February 22, 2010
REVISED FROM FAX SENT EARLIER!
RE: I. Courts Stays Governor’s Stay on COAH
II. Time of Decision
On Friday, the Appellate Division stayed the portion of Governor’s Executive Order 12 which implemented 90-day period in which, “COAH shall refrain from taking any further action to process applications for substantive certification or to take any other actions to implement the Third Round Regulations.”
Immediately following the signing of EO12, the Fair Share Housing Center (FSHC) filed a challenge of the Executive Order with the Appellate Division. The State was given until 2 PM Friday to reply, which it did. The League was not provided the opportunity to participate.
At some point late Friday afternoon, the Appellate Division, while denying all other emergent relief sought by FSHC, effectively enacted a temporary stay of the ninety day stay incorporated in the EO. This “stay of the stay” is in place while the Court considers the appeal filed by FSHC. FSHC is to file court documents this week, and the State has until March 5 to reply.
COAH may again proceed with reviewing and approving 3rd round petitions. Highlands communities operating under the June 8 deadline are still under that deadline. Mediation on objections may proceed.
The Executive Order also creates the “Housing Opportunity Task Force” to undertake a review of the Fair Housing Act, the State Planning Act and COAH regulations. The Task Force, chaired by former State Senator Marcia Karrow, will continue its work. Mayors Frank Druetzler of Morris Plains and Wilda Diaz of Perth Amboy have been appointed by the Governor to serve on the Task Force.
Meanwhile, on the legislative front, Senator Lesniak indicates that S-1 will be considered by the Senate Economic Growth Committee in early March, and could be poised for a vote by the full Senate later in March. Assemblyman Jerry Green, who chairs the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee, has announced that his committee will conduct a hearing on affordable housing on March 4.
So, while it seems certain that substantive changes are contemplated for COAH, the timetable is uncertain.
II. Time of Decision
We would like to call your attention to the February 22 Star-Ledger editorial concurring with the League’s opposition to S-82 and A-437, which would eliminate the time of decision rule at the municipal level.
The development community has prioritized this legislation and is making every effort to fast-track its approval. S-82 was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee in early February, and may be posted for a Senate vote in March. A-437 is assigned to the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.
We have received countless resolutions opposing this legislation. If your municipality has not yet passed such a resolution, we would encourage you to do so. A model resolution is available online at: http://www.njslom.org/time-of-decision-resolution.pdf
The Star-Ledger editorial is online at: http://blog.nj.com/njv_editorial_page/2010/02/the_real_smart_growth_freezing.html
For more on this, please see our Dear Mayor of January 28, January 29, and February 4.
Questions on this either of these issues can be directed to Mike Cerra at firstname.lastname@example.org or (609) 695-3481 x120.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.