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City Council Seeks Additional Input on Neumann Leathers Plan Concepts

Thursday, Jun 22, 2017

The City Council meeting on Wednesday, June 21st included a presentation, public comment, and Council discussion on various concepts for the Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan. The presentation slides can be viewed at: www.hobokennj.gov/docs/communitydev/Neumann-Leathers-Council-Presentation.pdf.

The Hoboken City Council Community Development South Subcommittee will be meeting next week to discuss the Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan and is requesting additional public comments and preferences on concept alternatives for the project.

Members of the public are invited to review the three concepts under consideration and provide their feedback to the members of the subcommittee. The subcommittee has requested that feedback be provided via email by Sunday, June 25th:

Community Development South Sub-committee
Councilman David Mello (chair): melloforhoboken@gmail.com
Councilman Ruben Ramos: councilmanramos4@gmail.com
Councilman James Doyle: jimdoylehoboken@gmail.com
Councilman Michael DeFusco: mdefusco@hobokennj.gov

The three concepts are:


“Official Submission – Revision 3” (Latest Official Submission to the City): This is the latest proposal officially submitted to the City by the property owner, as part of the formal application process to be designated redeveloper.  This option would position the residential portion of the development consistent with the adopted Redevelopment Plan and meets the goals of separating the residential and light industrial areas and providing public open space. This submission was prepared by the applicant to respond to the City’s concerns about preserving the existing historic Neumann Leathers buildings and is consistent with the major components of the Redevelopment Plan.

(click image to view full size)


“Residential East” (Not officially submitted to the City): This concept was recently prepared by the property owner’s architect (March 2017) to try to respond to residents’ concerns as to the location of the residential uses while also preserving the existing Neumann Leathers buildings. This option would include a separate, 18-story residential building within the commercial/light industrial building area. This option would also reduce the amount of public open space and would require redevelopment plan amendments.

(click image to view full size)


“Option C – Historic Building Preserved” (Not officially submitted to the City): This concept was most recently prepared by the property owner’s architect (June 2017) to try to respond to residents’ concerns as to the location of the residential uses, while also preserving the existing Neumann Leathers buildings. One residential building would be built to extend over the existing historic Neumann Leathers building, and a separate residential building would be constructed in the eastern portion of the site, so that it is mixed in with the existing commercial/light industrial buildings. This option would also reduce the amount of public open space and would require redevelopment plan amendments.

(click image to view full size)


“I thank all of the residents who came out to last night’s Council meeting and invite our community to provide additional feedback to the Council subcommittee as they continue this discussion and work to reach consensus on a path forward,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

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Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Rebuild By Design Hudson River Project Available for Public Comment

Friday, Jun 16, 2017

Summary: The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), on behalf of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA), announces the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Rebuild by Design (RBD) Hudson River: Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge Project (Proposed Project).

The Proposed Project has been allocated HUD Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) grant funds. The NJDCA, as the recipient of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant funds and “Responsible Entity,” designated the NJDEP as the Lead Agency to prepare the EIS for the Proposed Project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Proposed Project is located throughout the City of Hoboken and extending into Weehawken and Jersey City, New Jersey.

Project Description: The NJDEP has prepared this FEIS for the Proposed Project located in the City of Hoboken, Township of Weehawken, and City of Jersey City, NJ. The Proposed Project consists of a four-part comprehensive strategy, including (1) hard infrastructure and soft landscape for coastal defense (Resist); (2) policy recommendations, guidelines and urban infrastructure to slow storm water runoff (Delay); (3) green and/or grey infrastructure improvements to allow for greater storage of excess rainwater (Store); and (4) water pumps and alternative routes to support drainage (Discharge). The Proposed Project has been allocated HUD Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG–DR) funds. CDBG– DR funding requires compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as stated in HUD’s regulations as outlined in 24 CFR part 58. The Proposed Project is also subject to the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA regulations at 40 CFR parts 1500–1508. HUD has further outlined the project’s environmental review requirements in a Federal Register notice published on October 16, 2014 (79 FR 62182). The State of New Jersey, acting through the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, is the responsible entity that has assumed environmental responsibilities for the Sandy CDBG–DR programs in accordance with 24 CFR 58.1(b)(1). The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has designated NJDEP to assist with the environmental review. NJDEP has prepared the FEIS in accordance with HUD’s procedures for NEPA found at 24 CFR part 58.

