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Re: Need Help With Oil Tank Removal - Recommendations?
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Here's some information that might help you ask the right questions to potential contractors


http://www.epa.gov/swerust1/faqs/index.htm

Posted on: 2006/3/27 17:59
Yes,we have no bananas.
(Silver & Cohn, 1923)
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Re: JC Abbott School Program to Lose 6M from State - taxpayers to bear larger share.
Home away from home
Home away from home


I agree and think that maybe the state should just eliminate Abbot funding for municipalities that randomly hand out tax abatements in prime locations.

Posted on: 2006/3/27 14:01
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Re: Need Help With Oil Tank Removal - Recommendations?
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


In our case the person selling the house had to do the removal. I don't remember offhand what company did it but I have the information at home. I had the tank inspected by ATS. Our situation involved a leaky tank, which we thankfully found out about before we closed on the property. Since the tank leaked they had to remove not only the tank but all of the contaminated soil too. The final bill for that, including the instillation of an above ground tank, was about $16,000. PM me with your contact info and I can send you a breakdown if you'd like.

Regardless of whether the tank is leaky or not I would have it entirely removed, rather than just filled, otherwise it will be a headache when you sell the house.

Posted on: 2006/3/27 13:36
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Re: Need Help With Oil Tank Removal - Recommendations?
Home away from home
Home away from home


I used US Tanks (732-961-2057, Howell, NJ) but I think they only do foam fills for abandonment, not removal. For a 1000 gallon tank it cost $1200 including permit, plus $120 to pump out any quantity of old oil -- required if more than 2" of oil is in the tank.

A neighbor recommended Anco Environmental (908-464-9200, 35 Russo Place, Berkeley Heights, http://www.ancoenv.com/ ). For a 1000 gallon tank, they quoted $1150 for sand fill, $1300 for removal, or $1450 for foam fill -- prices do not include permit, which is $100-$200, or oil removal at $0.75 per gallon.

Prices are from a couple years back.

Posted on: 2006/3/27 12:03
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Re: JC Abbott School Program to Lose 6M from State - taxpayers to bear larger share.
Home away from home
Home away from home


I posted this on another thread, but it seems this is the one that's getting traction.

So I am posting it again...



Well folks...it's time to pay the piper; and this is just the beginning I suspect.

As I've been saying, over and over again, to anyone who knows me and will listen, the state of New Jersey is not going to continue to pay for nearly all of the costs of running Jersey City schools forever.

Now that we have reached the point where Goldman Sachs, Donald Trump, The Athena Group and the rest of the big name developers who are likely lining up to build large scale projects in Jersey City have come to town, it is only logical that those people who do not live in Jersey City will start questioning why they are spending their tax dollars to pay for schools that are no where near their homes. When this occurs, it will be the property owners in Jersey City who will be left to pick up the tab. Unfortunately, the people who are living in the developments that will likely tip the scale towards lower school funding by the State of New Jersey won't have to foot the bill.

Yes...this is going to be an all out rant against PILOTs. As the city government is handing out PILOTs to large developers like candy, the state is getting itchy about having to overwhelmingly support the school system in Jersey City. Now I understand that what is occurring now is not the revolt I am talking about. I realize they are not cutting funding as much as they are freezing it, but I would wager anything that this is simply the firing of the first shot.

From this point on, every time the state gets into financial troubles, it is going to look mighty attractive to let the property owners of Jersey City foot more and more of their own school cost. And mark my words, eventually those people who don't live anywhere even close to Jersey City are eventually going to force the state legislative body to reconsider funding schools in a city that is known as the Gold Coast.

The thing is, we cannot blame those on the state level. Ultimately, we have only ourselves to blame. It is us who continues to elect council members who repeatedly vote to hand out PILOTs to large developers on or near the waterfront. It is our own city government who is selling us down the river.

One of the problems is that I believe most people do not truly understand the issue. First of all, I'm not sure that many of us even know there is a difference between and "abatement" and a PILOT program. For this reason, let me explain to the best of my knowledge.

The "normal" property taxes we pay are divided three ways. I will admit that I do not know the percentages off hand, but I do know that the city gets the largest portion of the tax bill and the rest is divided up between the local school system and Hudson County.

Now the city, by law, can give people property tax breaks; and they can do this in one of two ways. The first way is by granting a tax abatement. A tax abatement is a discount (usually 30%) given to people who make significant improvements to their property or to small scale new construction. Abatements are a tool to encourage "the little guy" to improve their property, thus improving the overall area where that property is located. Tax abatements are generally for a term of 5 years and the moneys collected are divided amongst the three entities using the same percentages that are used for all property taxes in Jersey City. Just as a point of full disclosure, my condo unit has a 5 year abatement.

The other way that the city can give a tax break is through a PILOT program. PILOTs are not taxes, however. They are Payments In Liu of Taxes.

PILOTs are handed out to large developers (such as Trump) within a redevelopment zone. Because they are not technically taxes, they do not have to be divided up between the city, the schools and the county. The city of Jersey City gets essentially all of the monies collected from PILOTs. So since the city is not having to "share" the money, even though the rate is substantially lower than the standard property tax rate, the city ends up with more money in the end.

When looked at this way, it is very easy to see why the City Council could become addicted to PILOTs. Essentially they are like crack cocaine. They are a quick fix. It's immediate gratification. Unfortunately, the whole thing is devoid of reality.

Since all of these new units coming on line have or will have PILOTs (and we are talking numbers in the thousands) they will not be participating in the property tax increases that will need to be implemented because Jersey City residents must now foot a larger portion of school costs. That burden is going to fall onto the rest of us.

Admittedly, I am benefiting from an abatement at the moment so I will get a small break in all of this, but my abatement will end in a couple of years. Those owners who live in a property with a PILOT get out of the burden for 20 years or more. Twenty years is a long time folks.

