‘Corzine's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the governor's reaction to the ruling or the call for a special legislative session.’
Senator Sean Kean, R-Monmouth, urged Governor Corzine to call an immediate special session to deal with an outrageous court ruling that the Sierra Club says will mean “more sprawl, more pollution and more overdevelopment” in New Jersey. In a decision that one local official called “bizarre,” the appeals court said that the millions of dollars spent by cities to comply with state ‘affordable’ housing rules provide no protection from lawsuits demanding more housing be built beyond what the Corzine administration has required.
“Governor Corzine has had ample time to lay out a plan for decisive action on this issue, and he has failed to do so. Towns expected the Corzine administration to keep its promises and protect them from the legal assaults that led to Monday’s bizarre ruling,” Senator Kean said. “If the governor doesn’t support a special session, then I urge him to say today what he will do to help towns prevent property tax increases, overcrowding in schools and environmental damage.”
A developer sued to force Eastampton Township in Burlington County to accept eight units of so-called “affordable” housing. Eastampton argued that it had met state requirements for the number of affordable housing units, and refused to grant a variance so the housing could be crammed into an area zoned for single family homes. The appeals court ruled on Monday in favor of the developer, saying that affordable housing was a “beneficial use” and that the city couldn’t block construction just because it had complied with state law.
“Corzine community affairs commissioner Joe Doria promised over and over again that compliance with expensive state regulations would protect communities from builder’s remedies lawsuits,” Kean said. “Now the governor needs to say how he will keep that promise in light of this court ruling. The governor must show leadership and protect communities from costly lawsuits and attacks on their rights to control sprawl and property taxes.”