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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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schmearwurst wrote:
The zoning board was incredibly irresponsible for granting variances to this developer. While that property definitely needs to be developed, a 50 unit residential building that provides no parking in an already saturated area is disastrous. If Torrei couldn't figure out how to supply parking spaces- he needed to scale down the building. I agree with the poster who said that if you overpay to get variances because of your purchase- there is a problem. There are no public lots anywhere around this area for residents to even TRY to rent a space. Just where is everyone going to park? This project wreaks of the typical greedy developer that presents his project as if he is doing everyone a favor. I am amazed at the naivete of some residents that are seduced so easily by his plan. And those in the community that approve this either have a business nearby yet live in another neighborhood. Well, let's see how that goes when they realize at 7pm that they have no where to park in this neighborhood....literally nowhere. But hey, that well-designed building will look cool as they circle it multiple times in their cars hoping that a space opens up!




Screw the merits of this project and all its supporters. What about my access to free parking! I have to wonder why live in a fast growing urban city if parking is that much of a concern? It's only going to get harder and harder to find free parking spaces with each passing year and each new building with escalating variances by greedy developers. Escape for green pastures in the suburbs while you can -- personally someone said earlier that the city should just rezone. I think that's a great idea and they should remove requirements to include parking -- lets attract more car free folks that walk to the PATH train or uber.


I used to feel somewhat turned off or annoyed by all the people clamoring or demanding development without parking. Mostly, because their positions came across as dogmatic and intransigent. But, man... The free-parking-loving old timers are a real downer, too. Nothing in life is guaranteed, let alone free parking in a fast growing, highly dense, urban city. Or, even parking in a nearby location.

Last night, while out with friends in DTJC, it was so incredibly nice to walk and hang out on the Newark Avenue plaza without concern for cars. That pedestrian plaza last night was everything anyone could have hoped: people going out, hanging out, meeting new friends, trying new places, neighbors meeting neighbors, etc. Even out of towers were super impressed with the vibe and fun. We need more of that.

Posted on: 2015/6/27 16:01
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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schmearwurst wrote:
The zoning board was incredibly irresponsible for granting variances to this developer. While that property definitely needs to be developed, a 50 unit residential building that provides no parking in an already saturated area is disastrous. If Torrei couldn't figure out how to supply parking spaces- he needed to scale down the building. I agree with the poster who said that if you overpay to get variances because of your purchase- there is a problem. There are no public lots anywhere around this area for residents to even TRY to rent a space. Just where is everyone going to park? This project wreaks of the typical greedy developer that presents his project as if he is doing everyone a favor. I am amazed at the naivete of some residents that are seduced so easily by his plan. And those in the community that approve this either have a business nearby yet live in another neighborhood. Well, let's see how that goes when they realize at 7pm that they have no where to park in this neighborhood....literally nowhere. But hey, that well-designed building will look cool as they circle it multiple times in their cars hoping that a space opens up!




Screw the merits of this project and all its supporters. What about my access to free parking! I have to wonder why live in a fast growing urban city if parking is that much of a concern? It's only going to get harder and harder to find free parking spaces with each passing year and each new building with escalating variances by greedy developers. Escape for green pastures in the suburbs while you can -- personally someone said earlier that the city should just rezone. I think that's a great idea and they should remove requirements to include parking -- lets attract more car free folks that walk to the PATH train or uber.

Posted on: 2015/6/27 14:45
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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The zoning board was incredibly irresponsible for granting variances to this developer. While that property definitely needs to be developed, a 50 unit residential building that provides no parking in an already saturated area is disastrous. If Torrei couldn't figure out how to supply parking spaces- he needed to scale down the building. I agree with the poster who said that if you overpay to get variances because of your purchase- there is a problem. There are no public lots anywhere around this area for residents to even TRY to rent a space. Just where is everyone going to park? This project wreaks of the typical greedy developer that presents his project as if he is doing everyone a favor. I am amazed at the naivete of some residents that are seduced so easily by his plan. And those in the community that approve this either have a business nearby yet live in another neighborhood. Well, let's see how that goes when they realize at 7pm that they have no where to park in this neighborhood....literally nowhere. But hey, that well-designed building will look cool as they circle it multiple times in their cars hoping that a space opens up!



