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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
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Dan L has been a staunch advocate for the historic districts. I think he was saying that while zoning provides some protection, it is not nearly the type of protection that historic districting can and does provide.

I think HR hits the nail on the head with his powerful portrayal of what we are lucky to have, and nearly lost.

Also, it bears worth repeating, the historic districts use standards relied upon by the federal, state and local governments. And although they definitely restrict what you can do to property, they are not as inflexible or rigid as they are made out to be.

Residents of a neighborhood considering historic designation should meet with local officials and preservationists. I have always told people that it entails work to get designation and to abide by it. But it is a clear positive for the neighborhood if you are willing to stick it out.

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2005/12/27 23:06
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
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DanL, are you saying we are better off relying on zoning laws and, even more shocking, zoning officials enforcing those laws? You cannot be serious when you say zoning "can address...lot coverage, density, height, curb cuts, percentage of glass, masonry, metal..."? Does this include fenestration materials, railing, cornices, painting, doors, additions--the elements that matter the most, that keep the historic fabric intact, preserved, resplendant, that the Historic Commission enforces?

Imagine if, in some nightmarish situation, that the Downtown historic districts were instead watched over by zoning officials; that no Historic Preservation Commission existed. What would we see?

Well, take a look at the Heights, Journal Square, Greenville--you get the idea. Cookie cutters, horrible addtions to houses, eyesore sidings, concrete covered car ports.

I also quote: "...note that there are beautiful brownstone blocks that have survived and been restored both in Jersey City and Hoboken that are not located in historic districts."

Have you been to the Bergen Hill area lately? One of Jersey City's finest collection of non-districted brownstones, kept intact ironically over the decades by persistant inner-city recessions, depressions, whatever one may call it...and now during the building boom we see the ugly cookie cutters going up around them. Now how is zoning protecting Bergen Hill? Are the non-districted areas in Hoboken so invulnerable, so protected by zoning law?

This thread has not "veered away from the initial questions" because the initial questions--cookie cutter infill and the loss of historic fabric as a result--relates to all of this, and more.


Posted on: 2005/12/27 22:49
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Home away from home
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The Historic District requirements/guidlines are codified into zoning. Zoning can address some of the concerns mentioned, lot coverage, density, height, curb cuts for driveways and even materials used along with percentages of glass, masonary, metal etc. However, only the Historic District ordinances can prevent (or try to prevent) tear downs. Historic District status can also provide tax credits for commerical and residential rental properties, but not owner occupried housing.

This thread has veered away from the initial questions. Regarding Historic District problems, as posted on other threads, I believe the problem to be education and communication.

With regard to tear downs and "ugly" infill housing, zoning can help, but will not be complete protection. It is not just these two family plus bonus (I call them Staten Island houses) that may be a problem but pretty much all infill architecture, subjectively, fake, cheap and crappy. Also, note that there are beautiful brownstone blocks that have survived and been restored both in Jersey City and Hoboken that are not located in historic districts.






Posted on: 2005/12/27 22:29
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Newbie
Newbie


Hear, hear, historyrules - you put it perfectly. It angers me to hear folks downplaying the importance of historic preservation, even going so far as to say that, in comparison, leveling and new construction is a better option.

My take on this? I can understand the hassles of life within a historic district - my family's home some years ago was located in one. It was sometimes a pain in the behind - we had to have a LOT of work approved before it was done - window maintenance, paint jobs, gate and fencing installation - you name it. However, I did, and still do, appreciate the fact that those houses were so diligently looked after - they were beautiful, graceful works of art, well worthy of preservation and disciplined care. They cost money to maintain appropriately, but that was part of the territory - and we gladly paid the price to live in a beautiful community - and to care for a wonderful house.

It's not an easy matter to balance out - historic homes worthy of enforced preservation standards, and a homeowner's right to maintain their property as he/she wishes... I tend to lean toward the former, but that's just my personal opinion.

Posted on: 2005/12/27 22:24
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
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Historic District Dissenters:

Let me share something:

None of you were here in the 1970s when Downtown was literally burning (like Hoboken, like the South Bronx). Elected officials did nothing--and maybe, to some degree, they were helpless since Nixon nixed urban revitalization--while entire rows of brownstones were shelled out by flames.

It sounds apocalyptic, but it is true: Owners could barely give their properties away (properties now worth a million +). So they collected big insurance bucks after torching buildings right near those who still believed, who still wanted to stay in Jersey City.

