As a result of the March 2015 Order, towns are now required to individually petition the Superior Court for approval of their housing plans, which proceedings are known as declaratory judgment actions.  Right now, Montvale is one of 280+/- communities with pending declaratory judgement actions in the State.  Builders, developers and other interested parties (“Intervenors”) may intervene in these proceedings.  Intervenors typically take the position: 1) that the municipality has failed to zone for the creation of enough affordable housing, and/or 2) that the intervenor owns a specific site that the town should allow for development of affordable housing. This is what has happened in Montvale.  It is important to note that the only reason Montvale has been permitted to file its declaratory judgment action is because Montvale was pro-active in seeking Substantive Certification from COAH for Rounds Two and Three.  The court process is ongoing, and Montvale currently has immunity against builder’s remedy lawsuits.  This immunity should be extended as long as Montvale continues working in good faith with the Special Master, negotiating and/or mediating with Fair Share Housing Center and other intervenors (including developers and property owners), and ultimately drafting and approving a compliant Housing Element and Fair Share Plan.  Had Montvale not participated in the COAH process in prior years and demonstrated good faith in meeting or exceeding its affordable housing obligations, it would have been precluded from filing a declaratory judgment action and would already be at the mercy of builder’s remedy lawsuits.