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Jersey City Council considers Tidewater Basin Redevelopment Plan

The resolution will allow the Planning Board to review changes to the redevelopment plan

The Jersey City Council at their May 25 meeting. Photo by Mark Koosau.

The Jersey City Council has moved to potentially add amendments to the Tidewater Basin Redevelopment Plan in the Paulus Hook Neighborhood.

Most of the discussion at the council’s most recent meeting was over a resolution directing the Planning Board to prepare changes to the plan. The proposed amendments are for two sites near the Golden Cicada bar and the Bel Fuse Site on the same lot.

At the caucus meeting on Monday, May 23, Planning Director Tanya Marione explained that the amendments were the result of two requests, and that they’re beginning with the City Council to authorize the Planning Board to create amendments, revisions or studies that would then be brought to the council for adoption.

According to the ordinance, the Planning Board during its preparation of amendments or revisions will consider whether inclusionary zoning, aka affordable housing, is applicable.

A number of people from the Paulus Hook neighborhood, including the Historic Paulus Hook Association, spoke out against the resolution at the council meeting, arguing that the proposed developments there will have a negative impact on the community.

“To have this plan, which is to provide a buffer, reopened, to consider substantially larger buildings, is really a slap in the face to our historic districts and to our existing residents who have worked so hard to make our neighborhood what it is,” said Diane Kaese, the president of the association.

Kaese continued that if the city decides to open the plan, the association should have a seat at the table.

“There’s no question in our minds,” she said. “We know our neighborhood best, not the planning department, with all due respect.”

Councilman Frank Gilmore, who represents parts of the Paulus Hook neighborhood after the re-warding changes earlier this year, said that they should take into the concerns of people that would be affected “the most.”

“When I see that there’s a possibility to open up a plan, and I see individuals from that community come out and speak against that, that’s very telling for me,” he said.

Councilman James Solomon, who represents other parts of the neighborhood, said that the plan is “very, very good”, and that his concern is about the amount of affordable housing. He also said that the developers will have to hear concerns from the community.

The resolution was approved 7-1-1, with Gilmore voting no, and Councilman Rich Boggiano abstaining.

The council unanimously passed a resolution honoring Faith Bethea, a track and field athlete from Snyder High School, who among her accomplishments include becoming the first athlete in Hudson County history to win an individual event at Penn Relays in the girls triple jump.

They also unanimously passed a resolution supporting a bill by state Senator Brian Stack and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji that would appropriate $100,000 to the city to conduct a feasibility study examining transit and green space needs at the Bergen Arches.

An ordinance was adopted unanimously will allow the use of a medical office whether office space is permitted, including veterinarian offices.

For updates on this and other stories, check hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Mark Koosau can be reached at mkoosau@hudsonreporter.com or his Twitter @snivyTsutarja.

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