Message from Mayor Zimmer Regarding Plans to Continue Fighting Monarch Litigation Despite Today’s Court Setback
Today the NJ Appellate Division unfortunately decided in favor of the Shipyard Developer, ruling against the City regarding the Monarch Shipyard development agreement and the City and County Planning Board’s actions.
Despite this setback, I am directing our legal team to continue the legal battle by requesting certification from the Supreme Court to hear this matter.
Now that this decision has been made, the case regarding the City’s flood prevention ordinance will move forward beginning at the Superior Court level. This legislation, approved by the City Council after Superstorm Sandy, prohibits residential development on the garden/ground level in all flood zones in our City and generally prohibits residential and commercial development on our City’s waterfront. This legislation was unanimously approved by the City Council in 2013 to protect the public safety of future residents and to protect our public safety team which would have to respond in a dangerous situation when another superstorm hits Hoboken. Shipyard’s litigation claims that this legislation should not apply to their proposed waterfront development project.
Making rescues on a pier in the middle of another superstorm will be dangerous for the first responders and the residents of the buildings, and the City will fight for our right to protect lives as we face the impact of climate change. Science shows that Hoboken is unfortunately at risk of another Sandy-like storm given the impact of climate change and rising sea levels.
This flood prevention ordinance legal case is at the beginning stage, as the Superior Court judge determined that the other legal decisions needed to be made before the flood prevention ordinance could be heard. Given the track record of the other cases, it could take a long time for this matter to make its way through the court system. Our legal team is actively preparing to vigilantly defend this case.
With the understanding that it would be a challenge for the City to prevail in this litigation, last year my Administration put forward a proposed settlement that would stop the Monarch project and give the City ownership of the pier in exchange for settlement of development litigation at 800 Monroe. I want to make clear that based on strong community feedback and the City Council’s unanimous decision last year to reject the proposed settlement, my Administration is not willing to consider a settlement that would link the two development cases and force a neighborhood in western Hoboken to take on more development. I fully recognize that a settlement that adds density to the western side of the city would not be fair.
The City won the 800 Monroe development case at the Superior Court and is continuing to fight that case in the Appellate court.
Talking Ed Note: This is extremely bad news for the City of Hoboken, the Hoboken Planning Board, County Planning Board and Hoboken residents.
The Barry Brothers can take a bow. How much greed and double-dealing on an agreement to build in northeast Hoboken is it worth to you?