Will we ever get more parks? Part II

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In response to overwhelming public pressure on the city to act on the Master Plan’s Southwest Parks plan before the area is redeveloped with high-rise buildings, Mayor Roberts rushed a resolution to the city council asking them to “Authorize the City to conduct preliminary studies for the acquisition of 4 acres of property” for a park. The Mayor’s resolution primarily included land owned by Jefferson Street Partners, AKA the Academy Bus Company on Blocks 9 and 10.

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A lawyer for Academy stood up in opposition to the resolution, saying they have been “singled out” among the many large landowners in the Southwest portion of town, and that they have their own plans to develop the property. The attorney said Academy had put together their application for variances to build on the site with the Zoning Board of Adjustment that very day in response to the City’s actions. (He didn’t say what the application includes, but you can bet it’s not a park.) The ZBA is heavily influenced by developers, who get 95 percent of the variances they ask for, which led to projects like the 17 story Sky Club towers.

Several members of the public asked why the study the Mayor suggested only included the Academy Bus property, and a few smaller lots. They pointed out the Master Plan calls for over seven acres of parks in the Southwest, and identified not only Blocks 9 and 10, but 11, 12, 14, and 24 for parkland.

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Members of the Southwest Parks Coalition and HobokenParks.org asked why the Mayor’s proposed study didn’t include ALL the properties that are identified for parks in the Master Plan? They noted the study was only preliminary and non-binding, so why not make it complete. Several people made this argument, which carried enough weight with the City Council for them to agree, rejecting the Mayor’s limited study of Academy property and amending the resolution to study the other blocks as well.

The Parks groups also asked the council to do a full traffic study for the Southwest area, and consider re-routing Paterson Plank Road to alleviate traffic, as was called for in the Master Plan. The Council rejected that citizen-proposed amendment, saying they would rather a traffic study be done in conjunction with the overall Redevelopment Plan, as opposed to this non-binding Parks Study.

People supporting new parks were happy that the additional blocks were included in the study, but stressed this is a very small step in a long process, and the only thing that has been accomplished so far is that they have forced the Mayor to consider a study for parks in response to opposition to his Redevelopment Zone.

Still looming: Developer proposals already on record for 15, 14, 13, and 12 story builings throughout the Southwest Redevelopment Zone which will once again place the interests of taxpaying residents against those of influential developers.

Mayor Roberts did not show up to the special meeting he called.

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7 Comments on "Will we ever get more parks? Part II"


Red Haven
Member
Red Haven
10 years 3 months ago

Dontlie is right. If you want parks and reasonable development in Hoboken, you need to speak up and be heard. The last thing David Roberts wants is more people involved in the process. He wants to invite his developer buddies into the back room and make his deals with nobody watching.

FAP — The development plan is not a done deal, which is why people need to get involved now. By a 5-4 vote the City Council agreed to establish a zone, but technically speaking there is no plan. Sure, the Mayor has a plan cooked up by his developer buddies, but it hasn’t been released. The next step is for the Planning Board to hire a planner to draw up the Mayor’s vision for the Southwest.

rachelzoe — If you want a dog park, I suggest you get involved with the Southwest Parks people and be part of the movement to pressure the city to make it happen. No pressure, no parks.

rachelezoe
Member
10 years 3 months ago

I am hoping that someone in these parks is another dog park.I am keeping my fingers crossed

FAP
Member
FAP
10 years 3 months ago

Is the SW dev plan a done deal?

dontlie
Member
dontlie
10 years 3 months ago

Will we ever get more parks? Yes.

But we will have to nail our elected officials to the wall to get them.

Developers can and have donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to political campaigns and influnce city policy BUT the rest of us
have one vote and we can get together with other like minded voters, use it to change Hoboken for the better.
One vote counts the $52,000,000.00 Hoboken school budget passed by just 4 votes.

We can also speak up and tell the politicians what we want. A letter to the papers has big impact. Like cockaroaches Hobokens politicians run for cover when someone turns on a light.

If we want better government and more parks we must work for it.

Wouln’t be nice to be able to trust our elected officials !

Hoboken deserves better.

JeniGump
Member
10 years 3 months ago

It just…. I’m fucking speachless.

I can’t put it into words without worrying that the cops are going to show up at my place for threats.

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