Inner-city advocates like Morris Pesin, Audrey Zapp, Ted Conrad, Thomas Stanton, Allan Bardack, J. Owen Grundy and
a few others gathered and came up with one last resort to keep the browstones standing:

National Register Historic Districts.

They saw it doing wonders for similarly stricken 19th century neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens, the Village, the Upper East Side, SOHO, etc.

And that's the story: districting saved Downtown JC, revitalized it, pulled it out of its own embers, preserved irreplaceable fabric for a few more centuries.

And now we have people saying that the districts need to go (because they are butting heads with Wrieden)? That no more should be created?

While flames are far from a threat to potential historic districts in this day and age, other equally devastating elements have arrived in the form of the bullyish, monsoon-like building boom: cranes are in full swing, ripping down Victorian mansions one by one in largely overlooked neighborhoods. (Alas, every neighborhood outside of Downtown has been largely overlooked, for many years, though now that not a single empty lot exists anymore developers are aiming greedy eyes elsewhere.)

Historic-districting an amazing (and fragile) area like Sherman Place in the JC Heights will save it from losing what makes it so spectacularly special: wrap-around porch Victorian ladies with carriage houses the size of small tenements. And that's not even mentioning the Colonials, the Federals, the Queen Annes, the Greek Revivals, the Mansard roofs.

I don't mean to sound like a romantic preservationist, a "purist" as posters have called us--but if you were around in the 1970s and witnessed the turn-around that districting brought Downtown...well, I doubt we'd hear so much whining about Wrieden and cat calls for district reversals.

Keep this in mind; let it sit there for a while:

Historic Districts in the Downtown area made it what it is today: valuable, sought-after, desirable, valuable. The pots of gold we are all sitting on did not magically appear: they were handed to us decades ago because a group of wise people could look into the future and see prosperous districts of preserved, greatly-appreciated homes.

When you complain about expensive windows, doors, railings--when you complain about the Historic Preservation Officer and the Commission he oversees--you hammer away at our distinct, intact and precious quality of life, our livelihoods, our history.

When you say that historic districts are bad because they demand strict compliance, you announce, innocently or not, that Downtown was better off when fires regularly roared in the morning hours, wiping away once-in-a-lifetime-architecture.

When you say that the Heights and other sections should not be landmarked according to time-tested standards set forth by the Secretary of the Interior, the State Historic Preservation Office and the Jersey City Historic Preservation Commission, you wave in the wrecking balls with smiling faces.

Know what the struggle was before you hurl lopsided suggestions ("Conservation" districts? Are you kidding?). Walk through the Downtown historic districts and take a good look at what we came close to losing forever before you criticize. Talk to your real estate agent about the ballooning value of your historic property before you beg to differ.

-historyrules







Posted on: 2005/12/27 22:06
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Home away from home
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Quote:

jcnative wrote:
Not to undercut my wife's volunteerism and use of the future perfect tense (?), but if it's an either/or situation between the 2-family monstrosities, and the oft-cited disorder 'historic district dementia' (DSM-IV 290.23) that friends have suffered downtown, I'll take the lesser of two evils - and choose the 2 family monstrosities...Good luck with this, but so far, as I would be, I am unconvinced, based on jclist threads and stories by homeowner friends downtown that historic districting would be able to do anything for me other than drive me to bankruptcy, violence, or suicide (not necessarily in that order)...


There, JP, a genuine dissenter. Do you really believe he's unique?

As for myself, I've made clear I am in the same boat as the Heights residents with ugly infill rampant. I have it worse in fact, without even their Historic application possibilities, since my block was obviously already deliberately left out of a historic district (the line runs through the back of my yard). I said about the revisions that I really didn't have a dog in the fight. Here I'm up to my eyeballs.

This thread started with Byrd saying " Is there ANYONE who can stop the construction of these two story box houses going up all over the heights?" Nuada inquired about Historic designation because in this town that's currently the only option. Informing us as RT did that there's ways other cities do this isn't changing the subject, just adding an answer.

Posted on: 2005/12/27 20:05
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
The main problem here is that the office is understaffed.


Josh, I must respectfully disagree with you here...the problem isn't that there isn't enough staff...the problem is that neighbourhoods that want protection aren't able to get it unless they agree with the historic district tenets. I fail to see how adding more employees to the city's payroll will alleviate this situation.

