55:19-87 Defense by owner against complaint.
10. a. Any owner may defend against a complaint filed pursuant to section 7 of P.L.2003, c.210 (C.55:19-84) by submitting a plan for the rehabilitation and reuse of the property which is the subject of the complaint and by posting a bond equal to 125 percent of the amount determined by the public officer or the court to be the projected cost of rehabilitation.
Any plan submitted by an owner to defend against a complaint shall be submitted within 60 days after the complaint has been filed, unless the court provides the owner with an extension of time for good cause shown.
b.A plan submitted by an owner pursuant to this section shall include, but not be limited to:
(1)A detailed financial feasibility analysis, including documentation of the economic feasibility of the proposed reuse, including operating budgets or resale prices, or both, as appropriate;
(2)A budget for the rehabilitation of the property, including sources and uses of funds, based on the terms and conditions of realistically available financing, including grants and loans;
(3)A timetable for the completion of rehabilitation and reuse of the property, including milestones for performance of major steps leading to and encompassing the rehabilitation and reuse of the property; and
(4)Documentation of the qualifications of the individuals and firms that will be engaged to carry out the planning, design, financial packaging, construction, and marketing or rental of the property.
c. (1) The court shall approve any plan that, in the judgment of the court, is realistic and likely to result in the expeditious rehabilitation and reuse of the property which is the subject of the complaint.
(2)If the court approves the owner's plan, then it may appoint the public officer to act as monitor of the owner's compliance. If the owner fails to carry out any step in the approved plan, then the municipality may apply to the court to have the owner's bond forfeited, possession of the building transferred to the municipality to complete the rehabilitation plan and authorization to use the bond proceeds for rehabilitation of the property.
(3)The owner shall provide quarterly reports to the municipality on its activities and progress toward rehabilitation and reuse of the property. The owner shall provide those reports to the court on its activities that the court determines are necessary.
d.The court may reject a plan and bond if it finds that the plan does not represent a realistic and expeditious means of ensuring the rehabilitation of the property or that the owner or his representatives or agents, or both, lack the qualifications, background or other criteria necessary to ensure that the plan will be carried out successfully.
L.2003,c.210,s.10; amended 2005, c.118, s.6.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016