For the past 200 million years since its formation by an explosion of molten magma, cooling and solidifying into the magnificent columnar structure of rock that exists today, the Palisades Cliffs has soared above the west bank of the Hudson River. It has become an icon for nature's environmental beauty in the Northeast. It was under siege in the late 1890s with quarrying of its cliff face for use as construction material in NYC. It took a group of determined women, the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs, to stop the pillaging and influencing the formation of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission to protect the Palisades Cliffs north of the George Washington Bridge.
The southern portion of the Palisades Cliffs did not receive any such protection and soon became surrounded by developments of all shapes and sizes. But, now with new construction methods and technology, developers have become more aggressive in attacking the Palisades Cliffs to build their projects.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's (NJDEP) regulations (N.J.A.C. 7:15-5.3) prohibits development on "steep slopes, i.e., the Palisades Cliffs. These regulations were also adopted and approved by the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders on Oct. 23, 2008.
We are petitioning our state officials and elected representatives to enforce the regulations and not allow any further damage and destruction to what the NY Times editorial, "Saving a Natural Treasure", dated March 21, 2008, in referring to the Palisades Cliffs, as being "degraded beyond recognition".
The Coalition to Preserve the Palisades Cliffs proposes a moratorium on further developement and enforcement of regulations on those already approved by local authorities.
Please join us by petitioning the following organizations - and help us get the message to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), the Hudson County Freeholders and the Hudson County Executive, Thomas A. DeGise that a landmark icon cannot be replaced!
We the undersigned, urge you to enforce your regulations, N.J.A.C. 7:15-5.3 on any development application that may be submitted to you that would include destroying, degrading, damaging and / or removal of sections of the Palisades Cliffs and surrounding areas. These regulations prohibit development on "steep slopes" which is any slope 20 degrees or greater. The Palisades Cliffs meets your definition and the surrounding areas may become destabilized as a result of such work.
Smart growth development should not include the destruction of an iconic, historic 200 million year old natural landmark, the Palisades Cliffs, for a developer's vision that will be built to last for only a comparatively short time.
Thank you for your attention to our concerns and taking responsibility and leadership in enforcement of your regulations.