IMHO...the main problem is that there is no protection for the rest of Jersey City...the historic districts downtown are protected however blocks like Brewster's aren't protected. There must be a way to help these folks too...whether or not they choose to become a historic district.

Quote:

jcnative wrote:
...if it's an either/or situation between the 2-family monstrosities, and the oft-cited disorder 'historic district dementia' (DSM-IV 290.23) that friends have suffered downtown, I'll take the lesser of two evils - and choose the 2 family monstrosities...Good luck with this, but so far, as I would be, I am unconvinced, based on jclist threads and stories by homeowner friends downtown that historic districting would be able to do anything for me other than drive me to bankruptcy, violence, or suicide (not necessarily in that order)...


Sadly this is what I was referring to in an earlier post on this topic...the dirty laundry from downtown's historic districts have been aired for the entire city...those of us who support historic district status for our neighbourhoods are in a constant uphill battle to win support from those that are on the fence...and when a minor victory has been gained...someone (not necessarily from JCLC) that heavily supports historic districts comes along and starts telling people what they can do and can't do...and frankly, there's a longer list of can't do's than there are can do's.

I think that the JCLC needs a serious outreach programme to everyone...those that do want HD status as well as those who do not want it because there's a lot of confusion out there on both sides.

As far as Dan Wreiden...I think he does as good a job as one man can do given what he's got to work with...he's definitely overworked and underappreciated however adding more staff doesn't get to the root of the problem that originally started this thread.

Posted on: 2005/12/27 20:02
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Quote:

jcheights wrote:
I'm out of town for a few days, but PM me if you'd like. I'm plenty happy, as would my husband be, to put some legwork into this, either now, or in the Spring.
The house on Sherman being demolished makes me want to cry.


Not to undercut my wife's volunteerism and use of the future perfect tense (?), but if it's an either/or situation between the 2-family monstrosities, and the oft-cited disorder 'historic district dementia' (DSM-IV 290.23) that friends have suffered downtown, I'll take the lesser of two evils - and choose the 2 family monstrosities...Good luck with this, but so far, as I would be, I am unconvinced, based on jclist threads and stories by homeowner friends downtown that historic districting would be able to do anything for me other than drive me to bankruptcy, violence, or suicide (not necessarily in that order)...

Posted on: 2005/12/27 19:30
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
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This thread may or may not be indicative of the residents of potential historic districts in the Heights. But even here there was no opposition to mediate. The Heights residents are asking for advice on historic districts, and the same people who are trying to water down such protection in the historic districts bring up some completely unrelated concept that doesn't even exist in Jersey City into this discussion. So please forgive the undersigned for any confusion.

If there are concerns from Heights residents about historic districts, and they ask us, we'd be glad to discuss it with them. As I've said before, I recognize that there are legitimate grievances people have, largely with respect the time it takes to turn permits around.

Posted on: 2005/12/27 18:39
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
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Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
You keep talking of a "happy medium" which implies that there is some equal amounts support and opposition that needs to be mediated. The proposed reforms were overwhelmingly opposed. We live in a democracy, so people are free to keep speaking even if they lose a vote. I don't begrudge that. But at the same time, we can recognize when a debate has been had and a decision has been made.


I'm ordinarily no ally of Minnie's, but Good Lord!! Why don't you actually listen to what people say instead of putting words in their mouths! What she said was in relation to CONSERVATION DISTRICTS not the HD proposals! "Extreme" is subjective! It's like arguing about what "expensive" means.

The "happy medium" is for areas that have chosen not to apply for Historic status like RT's Lincoln Park, but would still like some protection for their neighborhood. why is this such a difficult concept for you? I'm sure you can be a wonderful ally, but you seem committed to making sure your way is the only way.

Posted on: 2005/12/27 18:03
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
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Quote:

Minnie wrote:
More people would be in favor of adding new historic districts and would go all out and fight for them if it wasn't so extreme!

Conservation districts is a good place to start. It just takes a few open minds to sit down and research it and find out what these other communites think about it, perhaps as a happy medium, instead of deciding for them that it's out of the question.

I'm not too polite, Josh... that person was me. I contacted you directly to ask if the Landmarks Conservancy is concerned with historic parks or just structures and NOBODY from the Landmarks Conservancy was professional enough to get back to me to express their concerns. The bottom line is the Landmarks Conservancy chose to not be involved with a historic (landmarked) park... but blame it on internal politics, if it pleases you.




Again, not much is extreme about the historic districts. The main problem here is that the office is understaffed.

