ASSEMBLY, No. 1650

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2018 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  HOLLY T. SCHEPISI

District 39 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  ANTHONY M. BUCCO

District 25 (Morris and Somerset)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman N.Munoz, Assemblymen McGuckin, DiMaio, Clifton, Rooney, Assemblywoman B.DeCroce, Assemblymen Space, Bramnick and Harold J. Wirths

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits imposition of builder’s remedy in exclusionary zoning litigation.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning local zoning authority with respect to affordable housing and supplementing P.L.1985, c.222.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  a.  The Legislature declares that the use of the builder’s remedy, as a method of achieving fair share housing, has been contrary to the public interest and public policy goals in that it resulted in the development of extraordinary amounts of market rate housing in densely populated regions while producing comparatively little affordable housing, to the overall detriment of specific communities and the State as a whole.  The Legislature declares that the State's preference for the resolution of existing and future disputes involving exclusionary zoning is a mediation and review process and not litigation, and that it is the intention of              P.L.   , c.    (C.    )(pending before the Legislature as this bill) to eliminate the use of the builder's remedy as a method of achieving fair share housing.

     b.  Notwithstanding any law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, in any exclusionary zoning litigation, a plaintiff shall not be awarded a builder’s remedy.  If a court determines that a municipality has failed to meet its obligation to provide a realistic opportunity for the development of its region’s prospective needs for affordable housing, the court may impose a remedy other than a builder’s remedy.

     c.     For the purposes of this section:

     "Exclusionary zoning litigation" means lawsuits filed in courts of competent jurisdiction in this State challenging a municipality's zoning and land use regulations on the basis that the regulations do not make realistically possible the opportunity for an appropriate variety and choice of housing for all categories of people living within the municipality's housing region, including those of low and moderate income, who may desire to live in the municipality.

     "Builder's remedy" means a court imposed remedy for a litigant who is an individual or a profit-making entity in which the court requires a municipality to utilize zoning techniques such as mandatory set-asides or density bonuses which provide for the economic viability of a residential development by including housing which is not for low and moderate income households.

 

     2.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

    

     This bill prohibits the imposition of a builder’s remedy in exclusionary zoning litigation.  The builder’s remedy, as a method of achieving fair share housing, has been contrary to the public interest and public policy goals in that it resulted in the development of extraordinary amounts of market rate housing in densely populated regions while producing comparatively little affordable housing, to the overall detriment of specific communities and the State as a whole.  Municipalities have attempted to navigate the rulings of the court for nearly four decades, but have been unable to adequately address the affordable housing needs of the State despite the threat of builder’s remedy lawsuits. 

     Under the bill, if a court determines that a municipality has failed to meet its obligation to provide a reasonable opportunity for the development of affordable housing, a court may impose a remedy other than a builder’s remedy.  For the purposes of the bill, "builder's remedy" means a court imposed remedy for a litigant who is an individual or a profit-making entity in which the court requires a municipality to utilize zoning techniques such as mandatory set-asides or density bonuses which provide for the economic viability of a residential development by including housing which is not for low and moderate income households.