Posted on: 2015/6/27 13:42

Edited by schmearwurst on 2015/6/27 13:58:34
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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In New York City exists a program to transfer the development rights from a historic building in order to preserve it. Does/Can should a program exist in JC?

Posted on: 2015/6/22 18:32
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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Abandoning the zoning rules and handing out variances changes the return on investment calculations for developers.

It will lead to more historic and older buildings being demolished and the character of the neighborhood will be permanently altered.

For example, if there is a three story building in place on a lot and the zoning allows a developer to build 8 stories or more, of course the developer will tear down the existing buildings when they can, knowing that they can get at least twice the number of units and twice the amount of revenue in a new building (often more as the lot coverage will increase)? It makes business sense, and to think anything else would be na?ve.

To my knowledge there is nothing stopping a developer to tear down buildings in the village or even along any section of Newark Avenue ? there are no historic districts there (http://www.cityofjerseycity.com/historicpreservationcommission and what is called the HDSID is a (semi?) voluntary organization that does not really protect structures). I really hope I am wrong, please point out the specific rules (e.g. municipal code) if I am. I have not found anything that suggests otherwise.
Case in point is that two historic buildings close to Newark have been demolished in the last month or so.

This one on 320 First Street, on the back of a lot facing Newark Ave was demolished in the last couple of weeks (in addition to a few other older buildings on the lot). It is seen top left in this image:

Resized Image


Here recently on google maps:
https://goo.gl/maps/bij2K


An old townhouse on 328 Barrow was recently demolished. Until recently it was the home of Cintron Barber. The side of the building can be seen at far left in
this 100+ years old photo. (The right of the photo shows the elevated rail road tracks that used to go down Railroad Avenue, nowadays called Columbus.)

With a facade renovation at $10k it would really have been a great part of the street scape.

Resized Image


Here on google maps recently:
https://goo.gl/maps/AuE72

The zoning rules serve to maintain the overall character of a neighborhood. And specifically the height rules reduce the incentive to tear down existing structures - most of these are older/historic in the village.

Changing the zoning rules is something that the whole community should be concerned about to safeguard thoughtful development that enhances rather than demolishes the village.


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jrsygrl - and other Village residents who are interested - the Visioning meeting is on Thursday at 7:30pm at Studio 365, 365 Second Street (between Monmouth and Brunswick)

http://www.jcvillage.org



Posted on: 2015/6/22 16:45
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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Every downtown zoning variance for more units should have at least four extra floors added for Section 8 housing. Moving people out from Greenville to downtown can only help those living in distressed neighborhoods. Isn't Fulop progressive enough to support that? It's what de Blasio wants to do in Manhattan, so it should be good enough for JC.


Local residents and developers would never support this. The reputation of section 8 residents is enough to keep them out.


Probably true, but I think that this is a fairly decent way to keep at bay the ever increasing requests for variances while achieving the goal of increasing affordable housing. I am not a believer in mandating 80/20 construction everywhere, but if the city has already decided that is a worthy goal, then tying 80/20 requirements to variances should be an effective way to achieve those goals.

Posted on: 2015/6/22 15:06
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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Monroe wrote:
Every downtown zoning variance for more units should have at least four extra floors added for Section 8 housing. Moving people out from Greenville to downtown can only help those living in distressed neighborhoods. Isn't Fulop progressive enough to support that? It's what de Blasio wants to do in Manhattan, so it should be good enough for JC.


Local residents and developers would never support this. The reputation of section 8 residents is enough to keep them out.

Posted on: 2015/6/22 13:00
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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jrsygrl - and other Village residents who are interested - the Visioning meeting is on Thursday at 7:30pm at Studio 365, 365 Second Street (between Monmouth and Brunswick)

http://www.jcvillage.org



Posted on: 2015/6/22 12:38
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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Monroe wrote:
Every downtown zoning variance for more units should have at least four extra floors added for Section 8 housing. Moving people out from Greenville to downtown can only help those living in distressed neighborhoods. Isn't Fulop progressive enough to support that? It's what de Blasio wants to do in Manhattan, so it should be good enough for JC.
interesting idea, but section 8 rules need to be strictly enforced...such as occupancy.

