ASSEMBLY, No. 4124

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 5, 2015

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  GREGORY P. MCGUCKIN

District 10 (Ocean)

Assemblyman  DAVID P. RIBLE

District 30 (Monmouth and Ocean)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes affirmative defense against builder’s remedy lawsuits.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning affordable housing litigation and supplementing P.L.1985, c.222 (C.52:27D-301 et seq.).

 

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

 

     1.    a. Notwithstanding any law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, it shall be an affirmative defense to the use of the builder's remedy that a municipality has not discriminated against low- and moderate-income residents through exclusionary zoning practices.  A municipality may establish this affirmative defense by demonstrating any of the following:

     (1)  according to the most recent decennial census, at least 25 percent of existing residents of the municipality meet the latest valid definition of low or moderate income as determined by the council;

     (2) the average rental price for a two bedroom residence in the municipality is $1,200 or less;

     (3) rental units comprise at least 25 percent of all available housing units in the municipality;

     (4) the average market rate for residences on sale in the municipality is $240,000 or less; and

     (5) at least 40 percent of the workforce of the municipality commutes at least 30 minutes to their place of employment.

     b.    The Commissioner of Community Affairs shall annually promulgate updated rental price and market rate amounts as adjusted for increases in the consumer price index (CPI).

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

STATEMENT

 

     This legislation establishes an affirmative defense to a builder’s remedy lawsuit.  Municipalities in this State could face an increase in this type of litigation due to the ongoing inaction and failures of the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH).  The use of the builder's remedy as a method of achieving fair share housing is not desirable for any interested parties.  A municipality may establish an affirmative defense against this legal action by demonstrating the following: at least 25 percent of existing residents of the municipality meet the latest valid definition of low or moderate income as determined by the Council, the average rental price for a two bedroom residence in the municipality is $1,200 or less, and rental units comprise at least 25 percent of all available units in the municipality, the average market rate for residences on sale in the municipality is $240,000 or less, and at least 40 percent of residents of the municipality commute at least 30 minutes to their place of employment.