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New Townhouses available . The Olde Embankment Townhomes
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Attention! Be the first to buy into the most exclusive address in Downtown Jersey City. Exclusive of the citizens of Jersey City's regard for the necessity for open space, that is.


Four cases just popped up on the Planning Board Agenda for August 14
and they appear to be for 64 two-family home development along 6th Street Embankment
? See Below.

All four applications seem to be seeking approval for a total of 64
two-family homes along 6th street on the site of the embankment.

I hope I?m really wrong, but this has been strategically broken into
four separate cases with different legal entities to disguise their
nature and placed in the middle of the summer in the hopes we would not
notice.


6. Case:
P05-113 Final Major Site Plan
Applicant:
389 Monmouth Street LLC
Attorney:
Carmine Alampi
Review Planner: Kristin
Russell
Address:
449-453 Monmouth St.

Block: 389.1 Lot: 50
Zone:
R-1,One and Two Family Housing
Description:
16 new two-family homes

7. Case:
P05-115 Final Major Site Plan
Applicant:
317 Jersey Avenue LLC
Attorney:
Carmine Alampi
Review Planner: Kristin
Russell
Address:
621-627 Jersey Avenue
Block:
317 Lot: 50.A

Zone: R-1, One and Two Family Housing
Description:
16 new two-family homes

8 Case:
P05-117 Final Major Site Plan
Applicant:
280 Erie Street LLC
Attorney:
Carmine Alampi
Review Planner: Kristin
Russell
Address:
626 Jersey Ave.

Block: 280 Lot: 50.A

Zone: R-1, One and Two Family Housing
Description:
16 new two-family homes

9. Case:
P05-119 Final Major Site Plan
Applicant:
354 Coles Street LLC
Attorney:
Carmine Alampi
Review Planner: Kristin
Russell
Address:
99-105 Coles St.
Block:
354 Lot: 50.A
Zone: R-1, One and Two Family Housing
Description:
16 new two-family homes

Posted on: 2007/8/10 1:03
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Planning Board rejects dividing train embankment for two-family homes
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Preservationists 1, developer 0

Planning Board rejects dividing train embankment for two-family homes

Ricardo Kaulessar
Reporter staff writer 07/13/2007

NO TO SUBDIVISION ? This is a section of the Sixth Street Embankment located on the corner of Erie and Brunswick streets in Jersey City.
The Hudson County Planning Board voted on June 20 to keep the Sixth Street Embankment, the massive century-old stone wall in Downtown Jersey City, from being subdivided for two-family residences.

The embankment is a series of sandstone and granite blocks spanning Sixth Street from Marin Boulevard to Brunswick Street, over which a section of the Pennsylvania Railroad freight line ran from 1902 until the late 1970s.

The board denied developer Steve Hyman's subdivision applications for four embankment blocks from Erie Street to Brunswick Street. Hyman intended to subdivide the structure to demolish the Embankment and build two-family homes on the site.

The board's vote was 7-0 with one abstention.

The matter went before the county rather than the city because the county Planning Board has to look over all subdivision applications within the county before they go before a city board.

The previous Embankment owner, the Consolidated Rail Company or Conrail, sold the Embankment in July of 2005 to long-time local property owner Hyman for $3 million.

The city has worked with members of the Pennsylvania Harsimus Stem Embankment Coalition to preserve the Embankment as a passive park and nature trail that would link a 2,500-mile series of trails stretching from Maine to Florida, as well as a future Light Rail route from Jersey City to Secaucus.

Embankment supporters, who attended the meeting to voice their opposition to the subdivision, were elated at the board's decision.

"Obviously, we are very pleased with the decision, and I am very happy that so many people came to the meeting to express their support for the Embankment," said embankment coalition President Jennifer Mayer, who estimated that 30 people spoke during the public speaking portion of the meeting.

She also saw the board's ruling as a sign that the county might try to acquire the Embankment if they can negotiate with Hyman.

But right now, Hyman is pursuing a lawsuit against the county Planning Board over their decision.

A decision greeted with elation

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According to several attendees at the meeting, some county Planning Board members said they made their decision based on the Embankment's current designation in the Hudson County Open Space Master Plan.

Stephen Marks of the Hudson County Planning Department, who had sat in on the meeting, confirmed that observation, saying the Embankment has a "prominent place" in the open space plan.

