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Christie Attacks Good Planning, Signs Two Pro-Development Bills

Date : Wed, 5 May 2010 12:31:43 -0400

For Immediate Release
Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100 May 5, 2010

Christie Attacks Good Planning, Signs Two Pro-Development Bills Today

Today Governor Christie has taken the side of developers and overdevelopment against good planning and the rights of New Jersey citizens. The governor signed two bills that will hurt New Jersey. The first is the Time of Decision bill which alters the process that exempts developers from changes in municipal ordinances and zoning. The second is a bill that limits the public's right to have referendums on development projects that directly impact their lives. This is a terrible blow to both the environment and smart growth.

Time of Decision

Under the former law, developers needed preliminary approval, including a public hearing, on an application in order to be exempted. The Time of Decision bill changes that and requires that developers only have to file an application to be exempted from changes in municipal rules or zoning. Incomplete or inaccurate applications would still be protected, allowing the builder immunity from any land use planning changes.

"Time of decision is a time bomb, and when it goes off will destroy good planning and the environment in the state of New Jersey. It will mean more sprawl, more traffic, more pollution and higher property taxes," said Jeff Tittel, New Jersey Sierra Club Director.

Referendum Limits

This bill is an attack on democracy and a major step backwards for the rights of citizens to determine the future of their communities. In many towns and cities in New Jersey, citizens have right to petition the government on ordinances that affect development in their communities by taking it to a referendum. This bill restricts those rights and turn New Jersey into a developer oligarchy.

This bill allows private developers to build for-profit projects on state colleges without any public bidding. Of the development, 75% can be used for private purposes, not for students.

Citizens of Atlantic City have successfully petitioned for a referendum on $300 million in subsidies for a casino. This bill takes away the citizens' right to stop that proposal.

"What we're seeing is not only massive subsidies for developers at the expense of taxpayers but the elimination of citizen's rights to oppose projects that cause overdevelopment, hurt the environment, and bankrupt taxpayers," Tittel said.

Christine Guhl Program Assistant New Jersey Sierra Club

145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618 Tel: (609) 656-7612 Fax: (609) 656-7618 christine.guhl_at_sierraclub.org

Received on 2010-05-05 09:31:43

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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