Southern Burlington County N.A.A.C.P. v. Township of Mount Laurel

Southern Burlington County N.A.A.C.P. v. Township of Mount Laurel  (1975) 
by the Supreme Court of New Jersey

Southern Burlington County N.A.A.C.P. v. Township of Mount Laurel, 67 N.J. 151 (1975), is the New Jersey Supreme Court case that originated the Mount Laurel doctrine.

Court Documents
Opinion of the Court
Concurring Opinions
Wikipedia article


67 N.J. 151, 336 A.2d 713

SOUTHERN BURLINGTON COUNTY N.A.A.C.P. et al.,Plaintiffs-Respondents and Cross-Appellants, and Ethel Lawrence et al., Plaintiffs-Respondents  v.  TOWNSHIP OF MOUNT LAUREL, Defendant-Appellant and Cross-Respondent.

 Argued: Argued Jan. 8, 1974 --- Decided: Decided March 24, 1975

Action was brought attacking system of land use regulation by township on ground that low and moderate income families are thereby unlawfully excluded from the municipality. The Superior Court, Law Division, 119 N.J.Super. 164, 290 A.2d 465, declared the township zoning ordinance totally invalid and appeal was taken. The Supreme Court, Hall, J., held that a developing municipality may not, by a system of land use regulation, make it physically and economically impossible to provide low and moderate income housing in the municipality for various categories of persons who need and want it; that ordinance permitting only single-family detached dwellings and which was so restrictive in its minimum lot area, lot frontage and building size requirements as to preclude single-family housing for even moderate income families was contrary to the general welfare; that release from consequences of tax system by limiting permissible types of housing to those having the fewest school children or those providing sufficient value to pay their own way could not be accomplished by restricting types of housing through the zoning process; and that ecological or environmental reasons was not a sufficient excuse for limiting housing to single-family dwellings on large lots.

Judgment modified.

Mountain and Pashman, JJ., filed concurring opinions.

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