LETTER – Schepisi package to fix municipality’s court-mandated over development again blocked by speaker

For the second time in 28 days Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi’s attempt to get the State Assembly to relieve municipalities from over development arising from court-mandated housing requirements was denied.

“I’m very disappointed that the speaker again blocked my efforts to relieve municipalities of this incredible burden.  The only roadblock helping our communities is Democrats’ continued refusal to take action,” said Schepisi (R-Bergen).

Earlier this morning Schepisi asked Speaker Vincent Prieto to post her bill package addressing court-mandated affordable housing before today’s special voting session, but was again denied.

From the Assembly floor at 1 a.m. on July 4, Schepisi urged the legislature to suspend all affordable housing litigation until the end of the year so the legislature could address the issue.  Her effort was voted down 44-26 along party lines.

“This is a bipartisan issue that has turned into a potential disaster for our towns and our constituents. Just ask the mayors from Democratic towns outside of my district who have asked me for help instead of their own local Democrat legislator,” continued Schepisi (R-Bergen).

“Maybe Democrats aren’t listening to their mayors, councils and constituents because Phil Murphy funds the non-profit suing our communities and forcing unwanted development.  It’s not what is best for towns, our environment and our schools; it’s what is best for their party.”

On June 19 Schepisi introduced an eight bill package shifting all municipal obligations to the state and recalculate obligations based on reasonable need.  It also makes changes to how affordable housing is administered to best help communities.

“I have introduced a package that addresses all of the concerns I have heard from mayors on both sides of the aisle.  And it ensures that affordable housing will be built to accommodate the needs of the residents of this state,” concluded Schepisi.

Schepisi’s affordable housing package includes:

  • Amending the state constitution to require the state calculate affordable housing obligations (ACR250).
  • Requiring COAH to administer affordable housing obligations (A5025).
  • Allowing municipalities to challenge obligations administered by COAH (A5026).
  • Requiring COAH calculate obligations based on reasonable need factors and imposing a population increase cap (A5027/A5028).
  • Eliminating the exclusion of urban aid municipalities from obligations (A5029).
  • Amending the state constitution to prohibit exclusionary zoning and clarify municipal affordable housing obligations (ACR249).
  • Prohibiting the builder’s remedy in exclusionary zoning litigation (A5030).