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Impaired Driving Enforcement Crackdown to be Conducted Locally as Part of National Campaign

Police agencies from around New Jersey are gearing up for the state’s largest annual drunk driving crackdown. The 2017 “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Statewide Labor Day Crackdown begins August 18 and concludes on September 4. During the campaign, local and state law enforcement officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols targeting motorists who may be driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is a national campaign designed to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high-visibility enforcement backed up by educational activities including national radio and television advertisements, posters, banners and mobile video display signs. The campaign looks to curtail impaired driving during the busy summer travel season, including the Labor Day holiday period.

“Despite years of enforcement and public awareness efforts, too many people still make the unfortunate decision to get behind the wheel while impaired. Nearly 30% of all motor vehicle fatalities in New Jersey are alcohol related,” said Gary Poedubicky, Acting Director of the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “This is a zero tolerance campaign. If drivers are caught operating their vehicle while impaired they will be arrested,” he added.

As part of the initiative, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety provides grants to local police agencies throughout the state to run the two-week campaign. During last year’s crackdown, participating agencies made 1,649 DWI arrests.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 2017 crackdown offer the following advice:

  • If you plan to drink, designate a driver, someone who will not drink alcohol, before going out.
  • Take mass transit, a taxi or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
  • Spend the night where the activity is held.
  • Always buckle up, every ride, regardless of your seating position in the vehicle.  It’s your best defense against an impaired driver.
  • If you’re intoxicated and traveling on foot, the safest way to get home is to take a cab or have a sober friend or family member drive you to your doorstep.

Save the Date: North End Redevelopment Plan Community Meeting to be Held September 28th


The City of Hoboken will host the first community workshop as part of the community planning process for the North End Redevelopment Plan on September 28, 2017 at 7:00pm. The location for the meeting has not yet been determined and will be announced prior to the meeting date.

In December 2013 the City Council declared the North End Area in the City of Hoboken as an Area in Need of Rehabilitation. The area is generally north of the 14th Street viaduct between Park Avenue and the palisades and is bounded to the north by the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail tracks.

The City of Hoboken is now in the process of developing a redevelopment plan for the North End in order to determine land uses, development patterns, transportation and transit solutions, and flood mitigation appropriate for the area.

As the first step of the community planning process, an online survey was issued in March, 2017 to provide public feedback on the vision for the North End. The survey results can be viewed at: http://hobokennj.gov/content/wp-content/uploads/North-End-Survey-Results-Memo.pdf.

Hoboken Police Department to Host “Coffee With a Cop” Meeting


The Hoboken Police Department invites the community to the next “coffee with a cop” meeting on Friday, August 18th from 8:00am to 9:30am at Black Rail Coffee, located at 9th Street and Jackson Street.

Coffee with a Cop brings police officers and the community members they serve together – over coffee – to discuss issues, learn more about each other, and strengthen community ties.

In attendance at the meeting will be Chief Ken Ferrante, Captain Dan LoBue, Lieutenant John Orrico, Sergeant Bob Fulton, and Officer Dave Montanez, along with Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Councilman Michael Russo.

Residents are invited to discuss any law enforcement or policing issues at the local, regional or national level in an informal setting. The Hoboken Police Department will provide coffee and pastries.

Hoboken Opens Northwest Pop-Up Park and Municipal Parking Lot


The City of Hoboken has opened the Northwest Pop-Up Park located at 12th Street and Adams Street and a new, temporary 90-space municipal parking lot located at 1301 Jefferson Street.

“The opening of this park is a milestone moment for Hoboken,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “My vision has always been for every Hoboken resident to be within a short walk to a park, and this new park adds much needed open space to western Hoboken. We followed a very strategic approach to achieve this goal that began with the acquisition of Block 12 for the Southwest Park and using all tools necessary, including the authorization for eminent domain.”

Park amenities include tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts, a playground, spray water feature, bocce ball court, bouldering and rock climbing wall, a running/walking course with fitness stations, a community garden, shade structures, BBQ grills, and picnic tables, life-size checkers/chess and surface games, shade trees, Adirondack and lounge chairs, water fountain, and programmable event/fitness space. The park will remain open daily from 8 am to dusk.

“Long-term, the property will become a 5.4-acre ‘resiliency park’ that will also play an important role in protecting Hoboken from flooding by incorporating green infrastructure and at least 1 million gallons of underground stormwater detention,” explained Mayor Zimmer.

Along with Hoboken’s largest park, the project will also include the construction of a new parking garage, which could incorporate community amenities such as urban farming, recreation facilities, innovation space, and ground floor retail. The park and garage will be designed as one project to ensure an integrated design that meets the needs of the community.

