Radburn Regulations bring new rules for Board Meetings & Minutes

Posted on June 3rd, 2020

In 2017, New Jersey’s legislature amended New Jersey’s Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act, commonly known as PREDFDA. These amendments have been labeled the “Radburn Amendments”. PREDFDA has always been administered by parts of New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs (“DCA”). To that end, DCA has adopted regulations it claims are necessary to “implement” and/or “enable” relevant owners to “more easily and fully comply with” the Radburn Amendments. These regulations will likely be known as the “Radburn Regulations”.

The Radburn Regulations attempt to ensure that, no matter what, every “binding” decision of a board is first and only made at a board meeting open to attendance. These regulations define “binding vote” as a vote “made with a quorum of the executive board members present”. A board vote occurring at a “closed meeting” or via another forum has been expressly declared to be NOT binding. Now, owners can only be excluded for a “discussion” concerning a limited group of matters including those matters involving an unwarranted invasion of privacy and matters involving communications that should be confidential in light of the association’s attorney-client privilege. Any actual binding decisions concerning any of those matters must be first and only made at a board meeting open to attendance of owners. For every board vote, the board must provide to those in attendance a “brief explanation” of the basis for and “cost entailed” in the vote. There are a variety of strategies and arguments available to an association that hopes to minimize the burdens that the Radburn Regulations will place on associations in this regard.

The association must produce minutes concerning every board meeting open to attendance of owners. These minutes must be “legible”, noting the board members that participated. The minutes must clearly identify any “matters addressed”, any matters voted on, along with the basis for “and cost entailed in the matter which” was the “subject of the vote”. The minutes must be available to owners before the next board meeting, even if those minutes have to be identified as “draft”. Lastly, if a board elects to record its meeting, the recording must be available to owners.