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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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pazman wrote:
Does anyone know what happened at the zoning board meeting last night?
Thanks.


The Decision for both lots: Zoning Official Affirmed Appeal Denied

Photo from zoning board meeting

Posted on: 2006/9/22 19:56
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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Does anyone know what happened at the zoning board meeting last night?

Thanks.

Posted on: 2006/9/22 15:02
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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"4. Central Park is huge, gorgeous, and a little unsafe at night. Does that mean it should be paved over and turned into condos? No. If safety is an issue, don't go to the park at night. Actually, it would be very easy to close such a park at dusk--lockable staircases with one-way exits like in subways. If you're worried about encoutering condoms, well, don't walk anywhere in JC."

I agree with you, with the "logic" some are offering we shouldn't have parks at all...
Close it at NIGHT. Most parks close down after dark anyway. If it has a bike path and walk/jog path duirng the day people will use it to get downtown (biking is something that should be encouraged around here, esp. to get around town the air around here is getting worse and worse esp at commute time).
We now have at least a half a dozen MAJOR new projects going up in this city. WHERE are these people going to go to be outside? Liberty? Lincoln? We need not only greenspace but other ways to get around here. Has anyone taken a count of how many projected new Jersey City residents we are going to have here?The Resevoir,the Embankment, Bergen Arches are not jokes to be poked fun at by some self-interested developers who won't be living here after they get what they want. THey are some of the last open space left in a city that has been without any rational civic planning.

I saw a documentary on the Bronx the other night. An interesting fact was that the South Bronx that ended up being decimated was overbuilt, then abandoned. Parks increase the value of the homes around them. YES, they have to be maintained, yes they need police, YES there are bad people around but by the logic of some, we should close Island Beach (miles of natural dune forest with a road -- this shouldn't be allowed cause it will need police. Ditto with Central Park, close it, we need more condos and while we are at it, get rid of Liberty State Park too, I'm sorry we need to put up more buildings so we can stare at Manhattan instead of getting outside and getting a life with our families.

Posted on: 2006/9/22 14:56
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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Just a small anecdote...

During a recent visit to the city planners office, with a group of graduate students at the NJSoA, as the group was leaving, they noticed a huge aerial photograph of all of Jersey City. We were there to study the west side of the city, but where did the groups immediate attention go?
The Embankment. What's this - pointing to the wide green strip that cuts right across downtown. Its truly a remarkable thing. As a neighbor to the Embankment, I filled them all in with the details and the drama, as did the city planner. They were horrified to hear that anyone would want to remove something that seemed so extraordinary.

How is it that outsiders can see its potential and the people who stand to benefit most from it remaining green cannot?

Someone had made an inquiry as to how the High Line would deal with safety - I believe the High Line is lined with much taller buildings, providing "eyes" at all times. As well, even just the proposed development of the raised greenspace has spurred the development and desirability of the surrounding areas.

Posted on: 2006/9/22 4:18
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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Seriously, though.

1. In all the years I've lived here, I haven't perceived the embankment as a "problem."

2. Turning it into condos would be a huge loss and represents a total lack of vision. (So, I'm betting that's the way JC government would go. . . . .)

3. See my sig line. There is money to be made here, and developers should pay to play. If we're going to allow any high rise a developer can imagine building, why not at least link those obscenities to greenspace development? Have developers pay into a fund for transforming the embankment into a park. Some developers (Exeter) actually *want* to pay to improve the greenspace.

4. Central Park is huge, gorgeous, and a little unsafe at night. Does that mean it should be paved over and turned into condos? No. If safety is an issue, don't go to the park at night. Actually, it would be very easy to close such a park at dusk--lockable staircases with one-way exits like in subways. If you're worried about encoutering condoms, well, don't walk anywhere in JC.





Of course, we could just turn it into a dogs-run-free crapkins zone, and then no one would want to have sex there. Well, almost no one. . . .

Posted on: 2006/9/21 20:19
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster

Oh, wait, there is one: The Jersey Sting.
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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AssHat wrote:
I did some research on jersey city - here's some of what I found :
================================

>> Cruisy park and bushy area, at Marin Blvd. and 6th Street, Jersey City. Located atop the historical stone wall of downtown Jersey City that used to be train tracks, right off Marin Blvd. on 6th Street. Path leading to the top area of the wall is adjacent to billboards on the wall.