Now I’m not completely against PILOTs. The original purpose of them was as a tool for city governments to encourage redevelopment in blighted areas. Let’s face it; we still have many areas of the city that fall in that category. So I wasn’t particularly upset when The Beacon got a PILOT. I will fully support the developers of the new project in Journal Square when and if they ask for one. I think they should be used to encourage redevelopment around Jersey City University and in the entire Greenville section of the city. I cannot, however, support any more of these things being giving out anywhere in downtown or even on the “west coast” of the city. These areas are already attractive to development and the big name developers who have the resources to take these sights on. They don’t need incentives. They’re building now simply because they think they can make money.

The time has come for all of us to wake up and begin demanding that our council members stop taking the easy way out thus mortgaging our (as well as our children and grandchildren's) futures because it is easier to hand out a PILOT than it is to do the hard work of living within our means. Those people who can afford to pay half a million dollars or more for a condo unit need to be participating in all forms of the tax burdens just like everyone else. As it stands now, and with the majority of the City Council members thinking that there is no need to stop their habit, the average tax payer in Jersey City is going to get really screwed.

What we need is an intervention and we need it quickly. The piper is going to want far more in payment then what's being demanded at the moment. That's a guarantee.

Posted on: 2006/3/27 11:19
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Re: JC Abbott School Program to Lose 6M from State - taxpayers to bear larger share.
Home away from home
Home away from home


The Abbott decision does not transfer money from town to town. Abbott funds come from the state and the various ways in which it raises revenue. To the extent that wealthier towns have wealthier residents that pay more in income tax, there is that subsidy. But no property taxes go to the state. And it can work the other way too, since more regressive taxes (such as sales taxes) play a role as well.

John Galt is referring to the Mount Laurel decision. Mount Laurel basicly said that it is not permissible for towns to exclude, via zoning, the development of affordable housing and that each town had to allow its "fair share" of affordable housing. After eight years of doing nothing, the Supreme Court ordered the lower court to establish actual targets for municipalities. To provide flexibility, the courts later allowed towns to refrain from allowing affordable housing to be built if they contributed to it elsewhere.

Joshua

Posted on: 2006/3/27 10:48
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Need Help With Oil Tank Removal - Recommendations?
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Woodsy & Nuada - you had both posted to an earlier thread that you had your oil tanks either replaced or removed - can you (or anyone else) recommend a good contractor to do this? I need to remove an underground tank, and replace it with an above-ground tank.

Any advice would be appreciated - thanks -

Posted on: 2006/3/27 10:32
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Re: Final Recomendations to the St. Francis Hospital Redevelopment Plan
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Just can't stay away


Quote:

DanL wrote:



Please consider the following comments on the March 6 version, and recommendations for its improvement.



2. The Plan currently appropriately cites "Smart Growth" principles, including "minimiz[ing] automobile use by maximizing the appeal of mass transit, encourag[ing] reduced parking and shared use parking solutions." This and similar "boilerplate" statements in the Plan pay only lip service, however, to these principles. The Plan actually calls for vastly increased parking facilities, which will encourage car ownership and use in the Downtown and decrease incentives for mass transit use.

Recommendation: The Planning Division should seriously explore options for encouraging mass transit and alternative transportation and discouraging car ownership. Examples: requiring the developer to provide bike racks, providing more attractive pedestrian access to the Newport Mall, and allotting parking spaces to car sharing organizations like the one now operating in Hoboken.



This "smart growth" is what will drive myself and my neighbors out of the neighborhood. Not everyone who lives here has access to mass transportation to get them to work. Many reverse commuters live here so that they have easy access to the city, but can still get into there car to get to work. There is no mass transit for me to get to my job. However, my boyfriend doesn't have a car and needs the PATH access to the city.

You will have the same amount of cars no matter how many parking spots they build. The less of them on the street, the better.

Anyone who parks in zone 6 should be worried about their quality of life. This scenerio happened to me in Hoboken. At first I had no problems getting a parking spot. But then I would be circling and circling for 30 minutes at 2am when i came home from work. Not fun. I don't want to see this happening here. With the Park Hamilton losing some of their spots as well as people who rent spots from the Erie garage, that will already be causing overload in the zone.

Posted on: 2006/3/27 9:50
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Re: Liberty Animal Shelter
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Just can't stay away


Looks like you're at least getting some press coverage on this. If the accusations are true, I hope they get rid of this guy.

From Jersey Journal, "City Council investigating complaints against Animal Control":

http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/index ... 43454441103060.xml&coll=3

Posted on: 2006/3/27 9:47
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Re: Final Recomendations to the St. Francis Hospital Redevelopment Plan
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


DanL,
Check with the Planning Dept. for the Ver. March 23, 2006 of the Redevelopment Plan.

Posted on: 2006/3/27 8:51
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Re: JC Abbott School Program to Lose 6M from State - taxpayers to bear larger share.
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


I disagree with the idea that rich towns should help out the poorer towns. I grew up in Westfield, a fairly well off NJ town and when I was in Jr High the town was given the decision to either allow a certain amount of new affordable housing or contribute money to the school systems places like Elizabeth and Plainfield. Well since the town did not want the property values to go down by building affordable housing, they decided to give a portion of our tax dollars so Elizabeth could put and olympic size swimming pool and other such amenities into their high school. As a result the jr high after school sports programs were cut as well as a bunch of classes at the jr high level.

What this amounts to is basically blackmail by the state. It is Robin Hood stealing from the rich not to give to the poor, but to give to the corrupt and poorly run school systems and local governments. Instead of taking money from successful school systems how you remove the corruption in the local governments of the poorly performing districts first.

Posted on: 2006/3/27 7:44
"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

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Re: Jersey City Guardian Angels announce Public Meeting on Safety and Security: ‘Dare to Care’
Home away from home
Home away from home


For full article, click on:
Meet the Police this Monday

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03/26/2006
Meet the police this Monday

Chief Troy to discuss crime-fighting changes at open 'town hall' meeting

Ricardo Kaulessar
Reporter staff writer

The Jersey City Police Department will be holding a "town hall"-type meeting Monday night at Middle School 4 on Bright Street to announce major changes in the department's operations in fighting and preventing crime.