Posted on: 2015/6/22 12:26
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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Erobinsonh, where is the meeting?

Posted on: 2015/6/22 2:32
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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Every downtown zoning variance for more units should have at least four extra floors added for Section 8 housing. Moving people out from Greenville to downtown can only help those living in distressed neighborhoods. Isn't Fulop progressive enough to support that? It's what de Blasio wants to do in Manhattan, so it should be good enough for JC.

Posted on: 2015/6/21 21:23
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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For anyone who wants a voice in what is going to happen in the future in the Village, or just wants to learn what the city has planned for the neighborhood - the Village Neighborhood Association meeting this coming Thursday (June 25 at 7:30pm) will be a discussion of the recent "Visioning" session.

There was originally going to be a separate meeting 2 days later with the City Council, but those meetings are now combined on Thursday evening.


Posted on: 2015/6/21 14:51
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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bodhipooh wrote:
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Erobinsonh wrote:
the first of likely many 8 story buildings will now go up in the Village


This sounds like hyperbole and a bit overly dramatic. One approved variance does not automatically mean many more in the future.
It might. A lot of other developers building stuff in this area want to go higher and will surely be bugging city hall for variances. If they gave a variance to this project, why not to this one, or that one? If it starts happening they should just rezone the whole damn neighborhood so people know what they're buying into.


Agree - rezoning is the way to go. For example - no reason the whole area under the Turnpike shouldn't allow buildings equivalent in height to the Turnpike - particularly if developers help pay for improvements in infrastructure.

Posted on: 2015/6/20 17:29
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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well, the developer won - the vote was 5-2.

the first of likely many 8 story buildings will now go up in the Village

but he was able to mobilize a lot of supporters - so if that's what the Village truly wants, then fair enough




May I suggest a different perspective... Instead of intense focus on the height of the building and whether it complies with zoning, focus instead on the design of the building, what it replaces, and whether it's addition would be a net positive for the Village and Jersey City.

This building won the support of the community and zoning board because I believe it was very well designed, replaced an ugly underutilized lot, and will be a welcomed addition to the Village once completed.

Had a building been proposed that was butt ugly abomination, but conformed to existing zoning, would that really be a preferred outcome than what we got in return? What if the site remained vacant, never to be redeveloped? Obviously, that's not what the larger community wants.

I do believe this development opens the door for taller buildings in the village than zoning would allow, but I would argue that any future development should be kept to the same standard as the one most recently approved.

My hope is the community will be strongly vigilant against future proposals that are not well designed, regardless of whether it meets zoning or not. But welcome and embrace the ones which follow in this one's footsteps.

One last note, the Newport Community is built to zoning and is consistent with the redevelopment plan, but it has to be the most heinous collection of ugly buildings I've ever seen in my life. It's a embarrassing mess on the waterfront and lacks any sense of community. So much potential for good design has ben lost. You know, sometimes zoning and city planning gets it wrong. I'm sure they were well intentioned when codifying the vision to the community in the redevelopment plan and zoning docs, but they can't think of everything, so it's important to revisit zoning and planning from time to time to see if it's creating and maintaining a vibrant, healthy community. This is why existing zoning should not be set in stone, and it's important to have the zoning board to review variances to allow for good development that would otherwise be denied.

Posted on: 2015/6/20 16:50
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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The developer got the height variance. Is he getting an abatement, too?

Posted on: 2015/6/19 15:12
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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yeah, from what I understand, they can give height variances if they fit with the character of the neighborhood, and now that the character of the neighborhood has changed...why would any future developer pass up the opportunity to maximize their profit?

Posted on: 2015/6/19 15:09
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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bodhipooh wrote:
Quote:

Erobinsonh wrote:
the first of likely many 8 story buildings will now go up in the Village


This sounds like hyperbole and a bit overly dramatic. One approved variance does not automatically mean many more in the future.
It might. A lot of other developers building stuff in this area want to go higher and will surely be bugging city hall for variances. If they gave a variance to this project, why not to this one, or that one? If it starts happening they should just rezone the whole damn neighborhood so people know what they're buying into.

Posted on: 2015/6/19 14:58
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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Erobinsonh wrote:
the first of likely many 8 story buildings will now go up in the Village


This sounds like hyperbole and a bit overly dramatic. One approved variance does not automatically mean many more in the future.

