Changes presented: City Council Special Session: Wed, Jan 22nd
Updated: Feb 3
There was a special session of Hoboken’s City Council this Wednesday night, January 22nd, starting 7:00 PM at City Hall. The only agenda item will be the new version of a Plan for the Rail Yards. Although this is technically a “First Reading” of that Plan, the agenda has a section for Public Comments after the key elements are presented. For the official notice: http://hobokennj.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=14&ID=1411&Inline=True
Here is a link to the Plan as it currently stands:
See Figures 13 (slide 47) and 16 (Slide 50) for depictions including the "add-on" bonus*.
Plan features deserving some continued questioning are:
Site 1 — Commercial Tower at Hudson Place & Hudson Street
This is now reduced to a 200’ tall “starting point”, which would hold the height approved for that site in 2014. It’s cited as being a 13-floor building. However, without any specifics on “how” it might be earned, there is also * an alternative 300’ height, dependent on negotiated community improvements.
In 2019, many objected to the 300’ concept there. That version is listed as 20 stories, towering over established nearby structures that are 3, 5 and 7 floors tall.
• What level of “improvements” would merit this 50% increase at that spot?
• Why is the add-on this large 50% or another 100 feet?
The Records Building — Preserved in the Plan, or Not?
The Task Force and many in the community are troubled that NJ Transit, the current owner of the land, has not properly maintained this unique structure.
Why is the Records Building shown, but not addressed, in the Plan? It’s hard to imagine the full potential in this condition, but as a reference, go to Google maps, plug in 1 Washington St., and look across the parking lot and Observer Hwy. See the little copper turrets and steep roof on this 3-story brick structure.
Site 2 — 330’ Now Commercial Structure
On this site, there has been real progress. It had been proposed as a Residential structure, but many on Council wondered why we would use this space, so close to the transit hub, as Residential, when Hoboken is trying to increase the Commercial allocation in this zone. Now it is slated as Commercial, maintaining its dimensions.
One issue remains — Is there too much parking in that structure? The prior Plan version had 269 parking spaces, all in Site 2’s building. Many of us know the existing traffic congestion on Observer Highway and near the Terminal. The public was quite upset about attracting cars to the site, as the reason for the large development is to get people to utilize public transit. They wanted a more comprehensive transit and traffic study, but none has been conducted.
Unfortunately, the formula for the number of parking spaces has not changed. What are the new counts and how can they be reduced?
Reach out to your Council representatives with your questions and perspectives.