N.J. building extension measure hits snag, may be held

    A legislative vote may be delayed on a proposal allowing developers in New Jersey a two-year extension on starting projects after they received regulatory permits.

    The “Permit Extension Act” angers opponents because it includes environmentally sensitive areas in the Highlands region. The Highlands is a protected area of nearly 900,000 acres that is the source of drinking water for millions.

    Update, 4:30 p.m. Both houses of the New Jersey Legislature have postponed votes on the measure. Lawmakers say they want to make sure the Highlands are adequately protected.

    Assemblyman John McKeon of South Orange says the measure gives developers a pass on any environmental rules approved after a project is permitted but before ground is broken.


    Two-year extensions were approved in 2008 and 2010, however environmentally fragile areas were exempt.

    Sen. Paul Sarlo of Wood Ridge says his bill may be held in the Senate Thursday to make sure the Highlands is adequately protected.

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