On September 22, 2008, the Council voted to adopt rule amendments that were proposed on June 16, 2008. Full text of the rule amendments and comments/responses are available on the right, as downloaded from the NJ Register on October 20, 2008.  Printable text versions of the rules are available on the Regulations & Statutes page.

Proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 5:95 include the addition of provisions relating to the appointment of Municipal Housing Liaisons, Administrative Agents, and RCA Administrators.

Proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 5:96 include the replacement of the staggered petition schedule with a new deadline for municipalities to submit affordable housing plans to COAH by December 31, 2008 and the inclusion of transitional procedures for municipalities with third round substantive certifications granted before January 25, 2007.

The following major amendments to N.J.A.C. 5:97 were proposed:

* Municipal level household and employment growth projections have been updated to reflect new DEP Water Quality Management rules, municipal zoning data for municipalities in the Highlands region, and actual growth through 2006 for each municipality.

* COAH’s vacant land analysis was revised to incorporate new DEP spatial data to expand the definition of C-1 streams, remove environmentally sensitive lands from current sewer service areas and recompute the development capacity of lands supported by septic systems pursuant to the pending DEP Water Quality Management Act Rule (WQMR), and use recently released Highlands spatial and other data to recompute the development capacity of lands in the Highlands Planning Area. With these revisions, the report results in a revised estimate of 1,012,692 acres of unconstrained and undeveloped vacant land in the State, and that this land has a residential development capacity of 711,670 dwelling units and non-residential capacity space of 1,090.6 billion square feet.

* Municipalities that approved affordable housing projects between December 20, 2004 and June 2, 2008 will receive a one-for-one bonus for each affordable housing unit approved.

* To promote development in smart growth and redevelopment areas, municipalities that include affordable housing units in smart growth areas near transit or those that include affordable housing units in redevelopment areas will receive a one-third bonus for every affordable unit approved.

* COAH has established presumptive densities and affordable housing set-asides for inclusionary developments based on the State Development and Redevelopment Plan. Higher density standards are established in Planning Area 1, 2 and Centers and lower densities outside of these growth areas.

* Inclusionary developments in workforce housing census tracts will have a 15 percent affordable housing set-aside requirement to recognize potential economic feasibility issues with these projects and encourage the production of rental housing.

* Municipalities may subtract demolitions of occupied non-residential buildings from the calculation of net growth in the municipality.

* A new regional provision has been added to permit municipalities to work with regional entities such as the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and Fort Monmouth to address regional obligations.

* More flexibility has been added to the provision allowing credit for affordable housing in redevelopment areas.

* Replacement square footage of hospitals and nursing homes relocating within the same COAH region will be exempt from a growth share obligation.

* The number of jobs generated by warehouse construction was reduced from 1.5 to 1 job per 1,000 square feet.