After NY Waterway ferries appeared at the former Union Dry Dock site and work appeared to be underway Wednesday, Feb. 13 the city issued a stop work order later that afternoon ceasing all work.
“All persons acting contrary to this order or mutilating this notice are liable to arrest unless such action is authorized by the department,” reads the neon orange legal notice taped to the property’s gates.
The Union Dry Dock property was purchased by NY Waterway in November 2017 to become the ferry company’s ferry homeport for maintenance and refueling.
The city, county, and state officials have opposed the project, determined to make the property public open space citing public safety, health, and environmental concerns.
According to city spokesperson Vijay Chaudhuri, NY Waterway was permitted to do minor work on the site “that does not include changes to the use, including trailer and debris removal.”
He said the stop work order was issued for ferry maintenance work, which was not permitted or authorized by the city adding that “no use or conditional use of the site has been approved by the city to NY Waterways or Port Imperial Marine Service.”
In a statement, Mayor Ravi Bhalla said NY Waterway agreed to temporarily cease ferry maintenance operations in response to the stop work order and with the assistance of Gov. Phil Murphy’s office.
“We look forward to working cooperatively with the governor’s team to find solutions that advance the best interests of Hoboken’s residents,” said Bhalla. “I’ll continue taking all necessary actions to preserve Union Dry Dock for public open space. Hoboken residents deserve a park, not a ferry refueling depot. We need to do everything possible to protect our environment and our waterfront.”