Friday, August 11, 2006

Highlands Construction Freeze

From the Star Ledger:

Highlands council prepares to release master plan

Two years ago today, the Highlands Act was signed into law, commencing an uncertain period in which most advocates and objectors had only one common demand: Show us the plan.

They'll probably get their wish in October.

A draft of the Highlands Council's regional master plan, a land-use blueprint for a 1,250-square-mile swath of northern New Jersey, will be presented then, council leaders said this week.
"It's a fraud. ... The people have been screwed," Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Morris) said. "They, in effect, took hundreds of thousands of acres, removed them from the potential of development and allocated no money to compensate landowners."

A group of farmers and landowners still regularly blast the Highlands Council at its Chester Township meetings, accusing its officials of carrying out a giant land grab.

"I don't think they're voluntarily going to cough up the money that they're obligated to under the law," said Holland Township property owner Jeff Broadhurst, who contends his land has "nothing to do" with aquifers the council wants to protect.

From the Daily Record:

Council: Halt Highlands growth

To protect the remaining open space in the Highlands, the New Jersey Highlands Coalition commemorated Thursday's second anniversary of the law protecting the region to call for a freeze on all major development there.

Both state-issued exemptions from the tough restrictions in that half of the 800,000-acre region designated for preservation and increased building in the rest of the Highlands are paving over vital lands, a number of environmentalists contended at a news conference in Appelt Park. With the New Jersey Highlands Council's master plan adoption still four months away, immediate action is needed to preserve critical land, they said.
"Hundreds of property owners have applied for and received exemptions. The rush to develop in the Highlands is undermining the efforts to protect the Highlands and will lead to the loss of many environmentally important properties while further negatively impacting our water supplies."
"It's not right to do that to people," said Drysdale, who was trying to subdivide his land when the act took effect.

"I'd probably be retired by now if this thing hadn't happened. We're just on hold. I wouldn't wish that on anyone."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

landowners screwed again.

8/11/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Metroplexual said...

Those exemptions are for single family houses on existing lots. This article and the enviros have totally distorted reality. If you saw the hoops you have to go through to get the exemption you would flip out.

First a $500 review fee even though exempt usually gets a pass on fees at govt agencies. BUt what they do to people is permanently covenant their property. In essence coercion to allow govt agencies free access to their property and limits uses that are typical to residential uses.

8/11/2006 08:04:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home