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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Excellent article in Jersey Digs today... We're stuck with the Bayonne Box. :(

https://jerseydigs.com/bayonne-box-cant-phased-out/

Posted on: 10/19 13:19
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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I feel like any chance for zoning change would come far too late. Nearly half of the homes on my street in the Heights have been torn down and replaced with Boxes. Shame on Councilman Yun for focusing tons of energy on parking while the character of the community is replaced with identical, pink-salmon Boxes.

I guess we're stuck with the pitched roofs too.

Posted on: 2/21 22:16
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Yvonne wrote:
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Jiuk wrote:
The Heights is really being torn in two directions right about now.
One side is pulling towards cool rehabilitation of older homes and the other towards salmon colored boxes with hideous stainless steel and chrome railings.



I shop in Bayonne a lot and I must say, they do not have the steel and chrome railings. As to why the Planning Board allow this, I cannot say. One of the problems with new construction which happens across JC, there are no set backs. New construction should follow the character of the block and not stick out. Where is the planning in the Planning Board?


I'm not in disagreement with you hear Yvonne. At least one single-family construction.

Posted on: 2/21 22:10
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Jiuk wrote:
The Heights is really being torn in two directions right about now.
One side is pulling towards cool rehabilitation of older homes and the other towards salmon colored boxes with hideous stainless steel and chrome railings.



I shop in Bayonne a lot and I must say, they do not have the steel and chrome railings. As to why the Planning Board allow this, I cannot say. One of the problems with new construction which happens across JC, there are no set backs. New construction should follow the character of the block and not stick out. Where is the planning in the Planning Board?

Posted on: 1/19 20:10
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Great point about getting rid of R1. !!!

Posted on: 1/19 20:02
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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MDM wrote:
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SuchGreatHeights wrote:
Newish to the Heights, and because of this thread, I've just began to notice these sprinkled around nearly every other block. Is it one particular developer choosing this strange, salmon-colored brick facade? And what's with the chrome railings?


One of the developers I know is Indian... possibly Indian-Muslim. My wife commented that the railing designs reminds her of growing up in Southern Thailand (majority Muslim), as the homes there had same / similar designs / finish choices.

The one Bayonne Box across from my place was actually built pretty well. No cheap fixtures and the floors were NOT pre-finished. It was not your typical crap-cheap construction. The builder was Indian (so were the buyers). I think the place went for around $600k.
to be fair, some of the bayonne boxes can be "ok", but most are fugly...especially the salmon colored ones

Posted on: 12/28 9:58
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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SuchGreatHeights wrote:
Newish to the Heights, and because of this thread, I've just began to notice these sprinkled around nearly every other block. Is it one particular developer choosing this strange, salmon-colored brick facade? And what's with the chrome railings?


One of the developers I know is Indian... possibly Indian-Muslim. My wife commented that the railing designs reminds her of growing up in Southern Thailand (majority Muslim), as the homes there had same / similar designs / finish choices.

The one Bayonne Box across from my place was actually built pretty well. No cheap fixtures and the floors were NOT pre-finished. It was not your typical crap-cheap construction. The builder was Indian (so were the buyers). I think the place went for around $600k.

Posted on: 12/28 7:04
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Newish to the Heights, and because of this thread, I've just began to notice these sprinkled around nearly every other block. Is it one particular developer choosing this strange, salmon-colored brick facade? And what's with the chrome railings?

Posted on: 12/27 22:39
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Bumping this thread for the new year. Please let's meet with Councilman Yun to at least start discussions on our concerns.

I can't count the number of tear downs in recent weeks for Bayonne Boxes. It's spreading like an epidemic.

Posted on: 12/27 11:41
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Hi all, this is related--please come to the Jersey City Landmarks Open House this week at the Fox and Crow.

We are an established group that tries to preserve our heritage and work with neighborhoods and communities to be sensitive and careful about needs vs. wants. Here's the information and we would love to see some new faces, and especially hear from some of the very thoughtful and caring people who have commented here.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1347237615286932/

Thank you!

