Assemblymen John Amodeo and Vince Polistina today announced they are introducing legislation to require any changes to the boundaries of the Pinelands Management Areas would require approval of the state Legislature.

?The repercussions of the Commission?s decision have a broad impact,? Polistina said. ?The Commission can no longer act as its own fiefdom indifferent to the effects of its decisions inside and outside of the management areas.?

?While the Commission says its only changing six percent of the total management area, it is still a big deal for property owners, municipalities, and other planning agencies,? said Amodeo.

The assemblymen pointed out that one consequence of the proposed changes by the Commission would prevent the construction of a full interchange at Exit 44 on the Garden State Parkway.

?It defies common sense that to build an interchange you need the municipality, the county, the state, and the Turnpike Authority, but it only takes one commission to squash it,? said Amodeo.

Though the Pinelands Commission has stated it has had public meetings and had sent out notices about the proposed changes, the assemblymen said the Commission does not seem to be listening.

?We can have as many public hearing as possible, but without the ?hammer? of legislative approval hanging over its head, the Commission seems intent on doing what it wants, when it wants, and how it wants,? said Polistina. ?We need to restore the system of checks and balances over a Commission that has gotten way too powerful.?


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