The plan is a blueprint for the future of development in the county.

"It is not a land use or zoning issue," Marks said. "They just look to see if it is built on a county road or affects the right-of-way to a county road, or issues of drainage."

In this case, it had to do with open space.

Mayer said that the county's Planning Board decision was in line with its past support of preserving the Embankment.

"It is consistent with the county's stance on the Embankment, and it's great to see the county and the city joining forces to save this incredible resource," Mayer said.

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com

Posted on: 2007/7/14 14:32
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Re: Embankment- Good News - Finally!
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News from Embankment Preservation Coalition

Issue 1 June 23, 2007
Embankment Tracks
The Newsletter of the Embankment Preservation Coalition


County Planning Board Denies Embankment Subdivision Applications



June 20, 2007. The Hudson County Planning Board denied subdivision applications tonight for four Embankment blocks. The vote, taken after a closed executive session to discuss legal issues, was 7-0, 1 abstention.

Typically, the board considers narrow issues of proximity to County roads and facilities, not applicable in this case. Instead, several Board members cited previous votes for the County's Open Space Plan, which lists the Embankment as a priority acquisition site, and said it would be inconsistent to now vote for subdivision.

The approximately 25 Coalition supporters who spoke up at the public hearing described the inconsistency of subdivision with the spirit and letter of the County Master Plan and Open Space Plan. They pointed out the preemption by a local authority of federal authority because the Surface Transportation Board has not yet ruled on whether the line of rail was properly abandoned. They said subdivision approval would contribute to the demolition of a historic site on the State Register of Historic Places, eligible for the National Register, and a Municipal Landmark. They noted the contribution to flood and combined sewer outflow (CSO) control that the current massive stone structure made. They questioned whether the East Coast Greenway would be forced to be rerouted away from Jersey City. They decried the irreplaceable loss of this open space and transportation resource if the developer proceeded with his plans.

It's likely the developer will appeal the decision, as he did a similar decision by the Jersey City Planning Board, but for now we should celebrate this victory! Now that both City and County Planning Boards are on record as supporting preservation of this right of way, we hope the Mayor and County Executive will work closely together to save this historic site and open space asset once and for all.
**********************************************
Three student founders of SAVE (Sustaining Architectural Vitality in the Environment) were among the Coalition supporters at the County Planning Board meeting (reported above).

Willow Latham, Wioletta Malolepsza, and Ruby Hankey were eloquent representatives of this intelligent and caring group of students from McNair Academic and High Tech High Schools.

They have contributed their energies to the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance, Embankment Preservation Coalition, and their own projects. You may have seen them cleaning up cobblestoned Holland Street, conducting Historic Preservation Month tours of Journal Square, or tending their table at the Hamilton Park fair.

We have seen the preservation leadership future, and it is great!

Check out their website at http://savearchitecture.org/about/
***********************************************
Join
Now!

Help Us Increase Our Strength in Numbers! The Embankment Preservation Coalition has approximately 900 supporters who've indicated they want to keep informed about Embankment events. As we approach the final days of our eight-year struggle to preserve the Embankment, we hope more of you will become dues-paying members. Memberships start as low as $5 for seniors and students and $10 for other individuals.

Please see www.embankment.org for membership forms. The first 10 new members who sign up at the $50 or above levels will receive a free Embankment t-shirt or set of greeting cards valued at $15.

Posted on: 2007/6/24 1:21
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Re: Embankment- Good News - Finally!
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Quote:

DoIt wrote:
It was really a wonderful night for Green Space and the interests of the people over development. [...]

Thanks to everyone that came out. It really made a difference and thanks to the Embankment Preservation Group for organizing the response.


Yes, it was a great night and worth the hours of committment from everyone who came out or contacted Thomas DeGise and/or Commissioners.

Perhaps as one person said tonite both the County and the City can get on the same page to acquire the Embankment property either by purchase or eminent domain (which was specified several times tonight that Hudson County could support)once we hopefully have a ruling in our favor from the Surface Transportation Board, re: whether Conrail improperly sold the site without de-accessing the spur removal.

