N.J. appeals court rules towns can alter zoning laws to allow affordable housing after meeting quota

August 24, 2009
Zoning laws in New Jersey towns can be altered to accommodate affordable housing even after the municipality has met its quota, a state appeals court ruled today.
     The case before the panel involved a non profit organization, called Homes of Hope, that was looking to build eight multi-family dwellings in an area of Eastampton only zoned for single-family homes. The town's land use board denied their request for a variance to build the dwellings, citing that building the units was unnecessary because 100 units of affordable housing were already built and the proposed dwellings would exceed the number required by the state's Fair Housing Act.
     The three-judge panel however upheld a trial court decision allowing the eight units, ruling that municipalities cannot reject such development solely based on a town meeting its affordable housing obligation.