"Yeah, this could be a hot place to get it on as it seems to be 'no man's land' as of yet. Oddly, it is in the middle of a very nice residential area, but I went up there to explore it with my boyfriend this past September around dusk and there's nothing up there but prickly knee-high weeds and bug-infested brush as far as the eye can see. No real place to get it on with someone unless you want lots of ticks and other bugs attaching themselves to your skin. Something else to note -- this is right in front of the Newport Mall and JC Penney's parking lot. This is the same JC Penney's mentioned here as having a hot men's room -- and yes, I've ****** a few (rare) white jocks and nerds here before, and it was way fun! The whole downtown Jersey City area has a lot of potential! Come on guys, get ******* out there!


>> Exchange Place, Jersey City. Street cruising along the street by the water.

>> Journal Square Station, Jersey City. Cruisy toilet on the concourse level.

"While the homeless abound (they get free meals outside), I also met the hottest stud of my life here! Best after work."

"My favorite place (and I am not dirty or homeless). Hit-or-miss but there are some great working class guys as this neighborhood isn't totally gentrified yet. Let's keep the 'now I'm sophisticated since I left Omaha' types out.


>> Liberty State Park, Jersey City. Cruisy toilet near the ferry. Take Exit 14B on the New Jersey Turnpike. Follow the signs to Liberty State Park.

"This is a good place for ******* and *******. The parking lot near Johnson Avenue and the dry dock has good bushes and cover. It can be accessed on foot from Jersey Avenue. It's a very cool location. I have walked around butt naked and I've even been ****** off. I'm just waiting to get my butt banged while looking at Lady Liberty.


>> New Jersey City University, 2039 Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City. Cruisy toilet on the fourth floor in the library.

"Guys hang out and study in the study area right outside the bathrooms on the fourth floor of the library. Go, make eye contact, follow into bathroom, and get it on!"

>> Newport Mall, Jersey City. Cruisy toilet on the first floor of J C Penney.

"Good action in this toilet."

"Security busted me there. Be careful." Heads Up!

>> Street cruising between Newark Avenue and Hamilton Park, Jersey Avenue, Jersey City. Located near Grove Street PATH station.

>> Street cruising on Coles Street, between 5th and 6th Streets, Jersey City. Driveway/walkthrough by the iron workers garage.



Ewwwwww.

Posted on: 2006/9/21 20:08
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster

Oh, wait, there is one: The Jersey Sting.
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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AssHat wrote:


>> Liberty State Park, Jersey City. Cruisy toilet near the ferry. Take Exit 14B on the New Jersey Turnpike. Follow the signs to Liberty State Park.


>> Newport Mall, Jersey City. Cruisy toilet on the first floor of J C Penney.

"Good action in this toilet."



Sound like McGreevey should hang out here.

Posted on: 2006/9/21 19:19
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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I did some research on jersey city - here's some of what I found :
================================

>> Cruisy park and bushy area, at Marin Blvd. and 6th Street, Jersey City. Located atop the historical stone wall of downtown Jersey City that used to be train tracks, right off Marin Blvd. on 6th Street. Path leading to the top area of the wall is adjacent to billboards on the wall.

"Yeah, this could be a hot place to get it on as it seems to be 'no man's land' as of yet. Oddly, it is in the middle of a very nice residential area, but I went up there to explore it with my boyfriend this past September around dusk and there's nothing up there but prickly knee-high weeds and bug-infested brush as far as the eye can see. No real place to get it on with someone unless you want lots of ticks and other bugs attaching themselves to your skin. Something else to note -- this is right in front of the Newport Mall and JC Penney's parking lot. This is the same JC Penney's mentioned here as having a hot men's room -- and yes, I've ****** a few (rare) white jocks and nerds here before, and it was way fun! The whole downtown Jersey City area has a lot of potential! Come on guys, get ******* out there!


>> Exchange Place, Jersey City. Street cruising along the street by the water.

>> Journal Square Station, Jersey City. Cruisy toilet on the concourse level.

"While the homeless abound (they get free meals outside), I also met the hottest stud of my life here! Best after work."

"My favorite place (and I am not dirty or homeless). Hit-or-miss but there are some great working class guys as this neighborhood isn't totally gentrified yet. Let's keep the 'now I'm sophisticated since I left Omaha' types out.


>> Liberty State Park, Jersey City. Cruisy toilet near the ferry. Take Exit 14B on the New Jersey Turnpike. Follow the signs to Liberty State Park.

