TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have allowed development on piers in designated high-hazard coastal areas.
S-2680/A-3933, a contentious bill in committee hearings, would have permitted development in certain urban municipalities.
But Christie said Monday in his veto message that because the bill might jeopardize eligibility of towns in the National Flood Insurance Program, he was turning it back.
“Allowing new construction on a pier in a coastal high hazard area as this bill provides contravenes that federal regulation and may therefore jeopardize NFIP eligibility for those municipalities with existing piers along the Hudson River. I cannot condone such a risk,” Christie said.
Environmentalists during committee hearings decried what they said was the folly of allowing developers – in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy – to build on piers in areas that would place residents’ in harm’s way.
Currently, this type of development is prohibited in urban areas outside Atlantic City.
But supporters of the bill touted its benefits in a post-Sandy economy.
It had bipartisan sponsorship of Sens. Nicholas Sacco, (D-32), North Bergen, and Joe Kyrillos, (R-13), Middletown.
During hearings, Steve Corodemus, former Assemblyman from Monmouth County, said this bill would have limited applications to projects on major rivers, not coastal areas. Its limited focus will prevent life and property from being jeopardized, he said.