New housing ruling forcing Stanhope to show it's doing its best

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:16

    STANHOPE-Despite having virtually "no land to develop," Stanhope is being forced to prove to the state that it's doing all it can to create new affordable housing options. During the council meeting of Sept. 28, borough attorney, Richard Stein, informed the governing body that due to a challenge to the state's affordable housing laws brought by a group of developers, Stanhope and 48 other municipalities would have to be "re-certified" by the state. The New Jersey Coalition on Affordable Housing (COAH) requires that municipalities show they are implementing ways to facilitate housing for low income families. A state certification helps municipalities defend themselves legally against any lawsuit brought about by developers claiming a municipality is engaged in "exclusionary zoning" to deter low income housing within its boundaries. "This is ironic because we're one of those municipalities that have no land to develop," said Stein. In an interview after the meeting, the attorney explained that the re-certification, which would involve the "filing of a motion" and present a legal expense to the borough, will only be good for one year due to the still pending challenge to the law by the developers' association. "We have to see what the (state) Supreme Court is going to decide," said Stein. In other business, the Borough of Stanhope is $5,500 richer after the sale of parcel of land to Lou Windt. At the Sept. 28 meeting, the governing body put up for auction a lot located on Kynor Avenue. It was purchased by Windt who owns the adjacent land. Windt was the only person who attended the meeting for the auction and purchased the lot after offering the minimum bid.