Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on small businesses, especially retail. Those that survived are still struggling with the impacts of the e-commerce boom that has compromised a return to brick-and-mortar. Next day deliveries are choking the malls and small shops out of business. With so many trucks on the roads, impeding access, why shop at a store with the ease of next-day deliveries?
Warehouse developers have calculated that NJ is within a 24-hr drive of nearly 40% of the ENTIRE NATION’S POPULATION, making NJ destined to become a Warehouse State. Developers and their lobby have worked much faster than our legislators can write protections into law. It seems all of New Jersey is currently struggling with a warehouse battle. We can’t box out our state, and still expect local retailers and communities to thrive, and hang on to our identity as the Garden State. It’s the biggest, most historic lifestyle shift ,entirely sparked by Covid.
Bridge Point 8, for example, is a fundamentally flawed warehouse park, planned where West Windsor, Princeton & Lawrenceville all connect in a once-vibrant shopping district. The project required an unprecedented 82 conditions of approval. It plans to pave over 5.5 million square feet of a 650+ acre parcel. Over 160 acres are flood hazardous and precious wetlands. Adjacent to Route 1 and already prone to severe flooding. These wetlands are essential to mitigating flood hazard conditions. Wetlands are nature's sponge that serve to absorb and filter stormwater. This warehouse plan will only exacerbate the problem of flooding, harming the local economy while making shopping local much less accessible or even desirable. Hundreds of tractor trailers per hour added to an already congested, flood-prone Route 1 is something consumers will choose to avoid.
If not for Covid, developers would not be this aggressively paving over our Garden State, and if not for the delay of the rules that were supposed to protect New Jerseyans from devastation, the "Emergency" PACT rules, they would not be so rushed to get fast approvals, to get shovels in the groiund. Builders don't care that the warehouse industry is diminishing. Their industry is building. They still get paid if what they build sits vacant. They are lobbying the government to slip through loopholes and grandfather clauses to design for storms of 1999, as opposed to designing for today and tomorrow.
We have to act to stop them, or our legacy may be the loss of our identity as we become the Warehouse & Logistics State.
During Covid, the only way folks were able to get together was to go outdoors. The pandemic revealed that open space is critical to public health.
The Mercer County Defense League is making a request that will ameliorate some of the ongoing Covid-impacts to local businesses and public health & safety for this region.
For roughly $50mm, American Rescue Funds can help us to purchase and protect this historically troubled parcel to save the land from destruction, the community from overwhelming truck traffic & diesel health issues and our local businesses from last mile distribution takeovers. If we can preserve this land, the legacy of the Murphy administration will be that of respecting the climate emergency and promoting the success of NJ business and the welfare of its citizens. It is an investment in the future of the Garden State. We look forward to working with the State in the spirit of New Jersey’s 60 year commitment to green acres. What can YOU do? Write to Governor Murphy today to implore him to allocate some of the AR funds to preserve and protect the land that is now slated for warehouse sprawl, that is, Bridge Point 8
653 acres of the Garden State endangered by Bridge Point WW, LLC
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