City spokesperson Stan Eason said there aren't many details about the 6:30 p.m. meeting available yet, except to say there would be discussions on patrols, a new website for the Police Department, and a new department slogan. The meeting will also include a Powerpoint presentation by Police Chief Robert Troy.

Residents have asked the police to increase patrols in the neighborhoods and to respond faster to complaints, but police officials say they are limited by a shortage of officers.

While there is a development boom and property taxes are increasing, Jersey City still suffered a record 39 homicides last year and an increase in robberies and rapes in the first two months of 2006.

"I was asking myself this question," said resident Dwayne Baskerville, who works with local teens, last week. "How do we make sure these kids are not getting killed today?"

Meanwhile, residents are bolstering their Neighborhood Watch programs and seeking help from the Guardian Angels organization, a group of volunteer crime fighters based in New York who are currently looking for a Jersey City office.

The Guardian Angels

The Guardian Angels, in conjunction with some downtown Jersey City neighborhood associations, held a public meeting at Middle School No. 4 on Friday, March 17.

Speaking at the meeting were local members of the Guardian Angels and city officials such as City Council President Mariano Vega and Ward E City Councilman Steven Fulop. The meeting was attended by nearly 100 people.

Among the topics of the meeting were not only how the Guardian Angels would operate in Jersey City but also how residents could become more proactive in watching over their neighborhoods.

Dale Hardman emceed the meeting. Hardman has been a downtown Jersey City resident since 1982 and has worked with fellow downtown resident Pam Andes and others.

"I and Pam both work on the Jersey City Neighborhood Watch monthly patrol, where we travel through various areas in Downtown looking for suspicious activity," said Hardman. "The Neighborhood Watch also has a meeting once a month where we report the suspicious activity to our precinct captain, [Brian] McDonough, and he gives us information on incidents happening in his precinct the previous month."

Hardman said preventing crime could be as simple as saying hello to new neighbors.

"Some of the new residents moving into Jersey City that I meet remind me of myself when I moved here over 20 years ago," he said. "There's this mindset that 'We'll only be here a few years and then we'll move out, so we won't be involved.' "

Hardman added, "As a struggling artist, I had very little influence upon my elected officials. The new residents, many of whom work in the finance industry and make a substantial income, feel they are paying a lot of money for their [homes] and demand city officials have to be accountable. While that's a good thing, there's also this sense of entitlement that will not work in an urban area - everyone needs to work together."

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com



©The Hudson Reporter 2006

Posted on: 2006/3/27 1:04
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Final Recomendations to the St. Francis Hospital Redevelopment Plan
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Home away from home


Jersey City Planning Board

c/o Division of City Planning

30 Montgomery St

Jersey City, NJ 07302



Re: St. Francis Hospital Adaptive Re-Use Redevelopment Plan, Ver. March 06, 2006



Dear Chairman Cardwell and Board Members:



This owners of the St. Francis property, who are expected to be the designated developer for this property, have an admirable record of adaptive reuse of historic buildings in the Downtown area and are to be commended for their outreach to the community.



This Redevelopment Plan must nevertheless be considerably strengthened to protect the character of the Hamilton Park National Historic District through changing economic conditions, business priorities, and, possibly, changing developers. The Plan will set a precedent for future development in Hamilton Park and other Historic Districts.



The Plan should be revised and issued in ample time for public re-review. The current version was revised on March 6 and is being reviewed by the Planning Board eight days later. As of this date, the Division of City Planning has yet to participate and present this plan in a public meeting. They did not participate in the meeting held by Exeter properties on Monday, March 20th. There is no evidence that City Planning staff has provided significant professional staff input into this redevelopment plan to date.



Please consider the following comments on the March 6 version, and recommendations for its improvement.



1. Good planning beings with an assessment of assets in the area - what should be protected and preserved. A primary objective of the Redevelopment Plan should be, at a minimum, to protect the National Historic District.

Recommendation: The Plan should open with a section that sets the tone for redevelopment. It should describe the Historic District, the original design of this 19th-century residential park, the characteristic stooped entries of its residences, the history of changes to the park--particularly its eastern side, the possibility that the Historic District could be extended, and the need to protect the park, Historic District, and nearby century-old buildings not yet in the Historic District from undesirable impacts.

2. The Plan currently appropriately cites "Smart Growth" principles, including "minimiz[ing] automobile use by maximizing the appeal of mass transit, encourag[ing] reduced parking and shared use parking solutions." This and similar "boilerplate" statements in the Plan pay only lip service, however, to these principles. The Plan actually calls for vastly increased parking facilities, which will encourage car ownership and use in the Downtown and decrease incentives for mass transit use.

Recommendation: The Planning Division should seriously explore options for encouraging mass transit and alternative transportation and discouraging car ownership. Examples: requiring the developer to provide bike racks, providing more attractive pedestrian access to the Newport Mall, and allotting parking spaces to car sharing organizations like the one now operating in Hoboken.

3. The Plan calls for "creating a livable community with convenient access to commercial facilities." This language ignores the fact that a livable community with access to commercial facilities already exists adjacent to the Redevelopment Area.

Within four blocks of the Redevelopment Area are at least the following commercial facilities:

· two small groceries/ convenience store

· two combination convenience/liquor stores

· one combination convenience store and pizza shop

· five cafes and restaurants (three of them with bars)

· a delicatessen

· an organic food store

· a drug store

· a pet supply store

· a gym

· a bank

· several medical facilities

· various offices

There is also a realty office and additional commercial spaces, currently vacant. In addition, new commercial spaces at Manila and 10th are not yet occupied.

A few blocks east of the Redevelopment Area is the Newport Mall, with several department stores and more than 100 clothing stores, restaurants, cinema, book store, pet store, shoe stores, a drug store, and other shops.

