The amended Silk Lofts redevelopment plan was once again tabled by the Bayonne City Council.
At the Dec. 16 meeting, the council tabled the ordinance for a second time to give Second Ward Councilman Sal Gullace a chance to comment since the plan is in his ward. Gullace was not present at the virtual meeting.
Gullace in recovery
According to City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski, Gullace was undergoing another surgery on his leg and could not attend the Dec. 16 meeting. He was injured in a workplace accident involving an industrial waste removal truck in July.
After 42 days in the hospital, multiple surgeries, and physical therapy, Gullace had suffered a setback that required another surgery, according to Ashe-Nadrowski.
At his request, Ashe-Nadrowksi asked the council to table the ordinance again, prior to the public hearing on the matter.
First Ward Councilman Neill Carroll agreed to table the ordinance, but had concerns over delaying the vote any further.
“I don’t want to see this become the endless ordinance that never gets dealt with,” Carroll said. “I have enormous respect for Mr. Gullace. I’m willing to table it for tonight due to his request and due to the tragedy that’s befallen him. But I certainly want to deal with this sooner rather than later, so hopefully we can get some kind of timeline on when it’s going to be accomplished.”
Third Ward Councilman Gary La Pelusa voted to table the ordinance again. While he didn’t elaborate at this meeting, in November, he was a vocal critic of the amended redevelopment plan.
Councilman at-Large Juan Perez agreed to table the ordinance so that Gullace could say his peace on the matter: “Sal Gullace is the Second Ward Councilman. He had emergency complications with his leg, and I would rather him be here to vote on this. It’s very important for his ward.”
The ordinance was tabled until the January city council meeting.
A not-so-silky situation
The city council first tabled the ordinance at the Nov. 10 meeting that would have adopted the amended redevelopment plan for the Silk Lofts on Avenue E.
The planning board approved the amended Silk Lofts redevelopment plan at the Oct. 13 meeting. The amended plan allows for approximately 251 additional units across the street and south of the existing building.
The plan allows for six-story buildings to be constructed across the street from the Silk Lofts, and 18-story buildings to be constructed adjacent to the existing building.
Downtown has been an epicenter during the city’s redevelopment boom. However, council members Carroll and La Pelusa feel that the line has been crossed when it comes to the height of the buildings that may be constructed under the amended Silk Lofts plan.
Carroll, a believer in development, noted the height disparity between the buildings that would be allowed to be constructed under the redevelopment plan and the existing neighborhood. He also voiced concerns about parking, before voting against the ordinance.
La Pelusa argued that the maximum height allowed in the plan is not appropriate for the area.
The public hearing on the plan will now be held via Tetherview at the Jan. 20 meeting. To attend, residents can visit bayonnenj.org and click on the event link on the calendar page.
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