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City of Hoboken to Host Public Workshop on Comprehensive Master Plan Update

The City of Hoboken will host the first public workshop as part of its Master Plan Reexamination process on Tuesday, October 10th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Multi-Service Center, located at 124 Grand Street.  All interested residents, business owners, property owners, and other interested parties are invited to share their ideas about how Hoboken should grow and what assets the City should protect over the next 10 years.

The City of Hoboken Planning Board is now “reexamining” the 2004 Hoboken Master Plan, which will result in the preparation of a 2018 Master Plan Reexamination Report.  The Master Plan serves as the guiding document for Hoboken’s land-use decisions, such as zoning and capital improvements.  It documents community-established principles, guidelines, and strategies for the orderly and balanced future economic, social, physical, environmental and fiscal development of the City.

Municipalities in New Jersey are required to go through a process of reexamining their Master Plans at least every 10 years; however, it is good practice to conduct a reexamination process whenever there is a need to document, or plan for, major changes in a community.  The City of Hoboken last prepared a Master Plan Reexamination Report in 2010, and much has changed since that time.  The economic picture is very different, with Hoboken having emerged from the Great Recession with a strong housing market and a robust development pipeline. The City’s development landscape continues to evolve as new development and redevelopment projects are planned and built.  At the same time, the City has made significant investments in new parks, infrastructure, and other quality-of-life amenities. In addition, the impacts of Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and other flooding events have stressed the importance of planning for a future that is resilient.

The 2018 Master Plan Reexamination will look to address how Hoboken can maintain its character as a historic, close-knit urban community, while simultaneously being able to accommodate the anticipated growth in and around the City as demand increases for parks and recreation, infrastructure, schools and daycare, affordable housing, and an effective multi-modal transportation system. The Reexamination will also look at strategies to become a “Smarter City” in order to make better informed decisions, develop appropriate policy, better allocate City resources, and improve Hoboken’s long-term livability, workability and sustainability.

The basic requirements for a Master Plan Reexamination are set by New Jersey Statute within the “Municipal Land Use Law” (MLUL).  The City has retained the consulting firm BFJ Planning to assist the Hoboken Planning Board in preparation of the 2018 Master Plan Reexamination Report.  As part of this effort, the Planning Board will also update the Land Use Plan Element of the Master Plan, which will set the stage for future changes to the City’s Zoning Code.

Maximizing citizen participation is an essential part of the 2018 Master Plan Reexamination Report. There will be numerous opportunities for public input, including community workshops, an online survey, various focus group meetings, and interviews with key stakeholders.  The City encourages all residents and stakeholders to attend the public workshop and make their voices heard. For further information, visit www.hobokennj.gov/masterplan.

Reminder & Time Change: North End Redevelopment Plan Community Meeting to be Held September 28th

The City of Hoboken will host the first community workshop as part of the community planning process for the North End Redevelopment Plan on September 28, 2017 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm at the Wallace School gymnasium, located at 1100 Willow Avenue. Please note that the start time for the meeting has changed from 7:00pm to 7:30pm due to a conflict with Back to School Night, which ends at 7:00pm.

In December 2013 the City Council declared the North End Area in the City of Hoboken as an Area in Need of Rehabilitation. The area is generally north of the 14th Street viaduct between Park Avenue and the palisades and is bounded to the north by the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail tracks.

The City of Hoboken is now in the process of developing a redevelopment plan for the North End in order to determine land uses, development patterns, transportation and transit solutions, and flood mitigation appropriate for the area.

As the first step of the community planning process, an online survey was issued in March, 2017 to provide public feedback on the vision for the North End. The survey results can be viewed at: http://hobokennj.gov/content/wp-content/uploads/North-End-Survey-Results-Memo.pdf.

Milling and Paving of Newark Street Scheduled for Friday and Saturday

Newark Street between Henderson Street (Marin Boulevard) and Harrison Street is scheduled to be milled and paved on Friday, September 15 and Saturday, September 16.

Milling work will begin on Friday at 9am to avoid peak hour traffic, however drivers should expect delays and are urged to avoid the area if possible. Police will be on hand to direct traffic. Efforts will be made to maintain travel lanes where possible, however road closures will be required. Paving operations are scheduled to begin at 8am on Saturday, September 16, weather permitting. The rain date for paving is Monday, September 18.

The roadway will be striped consistent with the Southwest Traffic Improvement Plan (http://hobokennj.gov/content/wp-content/uploads/SW-Traffic-Improvement-Plan.jpg). The plan includes the addition of a turning lane onto Madison Street and traffic signal at Madison Street and Observer Highway to create an entry point into southern Hoboken. The new Madison Street signal is scheduled to be set to flashing mode on Thursday and be fully operational on Monday, September 18.

City of Hoboken Announces Call for Submissions for Outdoor Mural Project

The Hoboken Mural Arts Council is announcing a call for submissions for a mural project located at 1312 Adams Street with the theme “diversity, inclusion, and community.” The Arts Council, which includes Geri Fallo (Hoboken Cultural Affairs), Albert Barsky (Barsky Gallery), Elizabeth Ndoye (hob’art co-operative gallery), and Justine Uva (Urban Arts), was recently established by Mayor Zimmer to provide guidance and art expertise for a mural project approved by the Planning Board.

