Union City, NJ
Hudson County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the City of Union City as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Rental property — See Ch. 329.
[Adopted 7-21-2009]
A. 
In Holmdel Builder's Association v. Holmdel Township, 121 N.J. 550 (1990), the New Jersey Supreme Court determined that mandatory development fees are authorized by the Fair Housing Act of 1985 (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:27D-301 et seq., and the State Constitution, subject to the Council on Affordable Housing's (COAH's) adoption of rules.
B. 
Pursuant to P.L. 2008, c. 46, Section 8 (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-329.2) and the Statewide Nonresidential Development Fee Act (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-8.1 through 40:55D-8.7), COAH is authorized to adopt and promulgate regulations necessary for the establishment, implementation, review, monitoring and enforcement of municipal Affordable Housing Trust Funds and corresponding spending plans. Municipalities that are under the jurisdiction of the Council or court of competent jurisdiction and have a COAH-approved spending plan may retain fees collected from nonresidential development.
C. 
This article establishes standards for the collection, maintenance, and expenditure of development fees pursuant to COAH's regulations and in accordance P.L. 2008, c. 46, Sections 8 and 32-38. Fees collected pursuant to this article shall be used for the sole purpose of providing low- and moderate-income housing. This article shall be interpreted within the framework of COAH's rules on development fees, codified at N.J.A.C. 5:97-8.
A. 
This article shall not be effective until approved by COAH pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:96-5.1.
B. 
the City of Union City shall not spend development fees until COAH has approved a plan for spending such fees in conformance with N.J.A.C. 5:97-8.10 and N.J.A.C. 5:96-5.3.
The following terms, as used in this article, shall have the following meanings:
AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
A development included in the Housing Element and Fair Share Plan, and includes, but is not limited to, an inclusionary development, a municipal construction project or a one-hundred percent affordable development.
COAH or THE COUNCIL
The New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing established under the Act which has primary jurisdiction for the administration of housing obligations in accordance with sound regional planning consideration in the state.
DEVELOPER
The legal or beneficial owner or owners of a lot or of any land proposed to be included in a proposed development, including the holder of an option or contract to purchase, or other person having an enforceable proprietary interest in such land.
DEVELOPMENT FEE
Money paid by a developer for the improvement of property as permitted in N.J.A.C. 5:97-8.3.
EQUALIZED ASSESSED VALUE
The assessed value of a property divided by the current average ratio of assessed to true value for the municipality in which the property is situated, as determined in accordance with Sections 1, 5, and 6 of P.L. 1973, c. 123 (N.J.S.A. 54:1-35a through 54:1-35c).
GREEN BUILDING STRATEGIES
Those strategies that minimize the impact of development on the environment and enhance the health, safety and well-being of residents by producing durable, low-maintenance, resource-efficient housing while making optimum use of existing infrastructure and community services.
A. 
Imposed fees.
(1) 
Within the R-1, R, R-MF and R-HFA District(s), residential developers, except for developers of the types of development specifically exempted below, shall pay a fee of 1% of the equalized assessed value for residential development, provided that no increased density is permitted.
(2) 
When an increase in residential density pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70d(1) is permitted by way of use variance, the developer shall be required to pay a development fee based upon the equalized assessed value of each additional residential unit that may be realized as a result of the aforesaid approved development. The development fee will be based upon the equalized assessed value at the time of the issuance of the first certificate of occupancy. The fee schedule shall be as follows for projects where a (d)(1) variance is granted: a fee of 1% for up to five units; a fee of 2% for six to 10 units; a fee of 3% for 11 to 15 units; a fee of 4% for 16 to 20 units; a fee of 5% for 21 to 25 units and a fee of 6% for 26 or more residential units.
[Amended 1-6-2015]
(a) 
In the event a designated redeveloper seeks additional density beyond that permitted in a redevelopment area, this shall be accomplished by amendment to the existing Redevelopment Plan, since a (d)(1) variance, as well as any other type of (d) variance cannot be granted in a redevelopment area since said applications must be presented to the Planning Board of the City. It will be the responsibility of the Planning Board, acting in concert with the City redevelopment agency and the developer, to set an appropriate amount of either development fees or provide for the construction of affordable housing units in the proposed development. In no instance shall any redeveloper be permitted to construct residential dwellings in a redevelopment area without either including a certain percentage of units as being affordable or paying a development fee to the City accordingly.
