Why are the courts in control of determining Millburn’s affordable housing obligation?

The Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) has failed to establish legally valid rules and numeric obligations for affordable housing since the second round of regulations expired in 1999. There have been numerous court battles between affordable housing advocates, the real estate developers' lobby, municipalities and COAH itself over how the rules should be formulated and the methodology by which local obligations should be established.

In March of 2015, the Supreme Court, after numerous attempts by  COAH to establish legally acceptable rules and the methodology to calculate each municipality’s affordable housing obligation, took back jurisdiction over all affordable housing issues.  The Supreme Court returned to the county trial courts the responsibility of determining methodology, affordable housing obligations and compliance with the constitutional obligations to provide this housing through land use ordinances, overlay zones and available inclusionary development opportunities. This order stripped COAH of its administrative powers and forced participating towns into a situation where they must attempt to determine their own obligations. This process is ongoing and will likely continue through trial and appeals courts for years to come.

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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?