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Rumson Open Space and Affordable Housing, Inc

On March 5, 2020, ROSAH filed its objection to the Rumson Housing Settlements. In support of the objection, ROSAH relied on expert engineering and planning reports, which concluded that Rumson's settlements with Fair Share Housing Center and Yellow Brook Property Co., LLC conflict with the intent of the Mount Laurel doctrine, are inconsistent with the Borough's master plan documents, and incompatible with sound planning principles. Based on the findings of its experts, ROSAH argued that the settlement agreements should not receive court approval because they are not fair to the interests of low- and moderate-income households and fail to provide a realistic likelihood of construction that is affordable to such households.

For review, attached are supporting copies of:

ROSAH’s counsel filed a Complaint in Lieu of Prerogative Writs in Monmouth County Superior Court today against the Borough of Rumson, Fair Share Housing Center and Yellow Brook Property Co., challenging the settlement agreements reached by the parties in the Borough’s action seeking a declaration of compliance with its affordable housing obligations under New Jersey’s Fair Housing Act and Mount Laurel doctrine.

In the Complaint, ROSAH challenges the adoption of Borough resolutions authorizing the execution of the settlement agreements, and alleges that:

  • The Borough failed to comply with the Open Public Meetings Act during the declaratory judgment litigation, and improperly delegated to a standing committee its authority to negotiate and settle the litigation;

  • The Borough’s adoption of the resolutions was against public policy as the proposed settlements go against the strong preference for municipalities to keep control over their own zoning power, particularly where there is no connection between the proposed settlements and the achievement of any goal under the Fair Housing Act;

  • The settlement agreements were negotiated without any public input, depriving the Borough and its citizens of the ability to consider and discuss new and alternative methods of settlement that would better serve the Borough;

  • The settlement agreements are inconsistent with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act, New Jersey’s COAH regulations and Borough code; and

  • The settlement agreements effectively authorize contract zoning and spot zoning, given that they do not create a realistic opportunity for the creation of affordable housing, and the process that led to the resolutions has violated the both the procedural and substantive due process rights of Rumson’s residents. Download and read the Complaint

Residents React to Announcement of Rumson’s Future Housing Plans:

submitted by: Adrienne Fleming

copyright The Journal Publications 2020

More than 1,000 Rumson residents assembled at the Forrestdale School gymnasium on Jan. 14 to hear a public presentation on the borough’s impending housing plans. After moving from the cafeteria to the gym to accommodate the large crowd, many sat on the floor through a four-hour presentation that detailed future affordable housing and luxury townhome developments in Rumson.

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