Re: Front fence Hamilton Park

Posted by Bamb00zle on 2017/6/28 18:12:00

jc_dweller wrote:

Legal interpretations go on to say that Commissions must deal with the question of "whether a particular proposed alteration or construction blends aesthetically with existing buildings in the vicinity in order to retain the character of the particular streetscape." That is why it matters, and why the Commission is allowed to regulate, what kind of fence goes up.

Since your attempt at obfuscation was 100% wrong last time, I have every reason to doubt your opinion now. Thanks for the opportunity to provide additional clarity.

The MLUL permits the City to compel preservation, but only in designated historic districts, and only to clearly articulated standards. It is plainly apparent only those things that exist presently can be preserved. Conversely, something that does not presently exist cannot be preserved. It might be “recreated”, or “reproduced” or "replicated", but those activities are NOT preservation. You'll find clear definitions in the Secretary of the Interior Standards and Guidelines you were prepared to rely on previously.

So, it is the present character and appearance of a historic district that must be preserved. If something was legally destroyed or removed before historic district designation then the HPO and HPC DO NOT have the legal authority to compel replacement. Therein is the reason that modern infill buildings which not replicas of old buildings are permitted. By the same reasoning, a front fence does not need to be an exact “recreation” of a late 19th century original, if the original fence doesn't still exist. In fact, the Ordinance explicitly discourages “recreating” fake replicas. Such work should be undertaken only under certain narrowly defined conditions. The language in the JC Code at 345-71, G. 1. is abundantly clear in stating:

Standards for Reconstruction.
Reconstruction of a part or all of a property shall be undertaken only when such work is essential to reproduce a significant missing feature in a historic district or site, and when a contemporary design solution is not acceptable.”

Yes, things need to be sympathetic with the scale and appearance of the neighborhood, but the MLUL does not allow the HPO or HPC to compel anything other than historic preservation. If a neighborhood already has non-historic items, that is the present state and character, not some non-existent 19th Century dream-world. People don't have to rebuild outhouses in historic districts, so deviations from the original historic appearance are clearly permissible.

In respect of Historic Preservation activities the City must regulate in a manner that is compliant with the powers allowed it under the MLUL. Demands by the HPO and HPC for the “recreation” or "reconstruction” or “replication” of features that were legally removed or destroyed in the past prior to historic designation go way beyond their limited legal authority to regulate "preservation".

Perhaps the candidates for Mayor, and the other candidate up for election this November would undertake to ensure that the HPO and HPC adhere to state law. I'm sure it will enhance their chances for success as Mr. Gadsen's election victory last year against Steve Fulop's hand-picked, city attorney candidate showed.

The good folk of Jersey City are over the heavy-handed abuse of these regulations. And they need to be on the look out - last I heard the City was trying to turn Astor Place into another Historic District.

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