Letter to the Editor: May 2016

If you live in Palisades, you know what a special place it is, protected from the unbridled development trampling northward through New Jersey by only a state line and zoning laws that a vigilant community want seriously enforced.

We are surrounded by examples of how zoning left unmonitored can lead to changes. Just a short drive into New Jersey you find monstrous homes built to within feet of the property line, ruining the character of entire communities. In Ramapo, small zoning changes led to big building and violation problems. Our own Historic District and its building codes are continually tested and need to be strengthened, and Orangetown’s “urbanization” needs to be restrained before it’s too late.

Many of us still take for granted the peace and tranquility of our hamlet. But recently a plea went out for support of the rental of Yonderhill to Sotheby’s Real Estate and several neighbors complied with letters of approval sent to the Town Zoning Department. Unfortunately, the Sotheby’s company seeking the lease is not our own Ellis Realty, but rather the New Jersey Alpine and Hillsdale Prominent Properties, a company that represents the glitzy “luxury lifestyle” most of us moved here to get away from. Almost all of their agents live in New Jersey and have no interest in our community, our history, or our way of life.

This is a critical time for Palisades. There are many properties for sale and some are, unfortunately, subdividable. What will be built on those properties will forever change the landscape and the character of our community. I encourage everyone to pay attention, ask questions, and participate in the preservation of Palisades.