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Draft Environmental Impact Statement Issued for Hudson River Rebuild by Design Project

RBDHR

The N.J. Department of Environmental Protection announced the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and a public hearing for the Rebuild by Design Hudson River: Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge Project. The DEIS describes the purpose and need for the project, the alternatives considered, the NEPA Preferred Alternative, anticipated environmental impacts, project benefits, and potential mitigation measures.

The Preferred Alternative recommended through the DEIS is Alternative 3, an inland alignment that uses an existing alleyway in northern Hoboken and does not impact existing waterfront access or views. The design process for the project is expected to continue in the summer of 2017 for 18 to 24 months with construction expected to begin in 2019.

“I thank everyone who has participated throughout this process” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I invite our community to attend the public hearing and remain involved as we continue through the design process in the months ahead to make sure that we protect our city for the long term.”

Electronic copies of the DEIS are available at www.rbd-hudsonriver.nj.gov and CDs and paper copies are available for review during regular business hours at Hoboken City Hall (94 Washington Street), Hoboken Library (500 Park Avenue), and Hoboken Housing Authority (400 Harrison Street), in addition to locations in Weehawken and Jersey City.

A 45 day public comment period begins on February 24 and ends on April 10. A public hearing will be held on Thursday, March 16, 2017 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at DeBaun Auditorium at 24 5th Street in Hoboken to provide an opportunity for public comments.

Comments can be submitted using any of the following methods:

  1. Email: rbd_hudsonriver@dep.nj.gov
  2. Online to the NJDEP website at rbd-hudsonriver.
  3. Mail: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) c/o Dennis Reinknecht, Program Manager, Bureau of Flood Resilience, 501 East State Street, Mail Code 501-01A, P.O. Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625-0420.
  4. Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Art in the Park Registration to Open March 1st

Online registration for Art in the Park will be open on March 1, 2017 at www.hobokennj.gov/register.

Art in the Park is a 6 week creative arts program for toddlers ages 4 and under. Join us for songs, story time, sensory play, and an art project, all in the shade of your local park.

There are eight 6 week sessions which take place on different days, in different parks, at different times. Choose either early morning (9am to 10:30am) or mid-morning (11am to 12:30pm) sessions:

Elysian Park on Mondays: June 19, 26, July 10, 17, 24, 31
Elysian Park on Tuesdays: June 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, Aug 1
Pier A on Wednesdays: June 21, 28; July 12, 19, 26, Aug 2
Elysian Park on Thursdays: June 22, 29, July 13, 20, 27, Aug 3

Cost per 6 week session is $25.
Each session will accept 60 children.
Child must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
Dress child in messy clothes as clay or paints may stain clothes.

In case of rain, rain date will be announced.

For more information contact 201-420-2207 or gfallo@hobokennj.gov.

Hoboken Property Owners Invited to Request Street Tree Planting


In preparation for the Spring 2017 tree planting, the City of Hoboken’s Shade Tree Commission is seeking property owners who would like a tree planted in the sidewalk adjacent to their building and who will agree to care for and water the tree. Qualifying property owners can have a street tree planted in exchange for a suggested $100 contribution towards planting costs and a pledge to keep the tree well-watered.

The City planted has planted hundreds of street trees through the program in the last few years.

Property owners who would like a tree planted in a sidewalk tree well in front of their home should complete the online request form at www.hobokennj.gov/boards/stc/treerequest. Requests will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to available funding.

Each location requested will be surveyed by a professional from the Department of Environmental Services to ensure there are no conflicts with the surrounding infrastructure and that the site is a suitable one for a tree to grow and thrive.

Requests can be made for existing empty tree beds as well as paved sidewalk locations. If a tree well does not exist, one will be opened. Trees will not be planted on private property; only in sidewalk tree wells.

Residents Invited to Community Workshop for PSE&G Madison Street Substation Resiliency & Façade Improvement Project

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The City of Hoboken and PSE&G will hold a community workshop regarding improvements to the Madison Street electrical substation. The meeting will be held on Thursday, February 23 at 7:00pm at the Jubilee Center, 601 Jackson Street.

