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Sudsy

New access rules are going to the Governors desk

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It's not perfect but after 8 years of struggle since the Christie sold us out and gave our access away to the business lobbies it's a start.

We still have to deal with parking restriction issues but now we have a base to work from

 

ON THE WATERFRONT: STATE POISED TO GRANT PUBLIC GREATER ACCESS TO BEACHES
TOM JOHNSON | MARCH 26, 2019


Bill goes to governor that would expand public access to beaches, waterfront areas while leaving contentious issues like parking and fees for future debate

The public may be guaranteed more access to the state’s beaches and waterfronts under a hard-fought bill given final legislative approval yesterday.

Both houses voted without debate to send to the governor S-1074, which codifies into law the public-trust doctrine, a common-law principle that holds natural resources such as tidal waters and waterfronts are preserved for public use.

 

Long championed by conservationists, the issue emerged in 2015 when a state appeals court struck down the Department of Environmental Protection’s authority to establish rules dealing with public access to beaches and waterfronts.


The question of who has access to beaches and waterfronts has long pitted conservationists against town officials and private-property owners, as well as business interests, such as condominium complexes and marinas. This bill sought to broaden public access while leaving more contentious debates over parking and fees for the future.

 

The legislation tries to accomplish that goal by obligating the DEP to protect and promote access to public-trust lands in its funding and permitting decisions involving coastal, wetlands, and flood-control regulations.

“It is important for New Jerseyans to have access to the beautiful and iconic Jersey Shore,’’ said Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “For too long, there have been too many barriers in place along the shore, tidal waters, and waterfront areas.’’

 

Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society and a co-chair of a special legislative task force that helped draft the bill, said the measure will expand opportunities for the public to access waterfront areas.


The legislation had wide backing, but faced opposition from business groups who pressed for and eventually won exemptions for critical infrastructure along the waterfront — nuclear power plants, chemical facilities, refineries, and petroleum-tank farms.

 

Some environmentalists fear last-minute changes to the bill weakened it. Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, objected to an amendment that changed a provision that DEP promote public access to the extent “practicable’’ instead of “possible.’’ He argued courts would define practicable as reasonable or current practice.

 

“Ultimately, nothing will change and will not allow for better access than towns currently have,’’ Tittel said. “This means that towns like Deal or Avalon who want our money but don’t want us on the beach will keep playing their games to keep us out.’’

Dillingham disputed that assessment, saying the bill will ensure that DEP factors funding into its permitting decisions and other actions when public access is required under the public-trust doctrine.

 

The legislation also will require the state agency to consider changes in public access when there is a change in development in waterfront areas, a trend that is occurring more frequently as redevelopment occurs in urban areas.

That means the new access requirements apply to riverfront areas in the northern part of the state along the Hudson River, where rampant development has walled off sections of the waterfront, according to Dillingham.

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:hi5:. Aside from the few loopholes in some of the bill's language, it's at least a start in the right direction. 

 

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This bill is a bunch of BS . . . as Sudsy suggested this is a slightly better version of the gutted bill Christie put into effect.  The standard for protecting the public interest in access is being lowered all the time.  I believe the Gov should reject the bill and ask they come back with something providing stronger language to protect the public interest.  Kicking the can down the road doesn't work . . . just leads to weaker standards.

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Will it include Valet parking. You know "no parking" signs will be going up . Yes beach access & parking are a real PITA in NJ.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

4 hours ago, cartopper said:

This bill is a bunch of BS . . . as Sudsy suggested this is a slightly better version of the gutted bill Christie put into effect.  The standard for protecting the public interest in access is being lowered all the time.  I believe the Gov should reject the bill and ask they come back with something providing stronger language to protect the public interest.  Kicking the can down the road doesn't work . . . just leads to weaker standards.

If it passes, Murphy signs it, we already have plans in place to test it.

 

Edited by Sudsy

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6 mins ago, Sudsy said:

If it passes, Murphy signs it, we already have plans in place to test it.

 

Let's hope and let me know if you need any manpower for this, I'm able bodied.

 

I spoke with the Gov's office this morning . . . expressed my malcontent with the bill and suggested we need to make it significantly stronger to protect the public interest.  Especially in light of the millions spent on beach replenishment projects, walls, etc.  

 

Thank you for staying on top of these issues, without watchdogs like yourself there would be no public access.

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