Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: 'No vote tonight on Stevens upzoning'

Official release:

 
Dear friends and neighbors:  
Tonight (7/25) at 7pm we are having a Special Meeting of the City Council.  A point of clarity that we were made aware of today about tonight's meeting:
  • We will not be voting on the ordinance in the form originally heard on 1st reading by the City Council on 7/11.
  • We will also not be voting on any amended version of the ordinance tonight either. 
 
I am told that we will be hearing from the City and Stevens on the proposed zoning changes and the council and the public will be allowed to ask questions of the administration and Stevens representatives.  Amendments that have been discussed between the Administration, Stevens and members of City Council will be raised and recommended - these include the height reduction in the edge zone from 200' to 160' and the reduction in building in the new CPT zone, as I previously mentioned.   
 
A vote on the ordinance will take place at another meeting subject to official notice.
 
If you cannot make in person tonight, you can watch online HERE.  I am told there will be a new button to click at the top of the page that will only be available when the meeting is live.  We are expected to add Facebook Live coverage at the 8/1 meeting.
 
As mentioned previously, we are hoping to have the 1st reading of an ordinance codifying the Master Plan Re-Exam recommendations for the Waterfront Area including the Stevens owned parcels at the 8/1 meeting.  Effectively the re-exam recommended that the entire area be limited to recreational uses only, except for maritime educational purposes.  Codifying this sooner than later is also in response to feedback we received from residents expressing concerns about locking in plans for our waterfront in conjunction with the Stevens re-zoning.
 
Also, I wanted to let you know that I will only be at tonight's Special Meeting for the first hour.  
 
I had a conflict tonight from 7-9pm that I was going to miss altogether, but given there is now not going to be a vote tonight, I will attend for the first hour but will leave just before 8 to attend my other meeting for the second half of it.  What I will miss is the presentation from our Hoboken Parking Utility Director Ryan Sharp on new plans for the HPU that are pretty interesting for the City.  I have seen the presentation in subcommittee already and am very much looking forward to hearing your feedback.  
As always, feel free to reach out if you want to discuss further by email or by phone 201/208-1674.
 
TiffanieFisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
 
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”

Councilman Peter Cunningham: On the Stevens rezoning plan

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors,  

​At our last City Council meeting, we were to vote on a final "master plan" as introduced by Stevens and approved by the City's Planning Board.  At my urging the City Council collectively felt the Community needed a better opportunity to hear and see the plan as introduced.  Given the importance of this plan, like others the City Council has regularly hosted, a presentation to the Community at large provides for a ​better look and feel for these important large scale undertakings.  And they are videotaped too.  We hosted the same for the railyards and post office hotel project to name a few.  

Thanks to Councilwomen Giattino and ​Fisher for their detailed communications to constituents and community meetings, concerns over "views" of the City and height around the edges of Steven's campus were heard, and Stevens revised their plan - again. 

Stevens and the Administration will present ​the revised plan at a special council meeting to​night, July 25 at 7pm, Council Chambers.

The agenda for the meeting will be:
1 .City and Stevens present and explain the process to date
2. Public comments
3. City and Stevens respond to public comments 
4. Vote on University Zone ordinance for first reading
5. Presentation on Parking Utility Plan 21


Please pass on to your neighbors and friends, and let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks, Peter​
 cunninghamforhoboken@gmail.com


Ravi comes out

Mayor Ravi Bhalla who had been silent with the Hoboken public on the proposed massive Stevens rezoning (or redevelopment plans) before the City Council, came out in favor this week.

With tonight's vote likely to see the necessary five votes for passage on first reading, a second meeting to follow shortly in August will very likely see Stevens obtain approval.

For many of those of you with skyline views in central and west Hoboken to the Empire State Building, kiss them goodbye. As for infrastructure, traffic or other enviornmental impact, there will be no official review.

This is Hoboken.


via GIPHY



Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher on Stevens rezoning special council meeting tonight

Official release:




Special Council Meeting Wednesday Night
The City Council will be suspending its vote on 2nd reading for the prior version of the ordinance.  A revised ordinance for 1st reading will be introduced.  Additionally, Stevens will also be there presenting on its Strategic Plan, its anticipated new dorm and student center, and the zoning changes.  
Since the prior meeting, the City Council has worked with the Administration and Stevens to address the concerns that many residents raised once they became aware after reading my email of the scale of the changes being proposed in the prior version of the University Zone ordinance.  Among others, these included the overall height and density added to the “Edge zone” and the additional density on the north side of the campus, adjacent to the residential areas and Elysian Park.  
The new proposed ordinance that will be introduced tomorrow (7/25), in its current form, has been changed as follows:
  • The height of future buildings on the “Edge” other than the new Student Center (225’), will reduce from 200 feet to 160 feet.  
  • A new subzone will be added for the area to the north that abuts Castle Point Terrace and Elysian Park and this area will now limit structures to not higher than 13’ and to limit uses to accessory uses, athletic structures and surface parking.
Additionally, although we will not be addressing at the Special Meeting, we are hoping to also have the 1st reading of an ordinance codifying the Master Plan Re-Exam recommendations for the Waterfront Area adjacent to Stevens at the 8/1 meeting.  Effectively the re-exam recommended that the entire area be limited to recreational uses only, except for maritime educational purposes.  Codifying this sooner than later is also in response to feedback we received from residents expressing concerns about locking in plans for our waterfront in conjunction with the Stevens upzoning.
I would encourage everyone to tune in to the City Council meeting to see and hear about Stevens’ strategic plan.  I know that I have been critical about the up-zoning, and to be honest, I am still not yet comfortable with the added density in the Edge zone without visibility on what will be planned for that area and the potential impact to Hoboken.  But I am a huge fan of Stevens and having them in our town.  And my concerns mainly stemmed from the lack of any meaningful public inclusion in the process to better understand their plans, and the proposed changes in zoning.  Unfortunately, a typical Hoboken practice (that we continue to work to change).  Fortunately, being fixed with Stevens presentation tomorrow night!  Tune in and I know you will appreciate their presence in our community as much as I do!
Finally, last night Mayor Bhalla sent us the City Council the attached memo underscoring his support for the revised ordinance that will be introduced tomorrow night.   This is really a big deal for Hoboken in many ways.  It is the first major zoning change we have made in a while and represents the first codification of the recommendations from the Master Plan Re-Exam that was just recently approved by our Planning Board in June.   
There are still some conversations being had about further changes, but if any, they would be minor.  I welcome any thoughts that you may have.  And I want all of you to know that I am hugely appreciative of all of your feedback you have provided so far and ALL of it (whether 100% supportive or with some suggested changes) has contributed to the changes that have been proposed in this new version of the ordinance.  
As always, feel free to reach out if you want to discuss further by email or by phone 201/208-1674.
TiffanieFisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”