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March 25, 2008

COAH 3rd Round Regulations



Dear Mayor:

The League submitted its comments to the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), objecting to its proposed third round regulations. The comments are also available online at:

These comments are a result of the analysis of our COAH committee, and feedback we received from a series of regional meetings the League conducted on the regulations.   

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the experts in the field who attended and spoke at our meetings, including:   Jeffrey Surenian, Esq., who spoke at three of our meetings; Stuart Koenig, Esq, who spoke twice; Edwin Schmierer, Esq.; Thomas Collins, Esq, Frank Banisch, PP; Mary Beth Lonergan, PP and Steve Lydon, PP. We would also like to thank Sharon Weiner, Esq., who represented the League at a breakfast meeting sponsored by Hunterdon County. 
Of greatest concern to our members, are:

  • the statewide need numbers being established for municipal compliance which drive unsustainable growth share ratios;
  • the errors in projected growth at the municipal level combined with a requirement to use that number as a minimum;
  • the issues presented by a lack of demolition credits resulting in obligations being created without growth in housing or jobs;
  • the imposition of a retroactive obligation without a means to satisfy that obligation;
  • the economic imbalance built into the compliance mechanisms.
  • the negative impact on commercial development and redevelopment, particularly in our centers and urban areas.

We have also been copied by many of you on your comments to the agency, and I must offer our compliments and thanks.   Local governments’ comments to the agency are well-thought out and very comprehensive.   Such comments serve to demonstrate our contention that the new regulations compel growth ratios that are not sustainable and the most likely results are dampening impacts on economic development and the production of affordable housing. 

It is anticipated the agency will adopt the substance of these regulations on June 2.  Once adopted, it is anticipated that there will be more than one challenge to set aside the regulations. The League’s COAH Committee and Executive Board are currently considering our next steps in this matter.

For more information, please see our Dear Mayor letters of December 18, January 3,  January 15,  January 30 and March 10, 2008.   Questions on this correspondence can be directed to Mike Cerra at or at (609) 695-3481 x120.


                                                                        Very truly yours,


                                                                        William G. Dressel, Jr.
                                                                        Executive Director





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