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Thread: New Jersey running out of Open Space

  1. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCMAN320 View Post
    State, Newark in talks on Highlands land buy

    Monday, June 27, 2005
    BY STEVE CHAMBERS
    Star-Ledger Staff

    The state is quietly negotiating with Newark officials to buy development rights to thousands of acres the city owns in the northern Highlands.

    Supporters call it an opportunity to ensure that 10,000 acres of prime property will be forever preserved -- at a relatively cheap price of $11 million.

    But critics call it a waste of money, saying the land, which surrounds the city's five reservoirs, is undevelopable. They argue the state should instead focus its limited resources on small landowners harmed by last year's sweeping preservation law or properties more imminently threatened by building.

    "It's another Newark bailout, as far as I'm concerned," said Dave Shope, who owns 58 acres in Lebanon Township that probably cannot be developed.

    The deal between Newark and the state's Green Acres program is being hammered out on the heels of last year's Highlands Preservation Act. That law, signed in August, puts more than 415,000 acres of Highlands off limits to large-scale development, including the watershed lands around the Newark reservoirs.

    Even before the Highlands law was passed, the Legislature barred development on watershed properties to protect water supplies. Still, supporters of the preservation effort point out that the city has for decades launched development proposal after proposal in a bid to shore up its teetering finances.

    "These are very important watershed lands that Newark made a huge investment in long ago," said Michael Catania, an architect of the 1998 bond initiative that raised $3 billion for land preservation. "We can help Newark, ensure this property never gets developed and open up some great recreation lands."

    Newark began amassing the property, which spreads across Passaic, Morris and Sussex counties, in the late 1800s, after deadly cholera outbreaks traced to tainted city wells.

    With state approval, the city began buying up property -- or taking it by condemnation when landowners stood in the way. It then built a series of reservoirs and a 21-mile pipeline to carry the pristine water southeast. Today, that system provides water to hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents.

    Over the years, Newark repeatedly but unsuccessfully tried to develop the land. In the late 1970s, it proposed building 5,000 houses on thousands of acres. A decade later, plans called for housing as well as a golf course.

    Rather than try to battle each new proposal, the state began buying up the city's development rights, ensuring that nothing could ever be built. Green Acres has already paid the city $27 million over the past few years to restrict building on about 75 percent of the city's 35,000 acres of watershed property. The current negotiations would lock up the remaining 10,000 acres at a price of about $1,100 an acre.

    The negotiations, however, have been clouded by the Highlands bill. When they approved the law, lawmakers pledged to compensate private landowners whose property could no longer be developed at pre-law prices. But the state's $3 billion open-space fund is starting to run dry and the $11 million price tag amounts to a big chunk of the $50 million Green Acres intends to spend in the Highlands this year.

    That has some landowners uneasy.

    Told of the Newark negotiations, Ed Gagne, an architect in Hunterdon County who owns 17 vacant acres, said no one in the state has expressed an interest in buying his land.

    "I'm tired of supplying the water to lowlanders, so they can make a huge profit at the expense of my land," he said.

    But Richard Monteilh, Newark's business administrator, said it is only fair that the city receive some compensation for giving up any hope of developing its property. He said the city is selling the land cheaply in the public interest, unlike some landowners who seem bent on holding out for higher prices.

    "I'm sure Green Acres would run to other landowners if they would behave in a reasonable way to accommodate the interests of the state without breaking the bank," Monteilh said.

    John Flynn, who heads Green Acres, agreed that it is a matter of fairness, and he also insisted that taxpayers are getting a good deal. He said that by purchasing development rights, the state will be able to make the land available to hikers and other recreational users.

    "This land is the best of the Highlands," he said.

    Others worry about large-scale development proposals that are moving forward in the Highlands. Near the Pequannock watershed lands in West Milford, for example, residents and local officials are fighting a development of 280 townhouses by K. Hovnanian Homes. Although the land is in the Highlands preservation area, K. Hovnanian won enough approvals before passage of the act to win an exemption.

    "There are a lot of properties that are in play up here," said Robin O'Hearn of Skylands Clean, an environmental group in Passaic County. "I would rather see them buy land that is threatened with development than land that is never going to be developed."

