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Response to Letter from Laura Donnelley, President of Admiral’s Walk Condominium Published on March 7, 2023


Public Trust Doctrine

We are writing to refute the letter from Laura Donnelly, President of Admiral’s Walk Condominium Association concerning the Public Trust Doctrine (PTD) where Admiral’s Walk refuses to comply with the PTD and the NJ Court decision.  Ms. Donnelly’s letter was published on March 7, 2023.

It is apparent that the Admiral’s Walk (AW) community believes the PTD applies to everyone else in NJ except them. AW continues to feel that they deserve some special exemption or privilege so that they can maintain a private path along the Hudson River exclusively for AW residents.  This, of course, is in violation of the PTD and the Court’s order. The Court recently reaffirmed our position against AW when it wrote  “. . . The public’s right is inalienable and vested,” . . .    “.

It is hard to understand the AW Board’s position, when existing condominiums and developers of new condominiums from Edgewater to Jersey City fully embrace the Walkway as an attractive amenity to renters and purchasers of waterfront homes, thereby increasing property values. Individual Admiral’s Walk residents often approach the Conservancy to seek our help in opening the AW waterfront so they too can access the Edgewater Veteran’s Park and The Edgewater Marina via the Walkway and avoid the dangerous River Road sidewalk.

The Conservancy has tried for over 10 years to find a solution that would allow the waterfront at AW to be opened to the public.  All our efforts have been stonewalled and attacked by AW with the same specious arguments posed in Ms. Donnelly’s letter.  It should be noted that these arguments have been rejected by the Court.  Ms. Donnelly’s claims regarding costs to comply, parking spaces lost, and impact on their pool are outrageously misleading and incorrect.

Concerning the Daibes proposal to build a Walkway on AW’s waterfront at no cost to AW, this effort was initiated by the Conservancy over two years ago. Since that time, the Conservancy has led discussions among AW, NJDEP, Daibes, and Edgewater, and have reached consensus on the principles of an agreement to build the Daibes proposal at no cost to AW.  Daibes has agreed to pay the entire cost to construct a Walkway segment that would not impact AW’s property. After two consecutive AW Boards voted to accept the proposal, all that was needed was for their members to vote to allow the project to proceed.  To date, after two years, they have not even taken a vote on the proposal.  It was only as a last resort, out of frustration and desperation, that the Conservancy resorted to legal action against AW and filed the current successful lawsuit.

It is up to AW to comply with the Courts decision and open their waterfront to the public in compliance with the PTD. If they now decide to accept the Daibes proposal to build the Walkway segment at no cost to them, the Conservancy stands ready to coordinate, support and oversee the rapid implementation.  If, however, AW continues to believe they are above the PTD law, then the Conservancy is happy to let the Court decide how AW will comply with the PTD and open their waterfront to the Public in compliance with the PTD.

Don Stitzenberg


Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy


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