Pennsauken Green's mission is to advocate for the establishment of a greenway of high quality open space along the Delaware River, Pennsauken creek and their tributaries within the Township of Pennsauken, New Jersey.
Petty's Island Must Be Restored and Preserved For The Entire Region
Pennsauken's plan for Petty's Island denies the entire region the benefits of a large, un-fragmented piece of public open space and wildlife habitat.
The township line of "Our waterfront, Our Plan, Our Tomorrow" is shortsighted, selfish and makes for poor regional planning.
Petty’s Island is not a green oasis. But, it can be. Liberty State Park was once a major waterfront industrial area with a landfill and chromium contamination. Today, it serves as an example of brownfields remediation in service of the public good. There is absolutely no reason why Petty’s Island can’t be New Jersey’s second example of transforming a contaminated industrial site into high-quality public open space. Unfortunately, corporate greed, and shortsighted politicians are standing in the way of Petty’s Island becoming part of the public realm.
Over 800 Township residents signed the petition in support of preserving Petty's Island in its entirety (94% of the Township residents asked signed). Despite public support of preservation, Pennsauken has begun condemnation of the Island.
A view of what the future Petty's Island could be: a wildlife reserve of forests, wetlands and meadows. A green oasis in one of the most developed areas in the United States. Your efforts will help make this vision a reality!
SEE MORE PHOTOS OF PETTY'S ISLAND
Cherokee's Bird Expert Cited in Death of Baby Bald Eagle on Petty's Island
Jack McCrossin of Citgo holding the eaglet before placement in the nest on Petty's Island. A consultant working for Master Developer Cherokee, has been cited by the state in the death of this eagle.
Pennsauken’s web site pennsaukentomorrow is deceptive.
Don’t be fooled!
pennsaukentomorrow states that “if Petty’s Island becomes a preserve it will become government owned and tax exempt, costing the Pennsauken municipal budget approximately $750,000 annually from the lost property tax revenue.” This is true. However, how much will a redeveloped Petty’s island cost us? The reality is that residential development is much more costly to a municipality than commercial or industrial development. Schools, police and fire protection, trash collection, snow removable, maintaining infrastructure, sewer, water and other distribution networks, these all cost money and industrial or commercial development demand far less municipal services. The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions point to studies that show for every $1.00 collected in taxes, residential development costs between $1.04 to $1.67 in services.
pennsaukentomorrow states that the waterfront redevelopment plan will generate “up to $16 million in annual tax and other revenues generated at full build-out”. This appears very attractive. However, they don’t tell you what the plan will cost in terms of yearly services. According to a fiscal impact study sponsored by Cherokee, Township cost for the entire redevelopment plan at full build-out is 10.2 million. So, net revenues is 16 million – 10.2 million = 5.8 million. Still, 5.8 million is 5.8 million, but one has to view with healthy skepticism a study sponsored by a developer with an economic interest in the project. If Cherokee’s numbers are sound, than net revenues generated by the redevelopment project proposed by the mainland will more than cover the loss of Citgo’s tax check. If Cherokee’s numbers are optimistic, then our taxes may need to be raised to keep up with shortfalls. And we won’t have the quality open space we need or deserve. It may seem counterintuitive, but many municipalities are limiting residential development in order to prevent high property taxes.
According to pennsaukentomorrow the redevelopment plan for the island will “Preserve and enhance natural wildlife habitats.” Are they kidding?. Developing the island with a hotel, housing and a golf course will fragment and undermine the island’s potential as high-quality open space and wildlife habitat. Cleaning up the Island and creating a public park is the best way to “Preserve and enhance natural wildlife habitats.”
According to pennsaukentomorrow the redevelopment plan will “change the active use on the island away from industrial activities to enhance the cleanup’s positive effects for generations to come.” How so? Having Citgo cleanup the Island and creating a public park is a much better way to insure “positive effects for generations to come.” Ask Township officials what will prevent a private golf course on Petty’s island from being sold one day and subdivided with more housing.
According to pennsaukentomorrow the redevelopment plan will “provide cleanup of the lower Delaware River Ecosystem, including Petty’s Island, coastlines in Pennsauken and Camden, and enhance water quality.”
Really? Why, then, does every major environmental group in the region including the Delaware RiverKeeper Network oppose Pennsauken’s plan and support creating a protected public park on Petty’s Island? Because development on an island in the Delaware River will diminish ecosystems and water quality. According to the EPA the average golf course superintendent applies 55 pounds of pesticides to each acre of golf course per year. Homeowners apply 67 million pounds of lawn chemicals each year, more pounds per acre than are applied by farmers. Rain runoff carries with it fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides polluting streams and rivers like the Delaware. How much pollution will a Petty’s Island transformed into vegetated public open space produce?
Tell the leadership of Pennsauken what you think.
Contact Pennsauken's Mayor Jack Killion at 856-665-1000 ext.152
Palmyra Cove Nature Park
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