Posted on: 11/30 8:29
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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brewster wrote:
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JCGuys wrote:
Baby steps - It's easier to change a neighborhood than a whole city. Of course council has ultimate authority on all of this. I feel we have a good shot if we can convince Yun and the changes are for his ward than trying to change the entire city all in one shot. There is no way Boggiano would go for this... at least not at first.


My sense is, based on what happened to the DT R-5 proposal that triggered the Plan review, that getting this to happen ahead of the Plan is a nonstarter. So it makes more sense to address it citywide in the context of the Plan review rather than try and get a Heights specific proposal into the Plan, since presumably you'd have to justify why the Heights needed it but not all the other neighborhoods at risk of BB.


I don't agree with your assumption. This has a higher likelihood of passing if a number of Heights residences, come together and plead their case to Yun to gain his support for a zoning overlay for the Heights. As you said yourself, Greenville and the Westside don't have the same development pressures that we do, so it's probably not as high as a priority for their neighborhoods.

There's definitely benefit in approaching the city about looking at this issue in the context of the Master Plan review, but again Yun can be an ally on this since he will be one of nine votes on the plan.

Posted on: 2016/11/29 14:43
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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JCGuys wrote:
Baby steps - It's easier to change a neighborhood than a whole city. Of course council has ultimate authority on all of this. I feel we have a good shot if we can convince Yun and the changes are for his ward than trying to change the entire city all in one shot. There is no way Boggiano would go for this... at least not at first.


My sense is, based on what happened to the DT R-5 proposal that triggered the Plan review, that getting this to happen ahead of the Plan is a nonstarter. So it makes more sense to address it citywide in the context of the Plan review rather than try and get a Heights specific proposal into the Plan, since presumably you'd have to justify why the Heights needed it but not all the other neighborhoods at risk of BB.

Posted on: 2016/11/29 14:35
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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brewster wrote:
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JCGuys wrote:
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This is why we need to have a clear message and strong support before we approach Councilman Yun.


I'm not following why you want to make this out as a Heights problem and go to Yun rather than treat it as the citywide problem that it is. The only reason there's more being built in the Heights is that it's a hotter market, but there's plenty of them in JSQ & Greenville. It only makes sense if Yun is simply the 1st councilperson you want to approach.

Does anyone know what actual influence the council has on the Master Plan process?



Baby steps - It's easier to change a neighborhood than a whole city. Of course council has ultimate authority on all of this. I feel we have a good shot if we can convince Yun and the changes are for his ward than trying to change the entire city all in one shot. There is no way Boggiano would go for this... at least not at first.

Posted on: 2016/11/29 14:24
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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JCGuys wrote:
[quote]
This is why we need to have a clear message and strong support before we approach Councilman Yun.


I'm not following why you want to make this out as a Heights problem and go to Yun rather than treat it as the citywide problem that it is. The only reason there's more being built in the Heights is that it's a hotter market, but there's plenty of them in JSQ & Greenville. It only makes sense if Yun is simply the 1st councilperson you want to approach.

Does anyone know what actual influence the council has on the Master Plan process?

Posted on: 2016/11/29 13:32
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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This presumes there is some mechanism in the JC Zoning Resolution to apply an overlay, vs. change the zoning.


There is -- an Restaurant Overlay District was recently passed. JC Planning would probably love our recommendations and be all to happy to make them happen. The problem is there is a vocal regiment of senior citizens that will be against any kind of change in the zoning, similar to the opposition to the R5 district downtown.

This is why we need to have a clear message and strong support before we approach Councilman Yun.


Another example of an overlay already put in place in JC can be found right downtown, in the Powerhouse District: WALDO, which stands for Work and Live District Overlay.

Posted on: 2016/11/29 13:30
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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This presumes there is some mechanism in the JC Zoning Resolution to apply an overlay, vs. change the zoning.


There is -- an Restaurant Overlay District was recently passed. JC Planning would probably love our recommendations and be all to happy to make them happen. The problem is there is a vocal regiment of senior citizens that will be against any kind of change in the zoning, similar to the opposition to the R5 district downtown.

This is why we need to have a clear message and strong support before we approach Councilman Yun.

Posted on: 2016/11/29 12:26
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Wishful_Thinking wrote:
While a full design review process may not fly in JC, pushing for a zoning overlay could result in a more cohesive streetscape.


