Sunday, November 19, 2006

New Jersey’s New Heights of Condo Construction

It seems that if one were to take a leisurely drive, if in fact a leisurely drive is even possible any longer, through just about any part of Northern New Jersey, especially if that person had not done so in some time, that individual would see some things which had changed in New Jersey’s landscape. Where at one time there was a beautiful and ancient cliff with a beautiful tree line now stands in all starkness new and of course expensive condo’s or McMansions.

Yes, it seems that land that was at one time not even considered to be useful for housing has come to be the most sought after land. The higher up the hillside the better and the nearer the edge of the cliff, now that is living. Would you just look at that view! That is what it is all about, a view, and the rest of you be damned.

Driving West on Interstate 80 I look up at Garret Mountain and wonder to myself, where the hell did those things come from? I don’t think that they where there when I passed by last week. And since I see the same type of condo’s being built all the way on the South side of Garret Mountain or at least what was Garret Mountain before they blew it into rubble, at Route 46 in West Patterson I have do wonder does that construction cross the entire reservation?

Take a drive out to beautiful and quaint Hackettstown driving West on Route 46 and after passing beautiful Budd Lake look to your left at the top of Budd Lake hill and view what was not to long ago wooded hillside is now a conglomeration of condo’s and acre after acre of new houses. What happened to the beautiful horse farms? What happened to the tree lined hillside? What happened to the pasture land?

But it doesn’t end there. Even old and established communities where people have enjoyed a degree of space between neighbors has been visited by this blight of homes that are designed to be crammed into what was one time a lovely and well landscaped single residence lot. Bergen County, Passaic County, Morris County and Warren County to name a few, have seen this cancer of growth.

And of course the politicians love it because it adds to the tax base. But what concerns me even more than this aspect of construction is that the United States Supreme Court has ruled that, basically we as taxpaying American citizens no longer have the right to own private property. Sure, it’s yours today, but what will tomorrow bring?

Since any wealthy developer can convince or simply bribe corrupt politicians to misappropriate land under laws of eminent domain what is there to stop them from taking an old and well established community, calling it blighted and knocking it down and destroying what might in fact be buildings which have some sort of historical significance? The answer to that question is that there is nothing that can be done.

And since there will always be someone who has more money than you do in corporate America, even if your personal wealth is substantial, the land development mafia will always win so everyone is at risk in this land grab insanity. New development projects are springing up everywhere and everyday. Who will be the next victim of a land developer in New Jersey who wants your land for a new transit village or big box store or new condo community?

Until the people understand what is going on in New Jersey and until people become united in some fashion in order to prevent this land grab insanity New Jersey will continue to lose some of what has made it a unique and historic state.

Perhaps there is no stopping this thing from occurring. Perhaps it is just a part of the evolution of life in what is one of the most densely populated and wealthy per capita states in the nation. Maybe it is time to change the state motto from “the garden state” to “the condo state.”

Now don’t even get me talking about tolls on Interstate Route 80 Governor Corzine.

Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

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