NEW JERSEY — New Jersey lake associations are hailing Governor Murphy’s second conditional veto of legislation which would have undermined some lake associations’ ability to assess their residents for the maintenance of lakes in a private lake community.
The Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act was amended in 2017, establishing that residents in private communities are members of the association. Attempts to modify PREDFDA to exclude lake associations from its provisions were introduced in 2019 in a bill sponsored by District 24 representatives Oroho, Wirths, and Space, which was conditionally vetoed by Governor Murphy.
The amendments failed to pass in 2019 and were re-introduced in 2020 as S908/A2480, which passed nearly unanimously, with Assemblyman Brian Bergen, an avid supporter of lake associations from District 25, the sole dissenting vote.
The Governor vetoed the legislation recognizing the attempt to shield certain property owners who objected to contributing, but noting that “the interests of these property owners must be carefully balanced against the interests of all other parties, including those property owners who have previously been contributing to their associations.” The Governor emphasized the need to “safeguard the ability of lake associations to collect funds necessary to comply with critical environmental, health, and safety requirements…”
Ernest Hofer, President of the New Jersey Coalition of Lake Associations, praised the Governor’s conditional veto, stating “our lake communities face many challenges in their efforts to maintain their natural resources, and the proposed legislation would have had a potentially devastating effect on some lake communities. It is more important than ever, particularly with the threat of Harmful Algae Blooms, that lake associations can rely on the equitable pro-rata contribution of all of the residents to maintain the lake community in which they live.”