Quote:

but he was able to mobilize a lot of supporters - so if that's what the Village truly wants, then fair enough


Democracy at work...

Posted on: 2015/6/19 14:39
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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well, the developer won - the vote was 5-2.

the first of likely many 8 story buildings will now go up in the Village

but he was able to mobilize a lot of supporters - so if that's what the Village truly wants, then fair enough



Posted on: 2015/6/19 10:36
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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Tonight is the night - 6:30 in the City Council chamber, second floor of City Hall, 280 Grove Street.

Whether you like the look of the building or not, whether you think the Village should stay with its current group of 3 to 5 story buildings or start building high rises - please show up! Participation matters, numbers matter.

If approved, this will change the Village forever. Make sure you had a voice in the decision!

The opinions of the community definitely have an effect on projects like this - I've been attending Board of Adjustment meetings for the last several months, and I see how thoughtfully they listen to neighborhood feedback.


+1

Posted on: 2015/6/18 20:15
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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The new Jersey Ave superspeedway will help bring more people towards this new development!

Posted on: 2015/6/18 18:20
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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I thought I could be there tonight, but now I have to work late and won't make it.

Fight the good fight, Erobinsonh! And let us know how it works out.

Posted on: 2015/6/18 18:13
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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Tonight is the night - 6:30 in the City Council chamber, second floor of City Hall, 280 Grove Street.

Whether you like the look of the building or not, whether you think the Village should stay with its current group of 3 to 5 story buildings or start building high rises - please show up! Participation matters, numbers matter.

If approved, this will change the Village forever. Make sure you had a voice in the decision!

The opinions of the community definitely have an effect on projects like this - I've been attending Board of Adjustment meetings for the last several months, and I see how thoughtfully they listen to neighborhood feedback.

Posted on: 2015/6/18 14:31
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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I like it, let them build it!

Posted on: 2015/6/17 11:01
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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dtjc is screwed under this admin.

Posted on: 2015/6/17 0:14
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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I'm all for thriving local businesses - but if you add thousands of people to the tiny Village neighborhood (Ben Torrei said at a VNA meeting this winter that more than 1000 potential apartments are in some stage of development in the Village right now), then you better hope that the taxes generated are enough for the city to deal with the added infrastructure needs of these people - water, sewage, schools, parking etc.

With increased business for these local shops may inevitably come higher rents and expenses. As the streets get clogged with traffic, deliveries and supplies take longer.

I used to live in on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village - when I moved there about a decade ago, it was filled with funky stand-alone shops: antique shops, boutiques, a grocery store, the infamous Condomania - now they are all gone and that stretch of Bleecker is all Marc Jacobs and Coach and Mulberry - you can no longer buy a carton of milk, but you have an extraordinary amount of choice if you are looking to spend at least $6000 on a handbag.

At the moment The Village is a sleepy little neighborhood, relatively quiet at night and on the weekends. And a lot of people want to keep it as an oasis in this city, a place where people feel like they are part of a small community. At the "Vision" meeting for the Village last month, the suggestion about opening another PATH station on the south side of the Village drew some strong objections from residents who like it quiet and don't want floods of people going in and out of a PATH station.

As I said in my original post - lets decide on density and height by community consensus and a change to zoning codes if need be, not by having developer after developer push the variance envelope.

By the way - Dog and Cat mentioned the banners around the lot on Newark and Brunswick, which made it look like every business in the neighborhood was embracing the project - those were taken down this morning. Apparently the logos were used without permission (though some people I talked to didn't mind the free advertising, others were mad).
i think another PATH entrance would be fantastic - i personally people hoping to maintain the "peace and quiet" of the Village are fighting a losing battle

Posted on: 2015/6/16 21:08
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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Yet another person looking to encase in amber the neighborhood they have only known for a few years so it stays the way THEY like it. Progress, improvements and gentrification are GREAT, until *they* get there, then it is "hands off!"


Not really - I just want the community as a whole to decide what they would like their neighborhood to become, rather than letting it be up to developers whose primary objective is making money.

