October 25, 2010
LEAGUE FILES PETITION TO APPEAL WITH STATE SUPREME COURT
The League of Municipalities today 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. “
League Executive Director Bill Dressel stated the following:
“We believe that it is time for our State Supreme Court to consider the validity of growth share. We believe 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 must learn from past mistakes, not repeat them. We can do better than the past housing policies, which relied on too much market rate housing at the expense of affordable housing and resulted in sprawl. There’s a better, smarter approach to affordable housing, and that’s why we seek to appeal to the State Supreme Court. ”
Contact: Bill Dressel, Executive Director, (609) 695-3481 x122 or
Mike Cerra, (609) 695-3481 x120
Edward J. Buzak, Esq.