No more private eyesores at Liberty State Park!
Apr 15, 2018 | 956 views | 0 0 comments | 87 87 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor:

Liberty State Park is New Jersey’s most popular and most visited state park. This beautiful urban oasis welcomes well over 4 million visitors every year. Most visitors enter the park on Audrey Zapp Drive, at LSP’s north end. Immediately upon entering the park, visitors are greeted on the left by an enormous dirt lot that serves as an on-shore boat storage / salvage area. This nautical junkyard is owned by Suntex, which operates the marina on the north end of LSP.

Suntex wants to build a second marina along the south shore of LSP. They’ve shown us beautiful renderings of boats neatly organized on the water, but their plans don’t illustrate where they’ll be putting the second nautical junkyard, or the boat supply store, or all the ugly huts they’ll have to build along the waterfront walkway for the electric meters that the boats will need.

The NJDEP should be embarrassed by the fact that the millions who visit LSP every year are greeted by the Suntex eyesore on the north side. The idea of repeating this travesty on the south side of LSP is unthinkable. The result would be another Suntex private eyesore, nautical junkyards to bookend the park. The south side of LSP already has its own private eyesore. When strolling along the waterfront walkway from the south side of LSP toward the Caven Point natural area, you’ll walk past another huge, ugly, vacant dirt lot along a 400-foot stretch of the walkway.

This unsightly acreage belongs to the ultra-exclusive Liberty National Golf Course. The owner is a billionaire, and it’s about the most expensive club to join. Yet they’re too cheap to block their hideous, unused dirt lot from public view with a fence screen or hedgerow. These are the same people who want to lease the Caven Point natural area from the NJDEP, and turn this precious wildlife habitat into 3 waterfront golf holes for multimillionaires.

According to Golf Digest, PGA tour players ranked Liberty National THE #1 WORST golf course on tour. And for this we should lose Caven Point? That would be unthinkable. Caven Point would probably be encased with a bulkhead and buried under many feet of soil to elevate the ground level, just like the rest of the golf course was built.

The result would not only be another Liberty National private eyesore, it would be an ecological and environmental tragedy. Neither Suntex nor Liberty National has made any effective efforts to conceal their current eyesores, which stand directly adjacent to Liberty State Park. This indicates a clear lack of regard for the State, the park, and those of us who visit LSP. There is no reason to expect their disrespectful attitudes toward LSP and the public to change, if their privatization proposals are approved by the NJDEP. Please contact the NJDEP atofficeofleases@dep.nj.gov and insist that they reject these 2 proposed LSP development plans. Help prevent the second Suntex marina and Liberty National’s destruction of the Caven Point natural area.

Thomas Zalewski,

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