You keep talking of a "happy medium" which implies that there is some equal amounts support and opposition that needs to be mediated. The proposed reforms were overwhelmingly opposed. We live in a democracy, so people are free to keep speaking even if they lose a vote. I don't begrudge that. But at the same time, we can recognize when a debate has been had and a decision has been made.

You actually contacted John Gomez, not me, but that's ok. I did in fact respond. Ultimately we did not take your side, although we did not oppose your efforts either.

Posted on: 2005/12/27 17:19
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
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More people would be in favor of adding new historic districts and would go all out and fight for them if it wasn't so extreme!

Conservation districts is a good place to start. It just takes a few open minds to sit down and research it and find out what these other communites think about it, perhaps as a happy medium, instead of deciding for them that it's out of the question.

I'm not too polite, Josh... that person was me. I contacted you directly to ask if the Landmarks Conservancy is concerned with historic parks or just structures and NOBODY from the Landmarks Conservancy was professional enough to get back to me to express their concerns. The bottom line is the Landmarks Conservancy chose to not be involved with a historic (landmarked) park... but blame it on internal politics, if it pleases you.



Posted on: 2005/12/27 16:23
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Quote:

JPhurst wrote:

As I pointed out, a "Conservation District" ordinance may have some use when there is a desire to keep a certain asethetic, but not the mass of historic buildings needed for district status. There are plenty of neighborhoods in the Heights however, that would qualify for historic district status if the residents actually wanted it.


This is the whole point of a conservation district...while not nearly as encompassing as historic district status would be, it does regulate the type of building design that can be added to a neighbourhood.

As for my personal opinion...I prefer the Historic District status however not everyone wants to live in a historic district...this does not mean that they care less about the type of development happening in their neighbourhoods. A conservation district would help to regulate these ugly 2 family white brick houses...they neither fit into the neighbourhoods nor do they accentuate any of the pre-existing architecture. All they do is hammer another nail in the coffin of neighbourhoods that are trying to maintain their charm and character.

I only offered up what Dallas does because there may be some way balance the needs of the neighbourhoods with the desire to protect our history. It is not and should not be seen as a replacement for Historic District status...perhaps though it could be used as the first step in the process of becoming a historic district. Certainly, there must be a happy medium in all this mess.

I have no beef with JCLC...I support them and what they're trying to accomplish however many parts of Jersey City (including my former Lincoln Park neighbourhood) are totally shut out from any sort of protection from these rabid developers because we are not a designated historic district...even though we are eligible to become one...problem is...and JCLC should acknowledge this...people are terrified by what living in a HD means...seeing as how some of the downtown districts' dirty laundry (such as just trying to get a simple repair done to a door, replacing leaky windows or God forbid...paint their home) has been so publicly aired here on this forum and elsewhere. There's a time and place for rules and guidelines however when they're shoved down people's throats, there's bound to be a backlash.

As for the city providing aesthetic guidelines through zoning and planning boards...that's a laugh...we are still talking about Jersey City, right???

Posted on: 2005/12/27 16:00
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Re: Mrs. Maria Skupien................
Newbie
Newbie


Thank you so much for your kind words about our Grandmother! My name is Michele and we used to live right next door to her at 281 Pavonia(a while ago). When I heard about everyone, even people who didn't know her,
writing such nice things about her, I had to log on and thank
everyone! She touched us all in one way or another, whether it was with her beautiful garden or a smile and a kind hello. On behalf of our whole family, we thank you and everyone who offer their prayers.

Posted on: 2005/12/27 15:32
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Home away from home
Home away from home


Brewster, I don't disagree with you. My point was just that if the Heights communities are looking for such designation, they should go for it! It is not an overnight process, but it is certainly do-able. Certainly easier than lobbying to pass an entirely new ordinance, then seek designation under such an ordinance.

As I pointed out, a "Conservation District" ordinance may have some use when there is a desire to keep a certain asethetic, but not the mass of historic buildings needed for district status. There are plenty of neighborhoods in the Heights however, that would qualify for historic district status if the residents actually wanted it.

Another note. Historic protection aside, cities can incorporate aesthetic guidelines into local zoning and planning board rules.

Posted on: 2005/12/27 15:07
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
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Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
Apparently we cannot have a discussion on historic preservation on jclist without the same three or four people hijacking each and every thread to repeatedly vent the same grievances they have against the current HP Commission and Staff.