The project, which is a requirement of a Planning Board approval for the property, includes a $25,000 honorarium to the selected artist or arts group as well as paint, supplies, and scaffolding.

Three artists will be selected from all the submissions and awarded $500 each to develop a design based on the theme “diversity, inclusion, and community.” The Arts Council, with input from the project developer, will evaluate and select the winning design.

The mural will be 155 feet wide by 35 feet tall, starting 20 feet from the ground. The surface of the wall will be made from Kingspan panels in the mural area and finished with a Weather XL modified polyester finish in Imperial white. The artist will be required to paint directly onto the wall from  a suspended scaffold system hung from the roof of the building and should have experience painting murals on such a system. The developer will be responsible for prepping and priming the wall, paint, other needed materials, and scaffolding.
Interested artists (or group of artists) should provide submissions by September 30, 2017 through the following link: www.hobokennj.gov/mural.

Impaired Driving Enforcement Crackdown to be Conducted Locally as Part of National Campaign

Police agencies from around New Jersey are gearing up for the state’s largest annual drunk driving crackdown. The 2017 “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Statewide Labor Day Crackdown begins August 18 and concludes on September 4. During the campaign, local and state law enforcement officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols targeting motorists who may be driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is a national campaign designed to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high-visibility enforcement backed up by educational activities including national radio and television advertisements, posters, banners and mobile video display signs. The campaign looks to curtail impaired driving during the busy summer travel season, including the Labor Day holiday period.

“Despite years of enforcement and public awareness efforts, too many people still make the unfortunate decision to get behind the wheel while impaired. Nearly 30% of all motor vehicle fatalities in New Jersey are alcohol related,” said Gary Poedubicky, Acting Director of the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “This is a zero tolerance campaign. If drivers are caught operating their vehicle while impaired they will be arrested,” he added.

As part of the initiative, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety provides grants to local police agencies throughout the state to run the two-week campaign. During last year’s crackdown, participating agencies made 1,649 DWI arrests.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 2017 crackdown offer the following advice:

  • If you plan to drink, designate a driver, someone who will not drink alcohol, before going out.
  • Take mass transit, a taxi or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
  • Spend the night where the activity is held.
  • Always buckle up, every ride, regardless of your seating position in the vehicle.  It’s your best defense against an impaired driver.
  • If you’re intoxicated and traveling on foot, the safest way to get home is to take a cab or have a sober friend or family member drive you to your doorstep.

Save the Date: North End Redevelopment Plan Community Meeting to be Held September 28th


The City of Hoboken will host the first community workshop as part of the community planning process for the North End Redevelopment Plan on September 28, 2017 at 7:00pm. The location for the meeting has not yet been determined and will be announced prior to the meeting date.

In December 2013 the City Council declared the North End Area in the City of Hoboken as an Area in Need of Rehabilitation. The area is generally north of the 14th Street viaduct between Park Avenue and the palisades and is bounded to the north by the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail tracks.

The City of Hoboken is now in the process of developing a redevelopment plan for the North End in order to determine land uses, development patterns, transportation and transit solutions, and flood mitigation appropriate for the area.

As the first step of the community planning process, an online survey was issued in March, 2017 to provide public feedback on the vision for the North End. The survey results can be viewed at: http://hobokennj.gov/content/wp-content/uploads/North-End-Survey-Results-Memo.pdf.

Hoboken Police Department to Host “Coffee With a Cop” Meeting


The Hoboken Police Department invites the community to the next “coffee with a cop” meeting on Friday, August 18th from 8:00am to 9:30am at Black Rail Coffee, located at 9th Street and Jackson Street.

Coffee with a Cop brings police officers and the community members they serve together – over coffee – to discuss issues, learn more about each other, and strengthen community ties.

In attendance at the meeting will be Chief Ken Ferrante, Captain Dan LoBue, Lieutenant John Orrico, Sergeant Bob Fulton, and Officer Dave Montanez, along with Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Councilman Michael Russo.

Residents are invited to discuss any law enforcement or policing issues at the local, regional or national level in an informal setting. The Hoboken Police Department will provide coffee and pastries.

Hoboken Opens Northwest Pop-Up Park and Municipal Parking Lot


The City of Hoboken has opened the Northwest Pop-Up Park located at 12th Street and Adams Street and a new, temporary 90-space municipal parking lot located at 1301 Jefferson Street.

“The opening of this park is a milestone moment for Hoboken,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “My vision has always been for every Hoboken resident to be within a short walk to a park, and this new park adds much needed open space to western Hoboken. We followed a very strategic approach to achieve this goal that began with the acquisition of Block 12 for the Southwest Park and using all tools necessary, including the authorization for eminent domain.”

Park amenities include tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts, a playground, spray water feature, bocce ball court, bouldering and rock climbing wall, a running/walking course with fitness stations, a community garden, shade structures, BBQ grills, and picnic tables, life-size checkers/chess and surface games, shade trees, Adirondack and lounge chairs, water fountain, and programmable event/fitness space. The park will remain open daily from 8 am to dusk.