Nine blocks south is Newark Avenue, the historic commercial street for the Downtown that the City has long sought to improve.

The current version of the plan allows too much commercial use, compromising the character of the Historic District and wider neighborhood and threatening existing businesses.

Recommendation: The Plan should describe the commercial establishments that currently exist in the wider District and neighborhood, note their usual location on street corners, their small scale, and that they principally attract foot and not automotive traffic. The Plan should state that this precedent should guide any new commercial development in this Area.

The Plan should also make note of vacant commercial space in the District and in the wider area. It should analyze whether additional businesses can be supported by the population and whether they will drain business from existing locations.


The Plan should specify that the Redevelopment Area should not compete with existing local businesses, the Newport Mall, or Newark Avenue, the main historic shopping street for the Van Vorst Park, Village, Harsimus Cove, and Hamilton Park neighborhoods.

4. This Redevelopment Plan currently introduces a completely new type of intrusion into the National Historic District: a commercial strip completely surrounding the two hospital blocks on ground and mezzanine and/or second floors. It allows a great variety of commercial uses: retail sales of goods and services, restaurants, health club, offices, financial institutions, art galleries, child care centers, off-street parking, private recreation facilities and areas (indoor &/or outdoor) including pools, landscaped yards and decks, active recreation uses, gymnasiums, exercise rooms, etc., community rooms, home occupations.

Within the parameters of the first two floors of the hospital block, the Plan specifies no limit to the numbers of such businesses. It does not forbid the duplication of types of businesses. It does not attempt to distinguish businesses attracting large numbers of customers at any one time. It does not limit hours of operation. In other words, it permits the potential transformation of a quiet residential neighborhood to a busy destination.

Recommendation: The commercial aspects of the Plan must be thoroughly reviewed, scaled back, and sufficient controls provided to protect the District and neighborhood.

5. The current Plan limits retail and restaurants to the corners of the hospital blocks. While this provision is an improvement on the original draft, it is insufficiently protective of the park and the District (see Items 6 and 7 for reasons) and did not even consider the impact of the commercial strip on the wider area.

Recommendation: The Plan should limit the placement of business entrances to Pavonia, Erie, and Ninth Street. McWilliams Place should have no retail or restaurants, identifiable as such, facing the park. The Plan should reexamine the impact such a quantity of businesses could have on this residential area.

6. The Plan uses the following terms to indicate where commercial space is allowed on the hospital block: ground floor, mezzanine level, second floors. This terminology changed from previous drafts and implies three floors of commercial space, whereas the common understanding seems to be that no more than two floors is what is currently intended for commercial space.

Recommendation: Clarify these terms.

7. The Plan specifies a 2000 sq. ft. maximum for retail only, not for restaurants or other businesses. This is a serious flaw in the Plan.

Recommendation: The Plan should extend the 2000 sq. ft. maximum to other types of commercial establishments, particularly restaurants.

8. Even if the 2000' limitation is extended to all businesses, a size limit in itself is insufficient to protect the District and neighborhood. Other controls must be in place.


Recommendation: Square footage limits should be considered for all types of businesses, not just retail. The size limit could be larger for businesses that do not generate automotive traffic. It should not be larger for restaurants. In addition to limits on size, the Plan should limit the number and types of businesses to those that do not generate much automotive traffic. It should require potential occupants to provide traffic studies before approval for occupancy is given. It should provide architectural guidelines that prevent a commercial presence facing the park.



9. The Plan makes no mention of the need to control additional traffic in the area of the proposed day care or the Cordero School, where 700 students cross busy streets, and which has a twice-daily double-parking problem. It does not consider that Erie is a major street for local traffic to get to the Holland Tunnel and Hoboken.

Recommendation: The Plan must reconcile the increased traffic that commercial development will bring with the need to provide safe streets and sidewalks for school children and to keep a major Downtown exit artery clear.

10. The Plan allows but does not mandate any additional public or private open space on the hospital block. The partial restoration of the historic Pavonia Avenue and the sidewalk area of Hamilton Park, as well as space on top of garages, cannot be considered compensation for the future increased use of Hamilton Park by new residents of this re-development area.

Recommendation: The Plan should mandate the rooftop gardens that the owners have said will be included in their hospital block development. It should require a contribution to public open space acquisition as well as maintenance of Hamilton Park.

11. The Plan as currently written will govern redevelopment for 20 years. The property owners have proposed a phased approach to redevelopment, but with all construction to be completed in three years.

Recommendation: The Plan should be closed in ten years, ample time for the designated developer to complete construction.



12. The Plan permits "decorative concrete paving materials" and "additional decorative elements…at building entrances at street corners and along the curb line to accent and channel pedestrian flow."

Recommendation: All decorative elements in the Historic District should be subject to the approval of the Historic Preservation Commission.



13. The Plan says, "All landscaping shall be guaranteed for a period of two (2) years." It makes no mention of tree size, type of tree, or responsibility for continued maintenance.

Recommendation: This period should be extended to insure the quality of plantings and their critical early maintenance. Experts in urban forestry, for example, from the New Jersey Tree Foundation, should be consulted for their recommendations on tree caliper, type of tree, correct planting time and techniques, and proper maintenance during the first few years. Trees planted in the Historic District should be species appropriate to a 19th-Century streetscape, if possible. Maintenance responsibility should be assigned. Provision should be made for assessment of the condition of the plantings before the guarantee period ends.



14. The Plan will add to scarcity of parking for Hamilton Park residents and adjacent neighborhoods.

Recommendation: Parking should be deeded with condominium units, to discourage new residents from parking on streets.



15. The Plan allows past transgressions of building height, density, and design to govern future development. While no one proposes a return to four-story residences lining McWilliams Place, this Plan could do more to control the increased density and building height that will detract from the character of the Historic District and the special quality of its quiet park.

Recommendation: On the hospital block, decrease density, and decrease the height of the south tower to the height of St. Michael's Church, the tallest historic building on the park.