    Most of the 10,000 acres in question are in West Milford, a rural community that has long sparred with Newark over issues of development and taxation.

    West Milford fought Newark's largest housing proposal through years of litigation that ended in 1983.

    After losing the case, Newark filed appeals that reduced its contributions in lieu of taxes by more than $4 million, said Martin Murphy, a Riverdale lawyer who defended the township.

    If the state buys the remaining development rights, it could be a double whammy for West Milford. Kevin Byrnes, the West Milford clerk, predicted the city would then likely seek a further tax adjustment, claiming the land would now be worth less.

    "Between the Highlands Act and the old moratorium on development of watershed properties, these lands aren't going to be developed," he said. "A lot of questions are being raised up here about taxpayer money being spent on this property or any others."

    Steve Chambers covers land-use issues. He may be reached at schambers@starledger.com or (973) 392-1674.
    Hey JCman, did this land come to Newark already, or did it not happen

  2. #47
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Highlands Say No!!

    Highlands Council rejects first development project

    by Paula Saha/The Star-Ledger Thursday January 17, 2008, 9:00 PM

    The Highlands Council today recommended for the first time that the state Department of Environmental Protection deny a sewer permit for a project in New Jersey's environmentally sensitive Highlands region.

    After taking an 11-2 vote giving thumbs down to the Huntington Knolls housing development in Holland Township, Hunterdon County, the council gave its conditional approval to another housing proposal in Mine Hill, Morris County. The recommendation to approve came on a 10-3 vote.

    Neither project meets all the proposed rules for the Highlands region, located largely in northern New Jersey, but council members said the Mine Hill project could be amended to better fit the area's draft master plan. The Highlands plan is a guide to preserving and developing the 850,000-acre region that provides water to more than half the state's population.

    The state DEP will consider the council's recommendations in making a final decision on the projects.

    The majority of the council found Huntington Knolls -- about 116 age-restricted units, along with affordable housing, commercial space and assisted living on 87 acres west of Milford Warren Glen Road -- violated various environmental standards, from building on steep slopes to encroaching on no-development buffers around pristine waterways.

    The decision angered developer Vincent Jiovino. He said today he had invested 10 years and $1.4 million in engineering and attorney costs and the DEP told him appearing before the council was "a formality." The town, he added, had brought the project to him and wanted to see it proceed.

    "I've had my permits for three years," Jiovino said in a phone interview after the meeting. "They (the Highlands Council) weren't even in existence when I got my permits. ... If they want our land for water rights, they should buy it off us. Don't steal it off us."

    The reaction in Mine Hill was decidedly different after the council recommended the DEP approve a 275-unit project, with conditions. The Mine Hill project has been around for more than a decade and at one point encompassed more than 700 units. But the town and developer came to an agreement to build on 46 acres and preserve another 178 acres as open space.

    -----------------------------------------------

    JCexpert sorry I didn't respond earlier to your question about Newark. Newark I believe did acquire that land

  3. #48
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Default

    /me buys stock in Avian/Poland Spring.

  4. #49
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Exclamation Highlands Act being Reconcidered

    Judge will be asked to reconsider Highlands Act ruling

    by Tom Hester/The Star-Ledger Friday April 11, 2008, 11:38 AM

    A state Superior Court judge in Trenton is prepared to hear a plea today asking him to reconsider his decision to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state Highlands protection act. Judge Paul Innes set the hearing for 3 p.m.

    The Warren freeholders and nine property owners said restrictions on land use in the Highlands preservation area devalued their property without compensation. The property owners are from Warren, Hunterdon and Morris counties.

    Innes tossed out the lawsuit on Jan. 18, but the attorneys for the county and property owners, Stephen Shaw and John Zaiter, argue that "by stripping 75 percent of the equity from their lands, the state of New Jersey through the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act is depriving farmers in the preservation area of the right'' to engage in agriculture. The lawyers maintain they are prepared to take the issue to the state Supreme Court.

