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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
#1
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

brewster wrote:

If you want to prove your case show the 2 numbers that you never do:

Current total PILOT revenue
Total revenue from Abated property if it were ratable.

The DIFFERENCE between these is the number that would would affect the rate, and you avoid this like the plague, because it doesn't fit your narrative.


“Last year Jersey City's PILOT program took in $127,800,476 from tax-abated properties. If all these properties were taxed conventionally, the total would be $211,967,791.”

Looks to be about $84,167,315 less to me. The numbers are from Terrence T. McDonald.
https://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... _force_jersey_city_t.html

Here’s what “Stateaidguy” said about it some time ago:
http://njeducationaid.blogspot.com/20 ... atements-hurt-jersey.html

Obviously, some projects would have been built with a delay, some perhaps not at all, without tax expenditure support from the City. Yes, it’s taxpayer money being spent to encourage development. However, exactly how much needed to be spent to encourage exactly how much development can never be conclusively, definitively established. We don’t, and can never, know what would have happened in the absence of this expenditure. You’ll all be arguing about it till kingdom come….

The developer shills and Fulop lackeys who frequent this Board would have it that minimal or no re-development would have occurred, so there would be minimal PILOT revenue. Instead JC would still be a bunch of derelict buildings and vacant lots, located 5 minutes train ride from one the world’s greatest, economically vibrant cities. Seems highly implausible to me….

That said, in my view, it’s well past time to turn off the expenditure of taxpayer funds to these private developers in JC. Let these private companies make their development decisions on the basis of the underlying economics and marekt forces, rather than on the basis of how much tax expenditure subsidy they can extract out of JC (and NJ) taxpayers.

Posted on: 7/22 13:09
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Re: Jersey City Fire prevention Division violations
#2
Home away from home
Home away from home


Listers, in response to a post regarding violations written by the JCFD, I posted about the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) and different editions. However, I neglected to provide the link if you want to look up which specific code edition applies to your building, or work you’ve had done on your building. So here it is:

http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/ ... _Model_Code_Adoptions.pdf

The table shows the dates when the particular edition of Code was “in effect”. In general, any work undertaken must satisfy the requirements of the Code in effect at the time the work is performed. When a new edition of code comes into effect, there’s a 6 months “grace” period, during which time on-going work, or work already approved can be finished using the “old” code. If you don’t finish within the 6 months, then you are supposed to “update” the work to the new code edition requirements.

The JC Building department should have copies of all of these codes – but try getting anything out of that mess…. Many public libraries have copies of prior editions of the codes as well. And if you care for a trip to Trenton, DCA has them of course.

Posted on: 6/4 1:30
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Re: Jersey City Fire prevention Division violations
#3
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

Montenegro wrote:
Could you please advise me what should I write on appeal letter?? I am planning to appeal but not sure, on what law to rely in order to get this thing done? You can reach me directly at : gjenashaj@icloud.com


I cant advise you what to say or do – I don’t know the specifics of your situation and I am not an attorney. You should go hire one. But I can tell you what I did....

For my situation, what I told them was my house did not need any further work to meet code requirements. It had been upgraded to meet the requirements of the retrofit code, and the codes in effect at that time, so did not require any more work because of later Code updates. I referenced that NJR section I described here previously.

In my submission I included the applicable code sections from the 1984 and 1987 BOCA codes. I showed that my house was less than 5 stories, the use group R, the windowless basement was less than 3,000 sq feet, and I had an interconnected, automatic smoke alarm system installed in accordance with NJAC 5:70-4.9 (a) 3 i. Therefore, according to the applicable BOCA code requirements, I did not need suppression (sprinklers), nor did I need central monitoring to meet the requirements.

I had evidence for everything I said, including copies of the NJR, the NJAC, the UFC and the BOCA code sections, and few other things as well – photographs of the house and basement, the green card, a sketch of the basement, the survey showing the dimensions…. Everything I needed to provide proof what I was arguing was true and correct. No one had to take my word alone for anything, there was evidence from other sources to support and corroborate everything I claimed.

That was basically it. I explained my position and without contesting my analysis, the Fire Department conceded and withdrew the violation and fines and I was free to go on my way.

The whole experience completely changed my view of JC Fire Department, as their tactics seemed to me more like those of stand-over thugs than professionals empowered by law to enforce the Code. I don't know for sure, but I ended up with the distinct impression what they were trying to do was force me to sell my house on the cheap.

I worked in a heavily regulated sector, so I knew how codes and regulations work. It was time-consuming but relatively straight forward for me to research and figure out.

I was left wondering if it’s a pattern… There were several incidents along the way, peripheral to the central matter of the correct use of the Codes, that led me to question if it isn't something they do repeatedly. It was so abusive, and seemed so “pre-planned”. I honestly don’t know – I don’t have any evidence, but it would be easy enough for the FBI / DOJ to investigate. All they’d need to do is examine the outcomes of every windowless basement violation issued by the JCFD, and subsequent sales of those properties… the patterns would become clear. It wouldn't be the first time corruption reared it's ugly head in Jersey City.... Perhaps it happens in other cities across the State as well - who knows?

Posted on: 5/25 13:14
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Re: Notice of violation & Order to correct - JCFD
#4
Home away from home
Home away from home


Here’s the section of the NJR I cited yesterday. Older NJR (New Jersey Register) records can be difficult to search, so I thought it could be helpful to post. The citation is 24 N.J.R. 739, Monday, March 2, 1992. Old NJR’s are cited by page, so you need to read the entire page to find the section of interest. They are on the web – in .pdf format – with text that can’t be searched by computer. Challenging to find what you need.