B. 
Eligible exactions, ineligible exactions and exemptions for residential development.
(1) 
Affordable housing developments, developments where the developer is providing for the construction of affordable units elsewhere in the municipality, and developments where the developer has made a payment in lieu of on-site construction of affordable units shall be exempt from development fees.
(2) 
Developments that have received preliminary or final site plan approval prior to the adoption of a municipal development fee ordinance shall be exempt from development fees, unless the developer seeks a substantial change in the approval. Where a site plan approval does not apply, a zoning and/or building permit shall be synonymous with preliminary or final site plan approval for this purpose. The fee percentage shall be vested on the date that the building permit is issued.
(3) 
Development fees shall be imposed and collected when an existing structure undergoes a change to a more intense use, is demolished and replaced, or is expanded, if the expansion is not otherwise exempt from the development fee requirement. The development fee shall be calculated on the increase in the equalized assessed value of the improved structure. For example, a preexisting one-family dwelling is remodeled into a two-family dwelling. The development fee is only assessed against the newly added unit.
[Amended 5-21-2013]
A. 
Imposed fees.
(1) 
Within all zoning districts, nonresidential developers, except for developers of the types of development specifically exempted, shall pay a fee equal to 2.5% of the equalized assessed value of the land and improvements, for all new nonresidential construction on an unimproved lot or lots.
(2) 
Nonresidential developers, except for developers of the types of development specifically exempted, shall also pay a fee equal to 2.5% of the increase in equalized assessed value resulting from any additions to existing structures to be used for nonresidential purposes.
(3) 
Development fees shall be imposed and collected when an existing structure is demolished and replaced. The development fee of 2.5% shall be calculated on the difference between the equalized assessed value of the preexisting land and improvement and the equalized assessed value of the newly improved structure, i.e., land and improvement, at the time final certificate of occupancy is issued. If the calculation required under this section results in a negative number, the nonresidential development fee shall be zero.
B. 
Eligible exactions, ineligible exactions and exemptions for nonresidential development.
(1) 
The nonresidential portion of a mixed-use inclusionary or market-rate development shall be subject to the development fee of 2.5%, unless otherwise exempted below.
(2) 
The fee of 2.5% shall not apply to an increase in equalized assessed value resulting from alterations, change in use within existing footprint, reconstruction, renovations and repairs.
(3) 
Nonresidential developments shall be exempt from the payment of nonresidential development fees in accordance with the exemptions required pursuant to P.L. 2008, c. 46, as specified in the Form N-RDF, State of New Jersey Nonresidential Development Certification/Exemption Form. Any exemption claimed by a developer shall be substantiated by that developer.
(4) 
A developer of a nonresidential development exempted from the nonresidential development fee pursuant to P.L. 2008, c. 46 shall be subject to it at such time the basis for the exemption no longer applies, and shall make the payment of the nonresidential development fee, in that event, within three years after that event or after the issuance of the final certificate of occupancy of the nonresidential development, whichever is later.
(5) 
If a property which was exempted from the collection of a nonresidential development fee thereafter ceases to be exempt from property taxation, the owner of the property shall remit the fees required pursuant to this section within 45 days of the termination of the property tax exemption. Unpaid nonresidential development fees under these circumstances may be enforceable by the City of Union City as a lien against the real property of the owner.
A. 
Upon the granting of a preliminary, final or other applicable approval, for a development, the applicable approving authority shall direct its staff to notify the construction official responsible for the issuance of a building permit.
B. 
For nonresidential developments only, the developer shall also be provided with a copy of Form N-RDF State of New Jersey Nonresidential Development Certification/Exemption to be completed as per the instructions provided. The developer of a nonresidential development shall complete Form N-RDF as per the instructions provided. The Construction Official shall verify the information submitted by the nonresidential developer as per the instructions provided in the Form N-RDF. The Tax Assessor shall verify exemptions and prepare estimated and final assessments as per the instructions provided in Form N-RDF.
C. 
The Construction Official responsible for the issuance of a building permit shall notify the local Tax Assessor of the issuance of the first building permit for a development which is subject to a development fee.
D. 
Within 90 days of receipt of that notice, the Municipal Tax Assessor, based on the plans filed, shall provide an estimate of the equalized assessed value of the development.
E. 