    The Highlands Act was approved by the Legislature and Gov. James McGreevey in 2004 to control development in an area that provides about half of the drinking water in the state. The law, which involves 88 towns in an 850,000-acre area, restricts development in much of Northwest New Jersey.

  5. #50
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Thumbs up More land preserved

    Holland adds 42 acres of woods, farmland to Hunterdon preserve

    By Veronica Slaght/For The Star-Ledger
    February 18, 2010, 8:04PM


    David Gard/For The Star-Ledger
    The Tom Saeger Land Preserve in Holland.

    HOLLAND TOWNSHIP -- The Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance has added 42 acres of woods and farmland in Holland Township to its open space.


    David Gard/For The Star-Ledger
    A brook runs through the Tom Saeger Land Preserve in Holland.

    Called the “Tom Saeger Land Preserve,” it’s named for its former owner, a Newark native. Saeger’s nieces and nephews preserved the land to honor his wishes, according to the land trust.

    The preserve, which is open to the public, can be accessed from Shire Road. It was created with funding from the state Green Acres program — which contributed 50 percent of the cost — and Hunterdon County — which contributed 20 percent, or about $56,000 — as well as from the Phillipsburg Riverview organization, Holland Township
    and the Victoria Foundation.

    Bird-watching, hiking and cross-country skiing are some of the activities the public can enjoy on the property, according to the group’s executive director, Margaret Waldock.

    The property connects to another 100 acres previously preserved by the nonprofit.

    “Our approach to preservation in this area is to build contiguous tracts of preserved land,” said Waldock. That way, “you’re really getting your best bang for your buck, conservation-wise,” she said. Preserving adjacent properties will help wildlife by keeping the forest intact, she said, and will protect the Milford Creek, a tributary which feeds into the Delaware River.


    Former landowner Thomas Saeger spent most of his life in the Ironbound section of Newark, but when he was a kid, his mom put him on the train to spend the summers working on relatives’ farms in Hunterdon.

    Saeger would eventually run the family business, a tavern called Murphy’s, with his mother after his father’s death. But he had fond memories of Hunterdon. After serving in World War II, he bought 113 acres there, according to his nieces and nephews, who inherited the property.

    One of his nieces, MaryAnn Saeger, said she has many memories of the property, including swimming and fishing in the pond, picnicking, picking Queen Anne’s Lace and other wildflowers, camping near the still-existing pavilion, walking in the woods and riding around in their uncle’s Army Jeep.

    “He used to bounce us around in the back,” Saeger said. “You had to hold on for dear life.” But, the “best, best thing up there are the stars,” she said. Along with the lightning bugs, “it’s like a light show from the ‘70s,” she said, laughing.

    “We promised him that we would never sell to developers because it’s such a beautiful piece of property,” Saeger said.

    Now 60, she and her husband live in Bloomfield, but they farm garlic at their uncle’s old place in Holland Township, which has been subdivided off from the preserve.

    “We are very pleased to preserve this property that our uncle enjoyed and tended to for so many years,” Saeger said.

  6. #51
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Land Saved

    N.J. preserved 332 acres of hiking, natural, agricultural lands in past year

    By Brian T. Murray/The Star-Ledger
    January 28, 2010, 5:22PM


    Jerry McCrea/The Star-Ledger
    In an October 2007 photo, a home made sign at a farm in East Amwell, Hunterdon County touts a previous open space ballot question. A report by a conversation group says that New Jersey preserved 332 acres of land in four counties totally $7.0 million in 2009.

    Eight North Jersey preservation projects totaling 332 acres in four counties and costing $7.1 million were completed at the end of 2009, permanently saving natural lands, hiking trails and agricultural land, according to a year-end report of the Land Conservancy of New Jersey.

    Closings on five tracts occurred in the final 10 days of the year in partnership with local, county and state governments, and non-profit groups for sites in Morris, Essex, Sussex and Warren counties.

    Goals of the purchases included historic preservation, recreation, and protection of farmland, water resources, forests and habitats for threatened and endangered species, said Conservancy officials.

    "It was a frantic finish to a fantastic year," Conservancy Executive Director David Epstein said yesterday.