"This is a good place for ******* and *******. The parking lot near Johnson Avenue and the dry dock has good bushes and cover. It can be accessed on foot from Jersey Avenue. It's a very cool location. I have walked around butt naked and I've even been ****** off. I'm just waiting to get my butt banged while looking at Lady Liberty.


>> New Jersey City University, 2039 Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City. Cruisy toilet on the fourth floor in the library.

"Guys hang out and study in the study area right outside the bathrooms on the fourth floor of the library. Go, make eye contact, follow into bathroom, and get it on!"

>> Newport Mall, Jersey City. Cruisy toilet on the first floor of J C Penney.

"Good action in this toilet."

"Security busted me there. Be careful." Heads Up!

>> Street cruising between Newark Avenue and Hamilton Park, Jersey Avenue, Jersey City. Located near Grove Street PATH station.

>> Street cruising on Coles Street, between 5th and 6th Streets, Jersey City. Driveway/walkthrough by the iron workers garage.

Posted on: 2006/9/21 18:06
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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Just to clarify I wasn't suggesting it be torn down. Actually, I really like the idea of it being an elevated park. I was just agreeing that in its current state I don't believe it adds any "charm" to the neighborhood.

Posted on: 2006/9/21 18:03
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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Whether the embankment is ugly or not could be debated for a long time.

What is known for sure is that Downtown would be A MESS during the take down process. There are known cancerous substances that would be unleased into to air - blocks from an elementary school. The pounding required to take them down would surely cause damage to the foundations of all the houses around. There would be trucks, noise, dust, debris, rats and flooding. Are we prepared to live through that?

Posted on: 2006/9/21 17:42
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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Skadave wrote:
Am I in the minority here? Most people don't think the embankment is a problem?


I'm with you. I do see it's potential and appreciate it as a relic of the past, but in it's current state that you described it's ugly. Everything that's been done to it has made it ugly- it's unkempt, trashed and covered with crappy graffiti in certain parts.

Posted on: 2006/9/21 2:27
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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JPhurst wrote:
Pazman has quite eloquently pointed out that it is not the Embankment supporters that are delaying anything, or hindering progress. Rather, it is they who came up with the vision for the Embankment, and have taken action to secure funding sources outside the city's coffers.

But I am curious as to skadave's description of the situation as "the Problem of the Embankment." Certainly, it would be great to use it as a park so that it could be more fully appreciated and enjoyed. But most residents in the area don't consider the structure a problem.

At the very least, we have a structure which serves as a reminder of the railroad past of this city, and provides environmental benefits as well. It's a lot like the Reservoir in that respect, in that when it was left along, it showcased the remarkable powers of nature, and demonstrated how it could be incorporated into the plan for open space.

I want the park built sooner rather than later, but I don't see the Embankment, even unused, as a blight.

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy


No disrespect but I don't know too many people that think the embankment is beautiful. I quite frankly think it's an eyesore in its current state. I am never comfortable walking by it after 11pm (especially on coles street), it is trash lined, the lights on the top of it look as if they were broken 20 years ago, the "no justice no peace" graffiti on the corner of erie 6th has been there for over 9 years, some old men have made a portion of it their living room, and the smirnoff ice ads don't add any charm to downtown Jersey City either.

Am I in the minority here? Most people don't think the embankment is a problem?

Posted on: 2006/9/21 2:07
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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ccitizen wrote:
Policing? The department isn't willing to dedicate a patrol to Hamilton Park. Do you reall think they could dedicate police to an awkward spot that they would have a hard time getting to and from?


They would have to build roads to get a cop up there since they don't get out of their car much. You know this is the truth for most.

I'd like to see the light rail with a park but now you have the danger of people getting hurt. Also, if making open space, how high would you have to make the fences along the entire route so kids don't fall off? There is no easy solution.

Posted on: 2006/9/21 1:20
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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btw, if you look at some portions of the upper walls where, I'm guessing, weathering has worn away the grime, you can see the original color of the stone, a rich brownish-red. A good cleaning would go a long way toward making it less "ugly", though I'm admittedly baffled by those who find it so now.

Posted on: 2006/9/21 0:26
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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These are the same conversations that have gone on since I moved to the area and they haven't changed one bit. Talk to the mayor. He'll be the first one to tell you that the city cannot afford to build/maintain a 5 block long park for the people of downtown (the greenway thing if fine but this is really about giving a park to downtown). Not to mention the city doesn't even own the land.