The Construction Official responsible for the issuance of a final certificate of occupancy notifies the local Assessor of any and all requests for the scheduling of a final inspection on property which is subject to a development fee.
F. 
Within 10 business days of a request for the scheduling of a final inspection, the Municipal Assessor shall confirm or modify the previously estimated equalized assessed value of the improvements of the development, calculate the development fee, and thereafter notify the developer of the amount of the fee.
G. 
Should the City of Union City fail to determine or notify the developer of the amount of the development fee within 10 business days of the request for final inspection, the developer may estimate the amount due and pay that estimated amount consistent with the dispute process set forth in Subsection b of Section 37 of P.L. 2008, c. 46 (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-8.6).
H. 
The developer shall pay 100% of the calculated development fee amount prior to the municipal issuance of a final certificate of occupancy for the subject property.
I. 
Appeal of development fees.
(1) 
A developer may challenge residential development fees imposed by filing a challenge with the County Board of Taxation. Pending a review and determination by the Board, collected fees shall be placed in an interest-bearing escrow account by the City of Union City. Appeals from a determination of the Board may be made to the Tax Court in accordance with the provisions of the State Tax Uniform Procedure Law, N.J.S.A. 54:48-1 et seq., within 90 days after the date of such determination. Interest earned on amounts escrowed shall be credited to the prevailing party.
(2) 
A developer may challenge nonresidential development fees imposed by filing a challenge with the Director of the Division of Taxation. Pending a review and determination by the Director, which shall be made within 45 days of receipt of the challenge, collected fees shall be placed in an interest-bearing escrow account by the City of Union City. Appeals from a determination of the Director may be made to the Tax Court in accordance with the provisions of the State Tax Uniform Procedure Law, N.J.S.A. 54:48-1 et seq., within 90 days after the date of such determination. Interest earned on amounts escrowed shall be credited to the prevailing party.
A. 
There is hereby created a separate, interest-bearing Housing Trust Fund to be maintained by the Chief Financial Officer for the purpose of depositing development fees collected from residential and nonresidential developers and proceeds from the sale of units with extinguished controls.
B. 
The following additional funds shall be deposited in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and shall at all times be identifiable by source and amount:
(1) 
Payments in lieu of on-site construction of affordable units;
(2) 
Developer contributed funds to make 10% of the adaptable entrances in a townhouse or other multistory attached development accessible;
(3) 
Rental income from municipally operated units;
(4) 
Repayments from affordable housing program loans;
(5) 
Recapture funds;
(6) 
Proceeds from the sale of affordable units; and
(7) 
Any other funds collected in connection with the City of Union City's affordable housing program.
C. 
Within seven days from the opening of the trust fund account, the City of Union City shall provide COAH with written authorization, in the form of a three-party escrow agreement between the municipality, the bank and COAH, to permit COAH to direct the disbursement of the funds as provided for in N.J.A.C. 5:97-8.13(b).
D. 
All interest accrued in the Housing Trust Fund shall only be used on eligible affordable housing activities approved by COAH.
A. 
The expenditure of all funds shall conform to a spending plan approved by COAH. Funds deposited in the Housing Trust Fund may be used for any activity approved by COAH to address the City of Union City's fair share obligation and may be set up as a grant or revolving loan program. Such activities include, but are not limited to, preservation or purchase of housing for the purpose of maintaining or implementing affordability controls, rehabilitation, new construction of affordable housing units and related costs, accessory apartments, market to affordable, or regional housing partnership programs, conversion of existing nonresidential buildings to create new affordable units, green building strategies designed to be cost saving and in accordance with accepted national or state standards, purchase of land for affordable housing, improvement of land to be used for affordable housing, extensions or improvements of roads and infrastructure to affordable housing sites, financial assistance designed to increase affordability, administration necessary for implementation of the Housing Element and Fair Share Plan, or any other activity as permitted pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:97-8.7 through 5:97-8.9 and specified in the approved spending plan.
B. 
Funds shall not be expended to reimburse the City of Union City for past housing activities.
C. 
At least 30% of all development fees collected and interest earned shall be used to provide affordability assistance to low- and moderate-income households in affordable units included in the municipal fair share plan. One-third of the affordability assistance portion of development fees collected shall be used to provide affordability assistance to those households earning 30% or less of median income by region.
