Home Letters Hoboken Letters Must "Chain Link Towers" be so ugly?

Must “Chain Link Towers” be so ugly?

Dear Editor:

Living for 24 years in Hoboken, I have witnessed incredible urban design developments. In a beautiful urban neighborhood where open space is so coveted, it is so sad to see cheap chain link fencing without a purpose. Private property or not, resident or not, the surrounding community is affected by a chain link choice. Urban open space deserves better and the residents deserve better. It’s Hoboken! This is an incredible town that has gone through considerable change and I would hope that future changes improve features and hide blights. Surrounding context dictates fencing and paving material for outdoor space boundaries.

Recently, four small plots of grass along 5th street between Clinton and Grand were surrounded by 5 foot chain link fences for the sole purpose of keeping grass healthy looking.

How did the throughway on 5th Street between Clinton and Grand become private property? There are other cross streets here in town that have a purposeful end. Athletic fields, historical buildings, and parks. Is this the only privately owned pedestrian way in Hoboken? 5th Street once was a public cross street.

Being private property, the owners could just fence the walkway off to pedestrians and force us to walk around so I appreciate being able to walk through. But how did it become private property in the first place? Why isn’t this construction code [§ 168-38  Construction specifications.Amended 9-16-1998 by Ord. No. R-332]enforced for this block? Because it is not public?

“All gates and fences erected on public thoroughfares shall be of cast iron or similar material and shall not be less than three feet nor higher than four feet in height. Chain-link fences are not permitted. The space between the lot line and the fence, gate or stoop so erected shall not be enclosed, sealed or otherwise encumbered or built upon nor shall it be utilized for the storage or placement of any personal property without the express approval of the City Council.”

There is a reason Chain link fencing is not permitted. It is unfortunate that no care, no thought, or creativity was implemented for a more receptive sustainable selection of fencing for enclosing grass patches. Why not make it better? Build bridges not walls.

Chain link looks cheap, feels restrictive…isolating to those that live in and around it. Church Towers may be affordable or low-income housing, but it doesn’t need to look that way. Is a fundraiser an option to have this chain link removed and replaced with shrubs or a smaller iron fencing? “Chain link Towers” is so political that I doubt anything can be done to have this changed. But writing this letter helps me voice my opinion for beautifying Hoboken and promoting positive change.

Attachment and Photos can be downloaded from here

Shallon Gammon

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