16. The Plan allows sidewalk cafes. The Plan also says, "In general, sidewalks serving commercial areas should be wider than those serving residential areas." The drawings the property owners have shown to the public, however, show complete build out to the existing sidewalk. There is no available sidewalk space on McWilliams, 8th, Erie, or 9th for sidewalk cafés. Indeed, the massive buildings will dwarf the sidewalks that currently exist.

Recommendation: Remove the provisions for sidewalk cafes and wider sidewalks from the plan, or else specify how sidewalk cafes and wider sidewalks can be accommodated by providing building setbacks.



17. Currently, Section XII of the Plan, "OTHER PROVISIONS TO MEET STATE AND LOCAL REQUIREMENTS," states that the plan has "delineated a definite relationship to local objectives as to appropriate land uses, density of population, and improved traffic and public transportation…recreation and community facilities and other public improvements." This statement is not completely warranted.

Recommendation: The Plan should meaningfully address state and local requirements and goals, particularly in respect to the Historic District, before the Planning Board gives its approval.



Sincerely,


Daniel Levin

Third St.

Jersey City





Copy: Bob Cotter, Director, Division of City Planning
Claire Davis, Secretary to the Planning Board
Dan Wrieden, Historic Preservation Officer
Stephen Gucciardo, Chairman, Historic Preservation Committee
Steven Fulop, Councilman, Ward E
Sam Stoia, President, Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association
Janet Allen, Friends of Hamilton Park
Valerio Luccio, President, Harsimus Cove Association
Steve Gold, 25mc Watchdog Group
Eric Silverman, Exeter Property Company
Marvin Stryner, Principal, Rafael Cordero School, PS 37
Joshua Parkhurst, President, Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2006/3/26 17:23
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Re: JC Abbott School Program to Lose 6M from State - taxpayers to bear larger share.
Home away from home
Home away from home


I think its arguable that the combination of Abbott funding and abatements meant that people in richer towns were actually funding JC development rather than schools.

I don't have a problem with the idea that richer towns contribute to education in poorer towns -- that's to correct the inequalities created by the property tax-based system of funding schools. But I can't blame the state for saying other towns shouldn't be funding tax breaks for waterfront condos.

Posted on: 2006/3/26 15:33
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Re: JC - FROM AFFORDABLE TO ULTRA-LUXE - New York Post Pick's Six
Newbie
Newbie


{{{I heard that nothing is available downtown for less than $3000 a month. The heights minimum right now is $2900 a month for a studio. And in the last week, Newark rents have risen to a minimum of $2500 a month for a studio in an especially bad part of town.

Does anyone think that I might be able to rent a room in Camden for less than 2000 a month? I heard Camden is a pretty easy commute to Manhattan (less than 6 days walking distance one way.) I've heard it's a nice chic neighborhood too, with lots of restaurants and boutiques.}}}


Those prices may be reality in a few years considering the ridiculous prices are willing to pay..

I have seen listings for $1,300 one bedroom apts in JC heights & maybe $1,500 downtown. The problem is that utilities are not included which can add close to $300 a month additional to the rent (which is why the rent is listed as low as it is)

I just read in the NY times Real Estate section about a couple who sold their house and moved to soho and now paying $6,000 a month for an apartment. I guess paying $2,000 a month for a seedy part of JC, or $1,500 - $2,000 a month JUST IN CC charges & RE Taxes is a great investment, right???

Posted on: 2006/3/26 1:28
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Re: JC Abbott School Program to Lose 6M from State - taxpayers to bear larger share.
Home away from home
Home away from home


My kid is probably going to be in the Jersey City schools in a few years, but I agree. If the state is going to tell rich New Jersey towns to help out poor New Jersey school districts, well, that's common sense. If the state is going to make the New Jersey suburbs help Mayor Healy and members of the city council give away the candy store to a bunch of Sopranos building cardboard condos in Newport and Paulus Hook, that's robbery.

Maybe the abatement for the Jersey City Medical Center project is warranted, but, aside from that, I can't imagine that there's a good excuse to abate a single project in the city.

If the city wants to support development in Greenville and Bergen-Lafayette, for example, it ought to do it by adding light rail spurs to make those neighborhoods more accessible, not by robbing the schools.

Posted on: 2006/3/25 23:11
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Re: JC - FROM AFFORDABLE TO ULTRA-LUXE - New York Post Pick's Six
Newbie
Newbie


Most of JC is no longer affordable for people making what is reported as the 'median' or 'mean' income for the area. Its great that the area is becoming more upscale, but that means that you need to make in the six figures to afford the cost of living.

The only people who these places are targeted toward are 25 year old single yuppies & of course the trustafarians who are already paying $3,000 a month across the river in Manhattan.

These new condos going up have outrageous maintenance cost & real estate taxes that make the monthly payment prohibitively expensive unless you are making well in the six figures.

I guess at my salary at only $75,000 a year now, the only thing I could afford in the Jersey City area is a $1,200/month rental in JC heights. Downtown there is nothing available for less than $2,000 a month.

Posted on: 2006/3/25 22:05
Top


Re: Jersey City Guardian Angels announce Public Meeting on Safety and Security: ‘Dare to Care’
Newbie
Newbie


I just saw one of them walking down my street about 30 minutes ago. I live in the Paulus hook area -he asked me where st. peter's prep was.

Posted on: 2006/3/25 19:35
"I was sent here for a reason I have not yet been able to fathom." Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
Top


Re: Hamilton Park Renovation Community Report
Home away from home
Home away from home


Thanks for saying this Minnie, I remember that day and it was a great day and a wonderful community project.

A great way to meet our neighbors.
I love the gardens as do many others and look forward to complementary areas being constructed around the other half of the park.


Quote:

Minnie wrote:

[snip]

so many residents
participated, and went home with aching backs. I was in the park every day, watering, and I know the impact they had on people, even if they’re not perfect and have a temporary fence because that’s all we could afford.

