27:7-91. Access code
a. The Commissioner of Transportation shall, within one year of the effective date of this amendatory and supplementary act, adopt as a regulation under the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L. 1968, c. 410 (C. 52:14B-1 et seq.), a State highway access management code (hereinafter, "access code") providing for the regulation of access to State highways. The commissioner shall hold at least five public hearings in various locations throughout the State to receive public comment on the proposed access code, and shall give notice of these hearings at least 15 days in advance thereof in newspapers having general circulation in the localities in which the hearings are to be held. At one of these hearings the members of the Senate Transportation and Communications Committee, or its successor, and at another hearing the members of the Assembly Transportation and Communications Committee, or its successor, shall be invited to sit with the commissioner and participate in the public hearing. In each case the commissioner shall preside at the hearing and it shall be the commissioner's duty to give reasonable notice to the members of the appropriate committee of the time and place of the holding of the hearing. Prior to the holding of the public hearings the commissioner shall submit the draft access code to the advisory committee established pursuant to subsection i. of this section for its comments and recommendations. The advisory committee shall also be afforded the opportunity to provide additional comments and recommendations following the completion of these hearings and before the access code is proposed for adoption under the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act."
The Senate Transportation and Communications Committee, or its successor, and the Assembly Transportation and Communications Committee, or its successor, shall also be notified by the commissioner of the provisions of the access code at the time it is proposed for adoption under the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act." In addition, following the adoption of the access code, the commissioner shall notify the Senate Transportation and Communications Committee, or its successor, and the Assembly Transportation and Communications Committee, or its successor, of any proposed revisions to the access code at the time these revisions are proposed for adoption under the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act."
b. The access code shall establish a general classification system for the State highway system. The classification system shall be based upon the following criteria: (1) the function that segments of State highway serve and are planned to serve within the State highway system and within the general system of streets and highways, (2) the environment within which highways are located, including but not limited to urban and rural environments, (3) the appropriate and desirable balance between facilitating safe and convenient movement of through traffic and providing direct access to abutting property, and (4) the desirable rate of speed and the degree to which through traffic should be protected from major variations in speed. Each State highway segment shall have its classification identified in the access code.
c. For each highway classification identified, the access code shall establish standards for:
(1) The geometric design of driveways and of intersections and interchanges with other streets and highways, (2) the desirability of constructing driveways and interchanges with grade separations, and (3) minimum and desirable spacing of driveways and intersections and interchanges.
The access code also shall set forth alternative design standards for each highway classification which, combined with limits on vehicular use, can be applied to lots which were in existence prior to the adoption of the access code and which cannot meet the standards of the access code.
d. The access code shall set forth administrative procedures for the issuance of access permits. The code shall include a provision providing for a period of time for the renewal, issuance, modification or denial of these permits, not to exceed 200 days from the date of receipt of the completed application for a major access permit and not to exceed 45 days from the date of receipt of the completed application for a minor access permit.
e. The access code shall contain standards suitable for adoption by counties and municipalities for the management of access to streets and highways under their jurisdiction.
f. The commissioner may adopt, as supplements to the access code, site-specific access plans for individual segments of a State highway. Any access plan adopted in accordance with this subsection shall be developed jointly by the Department of Transportation and the municipality in which the highway segment is located and, where a county road intersects the State highway, by the county in which the State highway segment is located. Prior to incorporating a site-specific access plan into the access code, the commissioner shall determine: (1) that the access plan conditions have been incorporated into the master plan and development ordinances of the municipality, (2) that the access plan complies with or exceeds the standards established in the access code, and (3) that an appropriate means of access has been identified for every lot currently having frontage on the highway segment.
g. The access code shall include provision under which any person may submit to the commissioner, in writing, a request for a change in the classification of a specified segment of State highway. This provision shall also require the commissioner to notify affected counties and municipalities of such a request, require the commissioner to respond in writing to the request within a specified time, specify what data, evidence, information, comments, or arguments the commissioner is to consider in evaluating the request, and affirm that any request made by any person is in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other administrative or other remedy that person may have under the "Administrative Procedure Act" or any other law.
h. The access code may require financial contributions toward the cost of constructing public improvements of streets and highways but no permit applicant shall be required to contribute an amount that exceeds his fair share of the costs of off-site improvements that have a rational nexus with the proposed development on the property for which the permit is requested. The "fair share" shall be based upon the added traffic growth attributable to the development.
i. There is established in the Department of Transportation an Access Code Advisory Committee which shall consist of 11 members, three of whom shall be appointed by the Governor upon recommendation of the President of the Senate, no more than two of whom shall be of the same political party; three of whom shall be appointed by the Governor upon recommendation of the Speaker of the General Assembly, no more than two of whom shall be of the same political party; and five of whom shall be appointed by the Governor from among the following: one shall be a traffic engineer, one shall be a developer engaged substantially in residential construction, one shall be a developer engaged substantially in commercial, industrial or office building construction, one shall represent the State Chamber of Commerce, and one shall represent the New Jersey Business and Industry Association. Of the 11 members no more than two shall be developers or represent the interests of developers. The chairman of the committee shall be appointed by the Governor from among the members of the committee. It shall be the duty of the committee to make comments and recommendations on the access code as provided in subsection a. of this section, which shall include analysis of methods and procedures to assure the timely and equitable consideration and processing by the department of access permit requests, and to otherwise consult with and advise the commissioner on the code. The members of the committee shall not receive compensation for their services as members of the committee. Each member shall be reimbursed by the department for his actual expenses necessarily incurred in attending meetings of the committee. The committee shall be dissolved on the 30th day following the adoption of the access code.
L. 1989, c. 32, s. 3.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016