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December 18, 2008

                                                                        Re:    Request for Emergency COAH Action
                                                                                  on Arbitrary December 31 Deadline

Dear Mayor:

 Today, we wrote to DCA Commissioner Joe Doria, asking him to call the members of the Council on Affordable Housing back to Trenton, for an emergency meeting to act on our request for an extension from the current December 31 deadline for submission of the COAH plans.

Today, we urge you to do the same.

Please contact:

The Hon. Joseph V. Doria, Jr., Commissioner
Department of Community Affairs
101 S. Broad Street, PO Box 800
Trenton, NJ   08628
Fax (609) 984-6696

There has been a growing consensus on the extension issue. Since the request for additional time was made by Senators Lesniak and Bateman, a broad range of support has coalesced from the League, municipal governments from across the State, the Sierra Club and other environmental advocates and from more Legislative Leaders, including Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts and Assemblyman Jerry Green.  

All this extension does is allow municipalities additional time to improve their plans to address the continuing changes to the regulations and involve the public to a greater extent.     If towns are not giving an opportunity to plan appropriately, the ramifications for planning and property taxpayers will be serious, and, in the long run, will serve to undermine sound housing policy.   We also note that any municipality will still be free to submit its plan at any time, and, in fact, four municipalities have filed with the agency already.

Clearly, this extension is both necessary and appropriate, and we respectfully request that COAH schedule a meeting and grant the extension.

Please send copies of your letters to Speaker Roberts, Assemblyman Green and Senators Lesniak and Bateman.

Thank you.

Very Truly Yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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