(1) 
Affordability assistance programs may include down payment assistance, security deposit assistance, low-interest loans, rental assistance, assistance with homeowners' association or condominium fees and special assessments, and assistance with emergency repairs.
(2) 
Affordability assistance to households earning 30% or less of median income may include buying down the cost of low- or moderate-income units in the municipal fair share plan to make them affordable to households earning 30% or less of median income.
(3) 
Payments in lieu of constructing affordable units on site and funds from the sale of units with extinguished controls shall be exempt from the affordability assistance requirement.
D. 
the City of Union City may contract with a private or public entity to administer any part of its Housing Element and Fair Share Plan, including the requirement for affordability assistance, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:96-18.
E. 
No more than 20% of all revenues collected from development fees may be expended on administration, including but not limited to salaries and benefits for municipal employees or consultant fees necessary to develop or implement a new construction program, a Housing Element and Fair Share Plan, and/or an affirmative marketing program. In the case of a rehabilitation program, no more than 20% of the revenues collected from development fees shall be expended for such administrative expenses. Administrative funds may be used for income qualification of households, monitoring the turnover of sale and rental units, and compliance with COAH's monitoring requirements. Legal or other fees related to litigation opposing affordable housing sites or objecting to the Council's regulations and/or action are not eligible uses of the affordable Housing Trust Fund.
the City of Union City shall complete and return to COAH all monitoring forms included in monitoring requirements related to the collection of development fees from residential and nonresidential developers, payments in lieu of constructing affordable units on site, funds from the sale of units with extinguished controls, barrier-free escrow funds, rental income, repayments from affordable housing program loans, and any other funds collected in connection with the City of Union City's housing program, as well as to the expenditure of revenues and implementation of the plan certified by COAH. All monitoring reports shall be completed on forms designed by COAH.
The ability for the City of Union City to impose, collect and expend development fees shall expire with its substantive certification unless the City of Union City has filed an adopted Housing Element and Fair Share Plan with COAH, has petitioned for substantive certification, and has received COAH's approval of its Development Fee Ordinance. If the City of Union City fails to renew its ability to impose and collect development fees prior to the expiration of substantive certification, it may be subject to forfeiture of any or all funds remaining within its municipal trust fund. Any funds so forfeited shall be deposited into the New Jersey Affordable Housing Trust Fund established pursuant to Section 20 of P.L. 1985, c. 222 (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-320). The City of Union City shall not impose a residential development fee on a development that receives preliminary or final site plan approval after the expiration of its substantive certification or judgment of compliance, nor shall the City of Union City retroactively impose a development fee on such a development. The City of Union City shall not expend development fees after the expiration of its substantive certification or judgment of compliance.
[Adopted 7-21-2009]
The purpose of this article is to create the administrative mechanisms needed for the execution of the City of Union City's responsibility to assist in the provision of affordable housing pursuant to the Fair Housing Act of 1985.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT
The entity responsible for administering the affordability controls of some or all units in the affordable housing program for the City of Union City to ensure that the restricted units under administration are affirmatively marketed and sold or rented, as applicable, only to low- and moderate-income households.
MUNICIPAL HOUSING LIAISON
The employee charged by the governing body with the responsibility for oversight and administration of the affordable housing program for the City of Union City.
A. 
Establishment of position of Municipal Housing Liaison. There is hereby established the position of Municipal Housing Liaison for the City of Union City.
B. 
Subject to the approval of the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), the Municipal Housing Liaison shall be appointed by the governing body and may be a full- or part-time municipal employee.
C. 
The Municipal Housing Liaison shall be responsible for oversight and administration of the affordable housing program for the City of Union City, including the following responsibilities which may not be contracted out, exclusive of Subsection C(6) which may be contracted out:
(1) 
Serving as the City of Union City's primary point of contact for all inquiries from the state, affordable housing providers, administrative agents, and interested households;
(2) 
Monitoring the status of all restricted units in the City of Union City's fair share plan;
(3) 
Compiling, verifying, and submitting annual reports as required by COAH;
(4) 
Coordinating meetings with affordable housing providers and administrative agents, as applicable;
(5) 
Attending continuing education opportunities on affordability controls, compliance monitoring, and affirmative marketing as offered or approved by COAH;
(6) 
If applicable, serving as the administrative agent for some or all of the restricted units in the City of Union City as described in § 40-14 below.
D. 