AVAILABILITY OF THE FEIS: The FEIS is available for public comment for a period of 30 days ending on July 17, 2017. Electronic copies of the FEIS are available for public review on the following websites: www.rbd-hudsonriver.nj.gov and www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/sandyrecovery/review. CDs and paper copies of the FEIS will also be available for review at the following locations during regular business hours:

  • Hoboken City Hall: 94 Washington Street, Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Hoboken Public Library: 500 Park Avenue, Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Hoboken Housing Authority: 400 Harrison Street, Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Jersey City City Hall: 280 Grove Street, Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Jersey City Free Public Library – Pavonia Branch: 326 8th Street, Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Weehawken Town Hall: 400 Park Avenue, Weehawken, New Jersey
  • Weehawken Public Library: 49 Hauxhurst Avenue, Weehawken, New Jersey

FEIS: The FEIS includes a detailed project description and describes environmental impacts, including indirect and cumulative environmental impacts, associated with three Build Alternatives as well as a No Action Alternative. A range of reasonable alternatives (Build Alternatives 1, 2 and 3) was evaluated in the DEIS. Build Alternative 3 was selected as the Preferred Alternative in consideration of environmental, community, technical and other factors. The Preferred Alternative consists of a Resist alignment that begins near the HBLR Lincoln Harbor Station, travels south along Weehawken Cove. The alignment travels down Garden Street and includes the use of the alleyway between Garden Street and Washington Street and then travels one and a half blocks south on Washington Street. The southern portion of the Resist alignment extends along and within the north side of the Hoboken Terminal rail yard and includes two options before extending westward along the rail embankment. Option 1 features an alignment south of Observer Highway, within the rail yard (south of the proposed Hoboken Yard Redevelopment Area). Option 2 includes an alignment along Observer Highway from Washington Street to Marin Boulevard. Alternative 3’s Resist alignment travels primarily in inland areas to minimize impacts to waterfront open spaces and viewsheds and would provide enhancements to approximately 2.55 acres of open space or parks. The Delay, Store, Discharge (DSD) features in Alternative 3 include three large stormwater detention facilities and approximately 61 small tanks along the Right of Way that will include new and/or improved stormwater management techniques. The large stormwater detention facilities associated with the DSD features are planned to be developed for recreational use. Overall, the Preferred Alternative:

  • Provides a high degree of flood risk reduction while integrating the flood risk reduction strategy with community values by considering public input, cost and urban amenities;
  • Incorporates a Resist structure that can be constructed with available funds;
  • Has the least impact to the built environment of the three Build Alternatives;
  • Results in the lowest annual maintenance cost among the three Build Alternatives;
  • Requires the fewest number of movable gates, which leads to having the lowest operation and maintenance costs and the highest level of reliability among the three Build Alternatives; and,
  • Is most effective in minimizing impact to waterfront access and views among the three Build Alternatives.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FEIS identifies several potential environmental impacts associated with the Preferred Alternative including but not limited to, the following: noise, vibration and traffic associated with construction of the Resist feature, as well as potential impacts to architectural and archaeological resources.

In compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, NJDEP has consulted with the NJ State Historic Preservation Office to develop a Programmatic Agreement (PA) which outlines measures to document the presence or absence of Historic Properties within the project’s area of potential effect (APE). The PA defines avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures and the development of a cultural resources management protection plan to manage and protect affected cultural resources. In addition, monitoring of construction activities may be conducted to document the project’s potential impact to archaeological resources.