    "We were excited to preserve a house built before the American Revolution in Boonton, convert two flood-prone in Pequannock’s floodplain into parkland, preserve farmland in Warren County and add 11 acres to one of the nation’s first county parks in West Orange."


    Preserved tracts include:

    • First Time Fen: 54 acres, Green Township. Protects ecologically diverse habitats and is a first step in a planned greenway to link the Whittingham Wildlife Management Area to the Pequest River Blueway.

    • Mayapple Hill Extension: 11.2 acres, West Orange. Now part of South Mountain Reservation, the property is open to the public for hiking and cross-country skiing.

    • Lake Iliff Access: 13.5 acres, Andover Township. Provides access to the lake for boats, and is home to herons, egrets and other waterfowl.

    • Pompton River Walk: 0.43 acres, Pequannock. Fills gaps between preserved lands on the Pompton River, creating a linear park that connects with Aquatic Park and parkland in neighboring communities.

    • Polowy farm: 140 acres, Frelinghuysen. Composed of four fields in the lowlands, with some wooded grazing land near and wooded uplands with breathtaking views.

    • New Village Road Natural Area: 109 acres, Greenwich Township. Contributes to a regional initiative to protect the scenic Route 78 corridor.

    • Miller-Kingsland Historic Park: 2.81 acres, Boonton. Provides much-needed open space in a compactly developed town, and protection of historic buildings.

    • Horseshoe Lake Athletic Complex: 0.63 acres, Roxbury, Morris County. Allows expansion of local recreational venue.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201...s_of_hiki.html

  7. #52

    Default the real shame...

    We spend all this money on buying up open space but still do not have a comprehensive state plan for growth. We are more densly populated per a square mile than Japan yet overaly subsidize driving with the lowest gas tax in the nation...why?

  8. #53
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Thumbs up More open land in dense NJ

    Newarkdevil I couldn't agree with you more. Develop a higher gas tax to encourage more people to use NJ transit and car pooling.

    In other news more open space in New Jersey preserved!

    Sussex County preserves Hudson Farm Greenway in Byram Township as open space

    By Lawrence Ragonese/The Star-Ledger
    February 23, 2010, 5:27PM


    Sandy Urgo/Courtesy of The Land Conservatory of N.J.
    A scenic portion of Hudson Farm Greenway in Byram, Sussex County, in an undated file photo.

    BYRAM TOWNSHIP -- A scenic 222-acre tract in Sussex County has been preserved for $4.2 million, successfully ending a four-year effort to permanently save the Hudson Farm Greenway in Byram Township.

    The deal was finalized Friday and announced today by the Land Conservancy of New Jersey, one of several partners in the effort to secure the property, which will be used for natural and recreation purposes, including ballfields and trails.

    "The Greenway is ideally located and connects neighborhoods and residents to trails that link to parks and natural lands,’’ said Sandy Urgo, land preservation manager for the Land Conservancy.

    The Hudson Farm Greenway begins at Route 206 and extends north about 1.5 miles to C.O. Johnson Park on Roseville Road. The tract includes mature forest, with existing hiking trails and a ridgeline that provides scenic overlooks and views of Cranberry Lake. Johnson Lake lies in the middle of the greenway.

    Byram plans to use 10 acres of what are now hay fields off Route 206 for a new park and athletic fields. Another 50 acres will be held for possible future expansion of C.O. Johnson Park. The other 153 acres were preserved for conservation and public access uses.

    "It’s a beautiful piece of property right in the Highlands preservation area,’’ said Land Conservancy Executive Director David Epstein.

    The greenway virtually connects C.O. Johnson Park with Allamuchy State Park, said Epstein, who noted the Highlands Trail is likely to be re-routed through this new public holding.

    Partners in the deal with the Land Conservancy included the state Green Acres program, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Byram and the Sussex County Open Space Committee.

    The project embodies most goals of Byram’s open space program, including conservation of water resources and forests, connectivity of natural corridors, public access to water bodies, off-road non-motorized access between parks, plus sites for future recreational facilities.