A big hug and shoutout for Maureen Crowley (Founder) who together with Jennifer Meyer (President) of the Embankment Preservation Coalition was instrumental in co-ordinating the turnout and making sure each of us addressed different issues as to why the subdivisions of the illegally-acquired property should be denied, particularly since the Hudson County Planning Board had supported the 6th Street Embankment formally in their Open Space Plan.

Posted on: 2007/6/21 3:49
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Re: Embankment- Good News - Finally!
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It was really a wonderful night for Green Space and the interests of the people over development. Going into the meeting it was thought there was little to no chance that they would deny the developer's request for sub division of the Embankment blocks. In the end it was nealy 100% against (one abstained).

It started with the developer's lawyer stating plans to demo all blocks and build 2 family houses. He brought visuals of the proposed units.

There were about 25 people who spoke against the proposed subdivsions of 4 embankment blocks. People talked about a wide range of topics including ownership issues, open space, flooding, light rail, East Coast Greenway, historic preservation and disruption to the area if the 2,500 pound each stones were removed. It was one citizen after another opposing the sub division. It got to the point where one person said that she felt bad for the developer's lawyers because they must be asking themselves "why are we suggesting this when there are so many compelling reasons to not develop it"

In the end, they brought forth a motion to "deny the sub division".....(motions are normally to allow something and then people could vote for/against). All but one voted in favor of the motion to deny. The reason most gave was because the Embankment is mentioned 3 times in the County Open Space plan (including being #3 on the acquistion list) and they had all voted in favor of that plan.

Thanks to everyone that came out. It really made a difference and thanks to the Embankment Preservation Group for organizing the response.

Posted on: 2007/6/21 3:28
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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So someone who can't really own the embankment, does. And the city which already had plans and money to purchase the embankment, won't.

Yup, sounds like JC as usual. This is a fight worth fighting.

Posted on: 2007/6/20 2:09
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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Quote:

jocjo wrote:
Any more specifics on how subdividing the embankment will impact the preservation effort?


Speaking as just another jaded JC resident, I think subdividing the Embankment would give Jersey City government the opportunity to wheel and deal parts of the structure away. And does anyone here think it would be a good idea to give JC politicos any degree of wiggle room? I think subdivision would do just that. The action would create the impression that the Embankment could be sliced up and selectively considered for preservation or more likely, development. It would just be too easy for JC's developer-inclined representatives to gradually hand over the Embankment, block-by-block to their most generous contributors and explain away their actions as a compromise. The JJournal's report would go something like this... In response to public outcry, the apathetic Mayor of Jersey City stated "Look, you people still have over 80% of the thing."

Considering how casually the former westernmost part of the Embankment was recently obliterated, Hyman's application for its subdivision is definitely something I would show up to oppose.

Posted on: 2007/6/19 17:47
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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Hi This is Jenny Meyer from the Embankment Preservation Coalition.

More info below about why you should attend the County Planning Meeting if possible and what you can do if you can't come.

Thanks to anyone who can come tomorrow (Wed, June 20th, at 6:30 p.m.) at the Board of Chosen Freeholders, 3rd Floor, 567 Pavonia Ave, at the corner of Summit Ave. The building is on the south side of Pavonia. There is street parking, and parking under the building should be available after 6 p.m. If you need a ride, please contact me at info@embankment.org or call my cell 917-379-3455.

In response to the last three posts:

1. Why should we object to a subdivision?

Here is one reason: The applications would divide a continuous right-of-way into lots for residential building. The City of Jersey City and the Coalition have maintained that Conrail sold the Embankment property to a developer without going through federal abandonment procedures for a rail line right-of-way. This right-of-way should not be treated as residential real estate unless and until the federal board that has jurisdiction over this matter rules. Subdivision presumes that the Embankment will be demolished and replaced with residences.

2. What can I do if I can't attend this Wednesday's Meeting?

If you can't make the meeting (or even if you do come), please write the Hudson County Executive and Board of Chosen Freeholders, especially the chair and the freeholders from Jersey City.

Ask them why acquisition has been delayed for so many years when Master Plans and Open Space Plans call for it. Tell them why you want this historic site to be preserved and reused for open space and a segment of the East Coast Greenway. Along with the Jersey City Mayor and Council, the Executive and Freeholders must act to preserve the Embankment from development.