The project involves new outfalls to the Hudson River. The NJDEP has completed consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and found that the Project will not adversely affect essential fish habitat (EFH) but may affect – but is not likely to adversely affect – shortnose or Atlantic sturgeon or adversely affect proposed critical habitat for Atlantic sturgeon.

DATES AND PUBLIC COMMENT: The FEIS will be available at the locations identified in the AVAILABILITY OF THE FEIS section starting on June 16, 2017. This date is the beginning of the public comment period. Any person wishing to comment on the FEIS may do so. The public comment period will be 30 days. All comments and related material must be submitted on or before July 17, 2017, using one of the methods in the ADDRESSES section of this NOA. Additional comments received on the FEIS will be addressed in the Record of Decision (ROD).

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments using any one of the following methods:
(1) Email: rbd-hudsonriver@dep.nj.gov
(2) online to the NJDEP website at www.rbd-hudsonriver.nj.gov or to the NJDCA website at www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/sandyrecovery/review/;
(3) Mail: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) c/o Dennis Reinknecht, Program Manager, Bureau of Flood Resilience, 501 East State Street, Mail Code 501-01A, P.O. Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625-0420.
(4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
To avoid duplication, please use only one of these methods.

The NJDEP Bureau of Flood Resilience, 501 East State Street, Mail Code 501-01A, P.O. Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625-0420, will maintain a paper copy of the FEIS for public review. The document will be available for inspection or copying at this location between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions regarding this notice, write or e-mail Dennis Reinknecht, Program Manager, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Bureau of Flood Resilience, 501 East State Street, Mail Code 501-01A, P.O. Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625-0420, email rbd-hudsonriver@dep.nj.gov.

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City Seeks Community Input on Neumann Leathers Alternative Concepts

Friday, Jun 16, 2017

Next week’s City Council meeting will include a brief presentation on potential development options for the Neumann Leathers project.  The following provides an overview of the options under consideration. Members of the community are invited to review the options, attend the June 21st Council meeting, and voice their views.  The City Council will be asked to take a vote to express its views on a preferred option at the July 5th City Council meeting.  Based on this guidance, the City will then move forward with possibly amending the Redevelopment Plan, if needed, and then negotiating a redevelopment agreement. All of the possible alternatives included below have the same level of residential development, but reconfigure the development in different ways.

Background: The City Council passed the Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan in December 2015. The goals of the plan included preserving the historic buildings of Neumann Leathers, preserving the existing light manufacturing and arts businesses that are currently operating in Neumann Leathers, and creating new public spaces. Some residential density was included in the plan to achieve these goals. The plan authorized by the Council specifically separated residential from light industrial uses to prevent potential conflicts between new residents and the existing light industrial operations.

Mayor Zimmer is seeking to find consensus in order to move forward and negotiate a redevelopment agreement that can be supported by the community, the City Council and the property owner. The redevelopment agreement is negotiated based on the framework established by the approved plan, however, amendments to the plan can be considered.

While there was an extensive community process to finalize the approved plan, residents at 415 Newark Street next to the development have concerns about the location of the residential element of the plan. Seeking to address these concerns, the property owner’s architect met with some residents and showed them several concepts that shift some of the residential density to the east, away from their building. These concepts would also demolish significant Neumann Leathers buildings and eliminate some of the public open space required by the Redevelopment Plan.

“A plan that would demolish significant Neumann Leathers buildings is not an option that I could support, however, residents in the neighborhood have expressed concerns about the adopted redevelopment plan, and we want to get input from the community and Council to reach consensus on a preferred direction,” said Mayor Zimmer. “Based on the results of a City Council vote, the Administration will then work with the Council to possibly amend the plan and then negotiate a redevelopment agreement to move forward with the project.”

The following options all contain the same 230 units of residential development, but have different layouts to address various concerns (This 230 total includes workforce and affordable housing units).