    "The Hudson Farm Greenway project is a perfect example of how local, county and state agencies can all work hand in hand toward a common goal,’’ said Byram Mayor Jim Oscovitch.

    A dozen years ago, billionaire investor/philanthropist Peter Kellogg bought the former Hudson Guild Farm in Hopatcong, which had been a charity fresh-air farm for the prior 50 years, and converted it into a semi-private target/instruction course and private commercial hunting preserve gun club catering to wealthy clientele. In 2007, Kellogg added the 900-acre Westby farm along Roseville Road in Byram and Andover to its growing holdings in Sussex, which now comprise some 4,000 acres in Hopatcong, Byram and Andover.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201...es_hudson.html
    Last edited by JCMAN320; February 24th, 2010 at 10:43 PM. Reason: Added link

  9. #54

    Default Imo

    Honestly, the best hope I have for this reccesion is we rethink the way we do things and really realize that the state is not in a great position. We have lagged against national growth in the past two econimic cycles and just have too much government. I have Republican leanings but what I really want is a leaner state that really things about how we can actually grow, and it's not be building more highways! Oh, btw, I am all about raising the gas tax and having more tool roads, explain to me why we subsidize driving so much?

  10. #55
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Great News; Christie please sign

    N.J. Assembly approves bill allowing development rights in protected Highlands

    By Peggy Ackermann/Statehouse Bureau
    February 25, 2010, 5:27PM


    AP Photo/Carmine Galasso/The Record
    Fall foliage at the Monksville Reservoir in West Milford.

    TRENTON -- The Assembly approved legislation today that would allow municipalities throughout the state to accept development rights from towns in the protected Highlands region.

    "This will boost the Highlands Transfer Development Rights program so that landowners in the Highlands are fairly compensated for lost property value," Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-Hunterdon), a sponsor of the bill, said in a news release. "If we create a better market for development rights, we will increase the odds that landowners are made whole for preserving their land."

    The vote was 62-10 with three abstentions. Currently, only towns located in the Highlands region can accept the credits. The bill (A-602) expands that to allow any town in the state to accept them.

    "This will open up a new revenue source for towns accepting the credits while allowing development to occur in more appropriate parts of the state," Peterson said.

    The Highlands region, which comprises parts of Morris, Sussex, Warren, Passaic, Somerset, Hunterdon and Bergen counties, provides water for millions of northern New Jerseyans.
    The legislation won praise from the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club.

    “We think this is an important step forward in good planning and also for providing a mechanism to save open space in the Highlands,” Jeff Tittel, the organization's director, said in a news release.

    The bill must clear the Senate before going to Gov. Chris Christie for his signature.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201...bill_allo.html

  11. #56

    Default New Jersey's anti-city bias

    City, The issue is the inherent bias that NJ had against it's cities as it allowed small municipatlities to break away from the cities. When I was over in Europe it was so much more obvious that a London, Munich, Warsaw all cover a large area with very diverse neighborhoods, not just their downtowns. Newark for instance lost towns such as the Oranges, Irvington, Nutlety, Bellville which then creates a disparity in town incomes and taxes. NJ has waaaay to much overhead for a state it's size and very little of our overhead seems to be dedicated to making our state streamlined and efficient.

  12. #57
    Forum Veteran Newarkguy's Avatar
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    Wink NJ urban bias continues.