The response below is from the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to a comment from the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA) about the impact of Code updates. I’ve added the bold to highlight the clear guidance from DCA in response to the NJBA comment. The “retrofit” referred to are the requirements of the UFC, as the comment / response was in the context of proposed amendments to the UFC mandates. However, the guidance holds generally. If the work met current code requirements in effect at the time of construction or updating (rehab / installation) then you’re done – often shorthanded as “pre-existing condition.” If you do look it up, don’t be confused by the NJAC 5:18 reference. That section is the original UFC reference, subsequently renumbered to the current NJAC 5:70 reference in use today.

“RESPONSE: References to the Uniform Construction Code are made only for the purpose of establishing installation standards for required equipment and systems. These references avoid problems for construction officials, allow for advances in technology, and result in reduced confusion. Moreover, once a building has met the requirements of the retrofit and has received either a certificate of occupancy or a certificate of approval for the required systems, no further upgrading would be required because of a change in the Uniform Construction Code.”


Posted on: 5/24 9:09
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Re: Notice of violation & Order to correct - JCFD
#5
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

brewster wrote:
Seems to me there's plenty of examples of code requirements being enforced that were non-existent at time of construction. Fire escapes, stairwell smoke detectors and emergency lighting come to mind, as well as the handrails I mentioned.


Correct, any 3 or more, multi-family building built before the UCC came into effect in 1977 was required by the introduction of the NJ UFC (aka “retrofit” code, NJAC 5-70:1-4) in the mid/late 1980’s to be “upgraded” with various fire safety features. There had been several tragic fires, with multiple fatalities, in older buildings and the State introduced the UFC to upgrade the safety of older housing stock. The Code in effect when the UFC was introduced was the BOCA code, 1984 and 1987 editions. The UFC was amended several times shortly after introduction, and in the meantime the BOCA code was also updated, thus, the two applicable editions. An owner had to do the work to keep their green card. If they didn’t, then the building became unregistered and illegal for renting.

So if we think of a hypothetical JC brownstone, typical construction and layout, originally constructed in 1890 and converted to a 4-family in 1925, that building was mandated to be “retrofitted” by the UFC in the late 1980’s. Once that work was done on the building, inspected and passed, that was it – it had met the requirements of the UFC. It wasn’t required to have further upgrades – I gave you the citation to the NJR previously – just because a new code edition was released subsequently. However, if “rehabilitation” work is done on the building, that does trigger the need for updates to current codes – I’m oversimplifying for the sake of brevity, but see the rehab code for details (NJAC 5:23-6, et seq.)

What is NOT supposed to happen to that 4 family brownstone that met the UFC requirements in the late 1980’s and hasn’t had any “rehab” work since, is for an Inspector to come along and say, “Oh, now we have a new code, the 2006 UCC, and you don’t meet the requirements, so you need to do X, Y and Z.” But lots of Inspectors do it, and the JCFD does it. No one understands the rules, and the Inspectors pick home owners off in small numbers over time, so they get away with it…. But it isn’t what the Regulations permit or require.

This is why it is essential to know the specific edition of code that applies to your building – so you can push back if they ask for something crazy that comes from some later code edition. That said, for the simple, inexpensive, sensible stuff, I used to just do it anyway, even if it wasn’t actually “required” according to a correct application of the correct code edition. For the sprinkler I drew the line because of the costs and heavy-handed, threatening and intimidating way the FD approached me. They acted more like thugs than professional law enforcement officers and all the while they were wrong.

Posted on: 5/23 22:25
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Re: Jersey City Fire prevention Division violations
#6
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

brewster wrote:
Quote:

Bamb00zle wrote:
This “Windowless basement” violation is a complete, total racket, and has been for 30 years. I’ve left you a lengthy pm with additional details.


I doubt anyone would object to your posting your lengthy pm here, I'm real interested in this subject! The state seems to have no qualms about citations on long existing conditions in Greencarded buildings, like suddenly requiring handrails on basement hatch steps or exterior backyard lighting. If the city is getting into the game, that's going to be a hassle. I think I've had one fire inspection in 20 years.


Brewster, thanks for the kind invitation but I am sure you'll understand if I politely decline.

The correct approach is as I outlined – if a building or installation met code (was inspected and passed) at the time of construction / installation then that’s the end of it. The State, Fire Department, City can’t at some later point arbitrarily require you to meet the requirements of a newer Code version, just because it’s available - see 24 N.J.R. 739. You have to be doing rehab, or some work on the building, to trigger the application of new code requirements.

Nevertheless, I typically take a fairly pragmatic approach to simple “violations.” For less expensive, easy to “fix” things that make sense – handrails on stairs, easily installed lights and so on I’ll just do it, but I always look the inspector directly in the eye and cordially ask which edition of the UCC (NOT NJAC section) is he or she using? In my experience, that’s been sufficient to politely signal you know the game and put an end to the nonsense.

The windowless basement “violation” is a whole other matter…. The FD tried this on me a few years ago. There’s real money in it, sometimes even a building on the cheap. Sprinklers are expensive and can be destructive to install in an old building – even if only in the basement, and can require periodic inspections ($), testing (more $) and on and on. Moreover the City and Fire Department also want you to install a centrally monitored alarm as well. More on-going, subscription costs – every month, forever. Big bucks.

