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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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DanL wrote:
...not only has former Councilman Steve Lipski, previous recipient of Mr. Hyman's campaign contribution largess (under various names/entities) been accompanying the applicant at the past two hearings (also the council meeting that approved bonding to acquire the Embankment), he was joined (at the hip) this evening by former city Business Administrator Brian O'Reilly.


Two bad omens.



If he gets his approval, just watch how fast the embankment disappears.

Then get ready to look at fallow ground for 10 years just like 111 First.

Posted on: 2010/10/5 3:56
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the hearing ended with Steve Hyman being recalled as a witness by his attorney. it will continue Tuesday, 10/5, 6pm with the additional cross examining by the coalition's attorney and then summations by both sides and a vote - first on whether the property should be considered as a commercial property, if no, the hearing will consider the historic issues, if yes, then the board will determine on economic hardship, if yes, then done , if no again the historic significance is considered.

note, not only has former Councilman Steve Lipski, previous recipient of Mr. Hyman's campaign contribution largess (under various names/entities) been accompanying the applicant at the past two hearings (also the council meeting that approved bonding to acquire the Embankment), he was joined (at the hip) this evening by former city Business Administrator Brian O'Reilly.

while a good public turnout, hopefully even more will come out to oppose the demolition tomorrow, Tuesday.

Posted on: 2010/10/5 3:42
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Other post was deleted... Tonight there was a good attendance and many residents testified. Please if anyone knows the outcomes, post here!

Posted on: 2010/10/5 2:03
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According to the Coalition, if Hyman is granted Certificates of Hardship, that will override any decision on Certificate of Appropriateness to demolish and result in the defacto granting of demolition permits. They believe the board will vote tonight! Please show your support!

Posted on: 2010/10/4 15:05
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Please come out again to oppose demolition of the 6th St. Embankment tonight, Monday, 10/4 and Tuesday, 10/5, 6pm at City Hall.

After 12 years of preservation efforts, the Zoning Board is holding court ordered demolition hearings.

Your presence is needed to show that residents care.

Together, we must protect this valuable historic resource and right of way for open space, for our future.

Posted on: 2010/10/4 14:13
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jcboyz wrote:
KNOCK IT DOWN AND MAKE IT A STREET LEVEL PARK!!!! NO CONDOS, JUST A PARK!!! ITS NOT THE HIGH LINE, NEVER WILL BE THE HIGH LINE SO STOP COMPARING IT TO THE HIGH LINE. IT SHOULD BE A PARK AT STREET LEVEL SO WE DONT HAVE TO LOOK AT THOSE UGLY STONES AND THE RESIDENTS OF DOWNTOWN JERSEY CITY DONT HAVE TO GET MUGGED WHILE USING IT!


Then you wrote:

TEAR IT DOWM ALREADY!!!! I would love to see beautiful high end townhouses contributing tax dollars. They should take one of the blocks and mandate that it be a park but at street level.

The park idea on top of the embankment sucks!



You have already changed your tune on the Embankment and thus you present the exact reason why residents must fight developers. First just a street level park and then a few "townhouses"? No. People like you cannot be trusted.
We need Greenspace for residents plain and simple. The Embankment would be a fine example of greenspace plus our local history preserved in a beautiful and dignified fashion.

Posted on: 2010/10/4 12:21
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It's absolutely asinine that they'll allow witnesses who have everything to gain by demolishing the Embankment testify yet people who may have given 10 bucks to support the coalition cannot. Please try and attend Mon and Tues if you can!

Posted on: 2010/10/4 1:36
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They Want to Demolish the Harsimus Branch Embankment - Do YOU? Have no regrets; make your voice heard! Jersey City Zoning Board of Adjustment Hearings on Demolition/Certificates of Economic Hardship Monday, Oct 4, 2010, 6 pm Tuesday, Oct 5, 2010, 6 pm City Hall Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 280 Grove St
The Embankment Preservation Coalition has kept the historic Embankment standing on 6th Street through 12 years of attacks. In the demolition hearings going on now before the Zoning Board, the deck is stacked against us. Most troubling to anyone who believes in our constitutional right of free speech, and our civic duty to participate in such an important decision, a judge determined that the Board should not allow anyone who has donated money to the Coalition to cross-examine witnesses; they should do so through the Coalition attorney. This decision was made despite the fact that donors to the Coalition have no voting rights and did not hire or even meet this attorney; only our corporation is represented. Thus, the very people who support preservation most strongly ?some of whom are property owners whose property will be immediately impacted by demolition ? are silenced. The Zoning Board has not yet decided if Coalition donors can even make statements during the public comment portion of the meeting. If you have donated to the Coalition, please attend to make your presence known. If you have NOT donated to the Coalition, it is more important than ever that you attend these hearings ? you may be the ONLY supporters allowed to make your opinion known to the Board.

