JERSEY CITY, NJ(CBSNewYork) — A citizens group and the mayor of Jersey City are worried that Liberty State Park is under threat by developers.
The green oasis has a breathtaking view and a spectacular backdrop that includes Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
“It’s magnificent, and I think it really should stay open for the public,” Raina Parvanov Dawson told CBS2’s Christine Sloan.
A community watchdog group says a new bill waiting for Governor Chris Christie’s signature could open the door to leasing or selling the waterfront at Liberty State Park. It’s prime property with Manhattan’s skyline.
Jersey City’s Mayor Steve Fulop (D) shared concerns raised by Friends of Liberty State Park in a public notice that an added paragraph in the bill would let a new commission ‘evaluate, approve, and implement’ any plan for the development of Liberty State Park and surrounding buildings.
“What it does is it takes away the process that is currently in place, that who controls rights around Liberty State Park, and right now our city has control over it and puts it into this new entity,” Fulop said.
The mayor said he’s working with the bill’s sponsor, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, to get the wording out.
“The governor literally in the final minutes before any sort for any process for the bill to move forward said this was a necessity for this standpoint to move forward,” Fulop said.
Christie’s spokesperson had no comment, and said the governor does not talk about pending legislation.
“The new commission will not have any control over Liberty State Park and any suggestion to the contrary is false. The park will be under the statutory authority of the State Department of Environmental Protection,” Prieto said.
On Friday, park goers seemed to think it was best to take control away from politicians.
“I think definitely it would be better off without development,” one person said.
The legislation gives the governor some control of the new commission, allowing him to appoint six of the thirteen members.
There was no comment from the DEP.
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