PSE&G is proposing to make improvements to harden their infrastructure in Hoboken to protect it from power outages caused by flooding. The project involves consolidating and combining the Marshall Street Substation into a single expanded Madison Street Substation, decommissioning the existing Marshall Street Substation, and raising the elevation of the expanded Madison Street Substation.

PSE&G has also agreed to work with the City to create a design that integrates with the urban fabric of the city. The station is currently surrounded by a chain-link fence. PSE&G has retained an architect and will be gathering community input to develop the façade design.

Hoboken Announces Procedures for Over 100 Units of New Affordable Housing to be Constructed Soon


In the near future, 115 new units of affordable housing are planned to be constructed in Hoboken and made available to the public under new procedures to ensure that housing is available to those most in need:

• 15 affordable housing units will be included within three different projects in Hoboken, the first such units required by Hoboken’s affordable housing ordinance. The three projects are at 600 Harrison Street (5 units), 1410 Grand Street (4 units), and 721 Clinton Street (6 units).
• 42 affordable housing units will be constructed at 7th Street and Jackson Street as part of a recently-approved redevelopment agreement.
• 6 affordable housing units for homeless veterans will be created as part of the redevelopment of American Legion Post 107’s headquarters at 308 2nd Street.
• 52 affordable housing units are required by the affordable housing ordinance in three recently-completed projects. The City has prevailed and is continuing in litigation to ensure that the developers provide the units as soon as possible.

“Creating affordable housing has been a priority for my administration, and in fact we may be the only city in the state to proactively and voluntarily implement an affordable housing requirement in new residential construction,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Our affordable housing ordinance along with newly adopted procedures will help ensure that Hoboken remains a mixed income community and that affordable housing is available to those who need it the most.”

The City of Hoboken adopted an affordable housing ordinance that generally requires a 10 percent affordable housing set-aside for residential construction over 10 units when an increase in density is provided. The City also recently adopted the Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan and a guidebook entitled “Administration of Affordable Units: Policies & Procedures Manual” to set forth the policies and procedures for placing eligible individuals and families into the City of Hoboken’s affordable units. The Affordable Housing Program will provide opportunities for both affordable units for rent and for sale. Additional announcements will be made when the first rental units are marketed, which is anticipated this spring (to sign up for announcements, visit www.hobokennj.gov/alerts). Applications will be collected through a website that will be made available at that time.

In addition to the units required by the affordable housing ordinance, all redevelopment plans approved during the Zimmer administration, including Hoboken Yards, Neumann Leathers, and Western Edge, require that at least 10 percent of new residential units be affordable.

Affordable Housing Program Frequently Asked Questions
As the first units become available, they will be “affirmatively marketed”. What does “affirmative marketing” mean?
It means that the City will advertise the units throughout the region to attract renters/buyers. The City has adopted a specific Affirmative Marketing Plan (as required by law) to make sure the “word” gets out to as many qualified and interested persons as possible.

What does it mean to be “qualified”?
To be eligible for a unit, an interested person must submit a pre-application to demonstrate that he/she meets a number of requirements as set by the State, such as maximum income limits based on household size. While there is no set minimum income level, there are maximum income limits and limits on how much of the household’s income can be spent on housing expenses. Maximum income limits and minimum income requirements can be found at http://www.nj.gov/dca/services/lps/hss/admin_files/incomelimits.pdf. In addition, whenever possible, the household must include at least one person for each bedroom in the unit selected.

How does an interested person apply?
Interested renters/buyers will be able to apply on-line at a website operated by Community Grants Planning & Housing (CGP&H). Visit www.hobokennj.gov/alerts to sign up for announcements which will be made when the website is available for applications. For those who do not have computers, CGP&H will work with interested applicants by phone and mail.

What happens after I apply?
The City will maintain two separate waiting lists – one for ownership units and one for rental units. When the first affordable units become available for rent or sale, a lottery will be conducted of those on the specified waiting list.