I recall you saying you're a professional in this field, can you explain exactly what IS a zoning overlay and how does it work? It would sure help to understand the tools at our disposal.

In NYC, the three basic zoning districts are divided into a range of lower-, medium- and higher-density areas, and may be overlaid by one of the City’s 64 special purpose districts. The City Planning Commission has been designating these special purpose districts since 1969 to achieve specific planning and urban design objectives in defined areas with unique characteristics, e.g. scenic and natural area, mixed commercial uses, housing preservation. There are also Limited Height areas, superimposed over residential districts (usually historic districts) which further restrict the height of new construction and additions.

To prevent the Bayonne Box, we would need to quantify those special characteristics of the Heights that could be reflected in an overlay, such as requiring commercial spaces at the ground floor, restrictions on curb cuts, waiving side yard requirements to allow for predictable building envelopes.

This presumes there is some mechanism in the JC Zoning Resolution to apply an overlay, vs. change the zoning.

Posted on: 2016/11/29 11:54
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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BergenWood wrote:
Doesn't seem to be much mention of green space (except as shown in the 3 non-BB examples from the original poster). I'm partial to planting, and am one of only about 3 houses on the block that has a planted rather than paved front yard,


Townhouses can have front gardens like this:

Resized Image


The problem is with a 25 ft wide lot or less, if you put in a garage, you pretty much lose the green space in front.

I am not a big fan of mandating garages (sorry Yvonne) as I think it screws up the streetscape and eliminates street parking. This is an issue for the Heights since public transport is pretty poor in much of it. As covered in previous threads.. buses on non-dedicated lanes suck.

On a positive note: The two biggest multi-family projects by my place have both planted lots of trees in the sidewalks. That is one thing this area has sorely lacked. Trees make a huge difference with esthetics of the neighborhood.

Posted on: 2016/11/29 9:20
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Resized Image




That is in the Heights correct? If it is the place I am thinking of, I tried to buy it 16 years ago or so. But the price got bid up too high for me. I remember it being a wreck of a house needing serious renovation work

Posted on: 2016/11/29 9:12
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Doesn't seem to be much mention of green space (except as shown in the 3 non-BB examples from the original poster). I'm partial to planting, and am one of only about 3 houses on the block that has a planted rather than paved front yard, so imagine that I'm in the minority here, but do think it's important both aesthetically and functionally (e.g., managing run-off).

Posted on: 2016/11/29 9:09
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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dtjcview wrote:
Using words like aesthetic tells me you're a form over function kinda guy. Me - I'm the opposite. Personally I think you are cock-blocking progress to protect your personal investments. Why not let the free market decide?


What the hell do you think this thread is about if not aesthetics? No gives a crap really about what's inside those things. There's a difference between classic "utilitarian design" and the cheapest possible design. I posted that 4th st pic because it IS an example of utilitarian design, and I wondered what people thought.

It's revealing that even you think the BB bring down property values. Actually they often bring them up from the crap that was there before. But not always. A "developer" wanted to knock down this mansion to put up a couple of boxes like the one next door. Thankfully he was stopped and it was restored.

Resized Image


And you're wrong about my design philosophy. I was kicked out of industrial design school because I insisted on making things that actually worked rather than obsessing about textures, pastels and semiotics. I've spent 35 years making things that work.

Posted on: 2016/11/28 23:40
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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You fell for it. "Bayonne box" is a Brewster invention.

Fact is - the "true" JC brownstones are money pits. And the "true" Bayonne boxes are pretty functional.


Bayonne box is a common term. Newark took steps to reduce the amount of BBs being built.

I am not sure where you are going with this "money pit" claim. This thread is covering the R-1 zoning that pretty much mandates a Bayonne Box for new construction. Are you saying that if setbacks are reduced and height allowances increased, and someone builds a townhouse, it will be a money pit?


dtjcview is playing the classic JCList game of being critical without being constructive or prescriptive. Neither the neighbors siding nor the maintenance costs of a property have any relevance to their aesthetic contribution to the streetscape.


