by Colleen O'Dea, NJSpotlight.com
Thursday’s New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that struck down the state’s most recent affordable housing regulations also sent the Council on Affordable Housing back to the drawing board. The decision gives the council five months to come up with new quotas to ensure that towns and cities provide their fair share of low- and moderate-income housing.
The question now is whether the Christie administration will ignore the ruling or work with the Legislature to come up with new regulations.
But at least one state legislator who has tried to rewrite the COAH process is skeptical that will happen and said he is preparing to again push legislation to provide a system that would better meet the court’s mandate.
“It’s likely, quite frankly, that a COAH run by Gov. Christie is not going to come up with something that is constitutional,” said Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) and sponsor of a bill in the last legislative session that would have revamped the state’s affordable housing laws and abolished the council.
“He is going to have to accept the court ruling” and work with the Legislature on a bill he is willing to sign “or the court is going to make its own rules.”
A spokesman for Christie had no comment on the long-awaited ruling, which affirmed a nearly three-year old appellate decision invalidating COAH’s third round rules, and a spokeswoman for COAH did not return a request for comment.
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