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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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Replying to the OP... We've done extensive work on our building in the Harsimus Cove Historic District over the last 11 years and have always found the process fairly pain-free. I've gone to the Historic Preservation office in person with questions having found email communications a bit lacking (consistent with all areas of municipal government) but had no trouble obtaining permits where necessary and working within their guidelines. Hope that helps you decide what to do about your fence.

Posted on: 7/12 14:35
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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jc_dweller wrote:
Legal interpretations go on to say that Commissions must deal with the question of "whether a particular proposed alteration or construction blends aesthetically with existing buildings in the vicinity in order to retain the character of the particular streetscape." That is why it matters, and why the Commission is allowed to regulate, what kind of fence goes up.


Just wanted to give everyone a little more information about the Historic Preservation requirements.

So, jc_dweller, who previously claimed the historic ordinance wasn't part of the Zoning Code and the MLUL didn't apply, now wants us to believe a snippet of some “legal interpretation” tells us how the historic preservation requirements are to be read and interpreted. Don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not persuaded by an out of context, incomplete quote, with no attribution or citation.

jc_dweller, I invite you to provide the citation for your quote, so we can read it fully, and determine what it actually says.

Selective quotation without a citation is a red flag for me – it is impossible to confirm any assertions made. Reminds me of the HPO and HPC's selective, out of context use of ordinance text, and in the process butchering the meaning. Their use of §345-71 G. 3., the “Standards for Reconstruction”, is a prime example. A single clause such as G.3., can't be read in isolation. The correct interpretation of that requirement is made by looking at ALL of the “reconstruction” requirements at §345-71 G. You have to take the section in it's entirety, just as you do any law, regulation or code.

Even without a citation, jc_dweller's quote does not support the contention that the HPO and HPC have authority to compel anything beyond “preservation”. Certainly not “re-creation”, “restoration” or “reconstruction”, which are never even mentioned. The quote addresses something different and limited – the need for “proposed alteration or new construction” to "blend aesthetically", in order to retain the character. The quote is silent about the means by which that is achieved.

As JoeGee pointed out in the first post in this string, it is patently evident from even a cursory look at the neighborhood that the ordinance permits new, modern construction – it is all over the place. All this new construction surrounded as it is by historic buildings must have met the criteria for “blending aesthetically”, otherwise it would not, could not, have been approved by the HPO and HPC.

Back now to original question about a new fence. If a historic front fence does not exist on a property, then a new front fence, aesthetically sympathetic, blending in with the neighborhood character, can meet the criteria – exactly as those new buildings do. Moreover, since section §345-71 G.1-5. of the JC Code severely limits the reconstruction of “fake originals”, a new, “non-fake” fence is preferable.

Listers, one thing you can be sure of is that Dan and the HPC try to bully home owners into installing expensive, fake, “historic-looking” fences and features. Unfortunately, they have the power to just deny your application – even if the grounds used are bogus, and the demands beyond their authority. That's how it goes down in JC, and always has.... There are ways to fight City Hall on this, but that's for another, much longer post.

Posted on: 7/5 7:47
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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Bamb00zle wrote:
Of course Dan doesn't follow the City Ordinance – he and the HPC never have, issuing demands that go way beyond the authority granted them by the enabling NJ MLUL.

Their regulatory powers are limited by law to “preservation” - that's the language in the legislation. However, Dan and the HPC operate by withholding permits until owners give into their demands for extensive, expensive, “restoration” and “reconstruction” work. The enabling law does NOT give the HPO or HPC authority to demand restoration or reconstruction of things that were removed or destroyed years ago. If a historic feature was removed – it's gone, and there is nothing to preserve. You can't preserve something that doesn't exist.

Go and carefully read the statue and the City Ordinance. You'll find that neither contains any language that compels owners to undertake “restoration” or “reconstruction.” The complete absence of such language is significant, as it indicates the law or ordinance was not written to compel these particular activities. If an owner wants voluntarily to do that type of work they can do so after permits are issued, and in doing that work they must follow the Ordinance. But it is beyond the City's authority to force any owner to undertake any activity other than “preservation”, if the owner doesn't want.

Bottom line: if you have a historic fence, you'll need to proceed with preservation. However, if your fence is NOT historic, then Dan is beyond his authority in demanding you “recreate” a historic fence. Some other requirements come into play – chain link fences aren't allowed, but those requirements aren't for historic purposes.

Unfortunately, as I've noted before, it will take a law suit run by a smart, knowledgeable attorney to stop the arbitrary, and “ultra vires” abuse by Dan and the HPC.


Thanks.

Posted on: 7/2 16:26
The All Knowing and All Powerful Joe Has Spoken!
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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Bamb00zle wrote:

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


All too often, historic districting is a blunt weapon of gentrification - a way to get rid of lower-income residents in a neighborhood (who are typically the elderly on fixed incomes or minorities) because they can't afford to comply. Historic districts = Stuff White People Like. This is an interesting article about the controversy over the historic districting attempt in a predominantly African-American neighborhood in L.A.
http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-ad ... -park-20150719-story.html

Posted on: 6/28 23:23
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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jc_dweller wrote:

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


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

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

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

“G.
Standards for Reconstruction.
1.
Reconstruction of a part or all of a property shall be undertaken only when such work is essential to reproduce a significant missing feature in a historic district or site, and when a contemporary design solution is not acceptable.”