Posted on: 2010/10/3 21:05
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Those stones are completely ugly and the entire structure must bie taken down. A compromise needs to take place where a coupe parks should be placed on some blocks and development on others.

Posted on: 2010/10/2 12:25
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Posted on: 2010/10/2 6:43
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A REAL Environmental Impact Study...Brunswick,Coles,Jersey, Erie,Grove, Marin, 5th Street, 6th street....

Posted on: 2010/10/1 0:34
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Really funny. Meeting still on.
Hyman and wife sitting with Steve Lipski, former councilman who
disgraced himself by urinating on the public, from the balcony
at a Grateful Dead concert.
PERFCT TOGETHER.

Posted on: 2010/10/1 0:24
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Amen brother! So tired of being pushed around by politcians and developers.
This is our city. We live here and care.
If they build, your backyards will have no alleys. You will most likely be looking into someones window.
How much money does Hyman need. He already made 25 mill off gulls cove.
Go rape the land somewhere else. SOB.

Posted on: 2010/9/30 21:25
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ogden1 wrote:
I hope there is a good turnout. It will be really terrible for the folks on 5th and 6th the have hi rise apts in their back yards. We really must show our supprt tonight and stop this insanity.


Absolutely correct - as someone who owns a home with a backyard directly facing the Embankment, the destruction would suck for so many reasons I want to down a bottle of scotch right now just thinking about it. But to fraulein's point, if these structures are torn down be prepared for hell to break loose all over Harsimus Cove/Village/Hamilton Park. Massive traffic jams (Monmouth already sucks in the morning, can you imagine what demolition and construction would do?), dust and other unknown contaminants/pollution, further stress on an already overstressed sewage system via loss of a major water shed and having 1500 condos linking into the sewage line, and so on. Not to mention their historical value and to my eyes an aesthetically pleasing affect on the neighborhood. Essentially if you live within a minimum of 5 blocks of any Embankment structure in any direction you will be affected. Please come tonight to show your support.

Posted on: 2010/9/30 20:49
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Why just 5th and 6th street - it's my understanding they want to put close to 1500 units, which would be the full space of the current embankment... This will affect anyone living near Hamilton Park, regardless if you're right on it.

Posted on: 2010/9/30 20:14
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I hope there is a good turnout. It will be really terrible for the folks on 5th and 6th the have hi rise apts in their back yards. We really must show our supprt tonight and stop this insanity.

Posted on: 2010/9/30 19:59
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No, the Zoning Board has not denied yet the "Certificate of Appropriateness" under this re-hearing ordered by Judge Galipoli. I just received this email from the Embankment: If you can come tonight, even for a while it will be very helpful. The Zoning Board should vote tonight the applicant's Certificate of Economic Hardship. If the vote is with the applicant they could get the right to demolish the Embankment. Please come out and show that you oppose demolition. We need to be very orderly and respectful of the board and the applicant. Numbers will show the board how how many people demolition will impact. The meeting starts at 6pm and we expect them to move fairly quickly through the end of the application for economic hardship to have the board vote. We hope you can make it out tonight! Best, Jenny Meyer 917-379-3455 Quote:
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fraulein wrote: Just got an alert email from Embankment Coalition about another meeting tonight at city hall @ 6. Does anyone know the details of this meeting vs. the others? We've gone to every one so far and weren't sure why this one may be more important than the others. Thanks.
Hyman will apply for a "Certificate of Economic Hardship" before the Zoning Board which if granted could give him the right to demolish the Embankment! Please come out ready to speak as now is the time that the city should pursue the right to declare eminent domain. The city council has already approved this and the city has secured $6.8 million in grants for purchase. In such a hearing the city would have to " offer the highest appraisal in any condemnation proceeding", according to the Jersey City Independent article.
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Posted on: 2010/9/30 18:27
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Thanks - we'll be there! Does that mean that the zoning board has already denied the Certificate of Appropriateness?

Posted on: 2010/9/30 18:08
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fraulein wrote: Just got an alert email from Embankment Coalition about another meeting tonight at city hall @ 6. Does anyone know the details of this meeting vs. the others? We've gone to every one so far and weren't sure why this one may be more important than the others. Thanks.
Hyman will apply for a "Certificate of Economic Hardship" before the Zoning Board which if granted could give him the right to demolish the Embankment! Please come out ready to speak as now is the time that the city should pursue the right to declare eminent domain. The city council has already approved this and the city has secured $6.8 million in grants for purchase. In such a hearing the city would have to " offer the highest appraisal in any condemnation proceeding", according to the Jersey City Independent article.
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Posted on: 2010/9/30 17:48
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Just got an alert email from Embankment Coalition about another meeting tonight at city hall @ 6. Does anyone know the details of this meeting vs. the others? We've gone to every one so far and weren't sure why this one may be more important than the others. Thanks.

