2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 40A - MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES
Section 40A:65-26 - Required information included in Municipal Consolidation Study Commission reports.

40A:65-26 Required information included in Municipal Consolidation Study Commission reports.

26. a. A consolidation plan or report of a Municipal Consolidation Study Commission shall include the provisions of sections 16 and 24 of P.L.1977, c.435 (C.40:43-66.50 and 40:43-66.58), insofar as they are consistent with the provisions of sections 1 to 37 of P.L.2007, c.63 (C.40A:65-1 et al.). In addition, a consolidation plan shall address the following implementation issues:

(1) a timetable for implementing the consolidation plan;

(2) duplicate positions, including those held by tenured, certified officers, listing those positions proposed to be abolished for reasons of economy, efficiency or other good cause and listing those positions proposed to be merged; and

(3) applicability of the provisions of Title 11A, Civil Service, of the New Jersey Statutes, if Title 11A has been adopted by one or more consolidating municipalities.

b. The following policies may be considered and implemented under an application for approval of a consolidation plan, and may be included as part of a study under the "Municipal Consolidation Act," P.L.1977, c.435 (C.40:43-66.35 et al.), or as part of a study conducted by a Municipal Consolidation Study Commission pursuant to sections 1 to 37 of P.L.2007, c.63 (C.40A:65-1 et al.):

(1) creation of a consolidation implementation plan to establish a timetable of significant events and goals to be achieved as part of a consolidation study;

(2) a phase-in of a consolidation over a fixed period of time. Such a plan shall be subject to review and approval of the Local Finance Board prior to it being approved by the governing bodies or subject to voter referendum;

(3) variations from existing State law or State department rules that may not have anticipated a phase-in or consolidation of services. When variations are proposed, they shall be submitted to the board which shall refer it to the agency with oversight responsibility. After due consideration, the referee agency is empowered to waive such law or rules if a waiver is found reasonable to further the process of consolidation. Where no such agency exists, the Commissioner of Community Affairs shall act on behalf of the State. These requests shall be acted on within 45 days of their receipt by an agency, and they shall be deemed approved, subject to approval of a consolidation proposal by the municipalities, by the end of that time unless the agency has responded with a denial, conditions that must be met in order for it to be approved, or an alternative approach to resolving the matter;

(4) the use of advisory planning districts, comprised of residents living in the former territories of each former municipality, to provide advice to the planning board and the zoning board of adjustment on applications and master plan changes affecting those areas. A consolidation study plan shall specify the types and nature of the development and zoning applications that the advisory planning districts shall review and the official boards shall be required to respond, at a public meeting, to each suggestion made by an advisory planning district;

(5) the establishment of service districts comprised of the boundaries of any or all of the former municipalities which may be used to allocate resources and used for official geographic references in the new municipality;

(6) the continued use of boundary lines of any or all of the former municipalities to continue local ordinances that existed prior to consolidation that the governing body deems necessary and appropriate. The need for any such differentiation shall be reviewed by the governing body at least every five years and shall only be continued upon the affirmative vote of the full membership of the governing body, and if such continuance fails, the governing body shall then adopt uniform policies for the entire area; and

(7) the apportionment of existing debt between the taxpayers of the consolidating municipalities, including whether existing debt should be apportioned in the same manner as debt within special taxing districts so that the taxpayers of each consolidating municipality will continue to be responsible for their own pre-consolidation debts.

c. When one of the municipalities is subject to the provisions of Title 11A, Civil Service, of the New Jersey Statutes, the question of whether the new municipality shall be subject to the provisions of that Title shall be the subject of a public referendum before all of the voters of the consolidating municipalities. Upon the approval by a majority of those voting, regardless of their municipality of residence, the new municipality shall be subject to the provisions of that Title.

L.2007, c.63, s.26.

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