NJ Supreme Court OKs controversial housing development in protected Highlands

development, construction, new jersey environment

SCOTT FALLON, PHILIP DEVENCENTIS and MARSHA STOLTZ / NORTHJERSEY.COM – A controversial townhouse development slated for an Oakland ridge can be built despite environmental protections that were enacted to protect such land in the New Jersey Highlands, the state Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

In a unanimous decision, the justices said the administration of former Gov. Chris Christie did not err when it approved permits for over 200 homes in 2015 after a nearly three-decade battle over the fate of the forested land.

The decision upholds an appellate panel’s determination last year that the developer, Bi-County Development Corp. of Brooklyn, was allowed to bypass strict restrictions put in place by the 2004 Highlands Act to protect key drinking water sources because it had received approval prior to the act …

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