BOROUGH OF RIVERTON

 PUBLIC NOTICE OF “FAIRNESS HEARING”

TO APPROVE SETTLEMENT OF MOUNT LAUREL LITIGATION

 PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a “Fairness Hearing” will be held on Monday, April 22, 2019, beginning at 2:00 P.M., before the Honorable Ronald E. Bookbinder, A.J.S.C., Superior County of New Jersey, Law Division, at the Burlington County Superior Court Complex, 7th Floor, 49 Rancocas Road, Mt. Holly, New Jersey 08060 to consider a proposed Settlement Agreement between the Borough of Riverton (the “Borough”) and Fair Share Housing Center (“FSHC”) in the Mount Laurel Declaratory Judgment Action entitled In the Matter of the Application of the Borough of Riverton, a municipal corporation of the State of New Jersey, Docket No. BUR-L- 1621-15.  The subject Settlement Agreement and the proposed compliance techniques will be the foundation for a future plan and ultimately a formal Compliance Hearing.  The Fairness Hearing is not a Compliance Hearing.  It is a preliminary hearing where the Court will evaluate whether the proposed Settlement Agreement is fair and reasonable to the region’s low and moderate income households according to the principles set forth in Morris County Fair Housing Council v. Boonton Tp., 197 N.J.Super. 359 (Law Div. 1984), aff’d o.b., 209 N.J.Super. 108 (App. Div. 1986) and East/West Venture v. Bor. of Fort Lee, 286 N.J.Super. 311 (App. Div. 1996).

 

Fair Share Housing Center, a public interest organization representing the housing rights of New Jersey’s poor and an interested party in connection with the above-referenced lawsuit, has sought to enhance opportunities for low and moderate income housing within the Borough of Riverton.  The Borough and FSHC have resolved various substantive issues concerning Riverton’s affordable housing “fair share” and the means by which the Borough intends to satisfy those obligations, subject to all required public hearings, including a formal Compliance Hearing, which will occur subsequent to this preliminary hearing.  The terms of the settlement have been memorialized in a formal Settlement Agreement.

The terms of the FSHC settlement include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The parties agree that the Borough’s Prior Round (1987-1999) prospective need is 15 units and agree that the Borough’s Third Round (1999-2025) gap and prospective need is 76 units;
  2. The parties agree that the municipality’s obligations should be adjusted through a vacant land adjustment, with a realistic development potential (“RDP”) of 2 units and an unmet need of 89 units;
  3. The Borough intends to satisfy its obligation as follows:
  4. Credits from existing group homes including a rental bonus credit and reductions from inclusionary zoning to be amended on Martha’s Lane (Block 1501/Lots 13-19) to address the 2-unit RDP, with surplus credits/reductions towards the unmet need;
  5. Overlay zoning with inclusionary development at Block 701, Lots 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 (Broad Street between Linden and Elm);
  6. Overlay zoning with inclusionary development at Block 1100, Lot 1 (Lippincott Avenue North);
  7. Overlay zoning with inclusionary development at Block 1500, Lot 3 (National Casein property);
  8. Overlay zoning with inclusionary development at Block 902, Lots 4, 14 and 15 (Broad Street between Fulton and Cinnaminson);
  9. Overlay zoning with inclusionary development at Block 3.04, Lots 1, 4, 5 and 6 (Baptist Home property);
  10. Overlay zoning with inclusionary development at Block 12.05, Lot 1 (Golf Course property);
  11. Amended agreement with Habitat for Humanity for use of Borough’s dedicated funding on the production of one affordable unit; and.
  12. Borough wide set aside requirement that any new multi-family or single-family attached residential development of six (6) or more residential units shall require that 20% of the residential units be set aside for low and moderate income households.

FSHC acknowledges and agrees that the proposed techniques offered by the Borough set forth above full satisfy the Borough’s responsibilities regarding affordable housing under applicable law.

The executed Settlement Agreement shall be placed on file for public inspection and copying (at requestor’s expense) during regular business hours at the Office of the Borough Clerk, Riverton Municipal Building, 505A Howard Street, Riverton, New Jersey 08077 together with relevant exhibits, etc.  Any interested party, including any low or moderate income person residing in the housing region, any organization representing the interests of low and moderate income persons, any owner of property in the Borough, or any organization representing the interests of owners of property in the Borough may file comments on, or objections to, the executed Settlement Agreement.  Such comments or objections, together with copies of any supporting affidavits or other documents, must be filed in writing, on or before April 8, 2019 at 4:00 p.m., with copies of all papers being forwarded by mail or e-mail to:

Mary Beth Lonergan, P.P., Special Master

Clarke Caton Hintz

100 Barrack Street

Trenton, NJ 08608

Mblonergan@cchnj.com

 

Michelle Hack. Borough Clerk

Borough of Riverton

505A Howard Street

Riverton, NJ 08077

mhack@riverton-nj.com

 

Thomas J. Coleman, III, Esquire, Borough Solicitor

Raymond Coleman & Heinold, LLP

325 New Albany Road

Moorestown, NJ 08057

tomcoleman@rclawnj.com

 

Tamara L. Lee, P.P., AICP, Borough Planner

Tamara Lee Consulting, LLC

156 Lindbergh Road

Hopewell, NJ 08525

tamaralee@tleeplan.com

 

Kevin D. Walsh, Esquire

Fair Share Housing Center

510 Park Boulevard

Cherry Hill, NJ 08002-3318

Kevinwalsh@fairsharehousing.org

This Notice is intended to inform all interested parties of the existence of the proposed Settlement Agreement and the possible consequences of Court approval of the settlement Agreement, which may ultimately lead to a Judgment of Compliance and Repose or the judicial equivalent of a grant of Substantive Certification pursuant to the New Jersey Fair Housing Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-301 to -329.  It does not indicate any view by the Court as to the merits of the Borough’s Mount Laurel Declaratory Action, the fairness, reasonableness, or adequacy of the proposed settlement, or whether the Court will approve the settlement.

Thomas J. Coleman; III, Esquire

Raymond Coleman & Heinold, LLP

325 New Albany Road

Moorestown, NJ 08057

(856) 222-0100