COAH Adopts New Rules Changing Affordable Housing Standards and Obligations

Posted by on Oct 24, 2008 in COAH and Affordable Housing Issues

By Henry T. Chou, Esq.
On September 22, 2008, COAH adopted a set of rule amendments affecting affordable housing development. The rule amendments concerning the so-called “third round” compliance period (2004-2018) represent a significant departure from COAH’s previous “third round” policies, which allowed municipalities to “pass through” affordable housing obligations directly to builders without providing any real offsetting benefits such as increased densities. The new rule amendments require presumptive minimum densities and/or density bonuses for inclusionary developments (developments containing both market rate housing and lower income housing), with the required densities varying depending upon the applicable State Development and Redevelopment Plan (“State Plan”) planning area designation and other criteria.

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Appellate Division Rejects Municipalities’ Request to Postpone Filing of Affordable Housing Plans

Posted by on Oct 13, 2008 in COAH and Affordable Housing Issues

By order dated October 6, 2008, the Appellate Division has denied a motion by the League of Municipalities to postpone the December 31, 2008 deadline for some 280 towns to file new housing plans with the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). Towns that are subject to this deadline and who fail to file with COAH by that date lose their immunity from exclusionary zoning litigation until they do file. Because these towns have an urgent need to prepare and adopt new housing plans over the next 10 weeks, this is an opportune time for property owners and builders to propose projects that include both residential and mixed use low and moderate income housing. Thomas F. Carroll, III, Esq. and Stephen Eisdorfer, Esq. of Hill Wallack represented the New Jersey Builders Association opposing the application by the League.

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Governor Corzine Determines Highlands Protection Trumps Affordable Housing Needs

Posted by on Oct 1, 2008 in Highlands

By: Henry T. Chou, Esq.
Last month, Governor Corzine approved the Highlands Regional Master Plan (“Highlands Plan”) and issued an executive order to facilitate its implementation. The Highlands Plan was adopted by the Highlands Council under the auspices of the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act, which was intended to limit development in the northwest portion of the state and to ensure protection of the State’s water resources. The Governor’s executive order emphasizes that the need to protect water quality in the Highlands region trumps even the serious affordable housing concerns in New Jersey.

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