Using words like aesthetic tells me you're a form over function kinda guy. Me - I'm the opposite. Personally I think you are cock-blocking progress to protect your personal investments. Why not let the free market decide?

Posted on: 2016/11/28 22:53
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Wishful_Thinking wrote:
While a full design review process may not fly in JC, pushing for a zoning overlay could result in a more cohesive streetscape.


I recall you saying you're a professional in this field, can you explain exactly what IS a zoning overlay and how does it work? It would sure help to understand the tools at our disposal.

Posted on: 2016/11/28 17:59
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Wishful_Thinking wrote:
[quote]

- built full to side property lines
- no setback from adjacent buildings
- no outdoor parking
- garage is limited to less than 1/2 of footprint

While a full design review process may not fly in JC, pushing for a zoning overlay could result in a more cohesive streetscape.


The above is what I am hoping to see happen to the 'R-5' for the Heights. I have one building that shares a common wall with a duplicate. It goes right up to the property line on both sides. That extra 5 feet gives a lot more flexibility with the interior space. You get more 'room' inside.

Posted on: 2016/11/28 15:54
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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dtjcview wrote:
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brewster wrote:
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JCGuys wrote:
At the minimum we can ask for flexibility. The current zoning allows these two unit boxes. It can be tweaked to allow 4 units with a more interesting design, like the R5 zoning did downtown. 4 units with a more interesting design is more profitable than a two unit Bayonne Box.


This is a the right direction, how to lever people without taking away their rights. If you allow more units if it conforms to some sort of aesthetic review, it's win win. We don't necessarily want to create what the conservators call "fake historic", but to create some guidelines to work within, like conform to the facade setback of the neighbors and have similar roofline. There's plenty of DT & Hoboken infill that has modern elements yet fits in to the streetscape.

Here's a question: Is the 4th st house below better or worse than a brickfaced BB for our streetscape? It wasn't cheap.

Resized Image


That's just a "Bayonne Box" with a wooden facade. No accounting for taste. And look at the aluminum siding next door. Lipstick on a pig is still a pig...


This building has several things going for it - leaving aesthetics and material choices out for the moment - that raise it above the BB, and point towards language/restrictions for zoning that could result in better development:

- built full to side property lines
- no setback from adjacent buildings
- no outdoor parking
- garage is limited to less than 1/2 of footprint

While a full design review process may not fly in JC, pushing for a zoning overlay could result in a more cohesive streetscape.

Posted on: 2016/11/28 14:27
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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MDM wrote:
Turns out I still have some draft plans for my long since cancelled project in the Heights (corner lot).

This is the 2 family version. It just didn't work out financially. It would have worked as a three family (one more floor) and even better as a 4 family (2 more floors). There used to be a 6 family on the site, which had burned down.

The framing was going to be steel. The facade' (was going for a stone like surface) wasn't settled on before the project was abandoned.

Resized Image


Resized Image

This works well for a corner site, as you end up with a building that has a primary street facade, and a secondary facade with garages. In the Heights, there are a lot of 1-story garage buildings with 3 to 6 garage bays, so this design could be seen as relating to a typical streetscape, depending on the neighborhood.

Posted on: 2016/11/28 14:21
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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You should take a look at Slack for something like this - more real-time communication and it's an app everybody can download on their phone/desktop and have running in the background. It'd be perfect for organizing something like this. Much lower barrier for entry vs. having to register a yahoo email and there wouldn't be a super slow turnaround between everybody. Plus, their forum software sucks.

https://slack.com/

Posted on: 2016/11/28 10:52
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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How about a Yahoo forum? I can set one up after work today. All you have to do is register a yahoo email address to use the forum.

Posted on: 2016/11/28 8:59
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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And for every one house with vinyl siding done right, there are two dozen that look butt ugly. It's a blight on the Heights. Please tell me I'm not the only one that see's this!!??

(It's not a problem for new construction but on the cheap rehab of existing homes. So outside the scope of what we're trying to accomplish here with the Bayonne Boxes. A topic for another day, perhaps.)

Posted on: 2016/11/28 8:28
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Good points on fb. Is this thread on JCList an appropriate venue then?

Posted on: 2016/11/27 20:16
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