[snip]
the joy we felt the day we broke ground. For I know in my heart, that it was this day, that caused those same
angry members to realize that gardens in Hamilton Park are not so bad afterall, and are really quite popular.

Posted on: 2006/3/25 16:04
Top


Re: Jersey City Guardian Angels announce Public Meeting on Safety and Security: ‘Dare to Care’
Home away from home
Home away from home


As always, thanks for the info, Bright! I was actually confused about the original reports re: Fulop's stance on the JCGA. Glad to hear he's looking at the big picture, which makes a lot more sense and is consistent with his performance so far.

Anyway, I will definitely be there Monday night. PS4 is walking distance from my home, but let me know if you need a ride, and I will gladly take out my green chariot!

Posted on: 2006/3/25 12:40
Top


Re: Hamilton Park Renovation Community Report
Newbie
Newbie


Quote:

And someday it could happen, and when it
does, I will drop to my knees and cry. And you will claim victory!
But you can never take away from me, us, the joy we felt the day we broke
ground. For I know in my heart, that it was this day, that caused those same
angry members to realize that gardens in Hamilton Park are not so bad
afterall, and are really quite popular.


I'm confused... are we talking about Hamilton Park or Tara Plantation?

"As God is my witness... Ill never be hungry again"

Posted on: 2006/3/25 11:50
Top


Re: JC Abbott School Program to Lose 6M from State - taxpayers to bear larger share.
Home away from home
Home away from home


This is one way in which tax abatements hurt us.

Jersey City has been abusing the Abbott program for way too long. The NJ Supreme Court's decision held that funding schools based on property taxes alone was unconstitutional. This is because urban areas have significantly more expenses and a population that requires significantly more money to adequately educate, as well as commuter populations from out of town that require expenditures. As such, the court reasoned, it was unconstitutional to require urban districts to fund their schools through property taxes alone, because their expenses are higher and they have other spending necessities. The result is that the court said the state must chip in to directly fund the schools.

How does this work with the tax abatement program? Tax abatements allow developers to pay a fixed amount, rather than the regular assessment. They actually pay MORE to the municipality than they would in municipal taxes, they get their break on the county taxes and school district taxes.

So the city hands out these abatements like candy, because the actually receive MORE money into the municipal treasury. The funding gets transferred from the school district taxes. All fine and well, so long as the state was willing to pick up the tab.

Well, Corzine has said he has had enough. The Supreme Court is willing to recognize that urban areas need to spend money on things other than school taxes. On the other hand, when you have a development boom, there is no reason to keep allowing large developers to avoid paying school taxes for the sake of a quick fix to the Treasury. With the increase in potential ratables, one could argue that Jersey City doesn't even deserve to be an Abbott district.

I am not looking forward to seeing my taxes go up. Still, I have to say it serves the city right. The Abbott decision was a generous decision to municipalities, recognizing the realities of funding an urban education system. It is a shame that both this and prior administrations have taken advantage of it to avoid adequately funding the school system for the sake of plugging a budget gap.

Joshua

Posted on: 2006/3/25 8:09
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JC Abbott School Program to Lose 6M from State - taxpayers to bear larger share.
Home away from home
Home away from home


Schools learn who wins, loses in Corzine budget
Friday, March 24, 2006
BY JOHN MOONEY
Star-Ledger Staff

Two days after Gov. Jon Corzine warned that state funding for schools would be frozen again next year, aid figures unveiled yesterday contained a few surprises, with some individual districts seeing big drops or increases.

Two in three districts would see nominal changes or none at all for a fifth straight year. But while past funding freezes have been largely across the board, this time some fast-growing districts would get a boost, while schools with declining enrollments would see cuts.

And the needy districts that fall under the state Supreme Court's Abbott vs. Burke court order, which were expecting increases, found out their overall aid will be nearly flat.

On top of that, eight of those districts were told to expect steep cuts under a new Corzine administration strategy to require local taxpayers to bear a larger share of Abbott school costs. Newark would lose more than $8 million, and Jersey City would see a reduction of $6 million.

The proposed aid figures released yesterday by the state Department of Education also include cuts for some suburban districts, including a more than $1 million reduction in Woodbridge and $515,000 in Montclair.

"This is a very difficult budget year, and the governor has said he will not permit a continuation of past practice that allowed New Jersey to spend year after year more money than it takes in," said acting Education Commissioner Lucille Davy.

But a few districts, urban and suburban, won unexpected increases.

Perth Amboy is among those Abbott districts the state wants to raise more through local taxes. But because of its rising enrollment, it would receive an overall aid increase of $2 million, officials said.

In one of the state's wealthier districts, the Chathams schools could get nearly $200,000 more, also due to rising enrollments.

"That was a complete shock," said Superintendent Jim O'Neill. "We never get more aid, only less."

Posted on: 2006/3/25 7:18
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JC - FROM AFFORDABLE TO ULTRA-LUXE - New York Post Pick's Six
Home away from home
Home away from home


PICK 6
By Dakota Smith - New York Post
March 25, 2006 -- FROM AFFORDABLE TO ULTRA-LUXE, WE GIVE YOU THE NEW HOTNESS
The blitz of new development in the city continues, with developers adding even more outlandish perks to buildings - Austrian pine trees, anyone? - or heading to up-and-coming neighborhoods.

Our guide to the latest crop of buildings includes pads that are distinctive either for location, price or amenities.

Happy home hunting in 2006.

WALDO LOFTS Jersey City

The expansion of Jersey City's Powerhouse Arts Center continues with the opening of Waldo Lofts, a conversion of a 12-story brick warehouse building at 159 Second St. The building's 82 units range from 700-square-feet studios to 2,400-square-feet duplex penthouses with spiral staircases; 10-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows give units a loft-like feel. Our favorite perk: washer/ dryers in every unit.

