North Bergen approves another redevelopment plan for waterfront area

North Bergen has not yet received any formal plans for any of the sites in the redevelopment area

North Bergen has adopted another redevelopment plan for a waterfront area along the Hudson River. Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners voted to adopt the plan at October 26 meeting.

The Planning Board approved the plan on October 4.

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The commissioners and Planning Board declared the sites as an area in need of redevelopment in June after a study was authorized by the board in February. That redirected the Planning Board to draw up a redevelopment plan to set the standards for construction of buildings and other improvements in the redevelopment area, located in the P-1 Riverside Zone.

The redevelopment area consists of four parcels totaling 2.81 acres in the northeast section of the township, and includes 7800 River Road, 7800 Marine Road, 7701 River Road/1 Marine Road, and a lot encompassing both of the undedicated streets. Excluded from this redevelopment plan is 5 East 80th Street, a portion of the waterfront walkway, and 7700 River Road, because it was being reused and put to productive use.

The area is bordered by a one-story commercial building to the southwest, a hospital complex to the south and east, a high-rise multi-family residential development and River View Park to the west across River Road, a high-rise multi-family residential development to the north, and a townhouse development and the Hudson River to the east.

7800 River Road and 7800 Marine Road are separated from the lot on the undedicated road by an electric substation off 77th Street.

7800 River Road and undedicated streets

One of the lots is a half acre, T-shaped, and consists of two undedicated private streets called 77th Street and Marine Road, as well as a portion of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. 77th Street runs from east to west and is perpendicular to River Road, and Marine Road runs from north to south and is perpendicular to 77th Street and parallel to River Road.

These streets have been in existence since at least 1987. The north side of 77th Street near the intersection with River Road has 90 degree angled parking, and a portion of Marine Road south of 77th Street has a long row of two-sided angled parking for the adjacent Palisades Medical Center.

This lot was designated an area in need of redevelopment due to “faulty arrangement or design of the streets, excessive land coverage, and deleterious land use, all of which are detrimental to the safety, health, morals, and welfare of the community.”

7800 River Road is .91 acres and includes two supplemental tax lot designations for telecommunications uses. The property is a corner lot with frontage on River Road and 77th Street featuring a two-story brick office building surrounded on three sides by surface parking.

The office is occupied by several tenants on the two upper floors accessed from the main entrance, and a daycare center on the first floor. There is an enclosed play area to the north side of the building.

The 7800 River Road property does not meet any of the redevelopment criteria. However, the ordinance states that “it is necessary to be included in the area in need of redevelopment for the effective redevelopment of the area given that the lot is bounded on one side by [the lot on] 77th Street in the study area which met redevelopment criteria, and therefore, can be included.”

7800 Marine Road and 7701 River Road/ 1 Marine Road

7800 Marine Road is a .40 acre lot with frontage on River Road. The property currently consists of a one-story restaurant which is elevated several feet above grade.

This property also does not meet any of the redevelopment designation criteria. However, the ordinance states that “it is necessary to be included in the area in need of redevelopment for the effective redevelopment of the area given that this lot is adjacent to [7800 River Road] within the study area, and therefore can be included.”

7701 River Road/1 Marine Road is one acre and includes a separate tax lot for telecommunications uses. The property has frontage on 77th Street and Marine Road, and consists of a three-story building with multiple office tenants and a childcare center surrounded surface parking on all sides.

The childcare center is located on the first floor and utilizes a fenced-in play area and a separate entrance at the southern side of the building. The office entrance is under a section of the building where the second and third floors are supported by a column.

The property was designated as in need of development because the “faulty arrangement of the parking lot and circulation aisles is detrimental to the safety and general welfare of the community, as are the property’s excessive land coverage and dilapidation of the building.”

What is permitted under the plan 

On these sites, the redevelopment plan allows uses including multifamily residential, retail and service uses, professional offices, parking lots and garages, and any combination of those uses.

Accessory uses permitted in the redevelopment area include off-street parking and loading areas; amenities customarily incidental to multi-family residential use, including recreation facilities, pools, and rooftop amenities; and other uses customarily accessory to the principal use.

The maximum building height allowed is 12 stories or 135 feet. The maximum density allowed is 175 units per acre.

Parking requirements include .8 spaces per unit for studios or one-bedroom units, and 1.3 spaces for two-bedroom units. There will be 1 bicycle parking space per every two dwelling units.

After the meeting, Township Administrator Janet Castro told The Hudson Reporter that North Bergen had not yet received any formal plans for any of the sites in the redevelopment area. The plan only permits redevelopers to construct the uses outlined in the ordinance, and they would need to acquire the property and apply to the Planning Board for final site plan approval before any construction can begin.

The township has been facilitating projects to build out the area in recent years, including a redevelopment plan for the nearby 8200 River Road. This is another step that paves the way for redevelopers to construct something new on the township’s Hudson River waterfront.

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.

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