Why does Westfield need to provide an opportunity for low and moderate income housing?

Within New Jersey, all municipalities are required to plan, zone for, and take affirmative steps to provide a realistic opportunity for the development of affordable housing within their borders. This obligation comes from the State Constitution and a series of court decisions, often referred to as the Mount Laurel decisions.

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1. Why does Westfield need to provide an opportunity for low and moderate income housing?
2. What if Westfield decided not to provide an opportunity for low and moderate income housing?
3. How does the law define affordable housing? What’s the difference between low and moderate income housing?
4. What is the Fair Share Housing Center and why is there a settlement agreement with it?
5. Why even settle? Why not litigate?
6. What does the Settlement Agreement call for?
7. What is an overlay zone?
8. Where are the “overlay zones?”
9. The Settlement Agreement says that the Town has a rehabilitation share of 9 units, a prior round obligation of 139 units, and a prospective need obligation of 1090 units. That seems like a lot! What d
10. Are there plans already in place to develop these areas in the overlay zones?
11. What are these developments going to look like, and will Westfield become urbanized?
12. What impact will these new residential developments have on traffic and schools?
13. What are the next steps?