Garden State property owners and developers need to follow the adage "stop, look and listen." New Jersey's Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) finally adopted its revised Third Cycle regulations, which purport to comply with the New Jersey Appellate Court’s January 25, 2007 decision striking down COAH's growth share regulations. While the adopted regulations became effective yesterday, requirements on development in New Jersey are far from known because COAH has simultaneously proposed significant amendments that, if adopted, would alter the implementation of municipal housing obligations yet again. All developers of residential and non-residential properties and any property owners considering new construction or renovations will be affected by the new regulations.

COAH's posturing is being met with significant resistance. Affordable housing advocates and developers are calling the dual approach a sham that creates the appearance of timely compliance with the Court's time limitation while further delaying the provision of affordable housing. Accordingly, motions for a Court Special Master oversight have been renewed. The litigants are also expected to challenge the adopted regulations, as well as the proposed amendments upon their adoption. This time, however, the litigants will likely be joined by the League of Municipalities, which is touting the adopted regulations and proposed amendments as creating a new financial burden for services and infrastructure on local taxpayers.

Because these regulations will have a sweeping effect, property owners and developers need to make careful tactical decisions in the upcoming months. Ballard Spahr LLP stands ready to assist property owners and developers through this process.


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