For now, the temporary parking lot at 1301 Jefferson Street is available for monthly parking at a rate of $195 per month. Spaces will also be set aside for discounted “park-and-work” daily debit parking for business owners and employees at a flat rate of $5 for any 12 hour period. The City created the park-and-work daily debit option for businesses as a less expensive alternative to feeding the meter (which is illegal) that also preserves valuable on-street parking for customers. The parking lot uses license plate recognition technology that will automatically open and close the gate for registered vehicles. Registered business employees will automatically be charged $5 upon entering the lot. The lot will be unattended and unregistered vehicles will not have access. To apply for access to the parking lot, complete the application at https://hoboken.seamlessdocs.com/f/1301jefferson.

The community design process is expected to begin this fall and will take 18 to 24 months. A temporary pop-up park and parking lot have been opened in order to make use of the property during the expected 2-year planning, engineering, and permitting process. An additional portion of the property is being used as a staging area by the City’s contractor for the Washington Street water main upgrade project.

Hoboken Awarded $451,000 Grant for Newark Street Safety Improvement Project

The City of Hoboken has been awarded a $451,000 Transportation Alternatives Program grant for the Newark Street safety improvement project.

In addition to a new All-Way Stop sign recently installed at Grand Street, the project includes curb extensions at corners to reduce pedestrian crossing distances and vehicle turning speeds and enhance visibility at conflict points, the addition of loading zones to accommodate deliveries, additional crosswalks including a mid-block crosswalk with a pedestrian refuge island between Jefferson Street and Adams Street, a physically separated eastbound bike lane along the south side of the street, and Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) signs to enhance the frequency of drivers stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks.

Thank you to the NJDOT and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and all of the residents and community groups who wrote letters of support for the grant application.

The full concept plan can be viewed at: http://www.hobokennj.gov/docs/transportation/Newark-Street-Concept-Plan.pdf.

Update on Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan

At Wednesday night’s City Council Subcommittee meeting on the Neumann Leathers Rehabilitation Area, Subcommittee members reached consensus on an architectural design solution for the project that would not require a significant amendment to the Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan. The Subcommittee will be making its recommendation to the full Council during new business at the July 5th City Council meeting.

City Council Subcommittee members, including Chair Dave Mello, Councilman Doyle, Councilman Defusco, and Councilman Ramos met to discuss a series of concepts for the redevelopment of the Neumann Leathers Rehabilitation Area, and the comments received by local residents and businesses that expressed their concerns and preferences with regards to the concepts.  At issue for the Subcommittee was whether the City should consider a substantial amendment to the Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan that would allow some residential development to be located on the easterly portion of the site, whereas the Redevelopment Plan requires that all residential be located along the westerly side of the site, separated from the industrial arts uses. The prospective redeveloper (and property owner) of the subject Neumann Leathers properties is working with local architect, John Nastasi of Nastasi Architects, who prepared the development concepts now under consideration.  The property owner, Mr. Nastasi and counsel attended the Subcommittee meeting, as well.

At the meeting, Mr. Nastasi presented an alternative that would make some architectural changes to the design of the “Revision 3” concept. The changes would keep the residential building entirely on the westerly side of the site, as required by the Redevelopment Plan, but would “re-shape” and narrow the upper stories of this building in order to minimize the visual impact to the residents at the adjacent 415 Newark Street building, and to open up the eastward view corridor.

Subcommittee members were pleased with this consensus concept and feel that it can help address the neighbors’ concerns, while keeping intact the intent of the Redevelopment Plan to maintain historic buildings, provide public plaza/courtyard space, and retain the light industrial uses. The consensus concept changes to Revision 3 proposed by Mr. Nastasi are included below and will be shared by the Subcommittee Chair David Mello during new business at the July 5th City Council meeting.

The Administration and Subcommittee would like to thank everyone who took the time to voice their concerns, which greatly assisted in reaching this consensus concept.

Background:

In a presentation given by City Planning staff at the previous City Council meeting on June 21st, a number of Nastasi’s concepts were shown to the public and the entire City Council.   The concepts were narrowed down to the three (3) scenarios that would not demolish any of the existing Neumann Leathers buildings that the Redevelopment Plan requires to be retained and rehabilitated.  Preserving these historic buildings, and allowing the successful continuation of the industrial arts uses within them, are two major goals of the Redevelopment Plan, and are top priorities for the Administration.  After the presentation, Hoboken citizens were asked to email the Subcommittee members with their comments and preferences for the three concepts.

Paving and Striping Work Scheduled for Saturday, July 1st in Southwest Hoboken

Crews are scheduled to conduct milling, paving, and striping work on Saturday, July 1st on various roads in Southwest Hoboken as part of the Southwest Traffic Circulation Plan.

Construction will require the closure of streets including New York Avenue, Observer Highway, Jackson Street, and Harrison Street. Work will also take place on Jersey Avenue and Newark Street, however Jersey Avenue and Newark Street are expected to remain open to traffic. In order to minimize traffic disruptions, work has been scheduled to take place in Hoboken on Saturday, July 1st from 8:30am until the work is complete at approximately 4:00pm.