Here is their contact information:

a. County Executive (copy the Director of the Division of Planning):
Thomas A. Degise, Hudson County Executive
Brennan Court House Building
583 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Fax: 201-714-4825
Copy to Stephen Marks, Director of Planning, Fax (201) 795-7856

b. Freeholders (send to the chair and copy the Jersey City freeholders):
Thomas F. Liggio, Chairman
Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders
567 Pavonia Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Fax: 201-217-0404
E-Mail: pkenny@hudsoncountynj.org
Copies to Eliu Rivera, Jeffrey Dublin, and Thomas O'Dea, Chosen Freeholders from Jersey City, 201-217-0404

Thanks all for your continued support. More news to come!

Best regards,

Jenny Meyer
Embankment Preservation Coalition

Posted on: 2007/6/19 17:33
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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I hink JC's politicians really lack imagination, which is why the place will always be 2nd tier compared to places like Hoboken, Weehawken, Brooklyn.

Healy seems to think that leadership means giving the developers what they want.

Posted on: 2007/6/19 5:20
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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The meeting is this week (June 20th) not next week....

Any more specifics on how subdividing the embankment will impact the preservation effort?

And to Skwirrlking's point, who should we contact in addition to or instead of showing up?

Posted on: 2007/6/19 0:52
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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BM-
Please forgive my ignorance, but why is subdividing the embankment bad?
Will it make it easier to get it re-zoned?

I am against development of the embankment and would like to speak at the meeting but just want to make sure I'm informed.

Thanks!

Posted on: 2007/6/18 15:09
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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Action Alert: County Planning Board to Hear Embankment Applications June 20th

June 15, 2007

Dear Embankment Coalition Supporter,

A soon-to-be-issued newsletter will update you on many Embankment activities, but for now the Coalition has an urgent request.

We need your presence at a Hudson County Planning Board meeting:

Wednesday, June 20
6:30 p.m.

Chambers of the Hudson County Board
of Chosen Freeholders
567 Pavonia Ave
Jersey City

The Board will be considering applications to subdivide the four westernmost Embankment blocks (from Erie to Brunswick Street). These applications have been filed by the developer to whom Conrail sold the Embankment, as we await a federal Surface Transportation Board ruling on the validity of the sale.

The County board usually applies narrow criteria to such applications (do the subdivisions affect a County road or County drainage?). We want to remind the board that subdividing this historic site will defy both the spirit and letter of the County's Master Plan and Open Space Plan, not to mention the wishes of the thousands of County residents who have petitioned for Embankment preservation.

The County Master Plan emphasizes the importance of historic preservation. The Open Space Plan makes the Embankment a priority acquisition site. Why should the Planning Board subvert the County's own planning by approving these applications?

What Can You Do?

Show up. Sign the speaker's list. When it is your turn, introduce yourself and say, "I am opposed to the subdivision of these properties, which are not vacant but contain a historic structure."

Tell us you will be there by sending a brief email to moher1@aol.com or calling 201-963-0232. If you want to do more, need more information, or would like a ride to the meeting, be sure to let us know.


See you at the County Planning Board meeting!

Sincerely,


Jennifer Meyer
Embankment Preservation Coalition

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

email: jmeyer@embankment.org
web: http://www.embankment.org

Posted on: 2007/6/17 2:11
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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[HPNA-JC-Public] Postponed: final park renovation ballot

ANNOUNCEMENT


The final ballot for the renovation of Hamilton Park is postponed as we wait for the design to be finalized through the architecture firm and City of Jersey City. It had been tentatively scheduled for later this month, and will most likely be held in May. Absentee ballot requests will be accepted once the date is firmly set.

Please circulate this notice with your neighbors and affiliated groups. We hope to have the plans and announce a final ballot date soon. Thank you for your help in getting the word out.

Jen Greely [jzgreely@comcast.net]

Posted on: 2007/4/13 15:13
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Vote on Embankment loan application fails
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Vote on Embankment loan application fails

Friday, March 16, 2007
By KEN THORBOURNE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

With Jersey City still pursuing legal options to wrest ownership of the Sixth Street Embankment from a private developer, the City Council voted 4-3 not to apply for a state loan to help buy the abandoned railroad turnaround.

Speaking for the majority, Ward A Councilman Michael Sottolano said at Wednesday's meeting that he saw no reason for the city to take on debt for a property it doesn't own.