“Long-term, the property will become a 5.4-acre ‘resiliency park’ that will also play an important role in protecting Hoboken from flooding by incorporating green infrastructure and at least 1 million gallons of underground stormwater detention,” explained Mayor Zimmer.

Along with Hoboken’s largest park, the project will also include the construction of a new parking garage, which could incorporate community amenities such as urban farming, recreation facilities, innovation space, and ground floor retail. The park and garage will be designed as one project to ensure an integrated design that meets the needs of the community.

For now, the temporary parking lot at 1301 Jefferson Street is available for monthly parking at a rate of $195 per month. Spaces will also be set aside for discounted “park-and-work” daily debit parking for business owners and employees at a flat rate of $5 for any 12 hour period. The City created the park-and-work daily debit option for businesses as a less expensive alternative to feeding the meter (which is illegal) that also preserves valuable on-street parking for customers. The parking lot uses license plate recognition technology that will automatically open and close the gate for registered vehicles. Registered business employees will automatically be charged $5 upon entering the lot. The lot will be unattended and unregistered vehicles will not have access. To apply for access to the parking lot, complete the application at https://hoboken.seamlessdocs.com/f/1301jefferson.

The community design process is expected to begin this fall and will take 18 to 24 months. A temporary pop-up park and parking lot have been opened in order to make use of the property during the expected 2-year planning, engineering, and permitting process. An additional portion of the property is being used as a staging area by the City’s contractor for the Washington Street water main upgrade project.

Hoboken Awarded $451,000 Grant for Newark Street Safety Improvement Project

The City of Hoboken has been awarded a $451,000 Transportation Alternatives Program grant for the Newark Street safety improvement project.

In addition to a new All-Way Stop sign recently installed at Grand Street, the project includes curb extensions at corners to reduce pedestrian crossing distances and vehicle turning speeds and enhance visibility at conflict points, the addition of loading zones to accommodate deliveries, additional crosswalks including a mid-block crosswalk with a pedestrian refuge island between Jefferson Street and Adams Street, a physically separated eastbound bike lane along the south side of the street, and Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) signs to enhance the frequency of drivers stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks.

Thank you to the NJDOT and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and all of the residents and community groups who wrote letters of support for the grant application.

The full concept plan can be viewed at: http://www.hobokennj.gov/docs/transportation/Newark-Street-Concept-Plan.pdf.

Update on Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan

At Wednesday night’s City Council Subcommittee meeting on the Neumann Leathers Rehabilitation Area, Subcommittee members reached consensus on an architectural design solution for the project that would not require a significant amendment to the Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan. The Subcommittee will be making its recommendation to the full Council during new business at the July 5th City Council meeting.

City Council Subcommittee members, including Chair Dave Mello, Councilman Doyle, Councilman Defusco, and Councilman Ramos met to discuss a series of concepts for the redevelopment of the Neumann Leathers Rehabilitation Area, and the comments received by local residents and businesses that expressed their concerns and preferences with regards to the concepts.  At issue for the Subcommittee was whether the City should consider a substantial amendment to the Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan that would allow some residential development to be located on the easterly portion of the site, whereas the Redevelopment Plan requires that all residential be located along the westerly side of the site, separated from the industrial arts uses. The prospective redeveloper (and property owner) of the subject Neumann Leathers properties is working with local architect, John Nastasi of Nastasi Architects, who prepared the development concepts now under consideration.  The property owner, Mr. Nastasi and counsel attended the Subcommittee meeting, as well.

At the meeting, Mr. Nastasi presented an alternative that would make some architectural changes to the design of the “Revision 3” concept. The changes would keep the residential building entirely on the westerly side of the site, as required by the Redevelopment Plan, but would “re-shape” and narrow the upper stories of this building in order to minimize the visual impact to the residents at the adjacent 415 Newark Street building, and to open up the eastward view corridor.

Subcommittee members were pleased with this consensus concept and feel that it can help address the neighbors’ concerns, while keeping intact the intent of the Redevelopment Plan to maintain historic buildings, provide public plaza/courtyard space, and retain the light industrial uses. The consensus concept changes to Revision 3 proposed by Mr. Nastasi are included below and will be shared by the Subcommittee Chair David Mello during new business at the July 5th City Council meeting.

The Administration and Subcommittee would like to thank everyone who took the time to voice their concerns, which greatly assisted in reaching this consensus concept.

Background:

In a presentation given by City Planning staff at the previous City Council meeting on June 21st, a number of Nastasi’s concepts were shown to the public and the entire City Council.   The concepts were narrowed down to the three (3) scenarios that would not demolish any of the existing Neumann Leathers buildings that the Redevelopment Plan requires to be retained and rehabilitated.  Preserving these historic buildings, and allowing the successful continuation of the industrial arts uses within them, are two major goals of the Redevelopment Plan, and are top priorities for the Administration.  After the presentation, Hoboken citizens were asked to email the Subcommittee members with their comments and preferences for the three concepts.