Perth Amboy residents have voiced concerns about quality of life for many years. In 2021 Perth Amboy commissioned a performance review from the firm Government Strategy Group who are consults to local governments on improving local government performance. The performance review assessed Perth Amboy’s departments and agencies and made recommendations for needed changes. The report is called Management Enhancement Review for the City of Perth Amboy. It is a great report, and one which can be used to evaluate the city leadership and if they are addressing issues outlined in the report. The performance review report lists the number one issue facing Perth Amboy as quality of life. The government experts said a solution for addressing our issues is a Quality of Life Task Force to address, develop and monitor solutions to this important issue.
The Perth Amboy performance review also said Redevelopment should engage the community, through visioning sessions, to provide input on their ideas, thoughts and suggestions for how to improve and redevelop the City. That citizen engagement and input can be very supportive for transformational change. And they should study and monitor traffic impacts resulting from redevelopment – not only in the immediate vicinity of redevelopment projects but also as they may impact other areas of the community.
The review said Code Enforcement is deficient in many areas and needs improvements.
The review says the Police Dept deployment model has been in place for many years and should be reviewed to see if a new deployment model should be used. And that the Police Department should consider “civilianizing” positions wherever possible, which can result in considerable cost savings from the differences between salaries and compensation for uniformed personnel and civilian personnel. It says GIS should be employed for crime mapping and for use in intelligent policing for predictive modeling.
It also says the city’s strategic plan should take a community based approach.
How does air pollution impact the health of residents? The Sierra Club has explained how diesel engines produce particulate air pollution particles known as “PM2.5 ” that get trapped in human lungs and are passed into the bloodstream. When these particles join nitrogen oxides also produced by diesel engines, they can cause ozone air pollution. This mix of pollutants becomes massive when an area has alot of diesel truck traffic. This air pollution is dangerous for residents including infants, children, elderly, those with cancer, heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disease. Exposure can create substanial risk of premature death.
In Edison recently the Mayor listened to residents and stopped a massive warehouse based on public health concerns.
Perth Amboy is an environmental justice community. Environmental justice community is one where multiple factors, including both environmental and socioeconomic stressors, act cumulatively to affect health and the environment and contribute to persistent environmental health disparities. For the public good, Perth Amboy needs to stop overdevelopment of warehouses that would make conditions worse here.
Perth Amboy was already overburdened with environmental stressors before the warehouse boom. To date we have alot of warehouses. Why would this be our only development strategy when it has such a high negative impact? It lacks vision, especially for the use of our waterfront. It is of real concern that a new massive 800,000 sq ft warehouse project, more than double the size of Home Dept warehouse, is being proposed on State St near Harbortown that would have a huge negative impact. It should not be built. The huge warehouse is a negative to our community due to its impact on our air quality and public health, because of its negative impact on existing neighborhood traffic and its increase in truck traffic, damage to roads and a negative to the neighborhood through difficulty accessing the entrance/exit to town. It does not add value to the city, it takes it away. It is not a use of a waterfront property that showcases the potential value of that asset and is not what the community wants. We already have warehouses, it cant be our only development plan.
The public has voiced many times that they do not want development that has a high impact on our our air quality and health and we want use of the waterfront that fully utilizes the potential of the property to produce a positive benefit for the community to revitalize. PARA should have recognized that the community wants positive opportunities to develop on the waterfront and and not place warehouses on the waterfront, like at the Home Depot site. We want increased access and use of the waterfront that showcases our city as a great place to live, work and recreate. We dont want giant warehouses that will produce more damage to our roads, more traffic, more trucks, more health problems, more environmental problems and more negatives to our quality of life. Perth Amboy residents deserve a high quality of life not overburdened with overdevelopment. We deserve a high quality of life and projects that take into account protections for our health.
Residents took to social media to express how they oppose this warehouse. One resident said, “we should be building area for people to visit, eat and play along our waterfront not warehouses!”Another said “it is ridiculous! We are wasting prime real estate on warehouses! This town could be beautiful again!” Another said “The roads are already ruined by these tractor trailers. The warehouse doesn’t maintain the roads. And why the waterfront?” Another said “That’s just going to ruin the waterfront and make it uglier and dirtier than it was before! The city put in work to fix it up. And the added pollution! And all the extra traffic!” Another said “More trucks driving around and through the city”
Tonight at the Perth Amboy Planning Board meeting 2 massive warehouses are seeking approval to develop on the waterfront. On the agenda “Warehouse A” will be approximately 243,600 square feet. Proposed “Warehouse B” will be approximately 800,000 square feet. Warehouse B is more than double the size of the Home Depot warehouse (300,000 square feet.). The Home News did a story in Dec 2021 on the massive warehouses proposed. In the public notice for the Jan 5th meeting, it was sent to the community from the city that the applicant were seeking variances for their project, as they are much bigger than the develop currently allowed there.
Perth Amboy has already felt the negative impact of the warehouses we do have, with increased traffic, trucking and decreased quality of life for residents who live near it. But these giant warehouses promise to bring overdevelopment to Perth Amboy and triple the negative impact to our quality of life and environment.
You can join the planning board meeting by zoom tonight at 7pm.
Edison recently listened to residents and vetoed massive warehouses. They cited overdevelopment as the reason to veto the warehouses, which is what would be happening in Perth Amboy if these warehouses are given approval.