Besides, he added, the legal pursuit of the embankment has dragged on for more than a year and its outcome is still unclear.

City Council President Mariano Vega countered that the vote was simply to apply for the $5 million loan and the council would have to vote again to accept it.

The city's legal challenge to the sale of the embankment to developer Steven Hyman could result in the opportunity to buy the property and this money would put the city in a better position to make the purchase if that time came, Vega said.

"Obviously, they (the council) don't understand what's at stake and the timeliness for acquisition," said Stephen Gucciardo, a member of the Embankment Preservation Coalition, disappointed by the final vote. "We absolutely question the will of this council."

The EPC identified the low-interest loan source for city officials and has raised $3.2 million from other government sources to buy the embankment.

Voting with Sottolano against the loan application were Peter Brennan, Viola Richardson, and Mary Spinello.

Siding with Vega and voting for the loan application were Steve Fulop and Willie Flood.

Posted on: 2007/3/16 15:48
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Re: Problems with the Embankment Coalition
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yo fedupjc!
I signed a petition that the Embankment group had out there a couple years back. I gave them nothing but my email address and I get the updates and alerts they send out, so i'm not all that clear on the the "required" membership your talking about.
I also talked to a friend tonight who said that she thinks she gave $10 for a membership a while back and although she gets messages that ask for donations she has never given additional cash and still gets their news.
I agree with your comments that being more open would be a big help, but comparing the embankment situation with the reservoir's goes only so far.
I am thrilled that the Reservoir Alliance has been successful. I love the place. I think that is one of the reasons that's the public has been so supportive. We have been able to spend the day there. Sit in the sun or the shade, enjoy the quiet, try your hand at a kayak, watch people fish and watch a bird fish too. The Embankment doesn't have that going for it now. You can't enjoy the place as a park yet. Which means there is not much for to excited about.
So something that the Reservoir project has had going for it, is that the City already owned the property! 1. people can "get it", if they visit.
When the city administration wakes up and gets the job done by purchasing the property, I expect that there will be a pretty great bash up there for everybody.

Posted on: 2007/3/16 7:32
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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The second part of my previous post was addressed to fedupjc,
not r pinkowitz. Sorry!

Posted on: 2007/3/16 0:58
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Re: Problems with the Embankment Coalition
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Please note: This email was sent out before the council vote and hardly is exclusive.

Embankment Preservation Coalition
Hear what's new and what you can do!


Greetings!

Please join us on Sunday, March 18 at 5:00pm as we provide critical updates on the Embankment and launch a new green sign. This will be an opportunity for you to hear what the City is doing and not doing and how each of us can help ensure that the Embankment becomes a park once and for all.

Make Our Park(s)
It's time for a new green sign!

The Embankment Preservation Coalition will be unveiling a new green sign for Jersey City residents to post in their homes, businesses and places of worship. More than just a sign, the flyer will help everyone understand the latest twists and turns in the saga and what actions you can take. Come mingle with other Jersey City residents who value open space and demand that our legislators listen to our voice.

To RSVP or help with the latest effort, please contact catherine.townsend@aya.yale.edu.

Event Info
Sunday, March 18
5:00PM-6:00PM
239 1/2 Second Street (between Manila and Erie)
*look for the green signs
Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Light snacks and beverages will be served

Posted on: 2007/3/15 22:43
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Re: Problems with the Embankment Coalition
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This group below, HCA, was just one of several neighborhood groups INCLUDING Reservoir 3 Coalition, all who sent out the alert notice about calls for the Embankment loan:

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Harsimus Cove Association
PO Box 101
Jersey City, NJ 07302
www.harsimuscove.org
March 15, 2007

Friends & Neighbors,

I have some bad news to report.

Last night, City Council voted against getting pre-approved for a low interest ?bridge loan? that would have been used in part to purchase the Sixth Street Embankment.
Only Councilman Steve Fulop and Council President MarianoVega voted in favor, and for that, I thank them.
For the rest of the council (Gaughan and Lipski were absent), this seems yet another occasion of the council ignoring the people?s will and offering spurious reasons for doing so.

To wit, Councilperson Viola Richardson erroneously assumed that to vote in favor would ultimately take money away from parks in her ward. Councilman Michael Sottolano assumed that this would dramatically increase the city?s debt burden, also a significant rendition of the facts. Councilman Peter Brennan claimed that the nine-year effort to obtain the Embankment as a park was nothing more than a ?dream?. Councilperson Mary Spinello voted against the measure and then chastised the council for not pursuing such grants and loans in the past.

