Forest
New Jersey Chapter

Chapter Home

DONATE NOW!

  • It's easier than ever to make a gift to the New Jersey Sierra Club by clicking on the "Donate" button. Your generous support today is a guaranteed investment in the future of our environment.

Newsletter -
Jersey Sierran

  • Click Here for the latest quarterly copy of the Sierra Club's publication on all things New Jersey.

Follow Us

Connect With Us:

Calendar Events

Aug 26 (Tue), 7:00 pm
The Joys of Birding
Sep 9 (Tue), 7:00 pm
Fossil Fuels and Their Impacts... And, What Else To Do
Sep 10 (Wed), 7:30 pm
West Jersey Group General Meeting
Sep 10 (Wed), 7:30 pm
The Dangers of the Pilgrim Pipleline
Sep 12 (Fri), 7:00 pm
Assateague Island Camp and Beach Weekend
Sep 13 (Sat), 10:00 am
Singles Hike - Hamburg Mountain WMA Hike, Hardyston Township
Sep 13 (Sat), 1:00 pm
Chapter Executive Committee meeting
Sep 21 (Sun), 10:00 am
Silver Singles Walk at Palisades Interstate Park
Sep 23 (Tue), 7:00 pm
The Endangered Species Act
Sep 27 (Sat), 10:00 am
Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve and Delaware Canal Towpath Hike

Sierra Club Condemns Dangerous Court Decision


Date : Tue, 25 Aug 2009 13:54:44 -0400

For Immediate Release

August 26, 2009

Contact: Jeff Tittel, Director

609-558-9100

 

Sierra Club Condemns Dangerous Court Decision

Homes of Hope Vs. Eastampton

 

The New Jersey Sierra Club is outraged by yesterday's Appellate decision on Homes of Hope Vs. Eastampton. This decision will overturn the authority of local planning and zoning, undermine environmental protections, and promote sprawl and overdevelopment.

 

The court ruled that even if a community has met its affordable housing obligations and has been certified by COAH as being in compliance, developers can still overturn local zoning to build affordable housing projects.

 

What is so outrageous about this decision is that it overturns other case law that is more on point, including the Mount Laurel II decision, which says as long as the town meets in affordable housing obligation it can zone the rest of the town in the manner deemed appropriate.

 

"This decision declares open season on local towns and their zoning," NJ Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel said.

 

The town of Eastampton was not only certified by COAH but had a surplus of affordable housing, according to its plan. The board of adjustment voted down the requested D variance, or use variance, which is the strictest deviation from municipal zoning. Homes of Hope sought this variance to build multi-family dwellings, a use not permitted in single family home zoning.

 

"Eastampton was supposed to have the presumption of validity because they have been certified by COAH," Tittel said. "The state of New Jersey was supposed to defend them in court. That didn't happen. Where was the Corzine Administration when it comes to protecting planning, zoning, and the environment?

 

The court ruled that affordable housing is an inherently beneficial use, therefore providing the right to overturn local zoning and allow the project to move forward. The decision is a published decision, which means that it is the law of the land and sets precedence throughout the state. When it comes to affordable housing, zoning no longer matters in New Jersey.

 

"All developers have to do now is say they want to build affordable housing and they will be allowed to overturn zoning," Tittel said. "We already have the Corzine Administration's COAH rules that are promoting sprawl and overdevelopment. Now, even if you comply with those rules, developers can still challenge you."

 

"Regardless of how environmentally sensitive the area is and how out of character the development is, affordable housing is permitted despite zoning," Tittel said. "We believe that the legislature has to address this issue and do it soon. This decision means more sprawl, more pollution and more overdevelopment."

 

 

 

 

Kara Seymour, Program Assistant

NJ Sierra Club

145 W. Hanover Street

Trenton, NJ 08618

609.656.7612

(f) 609.656.7618

 <http://www.newjersey.sierraclub.org> www.newjersey.sierraclub.org

 
Received on 2009-08-25 10:54:44

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

Sierra Club is a registered trademark.
Questions and comments about this web site may be sent to: George Newsome

Page URL: http://NewJersey.SierraClub.org/PressReleases/0087.asp
Page Last Modified 7/7/2014


Up to Top