Economic Development

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The Starting Point: Structuring Newark’s Land Use Laws at the Outset of Redevelopment to Promote Integration Without Displacement

By Malina Welman

In 2017, New Jersey’s largest municipality, Newark, made history when its city council passed an inclusionary zoning ordinance requiring, in part, that at least twenty percent of new residential projects be set aside for moderate- and low-income households. Acknowledging the surge of development moving down along New Jersey’s Gold Coast, policymakers brought forth this legislation to ensure that, as Newark inevitably redevelops into a more economically prosperous urban center, the city concurrently provide a realistic opportunity to generate affordable housing. By placing affordability at the forefront of its concerns, Newark has thus demonstrated its commitment to equitable growth, but this Note principally argues that in isolation, the inclusionary zoning ordinance is more symbolic than it is effective upon analyzing its terms. Therefore, while a mandatory, city-wide inclusionary zoning program is a necessary first step, true integration in redeveloping cities can only be realized by enacting a combination of anti-displacement and equitable growth regulations tailored to the particular needs of its residents.

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