New FEMA Maps Substantially Reduce Flood Zones From Advisory Maps But Increase Base Flood Elevations
New preliminary flood maps released in June by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for Atlantic, Cape May, Ocean, Hudson and Monmouth Counties drastically reduce the high-risk zones contained within the previous Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps that would have required many homes on the Jersey Shore to be built on pilings. The Advisory Base Flood Elevations represented the best information available previously, and served as a guide for those who wanted to rebuild as soon as possible. However, the new preliminary maps for these counties will replace the Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps because they reflect a more precise modeling analysis of current flood hazards, including wave analysis, and a more detailed study of other specific conditions that affect flood risk.
For example, the "velocity," or V zones - which would have required homes with flood insurance to prepare for 3-foot waves - were reduced by 80 percent in Atlantic County alone, including large sections of Margate, Ventnor, Atlantic City and Brigantine. The V zones in Ocean County were reduced by 45 percent and by roughly 80 percent in Cape May County.
Property owners and real estate professionals need to be aware that the new maps use a base flood elevation based upon 1988 datum where the prior maps used 1929 datum. The difference in some areas can be as much as a foot and a half. As a result if you look at a flood certification that used the 1929 datum and compared it to the new FEMA maps you would have to make an adjustment for the change. Without making that adjustment, you can mistakenly conclude the property complies with the new FEMA maps.
FEMA officials stress that these new flood maps are still in the preliminary stages, and that revision of these maps is an ongoing process leading to the final Flood Insurance Rate Maps. The final maps will incorporate previous data and add more details about specific flood risk conditions in communities throughout the state, with a priority placed on those in coastal areas facing the highest risk.
For more information and for links to locate your property on the new preliminary maps, please visit: http://www.region2coastal.com/sandy/table .
The Construction Lien Law: An Effective Tool for Contractors
New Jersey’s construction lien law provides an effective tool for private contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to secure payment for their labor or materials provided through a lien filing process. In short, the law permits contractors, subcontractors and suppliers who provide labor or materials pursuant to a contract to file a lien claim against the interests of the owner of the real property subject to the amount owed. The law outlines the procedures for filing and perfecting the lien, establishing the amount of the lien claim, and then enforcing the lien.
However, the lien law contains many limitations. For instance, a lien claimant pursuant to a commercial construction contract must file the lien claim within 90 days from the date of the last labor or materials provided.
In the residential setting, a number of extra steps are involved. First, within 60 days from the date of the last labor or materials provided, a lien claimant must file a Notice of Unpaid Balance and Right to File Lien Claim setting forth the amount of the lien. The lien claimant must then demand arbitration with the American Arbitration Association and obtain a favorable ruling from the arbitrator setting forth the amount and validity of the lien claim. The lien claimant can then proceed to file the lien claim but must accomplish all of these steps no later than 120 days from the date of the last labor or materials provided.
Failure to follow the statutory procedures or meet the deadlines may result in the lien claim being discharged and the claimant being liable for the other party’s costs and attorney’s fees in defending or causing the discharge of the lien claim. It is thus important for a lien claimant to strictly follow the statutory procedures and abide by the statutory deadlines.
If you any specific questions concerning New Jersey’s construction lien law, please contact Michael Peacock, Esquire of our office.
New Jersey Revised Uniform Limited Liability Act
The New Jersey Revised Uniform Limited Liability Act is the first comprehensive revision to New Jersey’s limited liability company statute since the law was first adopted in 1994. Anyone who is an existing member of a limited liability company needs to become familiar with the changes made by the revised Act.
The revised Act took effect on March 18, 2013. It applies to all LLCs formed on or following that date. Significantly, the revised Act is scheduled to also apply to all LLCs on March 1, 2014, even those formed prior to March 18, 2013, and thus, it is important to understand the new changes made by the revised Act. Some of the more important changes include the following:
The prior statute limited the life of an LLC. The revised Act permits an LLC to have a perpetual life, same as a corporation.
The revised Act permits an LLC to have an oral as well as a written operating agreement, as well as an “implied” operating agreement based upon how the LLC is actually operated by its members.
An LLC can now file for non-profit status under the revised Act.
LLCs can be member-managed or manager-managed. Absent an operating agreement, the LLC is deemed to be member-managed, with management decisions being per capita, regardless of the percentage owned by each member. Meaning, for example, if the LLC has two members with one owning 99%, the two members still have one vote each.
The revised Act creates a duty of loyalty, absent an operating agreement, that prohibits a member or manager from competing with the LLC.
The revised Act allows the LLC to file a Statement of Authority with the Division of Revenue in which identified individuals may or may not enter into agreements on behalf of the LLC.
The revised Act provides remedies for a member who is the victim of oppression by the other members, and allows a court to dissolve the LLC.
A withdrawing member is not automatically entitled to fair value for his/her interest.
The revised Act substantially changes the default provisions that will govern the LLC in situations where no operating agreement exists or is silent as to a particular situation.
Anyone who is a member of an LLC or who may be contemplating forming an LLC should become familiar with the changes in the revised Act. Please contact Anthony Bongiovanni, Esquire of our office with any further questions.
Fall 2013 Newsletter Blurbs
Partner Steve Nehmad has been selected as a 2013 “Top Rated Lawyer” in the area of “Land Use and Zoning” by national legal industry news provider American Lawyer Media and national attorney-rating service Martindale-Hubbell.
Steve received this prestigious honor after receiving an “AV Preeminent” review rating on Martindale-Hubbell from his attorney peers. The AV Preeminent rating is the highest possible rating in legal ability and ethical standards.
Partner Keith Davis has been selected by Super Lawyers Magazine as a Rising Star in 2013. This rating by Super Lawyers is a distinct honor, given to the top 5% of practicing attorneys in New Jersey.