When they tried to make me do this a few years ago, I refused and went to Court. Sounds they are still at it, attempting to intimidate people into retrofitting basement sprinklers, or worse…? Long and short of it, the FD withdrew the violation – they knew they were wrong. My old building had been retro-fitted at the time to meet the requirements of the UFC when it was introduced (mid/late 80’s). Nothing had been done subsequently to the building to trigger the application of any newer Code edition that required sprinklers or a monitored alarm. If I had “rehabbed” the building, then yes, the requirements of the Code in effect when the “rehab” was undertaken would have to be met.

I finally had enough of the City and State's nonsense, and as you may recall - I posted here some time ago - when the reval became a done deal, I sold the building. And I'm not sorry about it at all.

Feel free to ask any questions and I’ll do my best to provide concise and accurate responses to the best of my knowledge.

Posted on: 5/23 17:06
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Re: Notice of violation & Order to correct - JCFD
#7
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

MDM wrote:
What is the deal with 'windowless basement'? Are the windows required as an alternative to escape a fire or something?

Newer buildings, yes. Older buildings it depends on several factors including the age of the building and the particular edition / version of code the building has met. It's not a simple black and white, yes or no, answer.

Posted on: 5/23 16:53
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Re: Jersey City Fire prevention Division violations
#8
Home away from home
Home away from home


This “Windowless basement” violation is a complete, total racket, and has been for 30 years. I’ve left you a lengthy pm with additional details.

Many smaller, less than 5 stories, older (pre-1977) residential building with windowless basements less than 3,000 sq ft DO NOT requite either suppression or central monitoring. The reason is because they met the requirements of past Code editions in effect at the time that did not mandate these features (BOCA 1984 and 1987, sections 1718 and 1020, respectively). Those older, pre-1977 buildings had to be updated when the UFC came into effect in the mid and late 1980's. They used the BOCA code as the basis for what came to be known as the "retro-fit" requirements. Anything newly built or rehabbed after 1977 must have met the code requirement in effect at the time. You couldn't get a CO or a green card if the building didn't.

The general approach is that if a building or installation met the Code requirement in effect at the time the work was performed, then no updates are necessary just because a new version of the Code comes in effect. Often shorthanded as "pre-existing condition."

Posted on: 5/23 12:13
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Re: New Tax Rate is Insane!
#9
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

Dolomiti wrote:
That's like saying the city should remove every single traffic light, and make it the responsibility of individual drivers to know when to safely proceed at intersections.

Oh please, spare us the ridiculous nonsense. Obviously, not appealing property taxes is absolutely 100% nothing like removing every single traffic light. That is an absurd proposition. Not appealing property taxes that are too high is simple inaction on the part of an individual causing self-induced harm. Stop whining if you did nothing to stop that.


Quote:

Dolomiti wrote:
It is not the responsibility of tens of thousands of JC residents to fix a systemic refusal by the city to uphold its legal responsibilities.

No dispute about that. But it is up to an individual to appeal their taxes if they are unjust or unfair because they are too high. That’s why there’s an appeal system and that’s how it works. An individual brings an appeal – get it…?

Quote:

Dolomiti wrote:
Appealing one's property taxes is not the most difficult thing in the world. However, tens of thousands of property owners have no idea how it works, or that it's a viable option at all.

Yes, appealing taxes isn’t the most difficult thing. All the more reason that if someone didn’t appeal, it’s their problem now.

Quote:

Dolomiti wrote:
Individual appeals also does not fix the situation where tens of thousands of property owners, whose properties have increased in value and are underassessed, are underpaying their taxes.

Can’t disagree that Jersey City was wilfully negligent in neglecting to conduct revals for the past 30 or so years. Nevertheless an individual could have fixed their own problem all during that time with an appeal. It’s no secret and many people did appeal successfully. Stop crying now if you didn’t. I feel sorry for you, but you alone are responsible if you didn’t appeal.

Quote:

Dolomiti wrote:
Unfair imbalances in property tax assessments is not the fault of individuals who are issued incorrect assessments. This is the responsibility of the politicians who are refusing to uphold their legal responsibilities, along with the citizens who encourage them.

Couldn’t agree more. Steve Fulop was willfully and wantonly negligent when he stopped the reval after becoming mayor. His action revealed his cynicism about an injustice that impacted thousands of residents across many neighborhoods in Jersey City. And all during the past 30 years successive City Administrations and Officials who knew a reval was way overdue and did nothing are equally culpable. Nonetheless, individuals who didn’t appeal their unfair taxes for decades are responsible for their own inaction.

Oh, by the way, I think you’ll find that the road rules hold you responsible for safely proceeding at any time you’re driving on public roads – whether or not a traffic control signal is installed. The presence, or absence, of a traffic light is secondary to your responsibility to be in control of your vehicle and drive safely. You don’t get to drive unsafely because a traffic signal is out of repair, or broken or “...is removed...” You are still responsible.

Posted on: 3/8 16:10
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Re: New Tax Rate is Insane!
#10
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

HCResident wrote:
Quote:

Bamb00zle wrote:
Quote:

Pebble wrote:

The issue here is, you have three decades where some residents were screwed. They were paying a tax rate double that of those living with much better means. The poor were subsidizing the wealthy. A reval one year later would mean that the poorer areas only receive one year relief to earn back the money they lost over those decades.


During the entire time since the 1998 reval anybody who believed their property taxes were “unfair” had the right to appeal. If someone didn’t, that was plain crazy, and you can cry me a river about their “inequitatable” property taxes.