I will agree that Minnie's post was certainly thread hijacking, but the topic from the top of this thread was how to affect the crappy redevelopment of non historic district areas. Your defending the validity of the historic ordinance here is a non-sequiter. These areas aren't covered and for the most part aren't likely to be. So why attack the idea of a lesser zoning overlay more appropriate, yet protective of their fabric?

No one in this thread has suggested replacing current Historic Districts with a "Conservation District". The proposed revisions are another topic in a another thread, in my opinion.

Posted on: 2005/12/27 14:55
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Rules aren't exclusive to "historic districts." When I lived in Oro Valley, AZ (outside Tucson), my house was in a new subdivision (built circa 1990-95)...but I could only paint the exterior in one of 6 shades (all tan), wood trim could be in one of three shades (of brown), the concrete driveway had to be "natural" (it could not be stained in any way), etc., etc. This was all spelled out, in minute detail, in the CCRs (Codes, Covenants, Restrictions) which, by law, every home buyer had to receive before closing. Most never read the document. I know because I sat on the HOA board and was amazed that people hadn't even taken the time to learn the basics. Anyway...rules per se aren't bad. They can be enforced badly. But the idea of regulating a community's look isn't bad.

Posted on: 2005/12/27 14:44
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Home away from home
Home away from home


Apparently we cannot have a discussion on historic preservation on jclist without the same three or four people hijacking each and every thread to repeatedly vent the same grievances they have against the current HP Commission and Staff.

As noted in other threads, the current HP guidelines are not "purist." They allow, for example, and individual to use modern design for features, so long as they distinguish themselves from the original and do not try to create a fake historic look. There are other exceptions as well. For example, builders can add on stories so long as they are appropriately set back (and in compliance with other existing zoning). For all the talk of "purists" the ordinance is not that rigid.

With respect to "Conservation Districts." These are a relatively rare and recent creation. They may have their purpose in some instances. For example, a neighborhood may want to have houses designed in accordance with a particular aesthetic, but may not have the actual housing stock to create the critical mass for a historic district.

I will say that, given the prior complaints from those opposed to the current ordinance, the overnight support for "Conservation Districts" is somewhat puzzling. Previously, we were told that the guidelines for historic distrcits were too vague. The Conservation district is even vaguer, and is for the most part infinitely malleable from district to district. The historic guidelines provide standards which while subject to interpretation, are relatively clear.

In addition, it is worth noting that conservation districts are not eligible for tax credits, while historic districts are. The opponents of the current ordinance were asking for a change that would have prohibited any restriction on renovation UNLESS tax credits or other financial incentives were offered (which would have been impossible, given that their revised guidelines were in some cases not in accordance with federal and state standards).

Ultimately, the Conservation District is a red herring, as what was proposed as "reform" here in Jersey City was nothing at all like it.

Finally, although far, far, far off topic, I must respond to the allegation that JCLC is being hypocritical for not taking a more active role in Hamilton Park and questions about preservation. We support the current ordinance, and will draw attention to particular landmark campaigns, but we do not want to get involved in micromanagement of individual restorations, nor do we want to interfere with community input into matters such as the Hamilton Park renovation. Several posters have accused us and other preservationists of trying to impose our beliefs on members of the community. What's funny about this is that one of these posters had personally contacted us in an attempt to intervene in the Hamilton Park renovation because it was being done the wrong way. Although we expressed our concern, we did not take any action because it became clear that this person was trying to involve us in an internal political dispute within the HPNA. I could embarass this person by calling them out, but instead I'll be polite......

.....at least for now.

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2005/12/27 14:29
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Obviously, yes, some folks take these things to an extreme...but their's is a good counterweight against the folks who seem bent on covering JC with a sea of those damnable white-brick two stories!

I'm wondering...if enough people shout about the "bonus" apartments, does that destroy the economics of these monstrosities?

Posted on: 2005/12/27 13:15
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Home away from home
Home away from home


Last summer, somebody on this site complained that we used non-period plantings, such as annual impatience when we created the new community gardens. This same 'purist' didn't seem to notice that on their visit to the park to examine the new gardens that many other things, such as the (3) ball courts, playground, finials on the fence (there are 3 different finials) and even the gazebo were not here originally. Give me a break!

It seems that a park located in the historic district receives a waiver from historic preservation while the rest of us that own homes around the park get the third degree! Doesn't make sense to me. Where is the incentive for me to keep my home looking historically appropriate when the one-time Victorian park in front of my home is continually bastardized?

