Volume 2, 2005, Issue 2

  • George M. Morris

    Their image stigmatized by the development of the infamous exclusionary zoning decisions4 that bear its name, Mount Laurel Township (“Township”) has long struggled to define its own course in land development. The Township’s power to control the future of its own development was first restricted in the 1970s through judicial activism with the mandating of planned unit developments (“PUD”). Mount Laurel’s lack of early success in the courts to determine its own future through controlled growth continues to sour the now suburban landscape of this southern New Jersey town. As the Township entered into a judgment of repose with the parties of the Mount Laurel decisions in 1997, the Township, with new financial incentive from the State of New Jersey and the County of Burlington, ventured on a new course of self determination by attempting to preserve as much remaining land as possible. This attempt at a new future has landed Mount Laurel back in the courts After purchasing several parcels for preservation purposes, the Township attempted to use the power of eminent domain to preserve a sixteen and a half acre parcel for open space. The developer, who had preliminary approval for a residential subdivision challenged the condemnation in the courts by arguing that the public purpose of the Township’s condemnation efforts was not preservation but rather a pretext for other bad faith reasons including reducing residential development and stabilizing the tax rate. While the Township argued that these results were simply additional benefits of the preservation of land, the developer was victorious in court. The Township now appeals that erroneous decision. View More

     

  • Eamonn K. Bakewell

    Zoning laws can be used to unjustly restrict the poor from moving into adequate housing surrounded by adequate space. This note considers the tension between the constitutional duty in New Jersey requiring municipalities to provide low income housing and the means actually used by those municipalities to provide such housing. The New Jersey Supreme Court has construed the state constitution as placing a duty on municipalities to provide low income housing. Most recently, the Council on Affordable Housing, an agency created by the legislature to ensure that the duty to provide low income housing is fulfilled, has created new standards to ensure that the poor receive adequate housing. Unfortunately, these new standards fall short of the constitutional mark, leaving many of the poor out in the cold. Jean Jacques Rousseau’s great work The Social Contract has a quote that symbolizes the struggle of the poor in New Jersey View More

     

  • Richard Buck

    New Jersey is home to six major cities: Jersey City, Trenton, Newark, Camden, Patterson and Atlantic City. Over the past 30 years, these once robust industrial and manufacturing centers have deteriorated into rusty poverty traps and unemployment enclaves. Abandoned factories and dormant, aging warehouses pollute their dreary landscapes and serve as a symbolic "unwelcome" mat to potential employers. Hazardous materials infect acres of urban land. New Jersey cities are infested with poverty, crime, drugs and poorly-performing public schools, such that private investors have little, if any, incentive to invest the resources required to improve housing stock and eradicate blight. Manufacturing jobs having gone the way of rotary phones, these cities searched earnestly for a way to reinvent themselves. View More

     

  • Andrew J. Kornblau

    “I am inferior of any man whose rights I trample under foot. Men are not superior by reason of the accidents of race or color. They are superior who have the best heart--the best brain.” There are many forms of illegal discrimination based on race, color, or national origin that can limit the opportunity of minorities to gain equal access to services and programs. Unfortunately, even through years of civil rights movements and great strides in the push for racial impartiality, society has yet to fully remove racial disparity from societal norms of every day living. View More