APA-NJ Files Challenge to COAH Rulemaking

The American Planning Association – New Jersey Chapter along with New Jersey Future and the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey have filed a joint amicus curiae brief in the New Jersey Supreme Court supporting the Fair Share Housing Center’s Motion to Enforce Litigant’s Rights. This motion asks the Supreme Court to enforce the order it issued in September 2013: after striking down the “growth share” rules, the Court gave the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) five months to propose new rules based on the methodology it had used in the First and Second Rounds. Yet following an extension, COAH proposed new Third Round rules on June 2, 2014, which bear little relationship to the prior round rules. In particular, the brief focuses in on a new concept introduced into the proposed rules, the “Buildable Limit.” According to the brief, “The word ‘Limit’ reflects the way the concept operates . . . all unmet obligations allocated in prior rounds and all obligations designed to meet prospective need are simply erased insofar as they exceed the Buildable Limit.” One consequence of the use of the Buildable Limit, the brief contends, is to “eliminate[] tens of thousands of affordable units that COAH has said are required to meet the need, while undoing incentives to use redevelopment [rather than vacant land] to meet these obligations.”

A special thanks to Catherine Weiss and Ryan J. Cooper of Lowenstein Sandler LLP who worked with us in preparing the brief. You can access the full text of the brief here.