I have heard about plans to move the asphalt basketball court from it's current location up further on Ninth Street and put it in front of the Hamilton Park Condominiums to appease the developer (Exeter) who doesn't want it in front of his new condo project on McWilliams. What do the purist' have to say about this? And what is the neighborhood association going to do about it?

I support the 'conservation district' ideas and would like to see our politicians research this and learn what is happening in other towns around the country.


Posted on: 2005/12/27 11:01
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Re: Mapping Crime in Ward E - Steven Fulop
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


I am glad the feedback was generally positive and I will certainly continue month over month as a tool for downtown. It is important that you use more transparent information to become more vocal in community group settings when the police are present. The more involved and aware you are the safer downtown will be

Per your inquiries/suggestions:

1) Including Time: As I ask for the data going forward I will request detail around time of incident. I think this is a solid suggestion. (I usually get the previous month’s data from the police mid month)

2) Missing Data: If there is data that appears to be missing (for example on Bright Street) I will follow up with the police as to why this was not included in this info. Please e-mail me and point out the incidents. This is the data that is provided to me by the police department and if there are instances that appear to be missing this is obviously concerning. The only data that is deliberately vague is home break-ins. This was done in order to keep the individual’s home anonymous - we mapped it to the block instead of listing the exact individuals home however the number of incidents should be exact

3) The Beacon is not in Ward E. It is on the border but voters in this complex are not part of Ward E

4) Is the site open architecture? Per Pablo who designed the site I believe it is.

5) Police on the beat –I unfortunately don’t have any say at all over policing schedules, strategies, or rank, and in fairness three months is not enough time to really access trends just yet but we will get there. To me, in honesty, even though relatively speaking we have less crime than the rest of the city it does seem like there has been an increase even for us and it is very concerning. I’ll be looking to discuss what can be done together with Captain McDonough (who is a solid resource) in early January.

Have a happy and safe new years and If you have thoughts or suggestions please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at fulops@jcnj.org

Steve

Posted on: 2005/12/27 9:49
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Josh, I'm back in town in May. Please PM me if you'd like a volunteer to help out for the May tour of the Heights.

Posted on: 2005/12/27 8:50
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Why don't we work as a group on this?? I suggest the Heights people get together, split the work, and report these illegal apartments. And those cut aways are going on many of the new constructions, too--also probably illegal.

I'm out of town for a few days, but PM me if you'd like. I'm plenty happy, as would my husband be, to put some legwork into this, either now, or in the Spring.

The house on Sherman being demolished makes me want to cry.

Posted on: 2005/12/27 8:47
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Home away from home
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Quote:

Roaring20s wrote:
Had Jersey City the gumption to have a similar type of conservation district, Lincoln Park as well as other neighbourhoods could be protected...but because we don't subscribe to purist ideals, we're left buck naked for exploitation.


Actually, I don't think my block on 7th DESERVES exalted "Historic District" status, even if I was as purist as Mr. Parkhurst! With 7 empty lots when we moved here, it ain't no showcase even though it has some of the oldest houses in the area. But it deserved better than to have 2 hideous white brick, setback 2 families stuck between 3 impressive 4 floor corniced bricks, like poodles among mastiffs.

A "conservation district" zoning could help heal blocks like mine back to former glory, instead of ignoring them like Historic did, cutting cleanly around it. I believe there's plenty of other blocks in JC similarly distressed, but getting no help from indifferent zoning.

Posted on: 2005/12/27 0:43
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
If you're going to go through the work of preserving the neighborhood, go for the real deal. The Conservancy is happy to support such efforts.


I would think that the Landmarks Conservancy would support ANY effort that helped to preserve the fabric of the neighbourhoods, whether it was for a Historic District or not.

What kills me over and over again is that the purists in the preservation movement don't understand that not everyone wants to be a historic district but definitely supports protecting their neighbourhoods from the developers that are ruining our areas.

I lived in the Lincoln Park neighbourhood for 6 years and worked diligently to educate the masses about the benefits of becoming a historic district. However, over and over again, everytime I would win a minor battle, some purist would come in and ruin the whole thing and erode any support that I'd managed to gain for LP becoming a Historic District.

As I told one of my purist neighbours one day after he commented negatively on a fountain in the front yard that wasn't original to my house...you need to remove all your electricity and indoor plumbing before you start critisicing others...you're home didn't have indoor plumbing or lights when it was built...remove them and then tell others what to do.

