On Thursday, July 7, 2022 the Township of Millburn received notice that Fair Share Housing Center filed “a brief in support of motion to enforce litigant’s rights” as it relates to Millburn Township’s compliance with its August 17, 2021 settlement agreement. This action is concerning as the Township has continued to work diligently toward compliance of the settlement agreement with Fair Share Housing Center. The Township has completed numerous requirements of the August 17 settlement agreement, inclusive of passing a mandatory affordable set aside ordinance. Once more, our community faces the risk that immunity from Builder’s Remedy lawsuits will be revoked.
In addition to a loss of immunity, the brief seeks to appoint a Special Hearing Officer to review and approve all applications for affordable housing developments at the Superior Court in Newark, removing local authority of the Millburn Planning Board over such applications. The brief also seeks to expand the role of the Special Master into a Mount Laurel Implementation Monitor, responsible for assisting in reviews and approvals by the Special Hearing Officer and empowered to direct and order Millburn officials to issue permits and other required approvals related to affordable housing developments; at greater expense to the Township and further loss of local control. All of these potential actions could have a detrimental impact to our community and the Township’s future planning.
A majority of the Township Committee has remained committed to compliance with the August 17, 2021 settlement between the Township of Millburn and Fair Share Housing Center. In spite of these actions receiving adverse attention, the Township has put forth a great deal of effort to ensure that compliance mechanisms continue. The Township Committee will consider the final adoption of previously introduced overlay zones on July 19, and the Planning Board, which had previously noticed a special meeting, will reconsider the Housing Element and Fair Share Plan on July 20.
We encourage our residents to continue to understand and become educated about the affordable housing obligation facing Millburn Township, like all New Jersey municipalities, by visiting the Township website at: https://twp.millburn.nj.us/427/Affordable-Housing-Information.
Link to July 7 Fair Share Housing Center Motion (w/o Exhibits) https://twp.millburn.nj.us/DocumentCenter/View/9014/Brief-of-Fairshare-Motion-7-7-22-Certification?bidId=
Link to full motion brief