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Fined! Quality of Life

Paramus is getting tougher about penalizing retailers that leave signs lighted past 11 p.m.Sustainable Development master plans give local governments regulatory control over “light pollution”. In Paramus NJ, businesses are being fined $200 and more for leaving their lights on, . Paramus, now a certified “sustainable” community under “Sustainable Jersey”, uses obscure zoning ordinances to enforce “quality-of-life” requirements in its “Sustainable Development” plan. “Quality of life” is a key role assumed by government in planning templates like the one being used in Imagine Cary.  Private residences will not be far behind. That is the goal of sustainable development – direct control of you life and property  thought local ordinances and regulation.

Do you think the citizens of Paramus would have ever imagined that their county’s  slick and polished “Visioning” campaigns would have led to fines for leaving their lights on? Unlikely, but the architects of those plans, planning companies like Maser Consulting  knew exactly the garden path they led Paramus down. The same path that Clarion and ACP have hired to take the Town of Cary down.

Paramus is in Bergen County which of course, has gone through a ” Visioning” process . That plan gives county and city government the mandate to legislate “quality of life”. Here is what their Sustainable  “Comprehensive Plan” says about “quality of life”

  • “Land use patterns and transportation systems have significant consequences in terms of economic competitiveness, household budgets, community character, energy use, environmental impacts and quality of life.
  • It calls for municipalities to take “an active lead with respect to future
    development, and that all new development projects should have quality of life features
  • Redevelopment also provides opportunities to create new public spaces and green areas in places that have none – an increasingly important indicator of quality of life.
  • Investments in the regeneration of deteriorated natural systems, such as wetlands, can generate significant returns in terms of improving natural resources, mitigating adverse impacts of climate change and enhancing quality of life.

Quality of life, of course, is what your Town Council or Planning Department says it is.

Know What’s Coming Soon to Cary

The State of New Jersey has established a state-wide sustainability certification. Paramus has Bronze status which include city requirements such as land confiscation for green space, energy usage, and “healthy lifestyles”. New Jersey’s Sustainability Certification program uses the same  “Sustainable Neighborhoods” scorecard that the Town of Cary has brought Mikhail Gorbachev’s company in here to certify: Green Strings,or Red?

It is all well orchestrated. The Steering Committee for Imagine Cary “Visioning” process has already outlined the 3 Tiers of Sustainability for the Cary Master Plan. Gorbachev’s Global Green company will score Cary against the LEED Sustainable Development Blueprint. Controlling “light pollution: is a LEED requirement for ustainable Neighborhoodds.

Beginning to see the “Future Vision of Cary” that  they have in mind?


“In another example of a uniquely Paramus quality-of-life ordinance, retailers can face a fine of $200 or more, and be required to appear in court for violating a borough zoning ordinance if they leave their sign lights on after 11 p.m.”

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