As a result of the City’s willful negligence not conducting a reval, DT property values have been inflated by low assessments over the past 30 years. Now, post reval, there’s little doubt DT values will fall, especially with the cap on SALT deductions. Another revaluation will mitigate the damage caused.

And yes, it was damaging for all the other areas over the past 30 years to pay too much in taxes. Those folks should have, but apparently didn’t, appeal. That’s their issue to deal with.

The blame for all this mess belongs with Jersey City politicians and administration employees, who knew all along what was going on and did NOTHING for 30 years. They should be held accountable.


We can blame all we want, but what’s fair is what’s fair. And you yourself said what needs to be said to anyone whose property value falls over the next year or so.

If you don’t recall, I bolded it for you. Also, just for clarity, the last reval was in 1988.


You are 100% correct! People who believe their property taxes are unfair should appeal. If they don't, they have only themselves to hold responsible.

Thanks for picking up my typo - 1988 not 1998. 1988 being 30 years ago.

Posted on: 3/7 6:35
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Re: New Tax Rate is Insane!
#11
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

Pebble wrote:

The issue here is, you have three decades where some residents were screwed. They were paying a tax rate double that of those living with much better means. The poor were subsidizing the wealthy. A reval one year later would mean that the poorer areas only receive one year relief to earn back the money they lost over those decades.


During the entire time since the 1998 reval anybody who believed their property taxes were “unfair” had the right to appeal. If someone didn’t, that was plain crazy, and you can cry me a river about their “inequitatable” property taxes.

As a result of the City’s willful negligence not conducting a reval, DT property values have been inflated by low assessments over the past 30 years. Now, post reval, there’s little doubt DT values will fall, especially with the cap on SALT deductions. Another revaluation will mitigate the damage caused.

And yes, it was damaging for all the other areas over the past 30 years to pay too much in taxes. Those folks should have, but apparently didn’t, appeal. That’s their issue to deal with.

The blame for all this mess belongs with Jersey City politicians and administration employees, who knew all along what was going on and did NOTHING for 30 years. They should be held accountable.

Posted on: 3/6 15:26
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Re: New Tax Rate is Insane!
#12
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

brewster wrote:
All I know is that if land is now 60% of the value, and your neighbor's identical land is valued at half yours, making their taxes 30% lower, heads will roll. Downtowners will not accept the standard line: "your neighbors taxes are not relevant to your appeal". Land is land.

The "attorney density" DT is very high, they can't fudge this like they do regular appraisals. I've had appraisals where they groomed the numbers so that the comp, replacement, and income methods came out within a 1.3% range. You're more likely to golf 18 holes of "hole in one".


So, if you’re correct Brewster, the new reval company Fulop hired to replace the crooked, terrible, incompetent reval company he fired, has completely screwed up…. And the city is likely in for more law suits, and another reval in short order.

Given the City’s wanton disregard for the inequitable distribution of property taxes and the impact it had on different neighborhoods, I don’t understand why there isn’t some kind of disparate impact suit already….

How much is all this incompetence, to put it kindly, going to cost us? How many of our neighbors had to sell their homes over the past 20 years because taxes were so inequitable. And who bought those homes? There’s some stinky stuff hidden behind the LLC’s that buy so much property around here. Who are the real owners?

In any event it seems we now know why Fulop already floated the idea of another reval – he knows this one is an awful job. Won’t it be interesting if someone finds he’s connected in some way to the reval company he hired… I’m sure they’ve started looking.

Posted on: 2/23 16:53
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Re: New Tax Rate is Insane!
#13
Home away from home
Home away from home


My sign is going to read:

GROSSLY NEGLIGENT 30 YEAR REVAL DELAY – HOLD JC POLITICIANS ACCOUNTABLE!!

Posted on: 2/22 13:58
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Re: Reval - press request
#14
Home away from home
Home away from home


Nicole, A three judge panel of the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of NJ did NOT agree that the original appraisal company was deficient in the performance of their duties. In fact, they ruled to the contrary, upholding a $1 million dollar breach of contract award to the Company made by the lower court. You can find the 38 page ruling here:

http://www.documentcloud.org/document ... html#document/p20/a357708

In part due to the gross under-taxing of many downtown properties that continued another 4 years after that reval was stopped, DT JC property values increased further. However, had that reval finished, then we would be just about due for another reval by end of this year – assuming the City adhered to a 5-yr cycle of revals – as it certainly should after this present debacle. Had property appraisals and taxes become unfairly distributed again over that time frame, the second reval would have taken care of that. Indeed, our fearless mayor himself has called for a second reval in short order – a year or so from now – so that appraisals and taxes can be adjusted again.

As you can readily appreciate Nicole, it’s an absolute mess, the kind only JC, NJ politicians could create.

Posted on: 2/19 13:51
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Re: Reval - press request
#15
Home away from home
Home away from home


Focus your story on the wanton negligence and gross irresponsibility of successive JC Administrations in not conducting a reval for almost 30 years. Heck, about 4 years ago the current mayor, Steve Fulop, actually stopped a reval that was almost done. He then spent over $8 million of JC taxpayers money attempting to defend the indefensible. Unbelievable....

And please don’t forget to highlight the complicity of the State of New Jersey in allowing this egregious situation to continue so long.

If all that isn’t enough for your story, add in the fact that as this was all going on for decades, State taxpayers funded about 2/3rds of the JC BOE budget. This year that amount is almost $500 million dollars. And all the while, JC was handing out abatement after abatement to property developers….