What happens after the lottery is held?
In general, eligible households with the highest lottery number will be contacted and given 24 hours to respond. If they do not want the unit or fail to respond within the 24 hours, although they will not continue to be considered for that unit at that time, they also will not be removed from the waiting list and will be notified of the next available vacancy. The lottery list will be retained for future re-rentals or re-sales, or as new units become available.

So my lottery number is picked! What’s next?
The interested household will be referred to the landlord/seller to view the unit(s) and pay an application fee, if required. The landlord may establish its own non-discriminatory criteria for tenant selection. However, such tenant selection criteria are permitted only to the extent allowed by State and Federal law, and must be the same for both affordable rental units and market rate rental units.

So I have found an affordable unit that I like – what happens next?
CGP&H will “income certify” the applicant, which involves a review of the total gross income for the upcoming 12-month period of all adult household members who will reside in the affordable unit. Gross income includes, but is not limited to: pre-tax wages, salaries, tips, commissions, alimony, overtime, pensions, social security, unemployment compensation, TANF, child support, disability, interest and dividends from assets. Child support & alimony will be calculated from decree stating amounts, whether payee is current or in arrears. All income information will be verified during the formal application process. The Manual reviews and describes all possible sources of and exclusions from – income as well as details the documents that need to be provided.

After that – For Rentals?
Once the applicant is fully income certified, the landlord is notified that it may execute a lease with the new tenant. CGP&H, as the Administrative Agent, will calculate the maximum rent allowable as permitted by the State, including lease renewals.

After that – For Sales?
Upon certification, the buyer will enter into negotiations with the seller and execute a Purchase Agreement that stipulates the terms of the closing (cost, items to be included in sale, etc.). All these terms are then set out in the Contract for Sale, the legal contract between the buyer and seller, finalizing the negotiations and setting out all material terms of the transaction. The parties then proceed to a closing whereby title to the property is transferred from seller to buyer and the affordable housing deed restriction, recapture note, and recapture mortgage are executed.

Both rental and sale units created under Hoboken’s Affordable Housing Program will be deed restricted for at least 30 years (for units required by Hoboken’s Affordable Housing Ordinance, deed restricted for 40 years) in order to ensure that the units remain affordable to low and moderate income persons wanting to live in Hoboken. While the units may be re-sold or re-leased, the affordability controls will continue to apply to the new tenants/owners. The applicant must maintain the affordable unit as their primary residence and they are not allowed to rent their home. When ownership units are sold in the future, the owner must contact CGP&H who will calculate the maximum restricted sale price and find a buyer off the waiting list.

Hoboken Green Team to Host 6th Annual Green Fair; Invites Vendors and Participants

Green Fair Hoboken
The City of Hoboken Green Team will host the 6th Annual Green Fair on Saturday, June 3, 2017 (rain date: June 4).

The 6th Annual Green Fair will be held from 11am to 4pm at Church Square Park, entering from the corner of Fourth Street and Garden Street, and will feature live music and organic food vendors. It is intended to introduce sustainable lifestyle choices to the community, raise awareness regarding environmental issues, and demonstrate how consumers can reduce their impact on the earth by selecting sustainable, eco-friendly products and services.

Green businesses or non-profits whose mission aligns with environmental sustainability are invited to participate in the Green Fair. The Green Team is also reaching out to involve the local arts community. Interested vendors can submit the online registration form at www.hobokennj.gov/greenfair and contact Jennifer Gonzalez at jgonzalez@hobokennj.gov with any questions. The final day for registration is Friday, May 26, 2017.

Update on Parking Regulations

‪Parking is now permitted on all snow emergency routes.

All parking rules are in effect except street cleaning, which will resume on Monday.

Garbage and recycling remains on the regular pickup schedule.

To report unshoveled sidewalks, use the Hoboken 311 app or visit hoboken311.com.

Community Meeting to be Held for Newark Street Corridor Improvement Project

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Mayor Dawn Zimmer invites all members of the community to a meeting to discuss proposed safety improvements to Newark Street between Willow Avenue and Jefferson Street. The meeting will take place on Thursday, February 16 at 7:00pm at the Multi Service Center, located at 124 Grand Street.

