COAH Mission Statement

“To facilitate the production of sound, affordable housing for low and moderate income households by providing the most effective process to municipalities, housing providers, nonprofit and for profit developers to address a constitutional obligation within the framework of sound, comprehensive planning.”

…most effective process to Municipalities??

…Sound, comprehensive planning??

So why does it take a lawsuit to get the Council to see the light? Their mission statement gives the impression that they want to work WITH municipalities, but their mandates says otherwise…

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Meeting to discuss affordable housing Obligations and effects

Yesterday’s APP article by Alesha Bord-Williams

MANALAPAN — Area legislators and the League of Municipalities will hold a public forum on the township’s affordable housing obligation and its possible effects 7 p.m., Tuesday at town hall, Route 522.

Sen. Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, all R-Monmouth, will host the forum. Also in attendance will be representatives of the League of Municipalities, under which more than 200 towns have joined in a lawsuit appealing the state’s Council on Affordable Housing regulations, League Executive Director William Dressel said. A second forum will be held in Red Bank in October.

“We believe the regulations are based on faulty data,” Dressel said. “And from bad data comes bad numbers.”

The league in its appellate court complaint charges COAH regulations force development on land set aside for open space and will cram housing into built-out towns, Dressel said. New regulations also would ban municipalities’ ability to
transfer requirements to other towns through regional contribution agreements, or RCAs.

“After closer examination of their analysis, it appears they calculated such things as golf courses, backs of yards, recreational areas, median strips and highways and baseball fields,” Dressel said. “Also, we don’t believe there’s enough money (through developer’s fees) to be able to provide affordable housing, which we believe is going to increase taxes for towns generally to build the number of units that are being called for.”

Manalapan Mayor Michelle Roth said her municipality is experiencing similar problems with the state, which has calculated the township’s housing obligation by counting parks, preserved farmland and grass medians as buildable land.

“Therefore the numbers for Manalapan Township were extraordinarily high and not reflective of reality,” Roth said.

According to Beck spokesman Tom Fitzsimmons, Manalapan will be required to build 1,179 units. Beck said Red Bank will be required to build 672 units “for a 1.8-square-mile town of, maybe, 12,000 people…obviously it doesn’t make a lot of
sense.”

“These are all issues we’re going to explore a great deal on Tuesday because we believe people need to be educated about the impacts this new law and the regulations will have on each and every community in the state of New Jersey,”
Beck said.

COAH Killing Economic Development And Job Growth

Senator Phil Haines, Assemblywoman Dawn Addiego and Assemblyman Scott Rudder issued the following statement regarding reports published in the Courier Post that local officials canceled an economic development project in Evesham, Burlington County, due to the new quotas and fees imposed by the Council on Affordable Housing:

“This is absolutely intolerable. This new shopping center development would have provided much needed jobs and would have enabled the township to build an updated modern public works facility – at little or no cost to the taxpayer.

“Instead, the arbitrary, unfair, anti-business COAH rules would have forced local taxpayers to spend $6 million to build 37 affordable houses along with the shopping center. In light of the higher COAH fees, the project was canceled.

“The argument made by the Trenton Democrats on the floor of the Senate and General Assembly when they passed a new COAH law in June, was that the fees would cover the development costs of higher quotas. This is obviously not the case, as the cancelation of the project demonstrates.

Bucco: New COAH Map Absurd And Ridiculous

Senator Anthony Bucco asked Joe Doria, Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, in a letter today to correct huge flaws in the new Council On Affordable Housing (COAH) study. The study was intended to identify open acreage available for the construction of court mandated housing. Instead the study identified areas that are clearly closed to development. The letter is attached. Examples include:

  • Parts of the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal,
  • A rest area and parts of the median on Route 287,
  • Areas between the runways and taxiways at Morristown airport,
  • More than half of the Schiff Natural Lands Trust,
  • Watersheds surrounding the Clyde Potts and Jersey City Reservoirs
  • Private homeowners’ back yards

“This is absolutely ridiculous,” Bucco stated. “Let’s put houses on an airport runway or the median of 287. Better yet, develop the Picatinny Arsenal I’m sure the homeowners won’t mind the noise.

“At the very least we should get the money we paid for this study back. They used aerial photographs taken in 2002. This document needs to be fixed before it is submitted to the court this June. I look forward to working with Commissioner Doria to ensure that this seriously flawed study is fixed by then,” Bucco concluded.
April 11, 2008

Honorable Joseph V. Doria Jr.

Commissioner,

Department of Community Affairs

William M. Ashby Community Affairs Building

101 South Broad Street

Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0088

Dear Commissioner Doria:

I am deeply concerned by published reports that some of the areas identified as available for development under a new Council On Affordable Housing (COAH) study are, in fact, closed to development. Some of the areas listed as open acreage in the (COAH) report include: parts of the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal, a rest area and parts of the median on Route 287, areas between the runways and taxiways at Morristown airport, more than half of the Schiff Natural Lands Trust, watersheds surrounding the Clyde Potts and Jersey City Reservoirs, and private homeowners’ back yards.

It is clear that the study conducted by Rutgers Professor Henry J. Mayer and the University of Pennsylvania is deeply flawed and must be reworked. It is vitally important that this report must be corrected before the document is submitted to the court in June. To do otherwise would be a grave disservice to municipalities across the State who have labored in good faith, for years, to comply with the arbitrary and unpredictable dictates of the council.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to speaking with you about this issue.

Sincerely,

Anthony Bucco