Cunningham on Open Space Ordinance
Here is 5th Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham’s recap of tonight’s Open Space Ordinance vote, which passed 7-1 (Mason wasn’t in attendance due to illness):
“The Open Space measure passed 7-1 with Castellano casting the only no vote. It coincides with her earlier comment from September that Hoboken already has enough open space. I guess statistics and public demands don’t mean much to her.
Just a quick reminder to everyone that the national standards for open space range from 6.25 to 10.5 acres per 1,000 residents. Hoboken is at less than 1 going to 1.04 (not including 1600 Park) per 1,000 residents. New York City is at 2.5 acres per 1,000. Hard to believe that we are that deficient to NYC. What is very clear is that there’s not enough recreational space in our city as evidenced at Maxwell Place Park and in and around Church Square Park.
I also know there’s more to cut from this budget that would make this tax, revenue neutral. Perhaps not this year, but time is of the essence. We need to identify all the space left as identified in the master plan (including the henkel site) and secure it now. With its passing we triple the amount of grant funding to over 1.5 million in total available funds annually, that could result in over $20 million in capital to acquire open space. All this with just $500,000 through your support of the Open Space Ordinance. As Councilwoman Zimmer pointed out, this is just the first phase. We now move to phase two to identify those open parcels.
I will also sponsor an Ordinance that requires public input as to how existing and new park space will be developed through community involvement and consensus.
Thanks again for your support on these important initiatives that improve our quality of life.