NOVEMBER 16, 2015 LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2015, 2:23 PM
BY MARK KRULISH
STAFF WRITER |
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS
With the deadline to submit a housing element to the courts, village officials must act diligently to avoid possible lawsuits and meet its affordable housing obligations.
Housing was a major topic of last Monday’s meeting as affordable housing and how to proceed in regard to the issue of multifamily housing in Ridgewood’s Central Business District (CBD) came to the forefront.
The village successfully applied for a declaratory judgment seeking immunity from possible builder’s remedy lawsuits in July and was given five months to come up with a housing plan to be submitted to the court.
Village Attorney Matthew Rogers noted the court had found Ridgewood had been acting in good faith, which can be at least partially attributed to the inclusion of the Planning Board’s June 2 decision to amend the master plan and create new zones that allow residential and mixed-use development in previous commercial areas.
Rogers said he advised the court the council was carrying the ordinances in order to conduct additional studies as to the impact new housing would have on the village.
The housing element must first be determined by the village’s Planning Board, as it is the sole arbiter of the master plan document. The plan must then be submitted to the Village Council for consideration and adoption before the Dec. 7 deadline.
However, Rogers said there were a couple of “major impediments” to accomplishing that task.