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June 8, 2012

Re:      Two Legislative Issues
    I. COAH Extension Advances in Both Houses
    II. MLUL Exemption for Private Colleges Advances

Dear Mayor:

I. COAH Extension Advances in Both Houses

Yesterday, the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee unanimously approved S-2011, sponsored by Senator Brian Stack, and the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee unanimously approved A-2950, sponsored by Assemblyman Jerry Green. These companion bills will provide a two-year extension for the commitment of the municipal housing trust fund dollars. The League testified in support of these bills.

According to the Department of Community Affairs, approximately $161 million in local trust fund will be forfeited in July unless committed by contract. Specifically, A-2950 and S-2011 will:

1. Extend the deadline to commit trust fund dollars from four years from the date of collection to six years. Thus, dollars subject to forfeiture to the State this July would be protected until July 2014; and

2. Provide that any dollars forfeited after six years will either be transferred to the State Affordable Housing Trust Fund, or to the County if it has established a “Homelessness Trust Fund pursuant to NJSA 52:27D-287(e) or if it serves an “urban county pursuant to section 102(a)(6) of the “Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.” This provision allows for the trust fund dollars to be retained and used locally.

If your municipality is at risk of forfeiting its housing trust fund dollars, we urge to reach out to your State legislators and ask them to support A-2950 and S-2011. We would also urge you to reach out to the Governor’s Office to express your support as well. You can receive a sample letter to the Governor by contacting the League, as provided below.

The League will contact Legislative Leadership and ask for these bills to be posted for floor votes at their next respective voting sessions. For questions and comments on these bills, please contact Mike Cerra at mcerra@njslom.com or at (609) 695-3481 x120.

 

II. MLUL Exemption for Private Colleges Advances

Yesterday, the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee approved S-1534, which would exempt certain private colleges and universities from local zoning and planning jurisdiction. The bill is for 14 institutions with campus in 16 municipalities. The League opposes this bill since these private institutions should continue to be subject to local zoning jurisdiction and we find no reason for them to be provided a special status. Further, this legislation would establish a very troublesome precedent for all municipalities across the State when other non-profits which serve some public purpose inevitably seek equal standing with private colleges.

The 14 institutions that would be exempted from the MLUL if this legislation were to become law are: Bloomfield College, Caldwell College, Centenary College, College of St. Elizabeth, Drew University, Farleigh Dickinson University, Felician College, Georgian Court University, Monmouth University, Princeton University, Rider University, St. Peter’s College, Seton Hall University and Stevens Institute of Technology.

The Assembly companion, A-2586, which is sponsored by Assemblywoman Riley and Assemblyman Giblin, is referenced to the Assembly Higher Education Committee, but is not yet scheduled for a hearing.

We recommend reaching out to your State Legislators and ask them to oppose S-1534 and A-2586. Questions on this legislation can be directed to Mike Cerra at mcerra@njslom.com or 609-695-3481 x120.
Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

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