How nice it is to return from vacation to find the good news that Governor Christie vetoed a bill that would have permitted development on existing piers along the Hudson River waterfront. His veto supports the existing rules of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection which prohibit residential and discourage commercial development on piers in high risk waterfront areas.
The governor’s reason for the veto was the inevitable loss of insurance coverage since FEMA has declared the entire Hudson River Waterfront as a Coastal High Hazard Zone ineligible for FEMA insurance (this makes other insurers hesitate to provide coverage or to charge extremely high rates). In addition, a municipality that might have opted to allow such development for the sake of gaining tax income would have brought a loss of FEMA discounted rates to the remainder of the municipality, not just the loss of insurance for the waterfront.
The special handful of developers the legislation was intended to assist (but never completely identified) may have to abandon their plans. Good news tends to make one think of the future so wouldn’t it be wonderful if those piers could be transformed into open space usage such as tennis courts or great lawns for sun bathing and as outdoor entertainment venues? In the past that type of use was planned but abandoned. We can now dream a little and maybe the forgotten plans can become reality, thanks to Governor Christie’s veto.
Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy of NJ, Inc.