To round out the details of this disaster, contact our state representatives and ask them for comment on how present efforts to make school funding equitable across the state at long last will impact state aid for JC schools….

Mix it all up and you have one giant mess, and substantial property tax increases in the works for all areas in JC.

As I tell my friends, JC, Hudson County, and NJ have worked hard to earn their reputations.

Posted on: 2/18 10:33
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Re: PATH (pathetic attempt at transporting humans)
#16
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

caj11 wrote:

Well, don't tell too many people about it, then everyone will get the same idea and it won't work too well anymore.


Laugh…, it’s no secret at this point. When Grove is crazy in the morning, I’ll catch a train to JSQ to get the 33rd train. All my friends do the same. And friends at Newport do a similar shuffle to Hoboken for the 33rd train. The over-crowding is so bad I’m considered making that route my routine. I’m over trains arriving so full at Grove that I can’t get on. PATH is an over-crowded mess, getting worse by the day.

Posted on: 1/3 4:59
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Re: Judge OKs site plan for controversial 'micro-unit' project in Jersey City
#17
Home away from home
Home away from home


Glad this topic keeps bubbling up to allow focus on the main event: The City letting this application slide by has the rancid stink of corruption.

There are statutory time frames that MUST be complied with once a submitted development application is considered “complete” for review. The NJ Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL) explicitly allows 45 days for review and disposition. The City knows this and also knows if they fail to act within the 45 days, the application is deemed approved by default under the MLUL provisions. It is absolutely clear in the MLUL and has been upheld repeatedly by NJ Courts. These provisions aren’t secret, and the process isn’t rocket science.

Very strangely, of all the development applications the City sees, for THIS particular application the City “overlooked” the statutory timelines. Think about it for a second. Incompetent..? No, the City knows the rules. That leaves deliberate, which is about what I’d expect from Jersey City. Sure, I don’t have any evidence, however, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is isn’t a giraffe, it’s a duck.

Either way, incompetent or deliberate, the question that SHOULD be addressed is how did this happen? Who in the City was responsible, and whom did they know...? Did anyone notify the State or Feds what happened? And did the City appraise the Feds about the 45 day MLUL timeline? That’s an important detail they may not immediately be familiar with. I hope someone reads this and start asking a few questions.

All you City Operatives who hang out here, got any "intelligence" on this...? No, I didn't think so.

What a total mess Jersey City is…. Who gives a rats ass about NA’s and this application.…? Not me. That’s just a diversion from the real story.

Posted on: 12/25 14:33
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
#18
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

bodhipooh wrote:
Quote:

Dolomiti wrote:

Of course, you should feel free to put your money where your mouth is, and if you personally own in DTJC you should sell now. Right?


I live in DTJC as a renter... I have chosen to to sit out the market until things are clearer. Or, if things go sideways, until the dust settles somewhat.

We should know more by mid to late 2019, after the impact of the upcoming tax changes have been fully experienced.


There are lot of moving parts to the Federal tax changes. Seems clear that for owner-occupiers in high tax locations the net effect of the changes – limit of 10k for the combination of state, local, income/sales and property tax is negative, making the reval’s impact more severe by increasing overall cost of ownership. However, deductions for property taxes on rental properties might remain deductible (fully or partly) to landlords’ businesses, as could the mortgage interest deduction – being a business expense. Then there’s the matter of how pass-through income for Type S corporations (LLC’s) will be treated.

At this point I’m not certain what made it into the final bill regarding investment real estate– something did as there was some commentary about how it appears very favorable to the president. In any event, it appears now that the tax changes for property tax deductions will be much less significant for landlords. Consequently, the impact of the reval increase looks to be a good deal LESS for landlords than owner-occupiers.

Owner occupiers in high tax areas might respond by renting their houses, and living in a rental themselves. You and your neighbor could “swap” houses, renting to each other, to obtain the favorable tax treatment accorded to landlords. Transfer ownership of your place to the “My place is for rent, LLC.” That would free up the entire 10k to use for state and local income taxes, make the property taxes deductible and as a bonus make the mortgage interest deductible. Obviously, all depends on the actual numbers.

Now that would be some unintended consequence – making the economics of changes for property tax deduction overall more favorable to “high” cost states…. There would be no point in a low tax state to try and turn your owner-occupied property into a rental - it wouldn’t increase your deductions. Of course it all depends on the specifics of the final bill. The devil is in the details, as they say….

Seems very tough to predict what the net, final impact will be on the JC housing market.

Posted on: 12/18 1:00
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Re: Port Authority plans to extend PATH to Newark airport
#19
Home away from home
Home away from home


http://www.nj.com/traffic/index.ssf/2 ... nsion_is_plan_b_if_g.html

The arithmetic is simple: 10 car trains run every 3 minutes, carry 90% more passengers than 7 car trains every 4 minutes. And the 25-30 minute trip time EWR to WTC is roughly equal to JSQ - 33rd St. Yes, almost double the capacity….

Expect NJ and PA Officials to be very circumspect in their public statements about this plan – even to the extent of making outright mis-statements about the facts. Why? Because if NY thought for a second there was a way to completely get rid of the PABT, they’d be all over it instantly.

Posted on: 12/6 12:36
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Re: Port Authority plans to extend PATH to Newark airport
#20
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I’ve been in Florida enjoying some warm weather, accumulating a few days out of NJ before year end. Now I’m back and want to follow up on this for anyone who might be interested in more details.