Policing? The department isn't willing to dedicate a patrol to Hamilton Park. Do you reall think they could dedicate police to an awkward spot that they would have a hard time getting to and from?

Compromise is the answer. A 5 block park is as much out of character in Hamilton Park as are steel brushed towers, is it not?

Find a way to scale down the embankment's height. Dedicate two blocks to parks and let the rest get developed by someone who will build to historic guidelines (Hyman of whoever he sells it to).

Othewise, the ugly walls will be up for another 10-20 years.

Posted on: 2006/9/21 0:09
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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AlanSommerman wrote:
To all of you who follow the park situation in JC - will there ever be a way to get to LSP by bike other than getting off the riverwalk and going inland to Jersey Avenue?


No. The cost of building and maintaining a drawbridge across the mouth of the canal is totally prohibitive. Give it up, and look forward to the day when the recycler is gone and the ride to the footbridge is more pleasant. You can't be further from the bridge than I am in HP and I get there quite quickly.

Pazman,

All your reasons FOR are quite wonderful and in a perfect world indisputable, but you fail to address in real terms the safety issue. Please don't suggest cameras, recent events have made clear the police consider them useless.

Does anyone know how NYC plans to secure the Highline park?

Posted on: 2006/9/20 23:20
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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Yeah, I absolutely agree. The embankment, as it stands, is one of my favorite things about the area (and we live directly across from it). For decades, I loved the stonework on the Central Park transverses, now I can just look out my window and see close to the same thing. I wouldn't mind a park but I'd be perfectly happy if it remained as is.

Posted on: 2006/9/20 22:31
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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Pazman has quite eloquently pointed out that it is not the Embankment supporters that are delaying anything, or hindering progress. Rather, it is they who came up with the vision for the Embankment, and have taken action to secure funding sources outside the city's coffers.

But I am curious as to skadave's description of the situation as "the Problem of the Embankment." Certainly, it would be great to use it as a park so that it could be more fully appreciated and enjoyed. But most residents in the area don't consider the structure a problem.

At the very least, we have a structure which serves as a reminder of the railroad past of this city, and provides environmental benefits as well. It's a lot like the Reservoir in that respect, in that when it was left along, it showcased the remarkable powers of nature, and demonstrated how it could be incorporated into the plan for open space.

I want the park built sooner rather than later, but I don't see the Embankment, even unused, as a blight.

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2006/9/20 22:15
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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I think it is really important to keep the embankment in place whether a park is built there in the near future. Actually, I am not sure that I would even use an elevated fairly isolated park right now given that people are getting mugged during the day at street level. I am confident, however, that eventually a park on the embankment will a safe, enjoyable place and a great addition to the neighborhood. As a previous poster pointed out - once it's gone it is gone.

To all of you who follow the park situation in JC - will there ever be a way to get to LSP by bike other than getting off the riverwalk and going inland to Jersey Avenue?

Posted on: 2006/9/20 22:05
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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Skadave wrote:
I know it is taboo to speak against the "build my park" crowd but here goes.

If this park that we speak of would be built in the next ten years I would be all for it. However, at the rate we are going it will remain a wall that holds Creflo A Dollar billboards for eternity.

Do I want the embankment to become Condo Row? Not really, especially if they are given permission to make them 70 stories tall. But I really don't want to stare at the run down "No Justice No Peace" graffiti covered embankment either.

It comes down to this. Building condos will have the problem of the embankment solved in 3 years. Building a park will be a headache that will take an absurd amount of time to accomplish. What do you think our local government would favor? They will do everything in their power to make the park a difficult task to accomplish (they'll probably even bring in their token "let's make it into baseball fields" guy and a dog owner).

I just hope that a small group of people won't hold a piece of property hostage for the next 30 years in hopes that it will become green space.


1. There is no reason why building the park should take as long as ten years.

2. Applying your rationale, Liberty State Park should have become condos. Short-term planning is not always in everyone's best interests.

3. Building condos on the embankment would not solve the open space problem that we have downtown, which, given the development, will get worse over time.

4. The builder, not the city, is the one holding the property hostage. The embankment was not offered for sale in a legal manner. In addition, it is my understanding that the developer has in the past purchased properties in order to obtain leverage, and without the intention of building anything on the properties. NYTIMES, August 3, 2005.

5. Your local, state and federal representatives, who represent more than a "small group of people", all support the project. Senator Mendendez obtained $1.6 million in federal funding for the project.