Subject to approval by COAH, the City of Union City may contract with or authorize a consultant, authority, government or any agency charged by the governing body, which entity shall have the responsibility of administering the affordable housing program of the City of Union City, except for those responsibilities which may not be contracted out pursuant to Subsection C above. If the City of Union City contracts with another entity to administer all or any part of the affordable housing program, including the affordability controls and affirmative marketing plan, the Municipal Housing Liaison shall supervise the contracting administrative agent.
E. 
Compensation. Compensation shall be fixed by the governing body at the time of the appointment of the Municipal Housing Liaison.
A. 
Affirmative marketing.
(1) 
Conducting an outreach process to ensure affirmative marketing of affordable housing units in accordance with the affirmative marketing plan of the City of Union City and the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.15; and
(2) 
Providing counseling or contracting to provide counseling services to low- and moderate-income applicants on subjects such as budgeting, credit issues, mortgage qualification, rental lease requirements, and landlord/tenant law.
B. 
Household certification.
(1) 
Soliciting, scheduling, conducting and following up on interviews with interested households;
(2) 
Conducting interviews and obtaining sufficient documentation of gross income and assets upon which to base a determination of income eligibility for a low- or moderate-income unit;
(3) 
Providing written notification to each applicant as to the determination of eligibility or noneligibility;
(4) 
Requiring that all certified applicants for restricted units execute a certificate substantially in the form, as applicable, of either the ownership or rental certificates set forth in Appendixes J and K of N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.1 et seq.;
(5) 
Creating and maintaining a referral list of eligible applicant households living in the housing region and eligible applicant households with members working in the housing region where the units are located; and
(6) 
Employing the random selection process as provided in the affirmative marketing plan of the City of Union City when referring households for certification to affordable units.
C. 
Affordability controls.
(1) 
Furnishing to attorneys or closing agents forms of deed restrictions and mortgages for recording at the time of conveyance of title of each restricted unit;
(2) 
Creating and maintaining a file on each restricted unit for its control period, including the recorded deed with restrictions, recorded mortgage and note, as appropriate;
(3) 
Ensuring that the removal of the deed restrictions and cancellation of the mortgage note are effectuated and properly filed with the appropriate county's register of deeds or County Clerk's office after the termination of the affordability controls for each restricted unit;
(4) 
Communicating with lenders regarding foreclosures; and
(5) 
Ensuring the issuance of continuing certificates of occupancy or certifications pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.10.
D. 
Resale and rental.
(1) 
Instituting and maintaining an effective means of communicating information between owners and the administrative agent regarding the availability of restricted units for resale or rental; and
(2) 
Instituting and maintaining an effective means of communicating information to low- and moderate-income households regarding the availability of restricted units for resale or rerental.
E. 
Processing request from unit owners.
(1) 
Reviewing and approving requests from owners of restricted units who wish to take out home equity loans or refinance during the term of their ownership;
(2) 
Reviewing and approving requests to increase sales prices from owners of restricted units who wish to make capital improvements to the units that would affect the selling price, such authorizations to be limited to those improvements resulting in additional bedrooms or bathrooms and the cost of central air-conditioning systems; and
(3) 
Processing requests and making determinations on requests by owners of restricted units for hardship waivers.
F. 
Enforcement.
(1) 
Securing annually lists of all affordable housing units for which tax bills are mailed to absentee owners and notifying all such owners that they must either move back to their unit or sell it;
(2) 
Securing from all developers and sponsors of restricted units, at the earliest point of contact in the processing of the project or development, written acknowledgement of the requirement that no restricted unit can be offered, or in any other way committed, to any person, other than a household duly certified to the unit by the administrative agent;
(3) 
The posting annually in all rental properties, including two-family homes, of a notice as to the maximum permitted rent together with the telephone number of the administrative agent where complaints of excess rent can be made;
(4) 
Sending annual mailings to all owners of affordable dwelling units, reminding them of the notices and requirements outlined in N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.18(d)4;
(5) 
Establishing a program for diverting unlawful rent payments to the municipality's Affordable Housing Trust Fund or other appropriate municipal fund approved by the DCA;
(6) 
Creating and publishing a written operating manual, as approved by COAH, setting forth procedures for administering such affordability controls; and
(7) 
Providing annual reports to COAH as required.
G. 
The administrative agent shall have authority to take all actions necessary and appropriate to carry out its responsibilities hereunder.