It is 100% certain PATH will get rid of the HOB – WTC and JSQ – 33rd lines. Eventually those lines will be forced shut because of compelling economics and unrelenting increases in commuters. Given the sensitivities, and likely push back, the PA will be very quiet until it’s a done deal, so of course they are being very coy, but it’s inevitable. And the naysayers, City operatives and developer shills who often post here aren’t interested in telling you the truth. You need to think for yourselves…. It is patently obvious to anyone who rides PATH today there are serious capacity problems. The deniers have hidden agendas to push. Here’s what going down, and if it’s done well, it could be a big plus.

To cope with future trans-Hudson commuter demand and plug PATH’s $450 million annual deficit, the PA needs to extract more efficiency and better monetize the value of the downtown H&M tubes. It seems they’ve found a way. The EWR extension is key to unlocking that value. With a PATH extension to EWR, the tunnels to WTC can carry thousands of higher-fare paying riders everyday. Listers, the PA isn’t spending $1.7 billion for us and a few lower Manhattanites to pay $2.75 for a quick ride to Newark airport. No, it’s about finding a lot more commuters who will pay higher fares to use PATH. It’s a big plus for JC and NJ, but it raises significant issues, including re-configuring PATH.

The plan turns EWR – WTC into the major NJ/NYC commuter rail line. The scoping document doesn’t say it that way, but it’s clear. The new EWR station, next to I-78, Rte 22, 1&9, Amtrak, NJT, and close to the Turnpike and Parkway, will have intermodal facilities. The PA wants every commuter it can get on PATH from all the buses and cars that go by there daily. They’ll charge for EWR station “access”, and run as many trains as possible. All for a paltry $1.7 billion. Even at double ($3.4 billion), it’s a bargain. And NY can’t delay or stop it because, unlike the PABT, it’s all here in NJ.

It’s a great idea for everyone who goes past the airport on their way to NYC. It takes buses and cars off highways, and generates money for the PA. It takes pressure off the Gateway tunnel ($30+ billion) and PABT projects ($10+ billion), both still unfunded and over a decade away. Heck, the PABT will never be re-built if NY gets its way. They’d happily leave us stranded in NJ. Expect a huge fight, and long delays before you see a new PABT. Our friends in NY see the PA bridges, tunnels and bus terminal as giant pipes that send “their” jobs, money, and taxes to NJ by the bus and train load every day.

The passenger “access” fee for the EWR station will be about $10 – 3.5 times today’s $2.75 fare. This means revenue from one, full EWR train (10 cars, $12.75 fare) will be about five times that of a full HOB – WTC or JSQ – 33rd train (7 cars, $2.75 fare). If you’re running PATH, with an annual $450 million deficit, which line has priority? A line that generates one fifth the revenue…? I don’t think so.

How does it impact the HOB – WTC and JSQ – 33rd lines? Just run more trains, you say. Well, at present there’s a “bottleneck” that limits system capacity so it can’t run more trains. The federally mandated “headway” gap (the time between trains) for crossing point safety limits the number of trains that can run. Get rid of the crossing points for trains from HOB and JSQ and you can run more EWR – WTC trains. Recall, the EWR trains have the 5 fold revenue increase, and 40% greater passenger load. At the margin, HOB – WTC, and JSQ – 33rd trains cost PATH revenue and capacity, so it’s a matter of when, not if, those lines go for more EWR trains. Of course, even without crossing points PATH eventually reaches the limits of the then much higher capacity constraints. But that’s a long way off.

There’s some good news for JC in all this. With the crossing points gone, PATH can operate faster and more frequent service on the lines that remain, EWR – WTC and HOB – 33rd. Adjust your commute and take your pick which one you’ll ride. You’ll have less wait time and faster rides. Getting to the airport from JC will be fast, easy, and cost less – no taxi, Uber, etc., and no traffic tie ups to worry about. You won’t need to leave an hour earlier, in case there’s a jam on the Skyway or Turnpike.

IMHO the benefits far outweigh any down-sides, but I get that some people won’t like it. And it’s not perfect, so I do have some questions for the PA. Will the access charge apply only to the airport station? What about a discount fare for airport staff? Will we be left standing in the dust at JSQ or Grove St, by trains full of higher-fare paying commuters from EWR? Will PATH run WTC trains that start empty from JSQ, and Grove St? Have your say now Listers, make sure they’ve thought about the details and the plans are robust, work for JC, and are implemented accordingly.

But know this: the service will change, it’s inevitable. There’s way too much money at stake.

There’s over 400 pages of report about trans Hudson commuting from the PA, here and here:
https://www.panynj.gov/about/pdf/Trans ... ummary_Report_9-21-16.pdf
https://www.panynj.gov/about/pdf/Trans ... ll_Appendices_9-21-16.pdf

Posted on: 2017/11/29 16:13
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PATH - proposed Newark Airport extension
#21
Home away from home
Home away from home


Take a good look at this fellow Listers.

http://www.panynj.gov/path/pdf/PATH_E ... Document_November2017.pdf

There are a couple of public meetings planned for comments.
http://www.panynj.gov/path/pdf/PATH_E ... Meeting_Flyer_English.pdf

From the document:
“The new PATH station will be designed to allow for the construction of commuter parking, thereby providing the potential for expanded trans-Hudson transit access for commuters. The size of the parking facility analyzed in the EA will be identified based on potential demand and cost effectiveness criteria, and its design will be developed during a station area planning effort, which will solicit input from key stakeholders. Different parking facility options may be analyzed in the EA to capture the effects of plausible scenarios. The parking facilities analyzed will likely include a surface lot and/or a parking garage for daily commuters.”

