A local coalition to protect the Palisades cliffs says that despite the fact that developers just got approval to build three chain stores into the cilffs on River Road, they will still fight to save the cliffs.
The Coalition to Preserve the Palisades Cliffs includes numerous groups such as The NY/NJ Baykeeper, The New Jersey State Federation of Womens Clubs, the Sierra Club Hudson-Meadowlands Group, Riverview Neighborhood Association in Jersey City and the Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition among others.
Their release says:
The people of Hudson County lost out on June 17, 2009 in an effort to save a portion of the Palisades Cliffs from environmentally destructive development. Late into the evening, the Hudson County Planning Board provided a hardship variance to AVAK Development opening the way for construction of a mini strip mall at the base of and on the Palisades in North Bergen. Despite the efforts of the Coalition to Preserve the Palisades Cliffs and the 2,500 signatures on a petition it sponsored to spare the cliffs, the board moved ahead.
Wednesday evening was the first test of the Steep Slope Regulation adopted by the County Planning Board and approved by the Hudson County Freeholders in late 2008. “The board refused to uphold its own regulation and opted instead to place its faith in incomplete geotechnical studies and an as-yet unseen engineering report financed by the county.” said Greg Remaud, Deputy Director, NY/NJ Baykeeper. “The board based its decision on these studies and total dependency upon the verbal promises of future stability and safety from several of the applicants’ engineers.”
Peggy Wong, president of the Coalition, added, “The denial of one of the county’s newest regulations by its own Planning Board is shocking and disappointing. It is obvious that there is need for a better appreciation by the board and high level members of the county administration as to the benefits of protecting irreplaceable natural resources especially in this densely populated urban area.”
The Steep Slope regulation was initially proclaimed by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection early in 2008 and by the county in October 2008. It specifically notes that “development on steep slopes is prohibited.” As steep slope is defined as a slope greater than 20 degrees, impacting water quality and quantity.
“The Coalition will not abandon the Palisades to development,” says Helen Manogue, Coordinator of the Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition. “The fight will go on.”