CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiffs-Respondents, the Southern Burlington County NAACP among others (Plaintiffs), were composed of poor, minority citizens who sought decent, low to moderate income housing and either lived in substandard housing or were forced to move elsewhere due to the absence of suitable housing. The Plaintiffs have argued that the Defendant-Appellant, the Township of Mount Laurel (Defendant), has effectively excluded them from the municipality through its land use regulations.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Zoning as an action under the police power must promote the general welfare and cannot be motivated by other considerations such as minimizing the local property tax rate.
Issue. Whether a municipality may validly by land use regulation make it physically and economically impossible to provide low and moderate-income housing and thereby exclude people of limited income and resources?
Held. A municipality must by its land use regulation create an appropriate variety and choice of housing. Actions under the police power are affirmatively required to promote general welfare. Conversely, the zoning enactment is contrary to the general welfare and is invalid. A municipality “must zone for the welfare of the people and not for the benefit of the local tax rate.”
It is well settled that zoning regulations must find their justification in some aspect of the police power, asserted for the public welfare.View Full Point of Law