Court Distinguishes Standard of Review for Blight Declarations and Redevelopment Ordinances

According to the Appellate Division, the findings underlying a municipal governing body’s decision relating to the adoption of a redevelopment plan by ordinance, including any determination regarding the plan’s consistency or inconsistency with the master plan, must be adequately supported by the record. However, unlike a redevelopment area designation (or “blight” declaration) – which requires substantial evidence to be sustained, the standard of judicial review for these enactments and related determinations is whether they are arbitrary and capricious. This was the primary ruling, among others, in the recent case decision of POWERHOUSE ARTS DISTRICT NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION v. CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF JERSEY CITY, which is currently available on Westlaw at 2010 WL 1946664 (N.J.Super.A.D.) and has been approved for publication.