I support historic districts but I flat refuse to live in a time capsule! Had Jersey City the gumption to have a similar type of conservation district, Lincoln Park as well as other neighbourhoods could be protected...but because we don't subscribe to purist ideals, we're left buck naked for exploitation.

Posted on: 2005/12/26 22:59
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
If you're going to go through the work of preserving the neighborhood, go for the real deal. The Conservancy is happy to support such efforts.


Unfortunately, making the only option to be a full blown "Historic District" may be why there is so little under protection in JC at large. From reading this thread, what people are reacting to is contemporary style infill in a period neighborhood, which is exactly what Historic designation would require!! They would likely be perfectly happy with what you disdainfully call "theme park" type preservation, calling for period looking infill and features without being precious about it.

Such a "Conservation District" would probably get far more support and be extended to more contiguous areas of JC, rather than a few patches worthy of the museum treatment. Your way is NOT the only way, which if you bothered to read the Dallas documents you would see. I'm sure plenty of other cities have a multitiered approach. "All or nothing" has done exactly nothing for the rest of JC, or even the downtowners outside the districts.

Posted on: 2005/12/26 22:12
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Home away from home
Home away from home


If neighborhood residents are willing to commit the time and effort toward historic designation, it is an excellent idea.

As you may have seen in this and other threads, there will always be some people who claim that the historic designation is too onerous.

The real problem here is for the most part a lack of manpower and resources from the city, as there is only one Historic Preservation Officer for all of Jersey City. If enough Jersey City residents express a strong desire for historic preservation, however, this can be changed.

The guidelines themselves are not the problem. Although I cannot speak for the specifics of a proposed "Conservation District," the various proposals that were made to water down the Jersey City ordinance would have 1) essentially made compliance voluntary, and 2) created guidelines that would allow for "theme park" type preservation.

If you're going to go through the work of preserving the neighborhood, go for the real deal. The Conservancy is happy to support such efforts.

We plan to lead at least one tour of Jersey City Heights during preservation month (May, 2006) and, if the community expresses enough interest, can organize more such tours and events.

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2005/12/26 20:43
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Quote:

brewster wrote:
Yup, that's it EXACTLY!!

Too many times governments large and small act like nothing exists beyond their borders as examples of other approaches to problems.


If you haven't already, check out the .pdf file at the bottom (Introductory Packet) of the page. It has a lot of info and FAQs that would be useful when trying to comprehend the difference between a historic district and a conservation district.

Posted on: 2005/12/26 14:18
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

Roaring20s wrote:

Here in Dallas we have what is termed "Conservation Districts" that are basically the Historic District Lite that you mentioned. Perhaps Jersey City should look into creating similar type conservation districts.

For info on them you can look here:
Dallas Conservation District


Yup, that's it EXACTLY!!

Too many times governments large and small act like nothing exists beyond their borders as examples of other approaches to problems.

Posted on: 2005/12/26 14:02
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Re: Those New construction 2 Families
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Quote:

brewster wrote:
Be careful what you wish for, in Hamilton Park Historic District there's plenty of disgruntled homeowners who believe some of the rules or their application are hurting more than helping. How does $2000 per new window sound to you?

As I also live outside a historic district, I wish there was some designation of "historic lite". Not the anal restrictive museum preservation of the current districts, but a design guideline like many cities have. Things like: historic color bricks (no white, etc), no chain link fences, flat roofs in a row of flat roof town houses, no dish antennas visible from the street and some review of teardowns. I'm sure anyone can come up with more.

There should be a middle ground between the absolutes of the Districts and the "anything goes" outside them. If Santa Barbara can require red tile roofs as a matter of design code, JC can surely have some aesthetic codes too.

FWIW, I said as much to Mariano Vega years ago and his only response was "extend the historic district". So don't look to the Council for vision.


Here in Dallas we have what is termed "Conservation Districts" that are basically the Historic District Lite that you mentioned. Perhaps Jersey City should look into creating similar type conservation districts.

For info on them you can look here:
Dallas Conservation District

Perhaps someone there with the time and energy to fight for such a district in JC can make a real difference so these grand old houses that are becoming an increasingly scarce commodity can be better preserved and the historic fabric of the neighbourhoods can be preserved.

Edited to add: A similar type conservation district may be far more palatable to those homeowners who do not wish to live by the encumbrances that living in a historic district can bestow but still wish to protect their neighbourhoods.

Posted on: 2005/12/26 13:28
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