Prices at Waldo Lofts range from $390,000 to $1.5 million, not counting a handful of units being sold at below market price for artists who meet income qualifications. The sales office opened last month.

www.waldolofts.co

101 WARREN TriBeCa

Buyers at 101 Warren, a 228-unit luxury residence opening in TriBeCa, can choose from five different residential designs: loft-style, townhouse, sky home, rooftop home and duplex penthouse. All apartments will have 10- to 12-foot ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

The building will also house a fifth-floor elevated atrium - a forest of 101 imported Austrian pines trees. Additionally, the complex - which is being marketed as the Time Warner Center for the downtown set - will be attached to 170,000 square feet of retail space, with a Whole Foods already planned for the building.

Prices range from $1.2 million for a 923-square-foot one-bedroom to $13 million for a 4,145-square-foot penthouse. The sales office opened earlier this month. www.101warren.com

999 Bushwick

Yup, Bushwick is the new Harlem. Or the new Red Hook. Whatever - it's cheap! The first of five new developments planned for this 'hood, 999 - a six-story, 18-unit building at 999 Willoughby St. - will offer units priced from $289,000 for a 690-square-foot one-bedroom to $500,000 for a 1,000-square-foot two-bedroom with a 500-square-foot terrace. The prices are about $100 less a square foot than similar new units in East Williamsburg, according to Corcoran Group vice president Tom Le. Amenities include indoor parking and a gym. Sales begin in November.

www.corcoran.com

SKY HOUSE Madison Square

Want to live in the clouds? Purchase the 2,817-square-foot penthouse on the top floor of the Sky House, a 55-story condo building opening at 11 E. 29th St., near Madison Square Park. One of the tallest new buildings to open for sales this year, the 139-unit Sky House will offer just three units per floor, giving buyers memorable views of both the East and Hudson Rivers.

Prices are expected to start at $1,250 a square foot, according to David Perry, director of sales at the Clarrett Group, developer of the Sky House. Concierge service, gym, and a playroom are among the building's amenities. The sales office opens in April.

www.skyhouse condo.com

101 WEST END AVE. Upper West Side

Targeting the upscale stroller set, 10 West End Ave., a 33-story, 173-unit condominium located between West 59th and West 60th streets, opens for sales in May. More than half of the units in the development, being billed as a family-friendly building with a children's activity center, are two-, three- and four-bedrooms.

All residences have floor-to-ceiling windows (some as high as 11 feet), ensuring buyers views of either the Hudson River or Midtown.

Designer Nick Dine's interior finishes include Siberian marble countertops and walnut cabinetry in the bathrooms, and granite countertops with white-oak and etched-glass cabinets in the stainless-steel kitchens. Lucky residents at 10 West End Ave. also get valet parking, as well as concierge service, a playroom and a gym, complete with a glass-enclosed 50-foot pool.

Prices are expected to start at $750,000 for a 750-square-foot one-bedroom and top out at $4.5 million for a 2,600-square-foot four-bedroom. www.10wea.com

THE CALEDONIA Meatpacking District

Indulgent services can certainly be found at the Caledonia, a 190-unit building opening at 450 W. 17th St. Set at the tip of the glam Meatpacking District (steps from Del Posto and Morimoto) and near the new High Line Park, the Caledonia will offer an Equinox gym and spa, indoor parking, a library, a meditation garden, a sun deck and outdoor terrace, a pet spa and a children's playroom.

Interior finishes by designer Clodagh (pictured) include bamboo wood flooring throughout the units, while bathrooms come with quartzite slab countertops and stone-tile flooring. The lobby will have a cascading water feature and a bamboo garden.

Prices, as well as unit sizes, are still being determined for the Caledonia, a development from the Related Companies (whose properties include the Time Warner Center and who recently purchased Equinox). The building opens for sales in April.

www.thecaledonia.com

Posted on: 2006/3/25 7:07
Top


3 cops' suits against chief Troy could cost city $2M-plus
Home away from home
Home away from home


3 cops' suits against chief could cost city $2M-plus
Friday, March 24, 2006
By JARRETT RENSHAW
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Lawsuits accusing Jersey City's top cop of abusing his power could cost the city upwards of $2 million.

Officer Marisa Johnston and Detective Mark Razzoli both stated in notices they have filed with the city that they are seeking at least $1 million each in damages.

Sgt. Valerie Montone, a third officer suing Chief Robert Troy and a host of others, refused to provide a specific amount in her tort claim notice, instead leaving the amount of damages to be determined by a jury at trial should she win her case.

Though all three officers have filed separate lawsuits, they all claim their job conditions suffered after they publicly supported Assemblyman Lou Manzo, D-Jersey City, in his run against Mayor Jerramiah Healy in the 2004 special election.

Montone, whose controversial police tenure includes a previous lawsuit against the city that ended in a six-figure settlement, also names Healy in her complaint.

Among other things, Montone claims Healy and Troy punished her for allegedly handing out naked photos of the mayor at Healy's daughter's wedding - she denies doing so.

Wednesday, the City Council unanimously approved a $50,000 contract with attorney Domenick Carmagnola to defend Troy and other municipal employees.

Carmagnola will be paid $125 per hour, with the total amount not to exceed $50,000, according to the resolution that authorized the contract. Carmagnola also will be reimbursed for a number of expenses.

Councilman Steven Fulop, who asked for Troy's resignation earlier this year, said despite his concerns about the Police Department, he supported the hiring of an outside attorney.

"I still have my problems with the running of the Police Department, but he's an employee of the city and it's our responsibility to support him," said Fulop.

Posted on: 2006/3/25 6:56
Top


Former Jersey City Incinerator Authority inspector admits shake down
Home away from home
Home away from home


DIRTY WORK
Ex-JCIA inspector admits shaking down trash hauler
Saturday, March 25, 2006
By MICHAELANGELO CONTE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

NEWARK - A former Jersey City Incinerator Authority worker pleaded guilty yesterday to extorting money from a contractor and running an illegal gambling operation.