“Newark Street is a gateway corridor into Hoboken and one of the most heavily trafficked streets in our city,” said Mayor Zimmer. “Through this project, we have a chance to make the engineering changes necessary to make Newark Street safer for everyone.”

Challenges along the corridor include the roadway geometry with poor sight lines, wide pedestrian crossings, and high speed turns, frequent illegal parking on sidewalks by buses and trucks, limited pedestrian crossings, lack of bike facilities, and limited permeable surface.

Winter Storm Warning in Effect; Vehicles Parked on Snow Routes Subject to Towing

WinterStormSnow
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for our area for heavy snow from midnight tonight until 6pm on Thursday. Current forecasts call for 6 to 10 inches of snow. The City will be applying liquid salt brine today in preparation for snow. Garbage pickup remains on schedule.

Emergency Snow Routes
Drivers are reminded that vehicles parked on Emergency Snow Routes are subject to ticketing and towing when the streets are snow covered. It is anticipated that towing of vehicles will begin when snowfall begins during the overnight hours (current forecast is for snow to begin around 2am), so drivers should make sure that their vehicles are not parked on snow routes after this evening. This is necessary to move police, fire, ambulances, and snow plows throughout Hoboken in time of emergency for the safety and welfare of all our citizens. Emergency Snow Routes in Hoboken are labeled with street signs that read “No Parking When Road Is Snow Covered.” Please note that as of this year, both sides of Observer Highway between Henderson Street and Hudson Street have been designated as snow emergency routes. Temporary No Parking signs have also been posted on 12th Street between Willow Avenue and Clinton Street, the north side of 13th Street west of Clinton Street, and Jefferson Street between 14th Street and 15th Street to accommodate buses and snow removal operations.

Street Cleaning
Enforcement of alternate side parking (street cleaning) regulations will be suspended on Thursday and Friday while crews conduct snow removal operations. Street cleaning enforcement will resume on Monday, February 13.

Discounted Garage Parking
The City is providing reduced rate parking in municipal Garage B (located on 2nd Street between Hudson and River Streets) and Garage D (215 Hudson Street) beginning Wednesday, February 8th at 8:00pm through Friday, February 10th at 8:00am for $5 per 12 hour period for residents with a valid Resident parking permit or Temporary parking permit placard. In addition, Hoboken residents with disabilities who possess either a handicapped license plate or hang tag for their permitted vehicle may also park in the Midtown garage (371 4th Street) for the same reduced rate. Garage space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis, and garages will frequently fill before the discount takes effect. Regular rates will apply at other times.

Keeping Sidewalks Clear
Property owners/occupants are reminded that they have six hours after the completion of a storm to remove snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their property, along with adjoining wheelchair ramps or curb cuts. Residents are urged to assist elderly or disabled neighbors with clearing snow from their properties. It is illegal to shovel snow back onto streets or onto fire hydrants. The City is responsible for clearing sidewalks around City-owned properties.

The City performs proactive inspections and also relies on citizen complaints to help identify those property owners that are not meeting sidewalk safety requirements. The vast majority of property owners comply with these regulations, but the City will issue fines to those who do not keep sidewalks clear.

Reporting Problems
To report an unplowed street, unshoveled sidewalk, or other problem, residents can submit an online complaint via www.hoboken311.com or via the Hoboken 311 mobile application.

Hoboken Announces Tenant Advocate Office Hours for February & March

The City of Hoboken is announcing office hours for a tenant advocate for any Hoboken resident seeking advice on housing matters. Andrew Sobel, Esq. will be available during office hours, by appointment, between the hours of 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm on Thursday, February 16th, March 2nd, March 16th, and March 30th, 2017.

Any Hoboken resident wishing to attend the office hours must email (mwright@sobelhan.com) or call (973-874-5545) Mr. Sobel’s office in advance and provide a description of the issue to be discussed in order to schedule an appointment.

The location for the open office hours will be the basement conference room in City Hall at 94 Washington Street.

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