Bayonne zoning board honors late Chairman Mark Urban

He lost a battle with cancer at age 65

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Chairman Mark Urban's seat was empty at the Sept. 20 meeting for the first time in two decades.
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The late Chairman of the Bayonne Zoning Board of Adjustment Mark Urban
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Chairman Mark Urban's seat was empty at the Sept. 20 meeting for the first time in two decades.
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The late Chairman of the Bayonne Zoning Board of Adjustment Mark Urban

Mark Urban, a lifelong Bayonne resident and chairman of the Bayonne Zoning Board of Adjustment, died on Sept. 16 at age 65 after a battle with cancer.

At the zoning board’s Sept. 20 meeting, it did not hear any applications or elect a new chair. All matters were moved to the October meeting.

The commissioners dedicated the meeting to Urban. Board Attorney Rich Campisano and Land Use Administrator Alicia Losonczy read statements from various officials into the record in honor of the late chairman.

Remembering Mark

Vice Chairman Clifford Adams said, “I have had the privilege of serving on this board for 20 years, give or take, many of them as vice chair under Chairman Mark Urban. I really didn’t have to do much in that role. Mark never missed a meeting. There were a few instances where Mark would comment, and I’m paraphrasing: ‘You know, I really didn’t personally like that application, but the applicant can prove their case within the four corners of the zoning ordinance and state law, so it had to be approved.’ I will miss his leadership, and I hope that all those who follow him on his board are influenced by his competence, professionalism, and deep respect for the residents of Bayonne.” 

Losonczy said, “Mark’s service as a volunteer commissioner began over 20 years ago. He has always been known for his professionalism, consideration and extending his courtesies to everyone. Mark was open minded and wanted to hear all sides, the applicants, the objectives; the commissioners thought he was beloved and respected by all.” 

Urban was employed by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority for 40 years and was a commissioner of the zoning board for over 20 years, serving as chairman for most of it.

A true gentleman

“On behalf of the City of Bayonne, I would like to extend all condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mark Urban,” Mayor James Davis said. “For more than 20 years, Mark made generous use of his time by volunteering to serve on the Zoning Board of Adjustment as a commissioner and chairman. He spent countless hours reviewing development proposals in participating in public hearings. As a result of his work, Bayonne has approved numerous new commercial and residential buildings. He helped bring about the tremendous growth that we are experiencing in this community. His family can be proud of the results of his many years of service to the people of Bayonne.” 

Bayonne Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Eduardo Ferrante, who previously served on the zoning board, said, “I was fortunate enough to serve under Chairman Mark Urban for over a decade. Mark’s sense of community and service led him to volunteer over two decades to this esteemed board. During this time, I found a friend in Mark Urban. He was a great guy and always had a smile on his face. As a leader, I found him to be honest, fair, compassionate, dedicated to his mission on the zoning board. Every applicant that came before him could be assured of an honest and fair hearing, as Mark wouldn’t have it any other way. Over the years, Mark asked me to join him for a beer or two after a meeting, and his personality and demeanor were the same over a beer. He was a genuine man, easy to like and easy to respect. Bayonne is a better place because of Mark Urban.” 

Urban loved Bayonne. According to his obituary, he was an active member of the community, volunteering his time in various ways over the years. He was a lector at St. Vincent de Paul Parish where he was a lifelong member. Urban was also a lifelong Jets fan and loved Led Zepplin.

He won’t be forgotten

City Engineer Rob Russo and Consulting City Planer Mika Apte said, “We are deeply and truly saddened by the passing of Chairman Urban. We were honored to serve under the chairman as land use professionals. Mark understood the nuances of land use planning and was a true professional in his duties as a chairman, a true gentleman with a zest and curiosity for learning, and a true pleasure to work with and for.” 

City Planner Suzanne Mack also offered her condolences: “What a sad day for Mark Urban’s family and many friends, Bayonne, and the Planning Community. Few people not connected with the planning processes can understand and appreciate the dedication our Zoning and Planning board members give to the community as volunteers, who month after month with great professionalism hear cases that influence and shape our community for the better. Mark did it because he cared about Bayonne. And Mark did it with grace and excellence. He was the best at whatever he did! Rest well, we will remember and thank you for all you did for us always!”

Former Land Use Administrator Lillian Glazewski said, “It was my pleasure and honor to work with Mark Urban for over 20 years. I can’t remember a meeting Mark ever missed. He always called me before meetings to see if he could be of help. The work was very special and will always be remembered. I will miss him more than words can say. Rest in peace, Mark.” 

Urban was a fierce protector of his children which earned him the nickname “Mark the Shark,” according to his obituary. He enjoyed spending time with his loved ones and sharing Sunday dinners, which will be cherished memories for his family.

Urban is survived by his wife Antoinette and children Christopher, Daniel and Elizabeth. A funeral mass was held on Sept. 20 at St. Vincent de Paul Church.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.