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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Municipalities Told COAH Filing Deadline Extension Denied

We have just received word from Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Joseph Doria that our request for an emergency meeting of the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) to consider an extension of the December 31 filing deadline has been rejected. COAH, therefore, will not have the opportunity to consider the merits of our request for such an extension.

On Friday, November 14, and again on November 24, the League wrote to Governor Corzine, requesting an Executive Order to extend the current December 31 deadline by a period of six-months. Today, that request was denied.

On Monday, November 17, we learned of an analysis conducted by the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) of funding available to comply with the COAH regulations. The conclusion of the analysis is that, assuming DCA’s contention that there will be over $800 million available annually for the construction of housing to be accurate, that still leaves a “deficit in annual resources for fair share housing obligations" of up to $2 billion annually.

The League has argued since the introduction of the COAH regulations, that the inflated growth projections and limited funding sources would compel municipalities to rely on the property tax. The OLS analysis demonstrates our argument.

On December 18, in a final effort to gain an extension, we wrote to Commissioner Doria, asking that he convene an emergency meting of COAH to consider the need for an extension, in the light of these factors.

Our request for an extension had been supported by Senators Lesniak and Bateman, by Assembly Speaker Roberts, by Assemblyman Green, the Chairman of the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee, by groups committed to environmental protection, and by many others interested in sound planning principles.

The Commissioner’s decision means that municipalities will need to file revised third round plans by December 31 or face ‘builders’ remedy’ lawsuits.

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For further information contact: William G. Dressel, Jr., Executive Director at (609)695-3481, extension 122 or 609-915-9072




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