Watch CBS News

New Jersey Senator Proposes Palisades Protection Legislation Setting Height Restrictions For New Construction

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- The Palisades of New Jersey are among the most famous cliffs in the world, but a state proposal that claims to protect them has some elected officials in Bergen and Hudson counties nervous.

The steep cliffs of the Palisades are dotted with homes with breathtaking views of the Hudson River and Manhattan, but more and more new construction is popping up.

"Now you look and you say, 'How long do I have before they build something in front of my view?'" North Bergen resident Arleen McGowan said.

"It's when you start talking about going 20 and higher that seems to really start interfering," New Jersey State Sen. Nicholas Sacco told CBS2's Dave Carlin.

Sacco, who is also mayor of North Bergen, is co-author of Palisades protection legislation.

If passed, height restrictions for Palisades construction is set 10 feet down from the top. Building anything higher than that would require special approval.

Residents with clifftop homes support it.

"The views are obstructed. It's being destroyed," resident Rosalyn Musker said.

"It's not fair to the people who are already here," resident Pualani Ross said.

Sacco says he had hoped the law would not be necessary, expecting a coalition of towns to stay on the same page.

"Two towns are not acting responsibly, and that's upsetting us," he said.

He says with Edgewater and Hoboken eyeing new, tall developments, he had to act.

The City Council in Hoboken is fighting back with a vote to oppose the legislation, saying it will not easily give up local control.

"We have to have the flexibility as needed to go maybe a couple of stories higher than normally we would," Hoboken City Council member Tiffanie Fisher said. "Simply put, this bill is meant to protect the views of a few people up on the hill at the expense of two entire cities."

"I think the city planning should take care of that more than statewide," Hoboken resident Juan Porley said.

Sacco says the threat of new restrictions puts pressure on some developers: keep your construction plans to around 15 stories and you'll likely have no trouble; try to push it up to 40, 50, 60 stories, you could get tied up in court.

Sacco says a vote on the measure is possible late in the summer or in the fall.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.