January 10, 2011
League Statement on COAH, S-1, passing the Senate
“While the League believes COAH must be reformed, we are concerned that S-1, which passed the Senate today, may have negative consequences that actually make the affordable housing situation worse for municipalities.
“Our concerns deal with the fact that the bill increases the obligation for affordable housing from COAH’s gross obligation of approximately 190,000 units to 230,000. In the first ten-year housing cycle contemplated by S-1, the number of units required is estimated at 48,491. In the second ten-year housing cycle, that number more than doubles to 97,375.
“The bill does not respect the compliance efforts of municipalities, and denies credits granted by COAH and courts to those municipalities. Further, there is inadequate funding in the bill for municipalities to meet the obligations imposed by S-1.
“Lastly, there is no real safe harbor afforded by the bill. A challenge to the municipal plan of compliance will take the form of a trial in the Law Division of the Superior Court, much in the same way that municipalities are now subject to builder’s remedy litigation if they do not participate in the COAH process or seek a declaratory judgment of compliance. The process exposes every municipality where there is a landowner or developer excluded from the plan to expensive and prolonged litigation.
“We look forward to working with the legislature on ensuring that any reform to COAH represents an improvement to our already beleaguered municipalities.”
For further information contact: William G. Dressel, Jr., Executive Director at (609)695-3481, extension 122 or 609-915-9072.
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