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Suing for the 'Civil Right' to Develop Housing

A developer is claiming that the New Jersey borough of Upper Saddle River violated its "civil rights" to provide housing in a New Jersey community.
July 7, 2015, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Mack-Cali Realty Corp., which is seeking to build luxury apartments on Lake Street [in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey], plans to ask a judge to consider — without a trial — claims that the borough violated the developer's civil rights," reports Marina Villeneuve.

According to a September complaint filed by the developer, by failing to act on a zoning request that would have allowed a mixed use development including 240 units, Upper Saddle River has violated the developer's civil rights.

Villeneuve shares some of the text in the complaint: "The refusal to allow for multifamily housing 'illegally excludes persons from residing in the borough,' says the complaint. The borough's actions also 'deprive Mack Cali of its right to make housing available,' it reads."

Villeneuve also reports that Mack-Cali is alleging two violations of the federal Fair Housing Act, according to documents filed with the court in July.

Affordable housing isn't the only hot planning topic in play with the court case. The site's current use as suburban office space is proving too hard to market, according to the complaint by Mack-Cali Realty. The change from office to residential use is therefore described as a sign of the times. 

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Published on Monday, July 6, 2015 in The Record
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