On May 21, 2007, the Appellate Division ruled that the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (“NJMC”) has an obligation to provide affordable housing In the Matter of the Adoption of N.J.A.C. 19:3. The NJMC argued that the obligation to provide affordable housing rested with its constituent municipalities and NJMC was only obligated to work with those municipalities that sought rezonings for affordable housing as set forth in N.J.A.C. 19:4-3.8. The Appellate Division ruled that was not enough. “[W]e are convinced that the Commission has a constitutional responsibility to plan and zone for affordable housing to a far greater extent than is allowed by the interim rule ….” The NJMC is expected to adopt new affordable housing regulations after the adoption of COAH’s revised Round Three regulations.
Due to its different statutory mandate, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority was not held to have a similar obligation to provide affordable housing.
The Appellate Division ruled that the primary mechanism for enforcing the constitutional obligation to provide affordable housing is a builder’s remedy against municipalities within the NJMC District. Sills Cummis obtained a builder’s remedy for land within the NJMC District on behalf of Tomu Development in different litigations against Carlstadt, East Rutherford and the NJMC.