Posted on: 2010/9/30 16:19
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I was instinctively disappointed until I read the last paragraph noting that the city needed to wait for this outcome to pursue eminent domain. If the decision was reverse, it seems it would be a lot harder to declare eminent domain. We need to do that already....

Posted on: 2010/9/30 10:30
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We have much more on the federal court decision, what comes next, reaction from the city and Hyman, and the actual court document:

Judge Rules Against Jersey City and Embankment Coalition in Federal Case

Posted on: 2010/9/30 10:17
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Devastating.

Posted on: 2010/9/30 9:07
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Court denies challenge to sale of NJ rail property

JERSEY CITY, N.J.

Jersey City and two nonprofit groups have lost their bid to stop Conrail from selling a portion of abandoned rail property in the northern New Jersey community to developers.

In a ruling made public on Wednesday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., found that three parties don't have standing to bring the suit and issued a summary judgment in favor of Conrail.

Jersey City and the two groups - Rails to Trails Conservancy and the Pennsylvania Railroad Harismus Stem Embankment Preservation Coalition - want to preserve the property known as the Sixth Street Embankment. The city has designated it a "historic landmark."

But the judge found the plaintiffs failed to show sufficient evidence of imminent injury to their interests.

http://news.google.com/news/more?pz=1 ... Zp6RBpfKScMsrnYqsgZbYzPBM

Posted on: 2010/9/30 5:59
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TEAR IT DOWM ALREADY!!!! I would love to see beautiful high end townhouses contributing tax dollars. They should take one of the blocks and mandate that it be a park but at street level.

The park idea on top of the embankment sucks!



I'd be interested in knowing just how close to the embankment you live?

Posted on: 2010/9/23 16:43
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TEAR IT DOWM ALREADY!!!! I would love to see beautiful high end townhouses contributing tax dollars. They should take one of the blocks and mandate that it be a park but at street level.

The park idea on top of the embankment sucks!

Posted on: 2010/9/23 15:51
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I was able to attend the first half of last night, leaving when they took a recess. I felt the cross-examination path taken by the Coalition lawyer was a good one - she pressed him on his aesthetics training, which the Hyman lawyer spent quite some time discussing during the Sept 1st meeting. Their response was that he was an architect and not trained in judging the aesthetic or architectural value of a utility structure, utterly ridiculous given his specific comments on this topic from the previous meeting.

Can anyone who was able to stay for the second half of the meeting give any highlights of what was said?

Posted on: 2010/9/23 15:41
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Would-be developer of 6th Street embankment tells city why it should be torn down

Tuesday, September 07, 2010
By MELISSA HAYES JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

The would-be developer of an elevated parcel along Sixth Street in Jersey City has once again asked the city's Zoning Board of Adjustment for permission to tear down the old railroad embankment to build townhouses.

The board was ordered to hear developer Steve Hyman's arguments again on Sept. 1 after Superior Court Assignment Judge Maurice Gallipoli ruled in June that the board should not have rejected Hyman's application just because the city's Historic Preservation Commission did.

The zoning board serves as the appeals body for the HPC.

The embankment consists of six elevated parcels of land and covers eight blocks along Sixth Street from Marin Boulevard across Newark Avenue. It once served as a freight line with seven sets of tracks, known as the Harsimus Stem of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

In a meeting that stretched from 6 to 10 p.m. last Wednesday, Hyman's attorney, Michele Donato, and Hoboken architect Dean Marchetto used the city's own words against the board to justify tearing down the stone wall.

Marchetto pointed to a report by the city's Division of Planning in 1998 that called the structure a "nuisance," which separates the Hamilton Park neighborhood from the Harsimus Cove neighborhood to the detriment of both communities.

Marchetto testified that there is nothing special about the architecture of the wall to make it historically significant.

"It's an ordinary block wall of its time," he said noting that some of the sections closest to the waterfront have been removed over the years to make way for development.

He detailed the various design plans Hyman has proposed since his wife purchased the site from Conrail in 2003.

Hyman wants to build 32 townhouses on each of the blocks, after tearing down the walls.

The city has been fighting Hyman in state and federal court for ownership of the site since 2005 and despite recently bonding $7.5 million to purchase the property, has been unable to reach an agreement with Hyman.

The presentation took so long, members of the Embankment Preservation Coalition, who want the structure preserved as a public park, did not have time to question Marchetto.

The meeting will reconvene at 6 p.m. Sept. 22, at City Hall, 280 Grove St.

