Preservationists often rely on local height ordinances and federal designations as a first line of defense in the protection of historic resources. Sometimes these legal mechanisms work. However, this reliance is sometimes misplaced, especially when local governments grant zoning variances and refuse to consider the effect of these variances on adjacent historic resources, even if the resource is nationally significant. Such is the threat facing the pristine cliffs of the New Jersey Palisades, a National Historic Landmark and National Natural Monument that have been successfully preserved for more than a century.
Recognizing the threat posed to the integrity of the Palisades National Historic Landmark by a proposed office tower, the National Trust recently joined forces with a coalition of preservation and conservation groups in filing an amicus curiae brief in the New Jersey Court of Appeals on April 4.1 The coalition includes the Preservation League of New York State, among others. A copy of the amicus brief is available here.... Read More →