I have a small business here, and for the success of that, I would love it if lots and lots of people with disposable income moved in. But I also think the Village is a special place and I would hate to see it become another generic urban neighborhood. Plenty of those out there right now.

Posted on: 2015/6/16 20:55
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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bodhipooh wrote:
Yet another person looking to encase in amber the neighborhood they have only known for a few years so it stays the way THEY like it. Progress, improvements and gentrification are GREAT, until *they* get there, then it is "hands off!"


Calculus was an important high school subject because it taught us to think about rates of change, and what we?re seeing in early 21st century Manhattan is gentrification at an unprecedented rate fueled by unprecedented wealth. If gentrification in Manhattan was a player in the NBA, he would be ten feet tall, and the game would get real old, real fast.

Posted on: 2015/6/16 20:55
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
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Erobinsonh wrote:
I'm all for thriving local businesses - but if you add thousands of people to the tiny Village neighborhood (Ben Torrei said at a VNA meeting this winter that more than 1000 potential apartments are in some stage of development in the Village right now), then you better hope that the taxes generated are enough for the city to deal with the added infrastructure needs of these people - water, sewage, schools, parking etc.

With increased business for these local shops may inevitably come higher rents and expenses. As the streets get clogged with traffic, deliveries and supplies take longer.

I used to live in on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village - when I moved there about a decade ago, it was filled with funky stand-alone shops: antique shops, boutiques, a grocery store, the infamous Condomania - now they are all gone and that stretch of Bleecker is all Marc Jacobs and Coach and Mulberry - you can no longer buy a carton of milk, but you have an extraordinary amount of choice if you are looking to spend at least $6000 on a handbag.

At the moment The Village is a sleepy little neighborhood, relatively quiet at night and on the weekends. And a lot of people want to keep it as an oasis in this city, a place where people feel like they are part of a small community. At the "Vision" meeting for the Village last month, the suggestion about opening another PATH station on the south side of the Village drew some strong objections from residents who like it quiet and don't want floods of people going in and out of a PATH station.

As I said in my original post - lets decide on density and height by community consensus and a change to zoning codes if need be, not by having developer after developer push the variance envelope.

By the way - Dog and Cat mentioned the banners around the lot on Newark and Brunswick, which made it look like every business in the neighborhood was embracing the project - those were taken down this morning. Apparently the logos were used without permission (though some people I talked to didn't mind the free advertising, others were mad).


Yet another person looking to encase in amber the neighborhood they have only known for a few years so it stays the way THEY like it. Progress, improvements and gentrification are GREAT, until *they* get there, then it is "hands off!"

Posted on: 2015/6/16 19:48
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Re: the game of escalating variances in The Village
#18
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


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I'm all for thriving local businesses - but if you add thousands of people to the tiny Village neighborhood (Ben Torrei said at a VNA meeting this winter that more than 1000 potential apartments are in some stage of development in the Village right now), then you better hope that the taxes generated are enough for the city to deal with the added infrastructure needs of these people - water, sewage, schools, parking etc.

With increased business for these local shops may inevitably come higher rents and expenses. As the streets get clogged with traffic, deliveries and supplies take longer.

I used to live in on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village - when I moved there about a decade ago, it was filled with funky stand-alone shops: antique shops, boutiques, a grocery store, the infamous Condomania - now they are all gone and that stretch of Bleecker is all Marc Jacobs and Coach and Mulberry - you can no longer buy a carton of milk, but you have an extraordinary amount of choice if you are looking to spend at least $6000 on a handbag.

At the moment The Village is a sleepy little neighborhood, relatively quiet at night and on the weekends. And a lot of people want to keep it as an oasis in this city, a place where people feel like they are part of a small community. At the "Vision" meeting for the Village last month, the suggestion about opening another PATH station on the south side of the Village drew some strong objections from residents who like it quiet and don't want floods of people going in and out of a PATH station.

As I said in my original post - lets decide on density and height by community consensus and a change to zoning codes if need be, not by having developer after developer push the variance envelope.

By the way - Dog and Cat mentioned the banners around the lot on Newark and Brunswick, which made it look like every business in the neighborhood was embracing the project - those were taken down this morning. Apparently the logos were used without permission (though some people I talked to didn't mind the free advertising, others were mad).

Posted on: 2015/6/16 17:47
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