In the News

COAH Chaos: Dawdling municipalities may have to act quickly on projects or face builder suits


March 17, 2015
"[T]he state Supreme Court stripped the Council on Affordable Housing of its duties and turned them over to lower courts. The council had been charged with determining whether local governments are meeting their obligations for low- and moderate-income residents, but since 1999 has failed to produce guidelines that weren’t challenged in court," according to this article.  
The article continues, "[t]he judiciary will start reviewing applications in June, but experts say the ruling opens the door to so-called builder’s remedy lawsuits, in which developers sue local governments to allow for higher density in housing projects. But when those flood gates might open is still unclear — the court’s ruling effectively provided a grace period to towns that have attempted to determine their obligations.
Specifically, those that had their housing plan certified by COAH or were participating in the COAH process now have through early July to seek validation from the courts, according to Sills Cummis & Gross attorney Kevin Moore.
'(The process) presents a realistic opportunity for the provision of the municipality's fair share of its housing region's present and prospective need for low- and moderate-income housing,' Moore, the chair of the firm’s Land Use Practice Group, wrote last week on its RedevelopNJ blog. 'During this 120-day period, the municipality is immune from builder’s remedy lawsuits.'"