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Affordable housing mandate threatens quality of life, mayor says

“While I know this is Somerset, it is obvious that with the exception of District 39 and District 40 leadership, the crickets from District 36, District 37 and District 38 are becoming more incessant. When will the leadership of NJ Legislature stop playing this “partisan card”? “, Edward Durfee

Affordable housing mandate threatens quality of life, mayor says

Updated on June 20, 2017 at 3:31 PMPosted on June 20, 2017 at 3:30 PM

BY DAVE HUTCHINSON

NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

MONTGOMERY TWP. – Mayor Ed Trzaska is concerned that a potential court mandate requiring the township meet an affordable housing unit quota will put an overwhelming burden on the municipality and negatively effect the quality of life.

At issue is a state Supreme Court ruling in March of 2015 that opened the door for municipalities to be sued for not providing a “fair share” of affordable housing units. The ruling also allows a municipality to demonstrate in court that it has met the requirement to provide affordable housing.

The township, which has a population of some 23,000, has been in the forefront of providing affordable housing units, said Trzaska. Currently, he said the township has 300 affordable housing units, of which more than one-fourth are vacant.

Under a possible court ruling by the Fair Share Housing Counsel, the township could be forced to build between 501 and 1,000 additional affordable housing units, as well as 4,000 market-rate units, said Trzaska. The township has yet to be given the exact number of affordable units it must build, he said.

http://www.nj.com/somerset/index.ssf/2017/06/affordable-housing_mandate_threatens_nj_towns_qual.html

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Big New Jersey religious-liberty case: Did you hear who backed efforts to build a new mosque?

blue+mosque+turkey

Terry Mattingly

So, did you hear about that major victory for religious-liberty activists the other day?

In this case, the reference to “religious liberty” in that first statement is not framed in scare quotes for a simple reason. This particular case did not have anything to do with debates about the Sexual Revolution clashing with ancient religious doctrines and traditions.

This important case involved a win for Muslims in Somerset County, N.J., who have been fighting their suburban powers in defense of their right to build themselves a mosque.

This is where things get interesting. The Islamic Society of Basking Ridge had the U.S. Department of Justice on its side, but also received help from a broad coalition of religious-liberty activists. This was a rare sighting of the old left-right coalition that used to stand together back in the heady days in the 1990s, when Democrats and Republicans all embraced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (click here for GetReligion links on that).

https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2017/6/2/big-new-jersey-religious-liberty-case-did-you-hear-who-backed-efforts-to-build-a-new-mosque