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

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

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

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

Posted on: 6/28 18:12
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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Bamb00zle wrote:
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jc_dweller wrote:

HPC is not under the purview of MLUL. That guides planning and zoning. Not preservation. Thus, it makes perfect sense that they don't follow it.


This is 100% incorrect.

For those who may not be aware the City's Historic Preservation Ordinance is part of the Zoning Code.

The City's Historic preservation ordinance (345-71) is a section of the City's zoning and development code – aka the JCLDO – “Jersey City Land Development Ordinance”. It is found at Chapter 345 “Zoning” in the Jersey City Code of Ordinances.

The NJ MLUL is the enabling legislation that permits the HPC to regulate “preservation.” The HPC draws ALL of it's authority to regulate from the relevant provisions of the MLUL. In respect of preservation, the intent and purposes of MLUL provisions, as stated in the legislation are:

“j. To promote the conservation of historic sites and districts,...” NJSA 40:55D-2.

Other sections of the MLUL provide details of how this must be accomplished in order to be compliant with state law. Both make for interesting reads given the abuse of power by the HPO and HPC.


You are right, I got ahead of my self. What I was trying to convey was that the MLUL does not set forth the rules and/or guidelines for historic preservation. Yes, it enables that historic preservation bodies may exist. But the Secretary's Standards are not part of the MLUL or the JCLDO.

So why do they get to have a "say" on sites when an historic element has been removed? Well since you brought up the MLUL, it defines historic sites as "any real property, manmade structure, natural object or configuration or any portion or group of the foregoing of historical, archaeological, cultural, scenic or architectural significance." This means anything within a district contributes to the preservation of the district as a whole. And yes, sometimes that means replacing something that was inappropriately removed.

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

Posted on: 6/28 14:42
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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jc_dweller wrote:

HPC is not under the purview of MLUL. That guides planning and zoning. Not preservation. Thus, it makes perfect sense that they don't follow it.


This is 100% incorrect.

For those who may not be aware the City's Historic Preservation Ordinance is part of the Zoning Code.

The City's Historic preservation ordinance (345-71) is a section of the City's zoning and development code – aka the JCLDO – “Jersey City Land Development Ordinance”. It is found at Chapter 345 “Zoning” in the Jersey City Code of Ordinances.

The NJ MLUL is the enabling legislation that permits the HPC to regulate “preservation.” The HPC draws ALL of it's authority to regulate from the relevant provisions of the MLUL. In respect of preservation, the intent and purposes of MLUL provisions, as stated in the legislation are:

“j. To promote the conservation of historic sites and districts,...” NJSA 40:55D-2.

Other sections of the MLUL provide details of how this must be accomplished in order to be compliant with state law. Both make for interesting reads given the abuse of power by the HPO and HPC.

Posted on: 6/28 10:24
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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Bamb00zle wrote:
Of course Dan doesn't follow the City Ordinance – he and the HPC never have, issuing demands that go way beyond the authority granted them by the enabling NJ MLUL.

Their regulatory powers are limited by law to “preservation” - that's the language in the legislation. However, Dan and the HPC operate by withholding permits until owners give into their demands for extensive, expensive, “restoration” and “reconstruction” work. The enabling law does NOT give the HPO or HPC authority to demand restoration or reconstruction of things that were removed or destroyed years ago. If a historic feature was removed – it's gone, and there is nothing to preserve. You can't preserve something that doesn't exist.

Go and carefully read the statue and the City Ordinance. You'll find that neither contains any language that compels owners to undertake “restoration” or “reconstruction.” The complete absence of such language is significant, as it indicates the law or ordinance was not written to compel these particular activities. If an owner wants voluntarily to do that type of work they can do so after permits are issued, and in doing that work they must follow the Ordinance. But it is beyond the City's authority to force any owner to undertake any activity other than “preservation”, if the owner doesn't want.

Bottom line: if you have a historic fence, you'll need to proceed with preservation. However, if your fence is NOT historic, then Dan is beyond his authority in demanding you “recreate” a historic fence. Some other requirements come into play – chain link fences aren't allowed, but those requirements aren't for historic purposes.

Unfortunately, as I've noted before, it will take a law suit run by a smart, knowledgeable attorney to stop the arbitrary, and “ultra vires” abuse by Dan and the HPC.


HPC is not under the purview of MLUL. That guides planning and zoning. Not preservation. Thus, it makes perfect sense that they don't follow it.

With regard to the City code, I'll refrain from any comment having not read that section in a very long time and I don't have the time to do it right now.

Posted on: 6/28 9:31
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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Of course Dan doesn't follow the City Ordinance – he and the HPC never have, issuing demands that go way beyond the authority granted them by the enabling NJ MLUL.

