Urban piers development bill passes in Assembly

TRENTON – A controversial bill permitting development on urban piers passed in the Assembly Monday.

A3933/2680, which passed 69-6-2, would allow for residential development such as hotels or mixed-uses on piers over large rivers located in coastal high hazard areas.

Opponents said this legislation deliberately will put people in harm’s way in light of what happened last year with Superstorm Sandy.

Supporters said the piers in question are not risky construction, and this measure is an economic boost.

Essentially, the bill would be aimed at condo-type projects along the Hudson River in northern New Jersey, but environmentalists have called such legislation foolish.

At an earlier committee hearing, Donald Stitzenberg of the Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy talked about what a condominium in Weehawken experienced during Sandy, becoming cut off from help, and said this bill would allow that situation to occur again elsewhere.

However, at the same hearing Steve Corodemus, a former assemblyman, said this bill would correct a problem that has been in existence for some time, and the Hudson River area was not supposed to be a coastal high-hazard area.

Urban piers development bill passes in Assembly