How a N.J. State Bill Might Impact Tabor Lake
By The Courier Staff
August, 1975
 

There has been some talk in the local government that Parsippany-Troy Hills is interested in Tabor Lake and an adjoining lake in its master plan as a green area (prohibiting housing development). A step taken in the N. J. state assembly, which would make this possible, was the proposal of the Municipal Development Rights Act, by Assemblyman Wood­son and our local assemblywoman, Rosemarie Totaro. The bill, number 3192 of the State of New Jersey, was introduced on February 27, 1975.

 

The following two articles explain how this bill might affect Tabor Lake directly. One favors the bill and the other opposes it.

 

The purpose of the bill is to give the townships the power to zone areas they choose against further construction, permanently. A quote explaining the basic idea of the bill is on the second page of article I: "The State Government has an obligation to provide municipal governments with adequate and appropriate statutory tools, whereby these local governments, acting within the statutory framework and pursuant to the guidelines provided by the state, may respond to the pressures for and the burdens imposed by physical development with sound, rational and comprehensive planning techniques... that such techniques would permit municipalities to set aside publicly and privately owned improved and unimproved land in permanent preservation zones, where new physical development would be prohibited."

 

Although we are already prohibited from building at Tabor Lake, this rule does not apply to a developer interested in buying this land. A zoning law such as that mentioned in the bill would lower the sale value of our land considerably because no developer would want to buy it. As a result, we would receive less money in a condemnation proceeding. This could be said to be, in a sense, "hog-tying" the land for later purchase as a park or recreation area.

 

Under the provisions of the bill, municipalities could designate an area that they wished to be protected from any future land development, a tract where construction would be prohibited. This means that if the bill is adopted, developers would not be able to buy and develop our land.

 

The bill states that if a preservation zone is created, improvements existing at the time of that creation could be continued and repaired. This means that if Tabor Lake were in a preservation zone, we would be permitted to keep our cottages and to repair them.

 

If the bill is passed, landowners in a preservation zone would forfeit all rights to develop their

land but they would receive compensation from developers elsewhere in the municipality. This is because their sale value would be increased due to decreased competition.

 

The concept of the bill is to save woodlands, farm­lands, parks and historic sites from land developers, without great costs to townships.