How likely is it that a municipality can successfully defend a builder’s remedy lawsuit?

Once a court determines that a municipality has not satisfied its constitutional obligations concerning the development of affordable housing, it is nearly impossible to “win” a subsequent builder’s remedy lawsuit. The municipality loses the presumption of validity of its zoning ordinances and the case proceeds with the underlying premise that the municipality is improperly preventing the development of affordable housing. 

As a result, when a builder’s remedy is granted, courts grant the developer the right to construct multi-family housing on its proposed site and relax the municipality’s density, height, bulk and setback standards as necessary to facilitate that development. In addition, that development will contain an affordable housing set-aside, typically between 15% and 20%. These decisions will be made by a judge upon the recommendation of a court-appointed master - not by Township officials.

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1. What is Affordable Housing?
2. What is the Fair Share Housing Center?
3. Is the Township required to provide an opportunity for Affordable Housing units?
4. Why can’t the Township’s affordable housing litigation be discussed publicly?
5. Does Millburn have an Affordable Housing Plan?
6. Why are the courts in control of determining Millburn’s affordable housing obligation?
7. Will a court consider the economic impact to the community, including schools?
8. Where can I learn more about Millburn’s current Affordable Housing situation?
9. What are ways the Township can satisfy its obligation to provide for affordable housing?
10. What is a motion to intervene in the Township’s Housing Element and Fair Share Plan?
11. What is a builder's remedy lawsuit?
12. How can builder’s remedy lawsuits be avoided?
13. How likely is it that a municipality can successfully defend a builder’s remedy lawsuit?
14. What opportunity would there be for public comment on the Township’s affordable housing Plan?
15. Where can I find information on 85 Woodland Road, LLC., et al. v. Township of Millburn, et al.?
16. What would have happened if the Township had not settled with Fair Share Housing on it Housing Element and Fair Share Plan?
17. Why have settlement negotiations taken so long?
18. How many units of affordable housing is the township obligated to provide and by when?
19. What is the status of the 75 units of 100% affordable housing at the 11 Main Street development (a portion of the DPW facility)?
20. Other than capital constraint, can the Township buy back existing apartment buildings and turn them into affordable housing to satisfy the obligation?
21. Are the developers obligated to keep the ‘affordable units’ permanent?
22. Does the township have any long term strategic urban planning to make sure that traffic, environmental, road, water, sewage, school, etc. will be well planned ahead of any constructions?
23. Will there be any new obligations?
24. Under the current agreement, how long does Millburn retain immunity against any builder’s remedy lawsuits?