Russell Fallacara, 38, of Keansburg, admitted in federal court yesterday that he demanded a $100,000 payment from Nacirema Carting and Demolition of Bayonne, which had a contract with Jersey City.

Wearing a white sweater and light slacks, Fallacara calmly answered the judge's questions yesterday as he pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy. He faces 27 to 30 months in prison when he is sentenced July 13.

The June 2002 contract was for cleanup work ordered by the Jersey City Environmental Task Force at a property on Lafayette Street.

Fallacara admitted using his position as a JCIA inspector to close down Nacirema job sites around Jersey City when company officials balked at paying him. Company officials paid at least a portion of the $100,000, according to federal prosecutors.

Fallacara also admitted directing, financing, supervising, and owning all or part of an illegal sports bookmaking operation that operated in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania from as early as 1997 through August 2005.

Fallacara was charged with 15 others in an FBI probe that netted Lawrence Dentico, 81, of Seaside Park, one of a handful of men accused of running the Genovese crime family since Vincent "the Chin" Gigante was convicted of extortion in 1997. The racketeering probe focused on betting rings operating out of Hoboken and Jersey City.

Yesterday morning, Joseph "Billy Nap" Napolitano, 34, of Belleville, also pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy based on the charge of operating an illegal gambling operation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Schwartz said.

Many of the original 16 defendants have pleaded guilty and U.S. District Court Judge William Martini ruled that three of the defendants facing less serious charges should be tried separately.

That means John Dennis, 48, and Michael Crincoli, 46, both of Jersey City, as well as John Grecco, 62, of Rutherford, and Joseph "Big Joe" Scarbrough, 66, of West Orange, are the only four remaining in the racketeering prosecution, Schwartz said. Schwartz said she expects additional guilty pleas before the trial starts on April 17.

The FBI's case is apparently based on more than 300 recorded conversations made by Peter Caporino as he operated his own gambling business and interacted with those charged. If all those charged take pleas and there is no trial, the recordings will not be entered as evidence for the prosecution and may never become public.

Posted on: 2006/3/25 6:50
Top


Re: Hamilton Park Renovation Community Report
Home away from home
Home away from home


J. Greely: I was able to open and read your document. Much
of it I’m familiar with. I spent hours putting together the history
of Hamilton Park at the Jersey City Library and made several calls
to the lighting contractor, Halogen. So it all comes back to me now.

The negative comments about Van Vorst Park were uncalled for.
Not because of a few truthful remarks made by residents in the
comment section, but because you chose to highlight them to prove
a point. Dr. Waldman was the construction advisor for the incredible
renovation of Van Vorst Park and as you know, he handed the HPNA
copies of his ballots used in Pershing Field, for you to use and learn
from. Give credit where credit is due.

You wrote the following about my own group:

“In 2005, the Friends of Hamilton Park was created as part of
the Jersey City Parks Coalition headed by Cliff Waldman. The
FofHP planted gardens that are of much contention in the
neighborhood and resulted in extensive comments made on this
final ballot. Many absentee ballots were returned from all over
Jersey City requesting space and resources for the FofHP. Please
see Ballot 5 comments (page 105) for varying community opinions.”

The Friends of Hamilton Park was not created by or for Cliff Waldman.
We’re a member of the coaltion, just as the HPNA is a member of the
DCNA. You’re suggesting that we alone are the reason for any positive
comments pertaining to the community gardens, when so many residents
participated, and went home with aching backs. I was in the park every
day, watering, and I know the impact they had on people, even if they’re
not perfect and have a temporary fence because that’s all we could afford.
It’s very sad that you felt the need to do this.

I did not organize the planting projects, the FoHP, so that someday I
could stand and watch them be bulldozed. I know that for several members
of HPNA who were present during my time as an officer, that this day
will not come soon enough. And someday it could happen, and when it
does, I will drop to my knees and cry. And you will claim victory!
But you can never take away from me, us, the joy we felt the day we broke
ground. For I know in my heart, that it was this day, that caused those same
angry members to realize that gardens in Hamilton Park are not so bad
afterall, and are really quite popular.

Posted on: 2006/3/25 2:55
Top


Re: Jersey City Guardian Angels announce Public Meeting on Safety and Security: ‘Dare to Care’
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

Minnie wrote:
You're alright Cowboy Bright! Love the hat!
Resized Image


Thanks, Minnie, it's my fly fishing hat!

Resized ImageResized Image

Posted on: 2006/3/25 1:14
Resized Image
Help US Sue Spectra! Join OR Donate!
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation Community Report
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

JenGreely wrote:
Quote:

Minnie wrote:
I still cannot open it. Try again.


Hmmm... I can click and open it in both Mozilla Firefox and IE. Here's another link like the first, on the off chance that something is weird. Are other people having problems?

The alternate way to get there is to go to the front page of the HPNA Yahoo group, then go to the File link on the left hand side, and the last file listed is the .pdf of the report.

If you are not part of the yahoo group you will have to register first.

Hope that helps,
Jen


Hi Jen and Minnie. Jen, your link was broken in the prior post and also on the yahoo site message posted (someone needs to redo the imbed of the hyperlink for the path of the pdf file). I logged in since I am a Yahoo Hamilton Park Group member to check it out.

I have it open now and here is the exact location. NOTE: you must click on the entire thing below:

http://f4.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/UM4kRLy9 ... %20Community%20Report.pdf

Posted on: 2006/3/25 0:36
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Help US Sue Spectra! Join OR Donate!
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation Community Report
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Quote:

Minnie wrote:
I still cannot open it. Try again.


Hmmm... I can click and open it in both Mozilla Firefox and IE. Here's another link like the first, on the off chance that something is weird. Are other people having problems?

The alternate way to get there is to go to the front page of the HPNA Yahoo group, then go to the File link on the left hand side, and the last file listed is the .pdf of the report.

If you are not part of the yahoo group you will have to register first.

Hope that helps,
Jen

Posted on: 2006/3/25 0:26
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