While this is a disappointment, this is by no means over. I urge each of you, if you value open green space, the preservation of our historic heritage, or just want a park of your own in Harsimus Cove where your kids can play, to keep calling our councilmen to nail the point home - ?MAKE MY PARK?. (http://jerseycityonline.com/jerseycity/our_new_council.htm)

A reminder: Next Wednesday is our monthly General Meeting for the Harsimus Cove Association (Villa Bouriquen, 7:30PM, community meeting room, in the back). If you want to learn what you can do to help save the Embankment, improve the safety and cleanliness of our neighborhood, or just meet a few new people, I hope we?ll see you there.

Thank you.
Sincerely,
Eric Fleming
President, Harsimus Cove Association


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Posted on: 2007/3/15 22:17
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Re: Problems with the Embankment Coalition
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fedupjc wrote:
Problems with the Embankment Coalition

Sure, the no-vote at last night's council meeting was a reflection of our wonderful administration, but let's put it on the table, it also spoke volumes about the shortsightedness and managerial failures of the Embankment Preservation Coalition. It has to be said. Here's what's wrong with this group:

} Closed Doors. Who ever heard of a preservation group that REQUIRES membership for people to be in the know? I.E. if you're not a member you don't get emails and other forms of "alerts". Does this tactic get the word out to the larger Jersey City population??? This is a group that runs on secrets and emergency meetings. All adding up to low turn-outs and empty council chambers! Last night's lame embankment attendance should be a wake up call to the leaders running this group.

} Narrow vision for the site. Can those footbridge renderings get any older or more boring? Where's the excitement in vision? Has the High Line in NY taught nothing? If you have a new poster why isn't it on the website or here on jclist? Oh, yes, you have to be a MEMBER to have access to those types of things! Not to be cynical or anything.

} The embankment website is even worse than the new destinationjerseycity website. No updates, old news, slow loads, etc. Oh, yes, you have to be a MEMBER to have access to those types of things! Not to be cynical or anything.

} Bandwagon. Everyones amazed how quick the embankment group jumped on the back of the successful reservoir project. Desperation? Sour grapes? From what I gather the reservoir people opened their group to everyone, they had no secrets and reached out to ALL of Jersey City! The embankment in case you're wondering comes off as a downtown site. It shouldn't be that way! Lack of vision? Who knows anymore?

} From what I hear the embankment group has spent years "getting grants". (where's the proof of that? i keep hearing grants will be "available") when they should have been building up a strong constituancy across the city! This gets back to the closed-door, members-only policy they put in place.

} We're all tired of hearing "what you can do" for the embankment. What about what the embankment leaders can do for the embankment? How about starting with transparency? Dropping the REQUIRED membership to be in the know? Doing away with public meetings that promise "announcements" but really just waste peoples time? And what about becoming a citywide group rather than downtown? And studying how the reservoir people achieved success? The group leaders have to work smarter never mind harder.

} MAKE MY PARK? How about "Make My Group A Better Group" first?

Believe it or not this is offered as constructive crticism. Yes the embankment group has done great work but somewhere down the line they alienated themselves, dont you think??? The reservoir people brought out seniors and ansd kids and voters, didnt they? Thats what yanks the council off their bottoms, not the same downtown faces who in their eyes dont add up to many votes. If the embankment group opens its "membership" to everyone they'd get more people out to public meetings. Stop with the stupid "you have to be a member to receive notices" nonsense! The whole battle needs a make over. Again,, where's the excitement? The originality? The openness?

Sorry if this has hurt any feelings but it has to be said, maybe others will say more and try to make the group more effective.


I feel this is a very unfair comment, and unless you spent the past 12 years with this group, who has worked 24/7 for this cause, you have no right to judge. Agree with the cause or not, I commend the efforts and the knowledge that these folks have. I say "hats off to them" for the amount of fast balls that keep coming their way, it?s amazing how many times they do not strike out.

IMO people are trying to wear them down and good for them, they will not give up!

Posted on: 2007/3/15 21:04
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Re: Problems with the Embankment Coalition
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Maybe I need to up my anti-cabal medicine, but when I read about the vote my first reaction was - another way to screw Fulop.