    The poor condition of New Jersey's Cities was and is intentional. Newark was stripped of ALL Essex county's land except for the ironbound- Downneck area. All of Essex County,as well as Hillside,Union,Kennilworth,Springfield,Summit and New Providence in Union County,was part or the town of Newark. Even west Hudson(Kearny,Harrison,East Newark)in Hudson County was then called Newark's Barbadoes Neck. There was no Hudson County back then. Both Newark and Jersey city, as well as Elizabeth were all in Essex County,Barbadoes neck today is Kearny,Harrison and East Newark,with Down neck(today's Ironbound) naturally across the Passaic River.When Newark realized that its future as a major US and world city depended on re-annexing back Essex,Union, and southern Bergen counties,Nj changed the annexation rules into a complicated, difficult to outright impossible process involving the need for PERMISSION from the town to be annexed. Not only that but even if a part of let's say...Bloomfield, with an unhappy population that feels Newark is better tuned to their needs , wanted to join Newark,They would need prmission from Bloomfield(never happen) BEFORE asking Newark to take them in!! Even when Newark was allowed to annex, it was forced to share! It was forced to split Woodside with Belleville as a condition for annexation. Newark was only allowed to annex Clinton township aka Camptown in small pieces over a 15 year period. NJ did this to give western Clinton-Camptown township enough time to become Irvington!!and so prevent Newark from growing any further.Only the Borough of Vailsburg was allowed into Newark whole after a vote that Nj thought would go against Newark(surprise!!)Nj eliminated the cities right to expand to compete nationally as well as internationally. As a result all have fallen from the ranks of prominent cities. (size matters!)This basically ended annexation in NJ for decades.New Jersey sees itself as a barrel tapped at both ends. North Jerseans look to New York City, and south Jerseans look to Philadelphia. New Yorkers and Philladelphians typically worked in these two cities and saw NJ as their bedroom community. NJ usually allowed townships of importance to annex smaller neighbors by Legislative fiat. They also could split by legislative fiat. referendums were a courtessy rarely utilized, since municipalities are "creatures" of the State Legislature,with the power to create or terminate a town's legal corporate existence. Then a no no happened, some NJ cities had the nerve to think that they too may become big and world famous, just like NYC,Boston, or Philly.Trenton annexed Chambersburg town whole, but only allowed a tiny piece of Ewing. trenton was soon stopped from growing after annexing tiny miltown. Today Trenton physically spreads deep into Mercer county,just as Camden covers west Camden co,but Trenton's restrictive boundaries strangled this city to death long ago.Camden sought to grow and rival Philly.But when Camden annexed Stockton, former Stockton treasurer Mr Greenwald refused to hand the town records to Camden city treasurer-manager MR Miller. Camden won the court battle,and NJ state supreme court to this day stands by the ruling that the annexation of Stockton to Camden city by Legislative fiat is constitutional on the grounds that NJ State Legislature has the sole power to create and dissolve municipalities. So nothing is stopping NJ cities from getting together and demand annexation by fiat. L.U.A.R.C.C. (Local unit area reorganization consolidation commission)is a sham because it wont consider where the BIGGEST savings in property taxes are...An Expanded Newark and Jersey City. In fact they have abandoned their reason de' etere. Former Governor Corzine formed LUARCC to recommend municipal annexations AKA consolidations and put them to a vote. Towns rejecting the common sence recomendations would get "punished" Now that Corzine has gone , LUARCC has betrayed itself by only focusing on "Municipal service"sharing"arrangements!! REPEAL LUARCC!!
    Last edited by Newarkguy; June 4th, 2010 at 08:39 PM. Reason: detail ommission.

  13. #58

    Default

    I totally agree with most of your post Newarkguy. Its good to know that other people know what New Jersey has been doing to its cities for centuries now. I'm from Trenton and my city has been land locked for so long our surrounding townships which were once for the most part of the "Old Trenton" when the british still ran things we were the shiretown. Not only just restriction on land growth, but the state of NJ must of made some kind of back room deal with NYC and Philly to allow them to prosper by holding NJ cities down. We virtual have no markets of our own..NYC/Philly TV and Radio markets dominate us. Newark should easily be over a 100 sq miles and Trenton should also. When mercer county was formed trenton was suppose to have mostly all of its land within the city limits areas like Lawrence (formerly maidenhead) Hamilton (formerly Nottingham) were full of sleepy un organized villages that trenton claimed. And as far as Ewing Township this area was always claimed by Trenton it was its un developed territory, but when The city of trenton was incorporated it lost all of that area when it was Trenton township that area was renamed Ewing. Our cities need more land to develop and become truly great like they are. If we can get more politicians on board we could make significant change. ANNEXATION AND CONSOLIDATION NOW. NYC didn't really become what it is now until it annexed the other 4 boroughs. Toronto did this about 15 yrs ago....I'm sure it gave them a stronger tax base also better organization and thats what NJ cities needs. We can end urban sprawl if we expand our urban centers by filling in the gaps which will prevent sprawl. Reorganization is key.
    Last edited by questkid73; August 18th, 2010 at 02:47 PM.

