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State Index

New Jersey

New information added in February 14, 2009

Updates and News Briefs

"State Highlands Bill Threatens Northern New Jersey Property Owners"
The 100-page Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act (S.1, A. 2635) would establish a regional planning commission, the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council, to prepare a master regional land use plan, to be followed by "stringent" development regulations by the Department of Environmental Protection.

"Testimony of Bonner R. Cohen, Ph.D. before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, The Highlands Conservation Act, 366 Senate Dirksen Office Building,
March 24, 2004"

If the Highlands Conservation Act (H.R. 1964) is enacted, it will be
harmful for the people in the highlands and their environment.

January 2006:
Heritage Areas, Eminent Domain Looms; Gov. Corzine Arrives

Additional Helpful Organizations
Additional Helpful

Institute for Justice
(a non-profit legal foundation that defends freedom, is representing property owners in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and other areas where cities are using eminent domain to take property from small businesses and homeowners to transfer it to their private businesses, such as hotels and upscale stores.)

Additional Resources
Additional Resources

The Patriot of New Jersey
Editors: Ed Smith & Bruce Siminoff
Covers many property rights issues.

Biosphere Reserves in
New Jersey:
New Jersey Pinelands

Interactive map of Unesco biosphere reserves in the U.S. and the world


New Jersey State Legislature


State News

  • "Award Presented to William J. Opferman Arrives After His Death" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, reprinted from New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 12, No. 4 (Fall 2008)
    At the Twelfth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights, PRFA President Carol W. LaGrasse presented the Seventh Annual Grassroots Leadership Award to William J. Opferman of Hamilton, New Jersey, in his absence, in recognition of his ten years of dedicated leadership defending private property rights in his local community, the State of New Jersey, and the nation-from eminent domain, intrusive trails, and federal land designations, especially major river trails, multi-state trails, and National Heritage Areas. However, Mr. Opferman, who had been ill, died a few weeks before the conference.
  • Roman P. Storzer"The Rights of Religious Institutions Facing Zoning and Historic Preservation" - By Roman P. Storzer, Storzer & Greene, P.L.L.C. Washington, D.C.; Twelfth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 18, 2008)
    In no other area is there as much restriction on religious exercise, a First Amendment freedom, than in the land use context, with possibly the exception of prisoners. The federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, RLUIPA, targets landmarking and land use laws. Zoning boards no longer hold all the power. Churches, mosques and temples can go to court and get redress under a relatively strong standard of review.
    More on this topic: Religious Institutions—National
  • Devlen Mackey"Farmers Fight Back in the New Jersey Highlands" - By Devlen Mackey, Owner, Mackey Orchards, Belvidere, New Jersey; Eleventh Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 13, 2007)
    Farmers, local government, and developers are opposing the state regional zoning law, the New Jersey Highlands Regional Planning and Water Protection Act, which imposes 88-acre zoning and exploits endangered species rules in Hunterdon, Warren, and other northwestern New Jersey counties to stop the use of land. The law is said to be intended to protect the watershed for drinking water, but sewers to keep flow from Lake Hopatcong are prohibited by the Department of Environmental Protection.
    More on this topic: Endangered Species & Wildlife—National
    More on this topic: Farming Issues—National

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