Posted on: 2010/9/7 20:13
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Sixth Street Embankment owner makes case to Jersey City Zoning Board to demolish structure

Published: Wednesday, September 01, 2010, 9:06 PM Updated: Wednesday, September 01, 2010, 9:09 PM

Melissa Hayes
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Developer Steve Hyman is asking the Jersey City Zoning Board of Adjustment to allow him to tear down the Sixth Street Embankment walls so he can build town houses.

The owner of an elevated parcel of land along Sixth Street in Jersey City began making his case to the Zoning Board of Adjustment tonight as to why he should be able to knock down the sandstone walls and build townhouses.

The meeting began at 6 p.m. and developer Steve Hyman?s first witness Hoboken architect Dean Marchetto is still on the stand speaking about the architecture and aesthetics of the old railroad embankment.

Hyman?s attorney Michele Donato spent about half an hour questioning Marchetto on his credentials and having him review historic projects he has worked on.

Marchetto detailed his experience in restoring historic sites and finding new uses for them and the ability of architects to design new construction that fits in a historic neighborhood.

Hyman?s team is using the city?s own words to argue why the embankment should be demolished.

In 1998, the city deemed the embankment an area in need of redevelopment. Marchetto cited the city Planning Division?s report from that year, which calls the structure a ?nuisance? that separates the Hamilton Park neighborhood from the Harsimus Cove neighborhood to the detriment of the communities.

Marchetto testified that there is nothing special about the architecture of the wall that would make it historically significant.

?It?s an ordinary block wall of its time,? he said noting that some of the sections closest to the waterfront have been removed over the years to make way for development.

Marchetto is in the process of detailing the various design plans Hyman has proposed since his wife purchased the property in 2003.

In December 2003 Hyman met with the Embankment Preservation Coalition to discuss the coalition?s goals for the land, the coalition and city officials have been fighting to turn the property into a park, with the hopes of NJ Transit placing a light rail link there in the future.

The embankment consists of six elevated parcels of land and covers eight blocks along Sixth St. from Marin Boulevard across Newark Ave. It once served as a freight line with seven sets of tracks, known as the Harsimus Stem of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Despite the 1998 study, the city moved to preserve the property, landing the dispute in court in 2005. The case has been through state and federal courts and Hudson County Superior Court Assignment Judge Maurice Gallipoli recently ordered the Zoning Board to hear Hyman?s request to tear down the walls.

Hyman is proposing 32 townhouses on each of the blocks, but wants to tear down the walls in order to do so. This deviates from the original plan conceived after meetings with the embankment supporters in 2003, that would have preserved several of the blocks, which concentrating development on two of the blocks. Hyman would have needed a variance to increase the density at Marin Boulevard and Mainla Ave. and has said the city rejected that proposal.

Once Marchetto is done explaining the plans, which include efforts by Hyman to preserve the walls, the Embankment Coalition?s attorney will have a chance to cross-examine him.

The meeting has been moving slowly and is expected to end at 10 p.m. After giving his background as to why he should be considered an expert witness, Marchetto began discussing the embankment around 7:30 p.m. By that point, several audience members including City Councilmen Steven Fulop and Michael Sottolano had already left the meeting.

Donato said she expects Marchetto to be the only witness tonight. She told Zoning Board members she would need two or three more meetings to make her case on behalf of Hyman. The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 22 at City Hall at 6 p.m.

? 2010 NJ.com. All rights reserved.

Posted on: 2010/9/4 23:50
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bodhipooh wrote:

And that, in a nutshell, is the main problem with the state of our city at this point in time. Crime is obviously a key issue, but the city's current infrastructure is an even more important issue. The administration has allowed (and fostered) the speedy development of the waterfront and other areas of the city, but we are not keeping up with the growth, and the impact can be seen everywhere. Our roads are in very poor condition, the PATH is usually stuffed during the rush hour commuting hours, countless water mains are breaking all over the place, the police force (as a ratio of beat officers to citizens) is getting smaller and smaller... If we continue down this path, the city will collapse under its own weight. And, what a shame... a more balanced approach to growth could, and should, yield better results for everyone. Instead, we are all getting the shaft by the effects of poor planning to maintain and grow the city's infrastructure.


This is exactly it - if you remove a huge watershed like the Embankment and replace with 1500 condo units that are now hooking into the decrepit sewer lines, that water has to go somewhere. And that somewhere is probably resident basements, once again. It's easy to be in favor of this when you don't lives anywhere near an area where the ramifications would be felt.



This is a key point that a lot of people forget. The current embankment soaks up a lot of storm/floodwater in Downtown JC, most of which is in a FEMA-defined flood plain. Developing anything on this embankment pushes more of the problem elsewhere downtown. We need to ensure any plan in the infrastructure handles the additional runoff. We can't remove this natural water "sponge" of the embankment without making sure we have a plan to deal with it.

Posted on: 2010/9/4 3:35
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