Three years after Hurricane Sandy, the City of Hoboken is making progress towards creating a more resilient city through many initiatives.
The City funded the construction of the H-5 wet weather pump, which is currently underway, and is moving forward with the acquisition of the 6 acre BASF property in Northwest Hoboken that will be designed with at least one million gallons of underground stormwater detention. Both projects will alleviate flooding in northwest Hoboken, including the flood-prone neighborhood around the ShopRite.
Funding and plans are in place for construction of the Southwest Park which is also designed with underground stormwater detention. The start of construction has been slightly delayed due to State regulations and will begin as soon as the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issues final permits, which is expected to occur soon. In addition, the City is finalizing negotiations for an agreement, which will soon be considered by the City Council, that would create a 2 acre resiliency park and plaza at 7th Street and Jackson Street.
Residents should be aware that the City of Hoboken may be the only city in the State of New Jersey and among the few in the country which has passed legislation to prohibit residential and commercial development on the waterfront. The City is fighting in Federal court to enforce this important legislation.
The City is also working with the State of New Jersey to implement a “Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge” flood resiliency strategy which received $230 million through the Rebuild by Design competition.
“We are making real progress towards implementing a comprehensive water management strategy in collaboration with the DEP, federal government, and neighboring cities, and thanks to the dedicated work of our resident volunteers on the Community Advisory Group,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I strongly encourage our community to remain involved so we build consensus and implement this plan with the goals of reducing flood risk and lowering flood insurance costs.”
Mayor Dawn Zimmer applauded the Hoboken City Council’s unanimously-passed resolution calling on the Governor and State legislature to require county governments to comply with the same 2% tax levy cap which currently only applies to municipalities. The resolution also calls for Hudson County to voluntarily comply with a 2% cap regardless of whether State law changes to make such compliance mandatory.
“In the last five years, Hoboken’s municipal tax levy has decreased by 6 percent while Hudson County’s tax levy increased by 20 percent,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “As a result of the unfair equalization formula, Hoboken’s County tax burden has risen by an additional 28 percent for a total County tax increase of 48 percent. As a City, we are tightening our belts, finding efficiencies, and making difficult decisions to cut costs, but unless the County does the same, our taxpayers will continue to face unbearably large tax increases year after year. I join the City Council in calling on Freeholder Anthony Romano to introduce and the Freeholder Board to adopt a resolution to voluntarily comply with the 2 percent tax levy in all future budgets.”
The resolution passed by the City Council last week can be viewed at: www.hobokennj.gov/docs/council/10-21-15-Resolution-County-Taxes.pdf.
The City of Hoboken has negotiated an agreement with the owners of property at 1st Street and Jackson Street to demolish a derelict building damaged by fire in 2012 and to give the City a 20-year open space easement on two lots located across the street from that property. The agreement follows years of litigation with the property owner as well as a $67,000 tax lien which was previously imposed against the property by the City when the owner failed to properly maintain the site. The City Council authorized execution of this agreement last evening, and the City Administration is in the final stages of its due diligence prior to execution of the agreement.
“These neglected properties have been a nuisance and drag on the neighborhood for too long,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Through this agreement, we will finally clean up this eyesore and bring some green space to the area. I look forward to working with residents and hearing their ideas for how to develop this neighborhood park.”
Under the agreement, the City will obtain a 20 year easement and will pay to remediate the lot and build a park on the property, a percentage of which will be reimbursable to the City if the property owner disrupts the easement at any point in time before the end of the 20 year term. After 20 years, control of the property will return to the owner. Upon full execution and recording of the easement agreement, the City intends to schedule a community meeting to solicit ideas for planning the park.
The agreement also requires the property owner to demolish the structure at 605-615 1st Street, formerly Nardine’s Restaurant. If the property owner does not demolish the remaining structure by April 2016, the City will have the authority to go onto the property and demolish the structure.
“For the last several years I have been advocating on behalf of our neighborhood for a solution to the quality of life issue regarding the properties at 1st Street and Jackson Street,” said Councilman Tim Occhipinti. “I’m thankful to Mayor Zimmer and my Council colleagues for working with me in finding an amicable resolution which adds much-needed open space in our neighborhood.”
Mayor Zimmer to Participate in National Summit on Coastal Flooding/Sea Level Rise
Hoboken Wins Award for 1st Flood Design Guidelines in New Jersey
October 29, 2015 will mark the three year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy impacting the region and causing widespread flooding in the City of Hoboken. Hoboken residents are invited to attend a guided bus tour on Sunday, October 25 that will be led by Rebuild by Design Citizens Advisory Group co-chair Carter Craft and will feature experts discussing what happened three years ago and steps being taken to prevent another disaster, including a new flood pump, resiliency parks, and a $230 million flood resiliency plan. The free tour will take place from 1:30pm to 3:00pm, however space is limited so reservations are required. To RSVP and for additional details, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2412006.
“Whether it’s new parks that provide open space while soaking up stormwater, coastal protection that also improves access to the river, or a microgrid that will keep the lights on during all kinds of emergencies, we are creating a Hoboken that is not only more flood-resilient, but also a better place to live,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I’m proud of how far we’ve come since Sandy, and I thank the City Council and our team working on these efforts for moving these projects forward.”
This weekend, Mayor Dawn Zimmer will join a bipartisan group of more than 30 mayors and local officials to raise awareness that coastal flooding and sea level rise due to climate change demands more attention from leaders at all levels of government. She is part of a delegation of elected local leaders from coastal states attending the Rising Tides Summit in New Hampshire on October 23-25 to express concern over the rapidly increasing impacts of coastal flooding/sea level rise and ensure that national leaders are more responsive to the issue. With more than 123 million Americans living in coastal shoreline counties, sea level rise has become a national concern.