Posted on: 2007/3/15 19:37
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Re: Problems with the Embankment Coalition
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Can't say that I know that much about the inner workings of the EPC. But, I have always found representatives of the group to be outgoing concerned citizens working for everyone in JC.

I got a notice about the meeting from two local community groups, and JCList.

Perhaps they should have posted the letter on their website, too.

I think this group has worked extremely hard to make the public aware , and to get poltical and economic support for the embankment.

Someone said last night, people might be just tired of continuously fighting City Hall. Then again, it could have been the nice weather just made evryone lazy and they decided to stay at home.

When I called one of the council members yesterday, the person who took my call, said they weren't even asking for names anymore, just taking a count of the calls, because so many people called. So EPC must have done something right!

Let's work together. Offer your strategies for improvement in a collaborative manner and see what we can accomplish!


Posted on: 2007/3/15 19:11
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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Dan L makes a crucial point.
If the stated policies of a given administration are not supported by the technical resolutions that would bring them to reality, then we truly do have a shadow government. A majority of the council voted to spend 20,000.00 of our money to pay for a lawyer to deal with the legal case for proper abandonment of the Embankment. By not supporting the technical resolution to follow through on that vote, they are wasting our time and our money.
This underscores how this administration operates autonomously as a political entity without accountability.

Posted on: 2007/3/15 18:51
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Problems with the Embankment Coalition
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Problems with the Embankment Coalition

Sure, the no-vote at last night's council meeting was a reflection of our wonderful administration, but let's put it on the table, it also spoke volumes about the shortsightedness and managerial failures of the Embankment Preservation Coalition. It has to be said. Here's what's wrong with this group:

} Closed Doors. Who ever heard of a preservation group that REQUIRES membership for people to be in the know? I.E. if you're not a member you don't get emails and other forms of "alerts". Does this tactic get the word out to the larger Jersey City population??? This is a group that runs on secrets and emergency meetings. All adding up to low turn-outs and empty council chambers! Last night's lame embankment attendance should be a wake up call to the leaders running this group.

} Narrow vision for the site. Can those footbridge renderings get any older or more boring? Where's the excitement in vision? Has the High Line in NY taught nothing? If you have a new poster why isn't it on the website or here on jclist? Oh, yes, you have to be a MEMBER to have access to those types of things! Not to be cynical or anything.

} The embankment website is even worse than the new destinationjerseycity website. No updates, old news, slow loads, etc. Oh, yes, you have to be a MEMBER to have access to those types of things! Not to be cynical or anything.

} Bandwagon. Everyones amazed how quick the embankment group jumped on the back of the successful reservoir project. Desperation? Sour grapes? From what I gather the reservoir people opened their group to everyone, they had no secrets and reached out to ALL of Jersey City! The embankment in case you're wondering comes off as a downtown site. It shouldn't be that way! Lack of vision? Who knows anymore?

} From what I hear the embankment group has spent years "getting grants". (where's the proof of that? i keep hearing grants will be "available") when they should have been building up a strong constituancy across the city! This gets back to the closed-door, members-only policy they put in place.

} We're all tired of hearing "what you can do" for the embankment. What about what the embankment leaders can do for the embankment? How about starting with transparency? Dropping the REQUIRED membership to be in the know? Doing away with public meetings that promise "announcements" but really just waste peoples time? And what about becoming a citywide group rather than downtown? And studying how the reservoir people achieved success? The group leaders have to work smarter never mind harder.

} MAKE MY PARK? How about "Make My Group A Better Group" first?

Believe it or not this is offered as constructive crticism. Yes the embankment group has done great work but somewhere down the line they alienated themselves, dont you think??? The reservoir people brought out seniors and ansd kids and voters, didnt they? Thats what yanks the council off their bottoms, not the same downtown faces who in their eyes dont add up to many votes. If the embankment group opens its "membership" to everyone they'd get more people out to public meetings. Stop with the stupid "you have to be a member to receive notices" nonsense! The whole battle needs a make over. Again,, where's the excitement? The originality? The openness?

Sorry if this has hurt any feelings but it has to be said, maybe others will say more and try to make the group more effective.

