40:55D-43 Standards for the establishment of open space organization.
31. a. An ordinance pursuant to this article permitting planned unit development, planned unit residential development or cluster development may provide that the municipality or other governmental agency may, at any time and from time to time, accept the dedication of land or any interest therein for public use and maintenance, but the ordinance shall not require, as a condition of the approval of a planned development, that land proposed to be set aside for common open space be dedicated or made available to public use.
An ordinance pursuant to this article providing for planned unit development, planned unit residential development, or cluster development shall require that the developer provide for an organization for the ownership and maintenance of any open space for the benefit of owners or residents of the development, if said open space is not dedicated to the municipality or other governmental agency or otherwise conveyed to or owned by a separate person or entity. Such organization shall not be dissolved and the organization, person, or entity shall not dispose of any open space, by sale or otherwise, except to an organization conceived and established to own and maintain the open space for the benefit of such development, and thereafter such organization shall not be dissolved or the organization, person, or entity dispose of any of its open space without first offering to dedicate the same to the municipality or municipalities wherein the land is located.
b.In the event that such organization, person, or entity shall fail to maintain the open space in reasonable order and condition, the municipal body or officer designated by ordinance to administer this subsection may serve written notice upon such organization, person, or entity or upon the owners of the development setting forth the manner in which the organization, person, or entity has failed to maintain the open space in reasonable condition, and said notice shall include a demand that such deficiencies of maintenance be cured within 35 days thereof, and shall state the date and place of a hearing thereon which shall be held within 15 days of the notice. At such hearing, the designated municipal body or officer, as the case may be, may modify the terms of the original notice as to deficiencies and may give a reasonable extension of time not to exceed 65 days within which they shall be cured. If the deficiencies set forth in the original notice or in the modification thereof shall not be cured within said 35 days or any permitted extension thereof, the municipality, in order to preserve the open space and maintain the same for a period of 1 year may enter upon and maintain such land. Said entry and maintenance shall not vest in the public any rights to use the open space except when the same is voluntarily dedicated to the public by the owners. Before the expiration of said year, the designated municipal body or officer, as the case may be, shall, upon its initiative or upon the request of the organization, person, or entity theretofore responsible for the maintenance of the open space, call a public hearing upon 15 days' written notice to such organization, person, or entity and to the owners of the development, to be held by such municipal body or officer, at which hearing such organization, person, or entity and the owners of the development shall show cause why such maintenance by the municipality shall not, at the election of the municipality, continue for a succeeding year. If the designated municipal body or officer, as the case may be, shall determine that such organization, person, or entity is ready and able to maintain said open space in reasonable condition, the municipality shall cease to maintain said open space at the end of said year. If the municipal body or officer, as the case may be, shall determine such organization, person, or entity is not ready and able to maintain said open space in a reasonable condition, the municipality may, in its discretion, continue to maintain said open space during the next succeeding year, subject to a similar hearing and determination, in each year thereafter. The decision of the municipal body or officer in any such case shall constitute a final administrative decision subject to judicial review.
If a municipal body or officer is not designated by ordinance to administer this subsection, the governing body shall have the same powers and be subject to the same restrictions as provided in this subsection.
c.The cost of such maintenance by the municipality shall be assessed pro rata against the properties within the development that have a right of enjoyment of the open space in accordance with assessed value at the time of imposition of the lien, and shall become a lien and tax on said properties and be added to and be a part of the taxes to be levied and assessed thereon, and enforced and collected with interest by the same officers and in the same manner as other taxes.
L.1975, c.291, s.31; amended 2013, c.106, s.11.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016