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Section: Request by commissioner for transportation development district
a. After due examination the commissioner may find, in accordance with regulations adopted pursuant to subsection d. of section 4 of this act, that certain designated areas of the State are growth corridors or growth areas and that existing financial resources and existing mechanisms for securing financial commitments for transportation improvements are inadequate to meet transportation improvement needs which are the result of rapid development in these corridors or areas. Upon this finding and after sufficient time has elapsed for the governing body of the county or counties located within this corridor or area to take action to establish a district or districts therein pursuant to the provisions of this act and if they have not done so, the commissioner may request the governing body of the county or counties to initiate an application for the designation and delineation of a transportation development district under section 4 of this act. The request shall set forth in detail the reasons which, in the judgment of the commissioner, justify the creation of a transportation development district in conformity with the purpose of this act, which reasons may be based upon a comprehensive development plan for the corridor or area issued by the department after notice and public hearings in the area or corridor in question. The finding by the commissioner that certain areas of the State are growth corridors or growth areas shall not be construed as determining and designating all growth corridors or growth areas in the State and shall not preclude any governing body of a county from establishing a transportation development district within any portion of that county in accordance with the provisions of this act. b. The governing body of the county shall, within 90 days of the receipt of the request submitted under subsection a. above, respond to the request by adoption of an ordinance or resolution, as appropriate, which shall state the intention of the governing body to proceed or not to proceed with an application for the designation and delineation of a transportation development district under section 4 of this act . If appropriate the ordinance or resolution shall set forth the reasons for not so proceeding. The ordinance or resolution, as appropriate, shall be transmitted to the governing body of each municipality which would, in the judgment of the governing body of the county, be directly affected by the designation and delineation of a transportation development district as proposed in the request. c. The commissioner may, especially in the case of a corridor or area traversed by a State highway, request the governing bodies of two or more counties to establish adjoining transportation development districts in accordance with the procedures provided for in subsections a. and b. of this section. d. If the governing body of the county or counties has received a request from the commissioner to initiate an application, or to establish adjoining transportation development districts, and has failed to respond to the commissioner's request within the time permitted or has stated that it does not intend to proceed with an application or otherwise fails to take action to establish the requested district or districts, the commissioner may, upon 90 days' notice to the governing bodies of the county and each municipality directly affected by the designation and delineation of the proposed district, and the holding of a public hearing, where the creation of such a district or districts is critically important, by order designate such a district or districts and delineate its boundaries. The functions, powers and duties of the governing body of the county concerning transportation development districts as authorized by this act shall be exercised by the commissioner through regulations and orders concerning a district created under this subsection in substantially the same manner as would be exercised by the governing body of the county pursuant to this act. In a district so created, development fees shall be assessed by order of the commissioner upon notice and public hearing. These fees shall only be assessed, and disbursed from the transportation development district trust fund, for projects other than county transportation projects. Appeals from these assessments shall be referred to the Office of Administrative Law by the commissioner for a hearing. If the commissioner modifies or rejects the resultant report and decision, the action of the commissioner may be appealed to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court as provided in subsection i. of section 7 of this act. Notwithstanding that a governing body of the county may not have participated in the establishment of a district, the governing body by ordinance or resolution may request the commissioner to permit it to participate fully in the operation of the district. Upon the granting of this request by the commissioner on whatever terms and conditions the commissioner deems appropriate, the governing body of the county shall assume full responsibility for the operation of the district and the assessment of fees, as if the district were established pursuant to an application by the governing body under subsection a. of section 4 of this act. e. In designating and delineating a district, and in establishing district transportation improvement and financial plans therefor, the commissioner shall act in accordance with regulations adopted as provided in section 18 of this act. L.1989,c.100,s.13.
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