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September 17, 2008

Affordable Housing: COAH Litigation Update





Dear Mayor:

I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the status of the League’s challenge of the COAH regulations.  If you recall, in earlier correspondence, we indicated that the Court gave the League until today to file its brief.  However, due to the high number of pending appeals (at least 24, with more pending possibly) the Court has scheduled a case management conference later this month with all appellants to determine how the high number of appeals will be handled and what the briefing schedule will be.  We do not know, therefore, when the League’s brief will be due but we would anticipate that we will need to file sometime in October or early November.

At the above meeting, we also anticipate direction on our pending appeal, seeking a limited stay of the December 31 filing deadline.

In addition to the League’s challenge, there are challenges from a group of 19 municipalities (commonly referred to as the “Clinton Coalition,”), individual challenges from at least a dozen municipalities, the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA), the NJ Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), the Fair Share Housing Center (FSHC) and others.

It is anticipated that COAH will adopt proposed amendments to its regulations at its September 22 meeting.   It is possible, perhaps likely, that this will trigger even more appeals. 

The League’s challenge focuses on the economic imbalances in the regulations, and the flawed methodology comprising the vacant land analysis, and the computation of jobs and housing projections through 2018.  We hope that the end result will be a methodology that encourages the participation of local governments, accommodates and promotes the development of affordable housing and does so in a manner consistent with local and State planning efforts.  To date, 231 municipalities have pledged funds towards the League’s challenge. 

We are also planning to convene a meeting at the League conference for municipalities that have pledged towards our challenge.  Once confirmed, we will provide details to those communities under separate cover. 

For more on the League’s challenge, please see our Dear Mayor letters of August 29, August 13 and July 17.   Questions can be directed to Mike Cerra at or 609-695-3481 x120.


                                                                        Very truly yours,


                                                                        William G. Dressel, Jr.
                                                                        Executive Director


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