On balance, this could be a great idea but ONLY IF service frequency is greatly increased. Significant additional commuter loads are likely from the planned “park and ride” facilities located just off I-78 and Rte 22. More trains will be needed. The scoping document states 3 minute frequency during rush hour.

Increasing service frequency on PATH is not simple. The federally mandated “headway” gap that must be maintained between trains complicates things. It becomes critical at crossing points where the lines intersect, as the number of train that can “fit” while maintaining the required “headway” is limited. So, to run more trains on a given line, PATH must reduce train crossings on that line.

Although they’re not saying it just yet, this means eventually it’s goodbye HOB to WTC, and possibly even to JSQ to 33rd. Sooner or later, eliminating crossing points where those lines intersect with the EWR to WTC line becomes the only way to “fit” more trains on the EWR-WTC line. Otherwise, how do they carry all those additional commuters from EWR and beyond – short of building new PATH tunnels?

For some (many?) JC commuters this could mean problems. However, IF WTC service becomes much more frequent, as the document states (do we believe the PA…?) the negative impact for those folks is mitigated (somewhat) by better WTC service. For many, including other JC commuters, increased WTC service frequency will be a huge plus.

To sweeten the whole deal for everyone, why not have a single set fare that includes BOTH PATH and the NYC Subway? Or allow people to buy reduce fare “transfers” across the systems. And while they are at it, please fully integrate the PATH and subway fare systems. I saw no mention of those ideas in the document.

Posted on: 2017/11/23 8:45
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Re: Man Found Stabbed in the Chest in Jersey City (Newark ave between Grove and Erie)
#22
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

TheBigGuy wrote:

Would love to see the source of your quote because the only location quote I saw was that the incident occurred in the vicinity of 135 Newark Ave.

Maybe you and GrovePath can go down during the day and interview the business owners in the vicinity? It did say early morning... If it helps you, remember nothing good ever happens after midnight.


ROTFL – you tried to Google that “quote”…?

There’s no need for me to waste my time speaking to store owners / staff to figure out what goes down around here. Someone was stabbed in the vicinity of the Newark Ave Pedestrian Plaza, right there on JC's famous, high class, restaurant row. If anyone did know what happened, I've no doubt they wouldn’t tell me…. SMFH.

Posted on: 2017/11/21 21:31
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Re: Man Found Stabbed in the Chest in Jersey City (Newark ave between Grove and Erie)
#23
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

MikeyTBC wrote:

Because then they couldn't charge 2200/mo for a shitty basement studio in a "desirable" area.


+1 LOL. Yeah, so true…. But it’s the back story I’m most interested in.

Terrence, how ‘bout you try to get the lowdown from your JJ buddy, intrepid Police Reporter, Michaelango Conte…? He should be on the job with these crime reports.

Posted on: 2017/11/21 20:07
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Re: Man Found Stabbed in the Chest in Jersey City (Newark ave between Grove and Erie)
#24
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

TheBigGuy wrote:
Quote:

CatDog wrote:
Probably because it would be bad press for them and unless they're involved at all it's not really relevant. If someone gets stabbed outside a residence, should they mention who lives at the residence?


+1 Maybe GrovePath can still stop by the two businesses and ask anyway?


I don’t particularly need to know the name of the DTJC business a crime occurred outside of, but I DO need to know the general vicinity. An address doesn't immediately help me with that - I have to Google it to find the location. Turns out 135 Newark Ave is in the middle of the pedestrian plaza in DTJC’s restaurant row.

I need that information for my own personal safety, so I know where to be careful and where to avoid completely. I need to know: “The stabbing victim was found outside a restaurant located on the downtown Newark Ave pedestrian plaza”, so I can decide if, and when, I go to that vicinity.

Stabbings in the middle of supposedly safe, busy areas of DTJC concern me, as does the absence of news coverage about these crimes. What else doesn’t get reported, and why not…?

Posted on: 2017/11/21 12:59
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Re: Fair current value for a home with low taxes.
#25
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Home away from home


Quote:

MDM wrote:

... but the frightening totality is still being ignored.

https://www.newjerseyalmanac.com/opinion.html


Spot on MDM. Well, with the minor exception that I haven’t ignored it…. I am ready to go the instant some Government official tells me I have to “pay up” so they can still get their pension. NJ is at the bottom of the heap when it comes to funding future pension obligations. I personally don’t see it moving from dead last, and if it does, it won't be with any help from me since I had no part in making the mess. http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research- ... -pension-funding-gap-2015.

The taxes on the house I sold will go from around $14,000 to between $36,000 - $42,000 depending on the final assessed value and rate. $3,000 a month taxes (maybe more) for the privilege of living in JC…? No thanks! And that’s before any school funding changes, and any increases in income taxes – thanks Gov. Murphy.

Then, add in the mess PATH has become. Even after the new carriages and signals, NJTPA says PATH reaches capacity by the "mid 2020's". Me? I think it’s already there, and the mid 2020's claim is a straight up lie. Come to JC, "Make it Yours." Too bad you can’t get to work, or home again without big delays, notwithstanding punitive property taxes.

Where does all that money go? Whatever, I know I’ve reached my limit. I’m definitely not shelling out $36,000 to $42,000 each and every year to fund these crooks.

