Pier 13 – public or private?
Pier 13 in Hoboken now a source of controversy
For the first time last summer, Pier 13 by the Shipyard Marina was converted into a seasonal hangout. Beer and wine on tap, lunch trucks, and seating for hundreds. Complete with a grassy area and front row views of New York City.
While there was some initial flack from neighbors for the noise, they eventually toned it down, and even kept very modest hours (until 10pm).
However – from what I understand, the controversy brewing is that the owners of the property (and the marina), want to maintain this area as “private” and discontinue access to the public. (Correction: Vice versa. Marina wants it to be open, but city wants to shut it down, claiming ordinance violation). There is even a petition circulating online begging the Hoboken Planning Board to allow Pier 13 to be open to all residents and locals. The board meets tomorrow night (May 7th) at 7pm in the basement of city hall.
But someone who has no emotional attachment to this situation might ask: What right does the public have to private property? Can a “mob” of people essentially demand, take and use what is not theirs? And who decreed that “all waterfront property shall be public?”
And of course, once something becomes “public,” then the cost to maintain such a thing is involuntarily passed on to the public in the form of taxes.
So should Pier 13 come back again this year as a social venue?