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Monday, September 22, 2014

City of Hoboken vs. Shipyard (Monarch Project) battle lines continues apace


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Monday September 22, 2014, 2:49 PM

City of Hoboken

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Community: Update on Monarch Lawsuit & County Freeholder Meeting

Dear Horsey and MSV readers:

The City of Hoboken is continuing to oppose, through a variety of means, Shipyard Associate's attempts to develop residential buildings on a waterfront pier, known as the Monarch project, in place of promised recreation amenities. In particular, the City is highly concerned about public safety issues associated with waterfront pier development from the well-documented flood hazard threats posed by major storm events such as Superstorm Sandy.

The City of Hoboken is legally challenging the Monarch project on several fronts:

1. The City is appealing to the appellate court the decision by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to approve a permit for the Monarch project.

2. The City is appealing the Superior Court’s decision regarding the Hoboken Planning Board, which rejected Shipyard’s application to amend a prior Development Agreement until all legal issues were resolved.

3. The City is fighting a lawsuit in federal court filed by Shipyard challenging the City’s flood hazard protection ordinance which bans the development of commercial and residential development on waterfront piers.

“Hoboken’s flood protection ordinance and our opposition to this project are in line with Governor Christie’s veto of state legislation that would have allowed new construction on existing piers in the Hudson River,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “We will continue to vigorously defend the City’s interests and hold developers accountable for their promises.”

County Freeholder Meeting on Monarch – Tuesday, September 23rd
Separate from the City’s legal challenge, the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders will hold a special meeting at 6:00pm on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 and vote on whether or not to uphold the Hudson County Planning Board’s denial of Shipyard’s application for the Monarch project. The meeting will take place on the 3rd floor of the Administration Building Annex located at 567 Pavonia Avenue in Jersey City. Concerned members of the community are urged to attend and voice their opinions.

Background on Monarch Lawsuit
The City of Hoboken filed suit in 2012 in order to enforce the 1997 Developer's Agreement between Shipyard, the Planning Board and the City that provided for the construction of a multi-phased, mixed use project along the waterfront, including over 1,000 residential units. According to the Agreement, Shipyard agreed to construct three tennis courts on a waterfront pier as the last phase of the development. Shipyard has financially benefited from development of more than 1,000 residential units, however in 2012, the developer unilaterally decided to abandon the public recreation improvements and replace it with two 11 story residential buildings, known as the Monarch project.