The Bayonne Planning Board designated multiple rundown sites as areas in need of redevelopment at the Nov. 9 meeting.
City Planner Suzanne Mack presented the studies of each non-condemnation area.
Delta Gas Station
The first site, at 7-9 Cottage St. and 218-222 Broadway, includes the closed Delta Gas Station and accompanying auto repair shop, and an adjacent multi-family residential building.
According to the study, the site satisfied the requirements because of faulty design, “smart growth,” and because the lots are within the Urban Enterprise Zone.
All lots exhibited some form of faulty design, such as excessive pavement, lack of landscaping, and disuse due to outdoor storage of vehicles and materials.
The defunct gas station and area surrounding the shuttered auto repair shop at 218-222 Broadway currently serves as outdoor storage for vehicles and materials. Some vehicles are being stored directly against the western façade of the adjacent multi-family residential building at 7-9 Cottage St., blocking first-floor windows.
The site flies in the face of the vision for a vibrant commercial corridor on Broadway, according to the study. Redeveloping the area promotes “smart growth” principles for transit-oriented development, given the site’s proximity to the 8th Street light rail station.
The site would also complement the recently approved redevelopment across the street, on Broadway.
The gas station portion of the site is zoned in the C-1 Neighborhood Commercial District, while the multi-family residential building is zoned in the R-2 Attached Residential District.
The second is that of the former Caschem chemical plant along the Newark Bay waterfront in the Bergen Point section. The decommissioned chemical plant was a hydrogenation facility primarily used for manufacturing and processing castor oil used in ink production, and the personal care industry.
The current site is home to a number of industrial buildings in poor condition. To the south is the former Texaco refinery and tank farm, where the redevelopment plan was recently amended to allow for the construction of a film studio. To the north is the Best Foods industrial site.
According to the study, the site satisfied the requirements because of the abandoned industrial buildings, faulty design, “smart growth,” natural disasters, and because the lots are within the Urban Enterprise Zone.
The Caschem site consists of abandoned industrial buildings that have not been used in years and have fallen into disrepair, meeting the criteria for abandoned industrial buildings.
Excessive pavement, lack of landscaping, lack of stormwater management controls, and undefined access routes meet the faulty design criteria. The site layout and design are inconsistent with modern planning standards and practices, according to the study.
In October of 2012, the lots on the west side of Ave. A at the Caschem flooded during Superstorm Sandy, damaging the site, and the assessed value of the land depreciated. The site satisfies the natural disaster criteria, according to the study.
The site is in Planning Area #1 within the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, targeted for the highest growth in New Jersey. The site is stagnant and underused in contrast to the the state policy for the area. By declaring it an area in need of redevelopment, the site would be consistent with the “smart growth” planning policies, and reverse the current stagnation.
The site is currently zoned in the I-H Heavy Industrial District. This zone is aimed at heavy industrial uses, including production facilities, manufacturing, chemical and petrochemical refining, and tank farms.
What happens next?
Now that the planning board has designated these sites as areas in need of redevelopment, the city council must adopt ordinances doing the same. Then the council can direct the planning board to draw up redevelopment plans for each area.
The board will meet on Dec. 1 and 8 at 6 p.m. The city council will meet on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. Both entities meet virtually via TetherView. For more information, go to the calendar at bayonnenj.org.
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