Campbell Ends Agreement with Liberty State Park Development
Corporation: Announces Vision for Park's Future and Calls
for New Public Advisory Committee
(03/61) TRENTON - New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M.
Campbell today terminated the Liberty State Park Development
Corporation (LSPDC) and announced a new policy directive
to further establish Liberty State Park as a premiere, highly
accessible urban open space.
"I have shared the public's concern
that conflicts between the Corporation and park stewards
have hampered progress in achieving our goals for the park,"
said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "While the
Corporation has played a useful role, and I applaud the
commitment of the Corporation's board members, this change
In 1986, the DEP and the Development Corporation
entered into an agreement to promote public-private partnerships
toward the development of facilities in Liberty State Park,
including a marina, Liberty Science Center, Hudson River
Walkway, and parking areas. However, in recent years, numerous
LSPDC proposals have generated significant controversy among
citizens concerned about the park.
Responding to citizen concerns and in light
of its future vision for Liberty State Park, the McGreevey
Administration has announced a new
policy directive that calls for the termination of the
LSPDC and the establishment of an expanded public advisory
committee to include adequate representation by Jersey City
residents, residents statewide, and other park constituencies.
"On numerous occasions the public
has voiced their desire to maintain the remaining undeveloped
land within Liberty State Park as open space. The state's
plan for the park's future will better serve residents'
needs for places to recreate and enjoy New Jersey's outdoors,"
added Commissioner Campbell.
In consultation with the public advisory
committee, the DEP will focus on four priorities for Liberty
State Park, including: the acceleration of the park's interior
restoration; the expansion and improvement of opportunities
for active recreation to better serve Jersey City and other
local residents; the improvement of transportation for and
access to the park, as well as the reduction of parking
and transit impacts; and the development of a memorandum
of understanding with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
to explore cultural events at the park and non-commercial
With the termination of the agreement between
the DEP and Development Corporation, all leases and subleases,
including that of the marina, parking facilities and the
Liberty Science Center and Hall of Technology, will be assigned
to the DEP by June 30, 2003.
As a result of its dissolution, the Development
Corporation will no longer receive $110,000 a year from
funds generated through Liberty State Park's parking fees.
All revenues generated through parking fees will now go
directly to the State of New Jersey and will be applied
toward debt service payments of bonds for park improvements.
In April 2002, Commissioner Campbell issued
a Notice of Default to the LSPDC, arising from concerns
about mismanagement of park operations and finances. All
issues raised under the notice have been resolved.
Working closely with park constituencies,
the Department of Environmental Protection has spent more
than 25 years since the park's acquisition planning for
and building a park infrastructure that is suitable for
public recreation, interpretation and education.