Posted on: 2007/3/15 18:48
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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This vote is typically representative of politics as usual with the council and mayor stating support of a particular initiative, even making the policy decision, then not following through to make it happen.

Essentially, Mariano Vega also voted no. He is a three term councilman and council president. Council President Vega has alleged longtime support of the Embankment initiative. If he could not deliver the votes for this technical resolution, not policy, he should be held responsible for the rejection of the resolution.

For those questioning the efforts of those who pushed the initiative forward, keep in mind that over the past 10 years, they have built city-wide support, obtained the support and endorsement of federal, state and municipal officials, state, regional and national green space/parks organizations, obtained full funding of acquisition and development (and the bridge loan). Again, this vote was on a technical resolution to follow through on approved policy.

Posted on: 2007/3/15 16:00
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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Just wondering, since the Villa Borinquen complex borders on the tail end of the Embankment, did the Preservation Coalition reach out to them or PACO http://www.getnj.com/jerseycity/paco.shtml ?

I think that it is a time for a coalition of all JC citizens. I would like to hear from Richardson's constituents who are now effectively deprived from having an open space they can enjoy when they are working or go shopping/ walking about downtown or when they go to the Newport Mall or the Waterfront.

Can't believe that all the people walking around the Mall, the shops, offices, businesses, etc are ALL downtown -Ward E residents.

My $.02

Posted on: 2007/3/15 11:07
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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Defeated 4-3 (2 absent)

For: Fulop, Flood, Vega
Against: Brennan, Richardson, Spinello, Sottolano
Absent: Lipski, Gaughan (I believe it was mentioned that Gaughan was ill)

The reasons for the negative votes included: (1) not wanting to increase the city's debt service (Spinello & Sottolano), even though it was clearly explained before the vote -- verbally and in writing -- by Tom McGlynn of the EPC that, being a bridge loan, the cost to the city would have been miniscule; and (2) perceived competition from other unfunded park projects in her ward (Richardson), even though it was made clear that the $3.7 million already secured for the Embankment's acquisition and additional funds to be raised are entirely separate and do not compete with other park projects.

There was also a sentiment that since there had been little movement on the project (here they were either being disingenuous or haven't been paying attention the last few years), a wait-and-see approach would be best in applying for the loan.

Posted on: 2007/3/15 2:03

Edited by MCA on 2007/3/15 2:18:49
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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DoIt is right, there could have been a street demonstration and the vote would still have gone the same way. Anyone who was present for the Pay to Play vote fiasco can attest to the general contempt that most of the city council has for its constituents. Vote them the hell out I say!

Posted on: 2007/3/15 1:51
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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It would not have made a difference if 2,000 people were there. As was the night that Pay to Play came before them when the place was packed and they had no regard for the citizens.

Posted on: 2007/3/15 1:31
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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Defeated 4-3 (2 absent).

For: Fulop, Flood, Vega.
Against: Brennan, Richardson, Spinello, ?.
Absent: Lipski, ?.

I showed up as promised (I'm the man on the bicycle with young daughter), there were only about ten other embankment people there. At the comparatively meaningless meeting at Grace Church a few months ago hundreds showed up. embankment.org should have mobilised and got those hundreds into the council chamber this evening.

Robin.

Posted on: 2007/3/15 0:30
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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The loan can only be used for open space (and not the portion of the property reserved for Light Rail). The loan is a bridge loan that will be repayed with already designated grant and earmarks, not the municipal budget. The loan does not lock in any specific open space / park development plans.

If the the Surface Transportation Board rules favorable that Conrail did not give the city right of first refusal, then the city must be prepared to purchase the property immediately and this loan is the way to DO IT.

Keep in mind, this resolution is only to apply for the bridge loan, the city is not required to accept funding.

Note to Councilwoman Spinello: The $30k spent in legal fees is a very small sum compared to the millions of dollars that would be saved by a favorable ruling.

Now if the city is also serious about Light Rail on the Embankment (which NJ Transist is not as of yet), then where will the city get the money to purchase the balance the non-open space portion of the Embankment?

The horse has been led to water....


Quote:

ianmac47 wrote:
What are the restrictions on the loan? is it an open space loan or just general loan? What I mean is, does the loan lock the city into a specific land management deal or does it leave open what and how the land can be developed?

Posted on: 2007/3/14 19:49
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