  1. “Official Submission – Revision 3” (Latest Official Submission to the City): This is the latest proposal officially submitted to the City by the property owner, as part of the formal application process to be designated redeveloper.  This option would position the residential portion of the development consistent with the adopted Redevelopment Plan and meets the goals of separating the residential and light industrial areas and providing public open space. This submission was prepared by the applicant to respond to the City’s concerns about preserving the existing historic Neumann Leathers buildings and is consistent with the major components of the Redevelopment Plan.

  1. “Neighbor Meeting – Options A, B, C &D” (Not officially submitted to the City): For reference only, the following concepts are shown. These concepts were presented to the 415 Newark Street residents by the project architect and would involve demolishing significant portions of the existing historic Neumann Leathers buildings and shifting a portion of the residential use to the easterly portion of the site, so that it is mixed in with the commercial/light industrial uses. These concepts would demolish existing buildings, reduce the amount of provided public open space* and require redevelopment plan amendments. Out of concern for protecting the historic buildings, these concepts are not supported by Mayor Zimmer and her Administration.

  1. “Residential East” (Not officially submitted to the City): This concept was recently prepared by the property owner’s architect (March 2017) to try to respond to residents’ concerns as to the location of the residential uses while also preserving the existing Neumann Leathers buildings. This option would include a separate, 18-story residential building within the commercial/light industrial building area. This option would also reduce the amount of public open space* and would require redevelopment plan amendments.

  1. “Option C – Historic Building Preserved” (Not officially submitted to the City): This concept was most recently prepared by the property owner’s architect (June 2017) to try to respond to residents’ concerns as to the location of the residential uses, while also preserving the existing Neumann Leathers buildings. One residential building would be built to extend over the existing historic Neumann Leathers building, and a separate residential building would be constructed in the eastern portion of the site, so that it is mixed in with the existing commercial/light industrial buildings.  This option would also reduce the amount of public open space* and would require redevelopment plan amendments.

* The adopted Redevelopment Plan includes a requirement for 40,000 square feet of public open space for public plazas and outdoor markets to be developed as a “series of rooms.” All of the applicant’s development concepts that show a separate residential building in the easterly portion of the site, mixed in with the existing commercial/light industrial buildings, would reduce the amount of public open space by at least 5,000 square feet in order to accommodate the residential building. This concept would require a redevelopment plan amendment.

Each concept will be presented in greater detail at the June 21st Council meeting.

“I hope residents can attend the meeting to let us know their preferred views,” added Mayor Zimmer. “My Administration looks forward to moving ahead on the Neumann Leathers project further informed by the views of the community and the City Council.”

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The Adventures of Priscilla Added to Movies Under the Stars Lineup for Pride Month

Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017

In recognition of Pride Month, Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the City of Hoboken are pleased to announce the addition of the Academy Award-winning film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, to the 2017 Movies Under the Stars lineup. The movie will be screened the evening of Friday, June 23rd at 8:30pm at Maxwell Park.  Admission is free of charge. Please note that parking is prohibited on Sinatra Drive North between Sinatra Drive and 12th Street.

The full Movies Under the Stars lineup is available at www.hobokennj.gov/departments/human-services/cultural-affairs/movies-under-the-stars/

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
The usually menacing British actor Terence Stamp does a complete turnaround as Bernadette, an aging transsexual who tours the backwaters of Australia with her stage partners, Mitzi (Hugo Weaving) and Adam/Felicia (Guy Pearce). Their act, well-known in Sydney, involves wearing lots of makeup and gowns and lip-synching to records, but Bernadette is getting a bit tired of it all and is also haunted by the bizarre death of an old loved one. Nevertheless, when Mitzi and Felicia get an offer to perform in the remote town of Alice Springs at a casino, Bernadette decides to tag along. The threesome ventures into the outback with Priscilla, a lavender-colored school bus that doubles as dressing room and home on the road. Along the way, the act encounters any number of strange characters, as well as incidents of homophobia, while Bernadette becomes increasingly concerned about the path her life has taken.

 

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Rating: R

Runtime: 102 minutes

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