Lesniak withdraws COAH bill

Sen. Raymond Lesniak, the architect of a bill to abolish COAH, said Monday morning he will withdraw his legislation, S-1, which Gov. Christie had conditionally vetoed, and will instead put together a bill “that will inject rationality into New Jersey’s affordable housing laws.’’ 

“It’s not about compromise for the sake of compromise,’’ he said in a release. “It’s about forging a compromise that creates good public policy.’’

Lesniak said he will work on creating a bill that combines the best aspects of the Senate’s, Assembly’s and Governor’s ideas.

“Rather than beat our heads against a wall and beat our chests proclaiming our way is the only way, this new bill will meet everyone’s goals except those who want to keep COAH in place,’’ Lesniak said in his release. Lesniak, (D-20) of Union, had worked to find affordable housing legislation that would satisifiy the diverse parties, but Christie vetoed the bill last month.

“It’s become apparent that COAH has failed, but there are still some who will try to sabotage any attempt to change its convoluted, top-down, micromanagement of housing policy that has produced insufficient affordable housing and stifled job creation and economic growth.  It’s time to move beyond the policy relics of the past, and focus on creating affordable housing, jobs and economic opportunities for New Jersey’s future,” Lesniak said.

The bill will likely be referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee for consideration, which Lesniak chairs.

When Christie vetoed the bill, he said that it failed to address how such housing would be provided, and that it would lead to another bureaucracy.

Lesniak withdraws COAH bill