As part of the City of Hoboken’s post-Sandy resiliency efforts, the City has developed Resilient Buildings Design Guidelines, meant to simplify and consolidate information on building within Hoboken’s floodplain. This week, the New Jersey Association for Floodplain Management awarded the City of Hoboken the 2015 Outstanding Floodplain Management Award for the design guidelines, the first of its kind in New Jersey. For residents, the guidelines include recommendations on materials that are flood resistant and step-by-step guidance on how to receive approvals. For designers and builders, the guidelines provide a summarization of various codes and best practices to enhance Hoboken’s neighborhoods and reinforce a pedestrian friendly streetscape. The City Council will consider adopting the guidelines at tonight’s Council meeting.
The effort to develop the guidelines was spearheaded by Ann Holtzman, the City’s Flood Plain Administrator, along with consultant Princeton Hydro, which prepared the document, and Principal Planner Caleb Stratton, who managed the process.
The City of Hoboken has completed the draft Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan, which seeks to preserve and rehabilitate the existing Neumann Leathers industrial complex and protect and enhance the existing artist community. In addition, the plan would create new retail spaces and affordable housing, add public open spaces, reduce localized flooding, and extend the street grid at Grand Street.
“Just a few years ago, this historic property faced the threat of demolition and the artist community within it lived in fear of an uncertain future,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This plan would restore an important part of our industrial past, protect the artists and industrial uses that enrich our community, and create a vibrant mixed-use block with street level retail and plazas activated by artists and musicians.”
The plan, which is being released to the public and City Council and is being shared informally with the Planning Board, can be downloaded at: www.hobokennj.org/docs/communitydev/Neumann-Leathers-Redevelopment-Plan-Draft-10-15-15.pdf. The plan will be introduced for first reading at the City Council meeting on November 4th.
The plan would require the preservation and adaptive reuse of the historic buildings, using site characteristics such as the smoke stack, cobbled drives, exposed steel, oversized doorways and loading portals as design elements to help integrate the architecture of the past and present. The industrial arts, fine arts, artisan and industrial uses will be protected and encouraged to thrive. Existing industrial rent levels would be maintained to retain the current tenants. The cost for the renovations and maintained rent levels will be offset and balanced by new construction of a mix of uses, including residential, commercial, retail, and parking. The preservation and expansion of small scale industrial uses is consistent with recommendations in a recently-completed report on Small Scale Manufacturing in Hoboken which can be downloaded at: www.hobokennj.org/docs/communitydev/Hoboken-Small-Manufacturing-Memo.pdf.
The public is invited to a community meeting regarding a Redevelopment Plan for the Post Office Rehabilitation Area on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 at 7:00pm. The meeting will take place in the conference room of the Multi Service Center, located at 124 Grand Street in Hoboken.
The Hoboken City Council designated the Post Office as an Area in Need of Rehabilitation in October, 2012. The concept being considered by the City Council Community Development Subcommittee would locate a hotel in the parking lot behind the Post Office while preserving the Post Office building and its operations. The open house format meeting will be used to present the opportunities, constraints, and challenges regarding the concept and gather community feedback on possible uses for the Rehabilitation Area.
United Water are on site and making repairs to a water main leak on Bloomfield Street between 8th Street and 9th Street. The main has been shut down and isolated to complete repairs, so residents in the area will be without service until repairs are complete. The street is closed to vehicular traffic during repairs.
The Hoboken Public Library newsletter for October is now available.
Based on requests from the City Council and members of the community, the City of Hoboken annual Ragamuffin Parade and Costume Contest has been rescheduled and will be held on Saturday, October 31st, 2015 at 1:00pm. Line of march starts at 12:15pm on Washington Street between 13th Street and 14th Street. The parade will end at the Little League Field for the Costume Contest at 2:00pm.
The parade was previously scheduled for Friday, October 30th, 2015 due to conflicts with various events on Saturday including a 5K race and soccer games that take place on the field used for the costume contest. The soccer games have been rescheduled in order to accommodate the City Council and community’s request to hold the parade on Halloween.
Sponsored by CarePoint, Suez North America, Bijou Properties, Zipcar, Investors Bank & Keller Williams City Life Realty,
Special Discounted Annual $75 Membership Available Through Sunday 10/11
The City of Hoboken, in partnership with Bike and Roll, nextbike, E3Think, and P3 Global Management, has officially activated Hoboken’s new bike share system. The system, known as Hudson Bike Share, launched at 1 p.m. today. Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer joined the operators and founding sponsors of Hudson Bike Share, which include Carepoint Health, Bijou Properties, Suez North America, Zipcar, Investors Bank, and Keller Williams City Life Realty, to cut the ribbon and unveil the tri-state area’s first next-generation bike share system. The special early bird $75 annual membership rate (regularly $95/year) will continue through Sunday, October 11th.
As of today’s launch, 17 stations and 120 bikes are active, expanding to 29 stations and 250 bikes in the coming weeks. Those with annual memberships can begin using the system immediately, and their membership will be extended to last until one year after all stations are installed. Stations will be located within a three to five-minute walk of every Hoboken resident. The bicycles feature next-generation “smart bike” technology with built-in GPS. This innovative technology provides a superior bike share system at a fraction of the cost of traditional dock-based systems used in many other cities.
“With today’s launch of Hudson Bike Share, our residents and visitors will have a new convenient transportation option that makes it easy to travel from anywhere to anywhere in our Mile-Square City,” said Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “From the start, we have been focused on creating an affordable bike share system that puts bike share stations in every neighborhood. I am grateful to our founding sponsors whose generosity has made bike share in Hoboken possible and thank them for their incredible support.”