  14. #59
    Forum Veteran Newarkguy's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by questkid73 View Post
    I totally agree with most of your post Newarkguy. Its good to know that other people know what New Jersey has been doing to its cities for centuries now. I'm from Trenton and my city has been land locked for so long our surrounding townships which were once for the most part of the "Old Trenton" when the british still ran things we were the shiretown. Not only just restriction on land growth, but the state of NJ must of made some kind of back room deal with NYC and Philly to allow them to prosper by holding NJ cities down. We virtual have no markets of our own..NYC/Philly TV and Radio markets dominate us. Newark should easily be over a 100 sq miles and Trenton should also. When mercer county was formed trenton was suppose to have mostly all of its land within the city limits areas like Lawrence (formerly maidenhead) Hamilton (formerly Nottingham) were full of sleepy un organized villages that trenton claimed. And as far as Ewing Township this area was always claimed by Trenton it was its un developed territory, but when The city of trenton was incorporated it lost all of that area when it was Trenton township that area was renamed Ewing. Our cities need more land to develop and become truly great like they are. If we can get more politicians on board we could make significant change. ANNEXATION AND CONSOLIDATION NOW. NYC didn't really become what it is now until it annexed the other 4 boroughs. Toronto did this about 15 yrs ago....I'm sure it gave them a stronger tax base also better organization and thats what NJ cities needs. We can end urban sprawl if we expand our urban centers by filling in the gaps which will prevent sprawl. Reorganization is key.
    thanks,very informative about Trenton's history. There is a book titled "New Jersey's Multiple Municipal Madness" by the late Nj senator Alan Karcher, which explains the crazy reasons that NJ has 565 municipalities,undersized cities,and how many Nj towns named themselves after great American heroes to hide the true reason for their founding.Such as intolerance for alcohol sales,anti Catholicism,anti Semitism,snobbish attitudes by wealthy villagers against paying for municipal services to poorer farmers in outlying areas,to the point of secession that created NJ's donut hole towns..

  15. #60
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Last thing we needed was another strip mall.

    Middlesex County $2.65M grant to allows Woodbridge to buy Camel Creek property for open space
    Published: Monday, October 11, 2010, 8:00 PM
    Eunice Lee/For The Star-Ledger


    Google Maps
    A map of Woodbridge.vA $2.65 million Middlesex County grant will allow Woodbridge Township to buy a plot of land previously slated to become either 36 rental units or a strip mall, according to township officials.

    WOODBRIDGE — A $2.65 million Middlesex County grant will allow Woodbridge Township to buy a plot of land previously slated to become either 36 rental units or a strip mall, according to township officials.

    The 4.63 acres known as Camel Creek also sits just west of a golf course that township officials have been battling over since 2008.

    The green acres funds recently approved by the Middlesex County freeholders ensures the land will remain a “pristine parcel and an environmental preserve,” township officials said.

    The acquisition of Camel Creek is “not related at all” to the township’s efforts to take over the adjacent Colonia Country Club, said township spokesman John Hagerty.

    No township funds will be used to purchase the land from Woodbridge-based Atlantic Realty Development, Hagerty said today.

    Councilman Robert Luban, who represents Colonia, said he had been concerned that another development company would snatch up Camel Creek to position itself to gain future access to the golf course.

    “It eliminates the worry for good,” said Luban. “I was always leery of that.”

    Mayor John E. McCormac and township officials have previously claimed that a wealthy club member who bought the financially ailing golf course was planning to build on the 104-acre property.

    The mayor previously submitted a township offer to pay $4.5 million for the club’s development rights, with an option to buy, which wouldn’t be exercised as long as the township received $100,000 annually.

    Currently. a lawsuit between country club owner Matthew Lonuzzi, a New York real estate developer, against the township is on hold as both sides work towards a settlement, Hagerty said.

    http://www.nj.com/news/local/index.s...dbridge_t.html

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