October 26, 2010
Re: League Seeks Appeal to State Supreme Court
Yesterday, the League filed a petition seeking an appeal of the October 8 Appellate Division decision, which had struck down substantive portions of several regulations promulgated by the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), and directed the agency to develop new regulations within five months.
The ruling invalidated the burdensome regulations promulgated by the agency, which were opposed by local governments due to their inflated projections of growth and reliance on a faulty vacant land analysis. Nevertheless, in doing so, the Court also invalidated the “growth share” concept. Under a growth share methodology, a percentage of growth is set-aside for affordable housing, instead of the bureaucratic, top down approach, historically employed by the agency.
In its October 8 decision, the Appellate Court did invite the Supreme Court to consider the constitutionality of the growth share concept. Specifically, the Court wrote,
“It may be that the time has arrived for reconsideration of the part of Mount Laurel II that appears to militate against the use of any growth share methodology for determining a municipality’s affordable housing obligations. However, this court has no authority to undertake such a reconsideration; we are bound by the decision of our Supreme Court. “
The ‘build as you grow approach’ is consistent with the planning priorities of the State, including the State Plan, the Highlands, the Pinelands and the principles of smart growth. We believe that the time has come for the State Supreme Court to deal with the growth share issue.
Questions can be directed to Mike Cerra at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-695-3481 x120.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.