Posted on: 2017/11/2 21:22
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Re: Fair current value for a home with low taxes.
#26
Home away from home
Home away from home


Indeed. I sold my downtown property because of the reval’s predictable impact on taxes and prices. I was paying about 0.7%, so it was obvious the tax hit will be significant. Definitely more than I want to pay for the dysfunction, corruption and inadequate services that characterize this city. I was hopeful Fulop might turn things around, but after 4 years it’s obvious he’s as bad as his predecessor. In any event, with the potential reduction / loss of the property tax and mortgage interest deductions, I’m confident in my call. I might buy again when the dust settles, but for now I’ll keep renting. I also see some other issues that could make things even worse. The state shovels over $450 million each year to the JCBOE! If NJ is looking to fill a pension hole, well there’s money to be had for the taking. Changes to school funding support from the state to the JCBOE will have a major impact on property taxes.

Posted on: 2017/11/2 13:10
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Re: Replacing shut off valve on the water main line
#27
Home away from home
Home away from home


iGreg, I personally wouldn't use copper in a steam system for several reasons. The expansion coefficient of copper and the heat loss through thin-walled copper pipe is too great. Also, assuming you can find them, sufficiently large, correctly sized copper pipes on the steam-supply side would be cost prohibitive. For steam, I'm of the view that iron (black) pipes and threaded fittings are the way to go. You're dead right that there will be some corrosion and “mud” sediment build up over time. That said, the iron pipes in the old house I sold recently were 100+ yrs old. With a little TLC over the years – changing a valve, flushing a radiator like you suggested – that system still worked great. I was in awe of the craftsmen who installed it all those years ago. If you're installing a new hot water based system, then of course, you're absolutely correct copper, almost without exception, is the better choice.

Posted on: 2017/9/14 12:54
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Re: Replacing shut off valve on the water main line
#28
Home away from home
Home away from home


Brewster, I'm not aware of anyone else in JC interested in, or capable of, doing that kind of work correctly. The last time I had work on my steam system I found a contractor from New York. The guy knew exactly what to do and how to do it. However, after dealing with the City Building Department for permits and inspection, he vowed he'd never, ever in a million years to come back to JC. Story of JC.... Use Building Dept contacts to “discourage” outside contractors from doing work here. Or put the parking police onto the contractor each and every day. Who wants competition if you can lock up the local market completely. The end result - very few reliable, competent, reasonably priced contractors around.

I should add to my prior post, just briefly. Those steam / return pipes (to and from the boiler) must be correctly sized and pitched as well. The near boiler piping needs to be BIG. If you're replacing a boiler, follow the boiler manufacturers directions for the near boiler piping very closely. And make certain the steam lines in the basement are insulated – it makes a huge difference to efficacy and speed of heat delivery to the right places.

Posted on: 2017/9/14 7:57
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Re: Replacing shut off valve on the water main line
#29
Home away from home
Home away from home


Dinger, we might be saying much the same thing, but it could help to make sure, to possibly prevent someone from making an expensive mistake installing incorrectly sized steam radiators or boiler.

Certainly, the starting point is a heat loss calculation for the building, adding each room's heat loss on the coldest anticipated day, so the system can meet the most extreme demands. Here's how I'd go about it. For steam heat, I size the individual room radiator BTU/hr for the heat loss of that room, then I total all those radiator loads, add an inefficacy “fudge” factor (say 25%), and that's the boiler size required in BTU/hr output. I'd then round up, if needed, to the larger nearest sized boiler. So, for example, if I calculate say 92,000 BTU/hr total load, I'd use a 100,000 boiler, not a 90,000.

Over-sized radiators for an otherwise adequate sized boiler – steam system, not hot water – will result in rooms with short runs from the boiler getting too hot, and rooms with the longest runs from the boiler heating too little, or not at all.... Steam will condense in the nearer, oversize radiators and never get to the distant radiators at the end of the run.

Over-sizing the entire system, but with matched boiler and radiator capacity, increases inefficiency due to short “on” cycles. It wont be cold, but some efficiency is lost. Of course, if its efficiency you're after steam isn't the best. But as you know many old houses around here have one-pipe steam systems that are tough to convert to hot water, so basically they're stuck with them.

Right sized radiators (BTU/hr), pitched so they drain correctly, with properly functioning radiator air vents, and radiator steam valves left fully opened, along with the right boiler control settings – particularly the pressuretrol – means steam will do well enough.

Posted on: 2017/9/13 22:29
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Re: Home Improvement - downsizing radiators
#30
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

hero69 wrote:
yesterday i happened to be in an apartment in manhattan that was undergoing extensive renovation. i noticed that the large victorian cast iron radiators had been replaced with much smaller cast iron (and less intrusive imo) radiators, given that many houses now have double pane windows and insulation, is it practical to reduce radiator size by 50%, 25%? just wondering...any info, constructive feedback welcome


Absolutely. Those old radiators were sized for un-insulated buildings. Moreover, back in the day it was believed that keeping the windows closed was bad for your health – causing respiratory problems, influenza, TB and so on. Accordingly the steam heating systems were (over) sized to cope with windows that would be left open in winter.

With steam heating it's important to match radiator “capacity” and steam generation capacity (BTU's/hr) of the boiler, particularly so you don't undersize the boiler. If that happens steam condenses in the system and the distant radiators never get hot. Over-capacity of the boiler is also an issue, but at least you wont freeze with an over-size boiler. Charts on line give you the BTU capacity of a particular size radiator so you can "match" boiler output to radiator load.

Here are a couple of useful links:
http://www.columbiaheatingsupply.com/ ... ng%20Capacity%20Guide.pdf

https://heatinghelp.com/systems-help-center/category/steam

Posted on: 2017/9/13 15:54
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