Their regulatory powers are limited by law to “preservation” - that's the language in the legislation. However, Dan and the HPC operate by withholding permits until owners give into their demands for extensive, expensive, “restoration” and “reconstruction” work. The enabling law does NOT give the HPO or HPC authority to demand restoration or reconstruction of things that were removed or destroyed years ago. If a historic feature was removed – it's gone, and there is nothing to preserve. You can't preserve something that doesn't exist.

Go and carefully read the statue and the City Ordinance. You'll find that neither contains any language that compels owners to undertake “restoration” or “reconstruction.” The complete absence of such language is significant, as it indicates the law or ordinance was not written to compel these particular activities. If an owner wants voluntarily to do that type of work they can do so after permits are issued, and in doing that work they must follow the Ordinance. But it is beyond the City's authority to force any owner to undertake any activity other than “preservation”, if the owner doesn't want.

Bottom line: if you have a historic fence, you'll need to proceed with preservation. However, if your fence is NOT historic, then Dan is beyond his authority in demanding you “recreate” a historic fence. Some other requirements come into play – chain link fences aren't allowed, but those requirements aren't for historic purposes.

Unfortunately, as I've noted before, it will take a law suit run by a smart, knowledgeable attorney to stop the arbitrary, and “ultra vires” abuse by Dan and the HPC.

Posted on: 6/27 18:06
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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JoeGee wrote:
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brewster wrote:
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JoeGee wrote:
2 20 plus apartments went up on Erie in the last two years, how is that historically correct?


Dude, that's not how the historic district works. They don't care about infill construction, some of the true believers actually don't want it to look old fashioned because then the museumgoers might be confused about which are the "real" historic homes. Those are the ones subject to the historic board.


Got ya


Right (mostly). It's not that they don't care about infill, but it is considered "wrong" to have make-believe old buildings. What is important is respecting the scale of the neighborhood.

For what it's worth, all of the rules are spelled out by the Secretary of the Interior. (you can find it online.) DAN doesn't make the rules, the federal government does.

Posted on: 6/27 8:27
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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brewster wrote:
Quote:

JoeGee wrote:
2 20 plus apartments went up on Erie in the last two years, how is that historically correct?


Dude, that's not how the historic district works. They don't care about infill construction, some of the true believers actually don't want it to look old fashioned because then the museumgoers might be confused about which are the "real" historic homes. Those are the ones subject to the historic board.


Got ya

Posted on: 6/27 7:34
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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JoeGee wrote:
2 20 plus apartments went up on Erie in the last two years, how is that historically correct?


Dude, that's not how the historic district works. They don't care about infill construction, some of the true believers actually don't want it to look old fashioned because then the museumgoers might be confused about which are the "real" historic homes. Those are the ones subject to the historic board.

Posted on: 6/26 23:01
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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jc_dweller wrote:
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JoeGee wrote:
Walk down either Jersey Ave or Erie, changes are made consistently and the developers put up new buildings how the see fit.



this is patently false


2 20 plus apartments went up on Erie in the last two years, how is that historically correct?

Posted on: 6/26 22:49
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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JoeGee wrote:
Walk down either Jersey Ave or Erie, changes are made consistently and the developers put up new buildings how the see fit.



this is patently false

Posted on: 6/26 8:13
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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brewster wrote:
Does anyone know if things have gotten better from when an owner with a rusty chain link fence was told that he couldn't just buy new cast iron fence? To match the historic photos he needed to "borrow" one of his neighbors fence sections and have a foundry make custom molds to cast new ones at a cost of $100k.


I'm hoping Dan is gone, last time I called he hung up on me.

Posted on: 6/25 18:59
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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Does anyone know if things have gotten better from when an owner with a rusty chain link fence was told that he couldn't just buy new cast iron fence? To match the historic photos he needed to "borrow" one of his neighbors fence sections and have a foundry make custom molds to cast new ones at a cost of $100k.

Posted on: 6/25 18:50
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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Walk down either Jersey Ave or Erie, changes are made consistently and the developers put up new buildings how the see fit.


Posted on: 6/25 18:47
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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1. Do not try to bypass Historic. You will be caught, most likely by neighbors. It's really not that much of a hassle.

2. The historic PROCESS is not expensive. At times, historic MATERIALS are more expensive (eg. windows). But it is likely that going from wood to iron is bringing the property into historic compliance in which case you were planning on spending the money anyway, it seems.

3. I have no idea what this means: "with all the changes is this still the case". What Changes?

Posted on: 6/25 17:42
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
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Option A:
Combine meticulous compliance of historical guidelines along with the deployment of targeted envelopes of cash to ensure a speedy process.

Option B:
Place your iron fence directly behind the wooden fence. Then, over the course of several weeks, slowly remove sections of the wooden fence until only the iron fence remains. If someone ever asks about what happened to the old fence, say you don't know what they're talking about.

Posted on: 6/25 16:16
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Front fence Hamilton Park
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Hello all,

I live in the Hamilton Park area and severely need to change my front fence'
I would like to go from wood to an iron fence.
In the past I know dealing with the historic regulations was a hassle. However with all the changes is this still the case?
Also what is the process on 2017?

Thanks.

Posted on: 6/25 15:46
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