Hoboken Sponsors Terrorism
City of Hoboken Sponsors Terrorism (Zoning Board and more)
It’s time for the city of Hoboken to fire all “cronies” who are essentially terrorizing local businesses that don’t fall into the “circle of psychos” the city administration aligns with. Terrorism and the local economy DO NOT pair well.
Case in point, local salon owner David Adier – who has been running Shear Madness at 80 Park Ave. since 2003.
For the past three or so years, he has been persistently harassed by Ann Holtzman, the “Zoning
Terrorist Officer” for the city.
To simply sum up the details quickly:
- He purchased a harmless “Feather Flag Sign” in 2011 – which by city code, was legal to use without a permit.
- Hurricane Sandy devastated his business in late 2012.
- Also in 2012, the zoning code was “re-written” to forbid signs like that, however, specific language was included in the new ordinance to grandfather previously installed signage. Keep in mind that this wasn’t even attached to a physical structure – just a simple sidewalk sign.
- Once repaired after the “superstorm,” the sign went back up – and he tried to rebuild his business.
- The harassment then began from Ann Holtzman (who, along with her hubby Gary) siphon hundreds of thousands of property taxpayer dollars a year into their pockets thanks to BFF “mayor” don Zimmer.
- Multiple back and forths, in-house legal, outside counsel, and much more – the city refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of a simple grandfathering clause in a city ordinance.A classic case of the “runarounds.” More likely just Hoboken sponsored terrorism.
- There are other issues, including the 80 Park Avenue Condo Board – but we’ll save those spicy details for another time. Follow the dotted lines, is all I can say. The last thing they want is an investigation into what happened to FEMA money or other “rewards,” right?
- Ann Holtzman (acting like a “Nazi,” ironically enough) is hell bent on that sign being removed. Yeah, because it’s so offensive. She either wants that sign permanently eliminated (along with $2,000 cash for don Zimmer), or face over $80,000 in accruing fines. For a fucking sign. Again, sounds like terrorism to me.
If this isn’t “city sponsored terrorism,” I don’t know what is. I saw all the back and forth emails on this – and it’s nauseating – and why places like The Office and others just pack up and leave for better places that support local businesses with sincerity. Not just cronyism and other schoolyard bullying tactics.
Shame on Ann Holtzman and everyone else who has their wicked fingers involved in this Jihad against hard-working businesses. Go to hell all of you.
End Zoning Office Harassment of Small Business in Hoboken
By David Adier
I opened Shear Madness – A Salon for Men & Women, in 2003, in Hoboken, NJ. Over the next 8 years I grew my business despite the many challenges one faces as a small business owner. In April 2011, in an effort to increase visibility in a building that denies its commercial residents adequate signage, I purchased and displayed a Feather Flag Sign. I was advised by the zoning office at the time that this was a permissible sign type and required no permit. It had the desired effect of increasing visibility and business.
On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy destroyed all that I had built. It was late March 2013 before we could reopen, having received no insurance monies whatsoever. My flag sign returned where it had been since 2011. While Mayor Zimmer was touting her desire to help recovery, Zoning Officer Ann Holtzman began sending warnings about my “illegal” sign. She even visited personally with a big dog in tow to demand I remove the sign.
Despite numerous attempts to reason with Mrs. Holtzman, multiple visits to the Mayor, conversations with city council members, and now three trips to court, we remain at an impasse – 3 1/2 years later. First I was challenged to prove that my sign predated the 2012 ordinance change which banned feather flag signs, so I could be considered grandfathered; I did that. Nobody bothered me for 18 months.
In February 2016, Ann Holtzman noticed an employee of the business with a warning and summons. My complaint to the Mayor saw that summons withdrawn and I was told I would hear from her office shortly regarding the broader nature of the sign. Instead, Ann Holtzman reissued the summons to me and added an additional summons in retaliation for seeking help from city hall.
When the Mayor’s office did finally get back to me, it was to tell me that I couldn’t be considered grandfathered because I didn’t have a permit when I placed the sign in 2011; despite the fact that no permit was required or available for this particular sign type. In court, Ann Holtzman said that the sign type was never legal and therefore I couldn’t be grandfathered. On another occasion in court she threatened to impose the maximum penalty should I chose to take this to trial instead of bowing to her demand.
At our July 27, 2016 court conference I found out exactly what her threat entailed:
1. Plead guilty and agree to remove my sign and pay a $2,000 fine
2. Plead Not Guilty and face maximum fines exceeding $80,000 should I be found guilty.
No business should have to “fight city hall” especially when the law is clear. No business should have to choose between being bankrupted by exorbitant fines or defending it’s rights. It is obvious that the city just doesn’t want my sign there. In their efforts to bully me into submission they have challenged me to prove that the sign predated the ordinance change, then changed their tune multiple times to claim that sign type was either never legal or required a permit. Their inconsistencies and shifting rules are inconsistent with their purported claims to “value small business.” After all, how can one be expected to follow the rules when the rules keep changing and history keeps being rewritten?
Ask Mayor Zimmer, Zoning Officer Ann Holtzman and the Hoboken City Council to end this harassment of small business and focus on the issues that matter to the Citizenry of Hoboken.
This petition will be delivered to:
“mayor” don Zimmer
Hoboken City Council