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When the Wealthy Want to Expand a Golf Course


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#1 LFC

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:10 PM

They want a state park and they're doing their damnedest to take it from NJ residents. Why? To expand an incredibly expensive golf course that only the 1% (and upper 1% at that) will ever get to play on. The excuse is that they'll bring in money from tournaments but these tear a golf course up pretty badly so they would likely host one or two a year and no more.

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The snowy owl was first spotted just beyond the 18th hole of one of the most expensive golf courses ever built.

The bird was resting on a sandy beach filled with seashells and driftwood at the edge of Liberty State Park. Waves lapped the New Jersey shoreline of the Hudson River as birders with binoculars stood in awe two years ago.

Nearby, behind a tall black fence, were the willow-lined fairways of Liberty National, an exclusive private golf course where luminaries like Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka have played, and where the original initiation fee for members was about half a million dollars.

The contrast between the lavish club and the adjacent park, with its hodgepodge of rough-hewed public amenities — both with sweeping views of Lower Manhattan bejeweled by the Statue of Liberty — has been stark since the course opened nearly 14 years ago.

But the two worlds are now clashing as never before in a showdown over the Jersey City golf course’s push to expand into nearly 22 acres of public parkland.

The outcropping of land, known as Caven Point, is a migratory bird habitat where spotted sandpipers and American oystercatchers nest near elevated walkways that allow visitors to wander, from March to October, through tall reeds and onto the sandy beach. The other half of the year the wildlife is considered too fragile to permit access.

But it is there that Liberty National officials say they hope to build three new holes, bringing more of the 18-hole course closer to the water’s telegenic edge and helping it draw high-profile PGA Tour events that supporters say spin off economic benefits for the state.

“If we are not able to accommodate what these tournaments need, then they will simply go somewhere else that can,” said Chris Donnelly, a spokesman for Liberty National.

A key vote in the State Legislature related to that effort is expected on Monday, marking the latest battle in a long-running history of park advocates fending off private developers hoping to build in the state park.

“To me, it’s really just an obscenity,” said Rick Cordner, an avid birder and the treasurer of Friends of Liberty State Park, a group opposed to the golf course expansion. “It breaks my heart to think there could be a bulldozer out there plowing it under for a golf course.”

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#2 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:52 PM

Chill. One way or another it'll be under water soon enough.
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