Hopewell Township prevailed this week in its lawsuit against the State of New Jersey seeking reimbursement for the return of a $639,633.75 fee to a developer in 2010. (For background on the fee, see Hopewell Township to Commence Legal Action Against State for Unpaid Funds.)
Finding that the State has “no funds available to provide reimbursement,” Mercer County Assignment Judge Mary C. Jacobson ruled that the Township met the prerequisites for the alternative relief of affordable housing credit towards its COAH obligation.
The Court also determined that “the issue of [affordable housing] credits will be folded into [the Township’s] Affordable Housing Declaratory Judgment” court case, which is pending before her. The exact number of affordable housing units to be credited to the township will be determined by the judge at a later date.
Hopewell Township Mayor Harvey Lester commented, “Upon being sworn in as Mayor in January, one of my first priorities was to pursue this long-neglected case. It is gratifying that the Court agreed with our analysis that the taxpayers of Hopewell Township were entitled to compensation, and has crafted a way to do so that benefits the Township in our current litigation over affordable housing.”