The work will include the milling, paving, and striping of the intersections of Jackson Street and Observer Highway and Harrison Street and Observer Highway as well as Jackson Street from Observer Highway to Paterson Ave and Observer Highway from Harrison Avenue to the Jersey City boundary. In addition, striping work will take place on Jersey Avenue and Newark Street from 18th Street to Jackson Street as well as on Jackson Street from Newark Street to Paterson Avenue.

The City of Hoboken is coordinating the project with Jersey City. The portion of the work in Jersey City on Jersey Avenue will commence at 6:00 a.m. and is expected to be completed by 9:00 a.m. The striping work on Jersey Avenue is not anticipated to require closures.

To coincide with the planned repaving and striping, the City of Hoboken has begun installing the poles and signal heads for two new traffic signals at Jackson Street and Observer Highway and Harrison Street and Observer Highway. The work is expected to last a few weeks, weather permitting.

City Council Seeks Additional Input on Neumann Leathers Plan Concepts

The City Council meeting on Wednesday, June 21st included a presentation, public comment, and Council discussion on various concepts for the Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan. The presentation slides can be viewed at: www.hobokennj.gov/docs/communitydev/Neumann-Leathers-Council-Presentation.pdf.

The Hoboken City Council Community Development South Subcommittee will be meeting next week to discuss the Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan and is requesting additional public comments and preferences on concept alternatives for the project.

Members of the public are invited to review the three concepts under consideration and provide their feedback to the members of the subcommittee. The subcommittee has requested that feedback be provided via email by Sunday, June 25th:

Community Development South Sub-committee
Councilman David Mello (chair): melloforhoboken@gmail.com
Councilman Ruben Ramos: councilmanramos4@gmail.com
Councilman James Doyle: jimdoylehoboken@gmail.com
Councilman Michael DeFusco: mdefusco@hobokennj.gov

The three concepts are:


“Official Submission – Revision 3” (Latest Official Submission to the City): This is the latest proposal officially submitted to the City by the property owner, as part of the formal application process to be designated redeveloper.  This option would position the residential portion of the development consistent with the adopted Redevelopment Plan and meets the goals of separating the residential and light industrial areas and providing public open space. This submission was prepared by the applicant to respond to the City’s concerns about preserving the existing historic Neumann Leathers buildings and is consistent with the major components of the Redevelopment Plan.

(click image to view full size)


“Residential East” (Not officially submitted to the City): This concept was recently prepared by the property owner’s architect (March 2017) to try to respond to residents’ concerns as to the location of the residential uses while also preserving the existing Neumann Leathers buildings. This option would include a separate, 18-story residential building within the commercial/light industrial building area. This option would also reduce the amount of public open space and would require redevelopment plan amendments.

(click image to view full size)


“Option C – Historic Building Preserved” (Not officially submitted to the City): This concept was most recently prepared by the property owner’s architect (June 2017) to try to respond to residents’ concerns as to the location of the residential uses, while also preserving the existing Neumann Leathers buildings. One residential building would be built to extend over the existing historic Neumann Leathers building, and a separate residential building would be constructed in the eastern portion of the site, so that it is mixed in with the existing commercial/light industrial buildings. This option would also reduce the amount of public open space and would require redevelopment plan amendments.

(click image to view full size)


“I thank all of the residents who came out to last night’s Council meeting and invite our community to provide additional feedback to the Council subcommittee as they continue this discussion and work to reach consensus on a path forward,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

City Seeks Community Input on Neumann Leathers Alternative Concepts

Next week’s City Council meeting will include a brief presentation on potential development options for the Neumann Leathers project.  The following provides an overview of the options under consideration. Members of the community are invited to review the options, attend the June 21st Council meeting, and voice their views.  The City Council will be asked to take a vote to express its views on a preferred option at the July 5th City Council meeting.  Based on this guidance, the City will then move forward with possibly amending the Redevelopment Plan, if needed, and then negotiating a redevelopment agreement. All of the possible alternatives included below have the same level of residential development, but reconfigure the development in different ways.

Background: The City Council passed the Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan in December 2015. The goals of the plan included preserving the historic buildings of Neumann Leathers, preserving the existing light manufacturing and arts businesses that are currently operating in Neumann Leathers, and creating new public spaces. Some residential density was included in the plan to achieve these goals. The plan authorized by the Council specifically separated residential from light industrial uses to prevent potential conflicts between new residents and the existing light industrial operations.

Mayor Zimmer is seeking to find consensus in order to move forward and negotiate a redevelopment agreement that can be supported by the community, the City Council and the property owner. The redevelopment agreement is negotiated based on the framework established by the approved plan, however, amendments to the plan can be considered.

