Why even settle? Why not litigate?

There is uncertainty surrounding affordable housing obligations within the State and a risk that inaction on the part of Westfield could result in the Court dictating how we will meet our low and moderate income housing requirements. Recent court decisions have not been favorable to municipalities. By entering into a Settlement Agreement, Westfield gains both finality and certainty in terms of meeting its affordable housing obligation; and effectively eliminates any future costs associated with litigation with the FSHC.

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1. Why does Westfield need to provide an opportunity for low and moderate income housing?
2. What if Westfield decided not to provide an opportunity for low and moderate income housing?
3. How does the law define affordable housing? What’s the difference between low and moderate income housing?
4. What is the Fair Share Housing Center and why is there a settlement agreement with it?
5. Why even settle? Why not litigate?
6. What does the Settlement Agreement call for?
7. What is an overlay zone?
8. Where are the “overlay zones?”
9. The Settlement Agreement says that the Town has a rehabilitation share of 9 units, a prior round obligation of 139 units, and a prospective need obligation of 1090 units. How will we fulfill that?
10. Are there plans already in place to develop these areas in the overlay zones?
11. What are these developments going to look like, and will Westfield become urbanized?
12. What impact will these new residential developments have on traffic and schools?
13. What are the next steps?