municipality adopts a resolution directing the Planning Board to prepare a redevelopment plan, upon memorializing a resolution adopted by the governing body directing the Planning Board to conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if the site is in need of redevelopment pursuant to and in accordance with the New Jersey Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq., and at the time that the municipality adopts the ordinance to implement the redevelopment plan.
The contribution and disclosure requirements in this chapter, and Chapter 20B, shall apply to all redevelopers as well as professionals, consultants or lobbyists contracted, employed or otherwise engaged by the designated redeveloper to provide services related to the:
Lobbying of government officials in connection with the examination of an area and its designation as an area in need of redevelopment or in connection with the preparation, consultation and adoption of the redevelopment plan;
Obtaining the designation or appointment as redeveloper;
Negotiating the terms of a redevelopment agreement or any amendments or modifications thereto; and
Performing any related terms of a redevelopment agreement. (Such individuals shall be defined hereinafter as "professionals.")
It shall be a breach of the professional's contract, and shall require immediate termination, for a professional to violate the contribution limits and disclosure requirements in this chapter.
A redeveloper who participates in, or facilitates, the circumvention of the contribution restrictions through professionals shall be deemed to be in breach.
A redeveloper may cure a violation of § 20C-2 of this chapter if, within 45 days after the date of the contribution, the redeveloper notifies the municipality, in writing, and seeks and, within 45 days after the date of the contribution, receives reimbursement of the contribution from the recipient of such contribution.
Except that it shall be presumed that any contribution that violates this chapter, made within 60 days of an election of candidates for elective office in the City of Hoboken, was not made inadvertently, and such contributions shall not be eligible for reimbursement; thereby, the entity making such contributions cannot remedy the violation of this chapter.
It shall be a breach of terms of the City of Hoboken redevelopment agreement for a redeveloper to:
Make or solicit a contribution in violation of this chapter; or
Knowingly conceal or misrepresent a contribution given or received; or
Make or solicit contributions through intermediaries for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the source of the contribution; or
Make or solicit any contribution on the condition or with the agreement that it will be contributed to a candidate, candidate committee or joint candidates committee of any candidate of elective municipal office in Hoboken or any holder of municipal elective office in the City of Hoboken;
Engage or employ a lobbyist or consultant with the intent or understanding that such lobbyist or consultant would make or solicit any contribution, which if made or solicited by the redeveloper itself, would subject that entity to the restrictions of this chapter; or
Fund contributions made by third parties, including consultants, attorneys, family members and employees; or
Engage in any exchange of contributions to circumvent the intent of this chapter; or
Directly or indirectly, through or by any other person or means, do any act which would subject that entity to the restrictions of this chapter.
Furthermore, any redeveloper who violates Subsection A(2) through (8) shall have any current redevelopment agreement with the City of Hoboken or its redevelopment agencies terminated and be disqualified from eligibility for future Hoboken redevelopment agreements for a period of four calendar years from the date of the violation.
Notwithstanding any other common right of law, any Hoboken citizen or citizen's group shall have the right to sue any or all entities in violation of this chapter, including the redeveloper, the candidate or committee as specified in § 20C-2A above and/or the City of Hoboken, in order to compel those entities to comply with this chapter.
If any provision of this chapter or the application of any such provision to an person or circumstances shall be held invalid, the remainder of this chapter, to the extent it can be given effect, or the application of such provision to persons or circumstances other than those to which it is held invalid shall not be affected thereby, and to this extent the provisions of this chapter, are severable. The drafters of this chapter, the persons signing the petition in support of this chapter and the persons who cast votes in favor of the chapter declare that they would have supported the chapter and each section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or provision, or application thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, sentences, clauses, phrases or provisions, or applications thereof, may be held invalid.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances which are inconsistent with any provisions of this chapter are hereby repealed as to the extent of such inconsistencies.
This chapter, and any amendments thereto, shall take effect immediately upon passage and publication as provided by law.