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Concerns Expressed About the Draft Master Plan for the New Jersey Meadowlands

As the state authority responsible for the regional planning and zoning of the Hackensack Meadowlands District, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority recently proposed the "Draft Hackensack Meadowlands District Master Plan Update 2020."
September 12, 2019, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The American Dream Meadowlands retail and entertainment complex is expected to open this fall in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
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The Jersey Journal Editorial Board has published an editorial in response to the current draft of the 2020 Hackensack Meadowlands District Master Plan [pdf], the subject of a recent public hearing.

The editorial calls on the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to listen careful to the concerns of the public regarding the plan, specifically regarding the environmental risk that a plan could introduce to the area, so soon after the ecologically sensitive area has been nursed back to health in recent decades.

With that environmental sensitivity in mind, the editorial argues that the current plan is too vague to protect the environmental assets found in the Meadowlands. Then there are the things the plan leaves out entirely:

MetLife Stadium and the American Dream complex, while physically at the heart of the district, are not guided by the master plan, a dangerous component that the Legislature and governor’s office should look to rectify.

In fact, the creation of the American Dream has removed 556 acres of previously designated “recreational land’’ in the master plan, and while the draft notes this, it doesn’t say if other recreational land will be designated to make up for it.

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority held a public hearing on the draft plan on Tuesday, September 10 in Lyndhurst. Among those in attendance was Rob Freudenberg, vice president for energy and environment at the Regional Plan Association, who published his comments from the hearing.

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Published on Sunday, September 8, 2019 in Jersey Journal
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