At the Nov. 9 meeting, the Bayonne Planning Board designated multiple rundown sites as areas in need of redevelopment, including an out-of-service Delta gas station and the shuttered Caschem, Inc. chemical plant. City Planner Suzanne Mack presented the studies of each non-condemnation area.
After the gas station and chemical plant, the third site designated an area in need of redevelopment was PDQ Plastics at Lower Hook Road, also identified as 7 New Hook Road.
The lots on the site are part of the industrialized Constable Hook section of Bayonne. The area is characterized by tank farms, marine terminals, and industrial uses related to its location along the Kill Van Kull, according to the study.
Surrounding industrial sites include the Bayonne Center Power natural gas-fired power plant, the IMTT Terminal, Exxon Bayonne Terminal, and Cogen Technologies, among others.
According to the study, the PDQ Plastics site satisfies the requirements to be designated a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment due to faulty design, natural disasters, and “smart growth.”
The PDQ Plastics site consists of abandoned industrial buildings that have not been used in years and have fallen into disrepair, meeting the area in need of redevelopment criteria for abandoned industrial buildings.
The site satisfies the area in need of redevelopment criteria for faulty design because access to the site is reliant on the long non-public roadway Lower Hook Road, according to the study. There is also a lack of public infrastructure, environmental contamination, excessive pavement coverage and lack of landscaping.
The entire area was flooded during Superstorm Sandy in Oct. of 2012. The assessed value of the property decreased as a result. Due to the damage, the site satisfies the natural disaster criteria to be designated an area in need of redevelopment, according to the study.
The site is in Planning Area #1 within the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, an area targeted for the highest growth in New Jersey. The site is stagnant and underused in contrast to the state policy for the area. According to the study, 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.
Included in the PDQ Plastics study was another site: Atlantic Cement. Designated an area in need of redevelopment, Atlantic Cement is at Lower Hook Road and Commerce Street, also identified as 9 New Hook Road.
The site consists of buildings, tanks, related structures and equipment that are part of an operating terminal fronting the Kill Van Kull. The site is only blocks away from the PDQ Plastics site and other heavy industry in Constable Hook.
According to the study, the site is being operated in a safe, neat and orderly fashion. Buildings on the site appear to be in sound condition and do not exhibit substandard characteristics that would warrant a blight designation.
However, the study concluded that the site does satisfy certain requirements to be designated a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment due to faulty design, natural disasters, and “smart growth.”
The Atlantic Cement site faces the same faulty design problems as the PDQ Plastics site in terms of the lack of access to the site due to the private roadway, as well as the lack of other public infrastructure, environmental contamination, excessive pavement coverage, and lack of landscaping.
The entire area was flooded during Superstorm Sandy in Oct. of 2012. The assessed value of the property decreased as a result, satisfying the natural disaster criteria to be designated an area in need of redevelopment.
Like the PDQ Plastics site, the Atlantic Cement site is also in Planning Area #1 within the State Development and Redevelopment Plan. Designating it as an area of redevelopment aligns with “smart growth” principles from the plan.
Both sites are adjacent to the Urban Enterprise Zone, which may expand its boundaries to include both PDQ Plastics and Atlantic Cement. If the boundary expands, both sites would satisfy the criteria to be designated an area in need of redevelopment for simply sitting within the UEZ.
Atlantic Cement is currently zoned in the I-H Heavy Industrial District.
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 met on Dec. 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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