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12 N.J.A.R. 781

In re Washington Twp.
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Citation: 12 N.J.A.R. 781
Decision Date: 1989
Synopsis: This matter was transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law for hearing by the Council on Affordable Housing. John Van Dalen, the owner of property in Washington Township, had initiated a Mt. Laurel lawsuit and sought a builder's remedy establishing a presump- tion in favor of his property as the site for affordable housing. The administrative law judge assigned to the case ruled in a prehearing order that it was premature to decide Mr. Van Dalen's right to a builder's remedy because the township had not yet finalized its fair housing plan. After the order was issued, Mr. Van Dalen decided not to pursue a hearing. The matter was returned to the Council for disposition. Upon review of the administrative law judge's order, the Council noted that it has the discretion to award a builder's remedy, but that option is not favored under the Fair Housing Act. The builder's remedy is appropriate only when a municipality demonstrates re- calcitrance or repeated inability to provide a legitimate housing plan. In this case, since Washington Township had provided a reasonable plan, it was not necessary to award a builder's remedy. In addition, the Council held that the fact that Mr. Van Dalen initiated the lawsuit did not automatically entitle him to a builder's remedy. It had been suggested that an automatic builder's remedy would serve as an incen- tive for Mt. Laurel suits. However, the Council said it was not ready to adopt that policy, since it was too early to tell if voluntary munici- pal compliance alone would be effective. On appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed the denial of a builder's remedy, but vacated and remanded the case on other grounds. In re Washington Twp. Carl S. Bisgaier, Esq., for the petitioner (Bisgaier & Pancotto, attorneys) Alfred J. Vi!!oresi, Esq., for the respondent (Villoresi, Jansen & Shaw, attorneys)
Rule(s) Cited: 5:92-9.1 
Citation Tracker adopted-Council on Affordable Housing; affirmed -232 N.J. Super. 205 (App. Div. 1989); affirmed -120 N.J. 234 (1990) [Updated through 1991]