|Mayor's Statement - Affordable Housing||Conceptual Housing Element and Fair Shre Plan|
Due to the inability of our elected legislative and executive officials at the State level from effectively performing their duties and responsibilities, the matter of determining each municipality’s affordable housing obligation for the period between 2015 and 2025 has been taken up by the Courts where a judge will ultimately determine our affordable housing obligation and that of all other municipalities in the State of New Jersey. The process is clearly disjointed and uncoordinated. Due to the fact that it is proceeding in the courts as litigation with developers and an affordable housing advocacy group serving as interested parties in the lawsuit against Denville, much of the discussion has been required to take place in executive session in order to provide the municipality with optimal protection from these and other prospective interveners. This closed process is not what any of your elected or appointed officials desire; however, in order to maintain our immunity from builders’ remedy lawsuits which would result in the loss of all control of development in our community, we must continue to proceed in this manner. In fact, this immunity has been stripped from other municipalities who have not complied with the court’s directives with devastating consequences.
The Court has required the Township to submit a conceptual amendment to the Housing Element and Fair Share Plan of the Township’s Master Plan. Resolutions were adopted by the Township Council and the Planning Board to do so at a public meeting held on March 22, 2016. Although all members of these two bodies voiced their displeasure with the process; both groups recognized that the consequences of not adopting the resolution would be infinitely worse. The conceptual plan will now be submitted to the courts for their review and a determination as to whether the conceptual plan is acceptable or needs to be further modified. By adopting the conceptual plan and submitting it to the court, the Township is ensured of maintaining its immunity from builders’ remedy lawsuits. Links to both the Mayor’s statement and the Conceptual Housing Element and Fair Share Plan may be found above.