While there was an extensive community process to finalize the approved plan, residents at 415 Newark Street next to the development have concerns about the location of the residential element of the plan. Seeking to address these concerns, the property owner’s architect met with some residents and showed them several concepts that shift some of the residential density to the east, away from their building. These concepts would also demolish significant Neumann Leathers buildings and eliminate some of the public open space required by the Redevelopment Plan.

“A plan that would demolish significant Neumann Leathers buildings is not an option that I could support, however, residents in the neighborhood have expressed concerns about the adopted redevelopment plan, and we want to get input from the community and Council to reach consensus on a preferred direction,” said Mayor Zimmer. “Based on the results of a City Council vote, the Administration will then work with the Council to possibly amend the plan and then negotiate a redevelopment agreement to move forward with the project.”

The following options all contain the same 230 units of residential development, but have different layouts to address various concerns (This 230 total includes workforce and affordable housing units).

  1. “Official Submission – Revision 3” (Latest Official Submission to the City): This is the latest proposal officially submitted to the City by the property owner, as part of the formal application process to be designated redeveloper.  This option would position the residential portion of the development consistent with the adopted Redevelopment Plan and meets the goals of separating the residential and light industrial areas and providing public open space. This submission was prepared by the applicant to respond to the City’s concerns about preserving the existing historic Neumann Leathers buildings and is consistent with the major components of the Redevelopment Plan.

  1. “Neighbor Meeting – Options A, B, C &D” (Not officially submitted to the City): For reference only, the following concepts are shown. These concepts were presented to the 415 Newark Street residents by the project architect and would involve demolishing significant portions of the existing historic Neumann Leathers buildings and shifting a portion of the residential use to the easterly portion of the site, so that it is mixed in with the commercial/light industrial uses. These concepts would demolish existing buildings, reduce the amount of provided public open space* and require redevelopment plan amendments. Out of concern for protecting the historic buildings, these concepts are not supported by Mayor Zimmer and her Administration.

  1. “Residential East” (Not officially submitted to the City): This concept was recently prepared by the property owner’s architect (March 2017) to try to respond to residents’ concerns as to the location of the residential uses while also preserving the existing Neumann Leathers buildings. This option would include a separate, 18-story residential building within the commercial/light industrial building area. This option would also reduce the amount of public open space* and would require redevelopment plan amendments.

  1. “Option C – Historic Building Preserved” (Not officially submitted to the City): This concept was most recently prepared by the property owner’s architect (June 2017) to try to respond to residents’ concerns as to the location of the residential uses, while also preserving the existing Neumann Leathers buildings. One residential building would be built to extend over the existing historic Neumann Leathers building, and a separate residential building would be constructed in the eastern portion of the site, so that it is mixed in with the existing commercial/light industrial buildings.  This option would also reduce the amount of public open space* and would require redevelopment plan amendments.

* The adopted Redevelopment Plan includes a requirement for 40,000 square feet of public open space for public plazas and outdoor markets to be developed as a “series of rooms.” All of the applicant’s development concepts that show a separate residential building in the easterly portion of the site, mixed in with the existing commercial/light industrial buildings, would reduce the amount of public open space by at least 5,000 square feet in order to accommodate the residential building. This concept would require a redevelopment plan amendment.

Each concept will be presented in greater detail at the June 21st Council meeting.

“I hope residents can attend the meeting to let us know their preferred views,” added Mayor Zimmer. “My Administration looks forward to moving ahead on the Neumann Leathers project further informed by the views of the community and the City Council.”

Update on Southwest Park Expansion & Redevelopment Plan

The Hoboken City Council will hold a public hearing and final vote to authorize an appraisal and offer amount of $3,975,000 for the acquisition of approximately an acre of Block 10 to expand the Southwest Park and to adopt the Southwest Redevelopment Plan at the June 7th Council meeting. At a special meeting on May 24th, the Council unanimously voted to introduce both measures. The Hoboken Planning Board reviewed the redevelopment plan and determined that it was consistent with the Hoboken Master Plan.

“The final approval of the Block 10 appraisal will be an important step so we can continue negotiations to acquire the property to expand the Southwest Park,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “The redevelopment plan allows for the possibility for an even further expansion of the resiliency park, but since the plan is voluntary, it is critical that we make this acquisition to ensure sufficient open space for our growing Southwest neighborhood.”

Related Documents
View the plan to expand the Southwest Park through direct acquisition: www.hobokennj.gov/docs/parks/SW-Park-Expansion.pdf

View the Southwest Hoboken Redevelopment Plan:  www.hobokennj.gov/docs/communitydev/Draft-Southwest-Hoboken-Redevelopment-Plan-5-24-17.pdf

View the Southwest Hoboken Redevelopment Plan Presentation: www.hobokennj.gov/docs/council/5.24.17.Southwest.Hoboken.Redevelopment.Plan.Presentation.pdf