By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — The New Jersey Supreme Court has ordered the state to go back to the drawing board on affordable housing rules in the state.

The battle over low and moderate income housing requirements in the state has been going on for decades, thanks to the “Mount Laurel doctrine” issued by the high court in 1975.

In this latest test the justices, in a 3-2 decision, rejected regulations that would have required set-asides only in towns that had new development.

“The bottom line is whether towns can exclude people who are working there and whether towns can choose to abuse their zoning powers to exclude people,” says Adam Gordon with the Fair Share Housing Center, the agency that challenged those regulations.

The court gave the Christie administration five months to come up with new requirements for low-income housing in towns across the state.

There was no immediate comment from the governor’s office.