Anyone who is interested should check out the embankment website - http://www.embankment.org/

And finally, as stated in the New York Times on August 3, 2005:

In Paris, there's the Promenade Plant?e, an abandoned railroad viaduct transformed into a narrow, three-mile elevated walking trail near the Place de la Bastille. In Manhattan, there's the High Line, the proposed mile-and-a-half park along an abandoned railroad viaduct 30 feet above the streets of Chelsea. And in Jersey City, there's the Harsimus Stem Embankment, which, without as fancy a pedigree, has the potential to be as worthy as either of them, as long as it can negotiate the perilous waters of Hudson County politics -- no small hurdle.

Posted on: 2006/9/20 21:53
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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I know it is taboo to speak against the "build my park" crowd but here goes.

If this park that we speak of would be built in the next ten years I would be all for it. However, at the rate we are going it will remain a wall that holds Creflo A Dollar billboards for eternity.

Do I want the embankment to become Condo Row? Not really, especially if they are given permission to make them 70 stories tall. But I really don't want to stare at the run down "No Justice No Peace" graffiti covered embankment either.

It comes down to this. Building condos will have the problem of the embankment solved in 3 years. Building a park will be a headache that will take an absurd amount of time to accomplish. What do you think our local government would favor? They will do everything in their power to make the park a difficult task to accomplish (they'll probably even bring in their token "let's make it into baseball fields" guy and a dog owner).

I just hope that a small group of people won't hold a piece of property hostage for the next 30 years in hopes that it will become green space.

Posted on: 2006/9/20 21:21
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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I must say that I have always really liked the idea of a jogging and bike path -- I am not even against healy's idea of a light rail train also using it (and maybe funding the buildout) -- that would take more cars off downtown and the trains are quit -- what I can't believe however is that the other light rail was built without a bike path and jogging trail.

However I am not sure where the train would come from -- could it get up to the heights? If so it would be nice for them and it would as I said take traffic off downtown -- maybe limit it to one stop at brunswick and then non-stop to the end of the line and just have one long train with only a few stops that goes back and forth. Maybe build a large park and ride over by Tonnelle 1/9 as a starting point.

Maybe I need coffee.

Posted on: 2006/9/20 20:58
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I strongly believe that only good option is to preserve the embankment as a park/nature trail.

First, we need more open space in downtown. Once the land is gone, we won't get it back. While I applaud much of the downtown development, the fact is that none of it the development has involved the creation of substantial public spaces, which are the lifeblood of a community. Think of New York without Central Park, Washington Square Park or Prospect Park. With the embankment we have an opportunity to create a beautiful green trail right in the heart of our nineteenth century historic streetscapes.

Second, building the park would vastly increase the desireability and value of the surrounding neighborhood. I for one, was attracted to the area in part because Hamilton Park is a urban oasis of greenery. It will be nice to go for a walk along a green trail with your friends, family or dog. Honestly, how many people would rather that Hamilton and Van Voorst parks be turned into condo developments in the name of preventing crime?

Third, the embankment would be another link to J.C.'s historic past as a transportation and manufacturing center. We have already lost the Powerhouse Arts District. We don't want to lose another structure that makes Jersey City unique.

Fourth, the embankment would ultimately lead to a reduction, not increase, in crime. Central Park is the safest precinct in Manhattan. The embankment could be policed at least as well as, if not better than, any neighborhood in the city, using a combination of periodic patrols and cameras. The embankment plan provides for a well-lit, open space. Access to the embankment could be closed off after dark. If kids sneak into the park after dark, they'll be easier to catch, since there will be fewer directions in which to run. Despite the complaints about crime over the past summer, there is no doubt that J.C. has undergone, and continues to undergo, substantial improvement. As it does, the crime rate will lower. I can understand why some people may be afraid that a park would contribute to crime. However, I believe that their fears are unfounded.

Posted on: 2006/9/20 20:31
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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valid points but honestly those horrible modern two familiy houses tha they're building all over jersey city should not be allowed in the historic area.

Posted on: 2006/9/20 19:57
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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I'm pro parks too, but it seems to me the embankment coalition folks are in denial on that issue. I can't see a park being created that can't be observed, at least in this city. As it is there's condoms and KY being pulled out of the HP gazebo shrubbery. Can you imagine what would go on up on an embankment?

Posted on: 2006/9/20 19:47
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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One of my wishes for Jersey City is that they would devote more resources to parks and open space. However, looking at the embankment ? how would you build a park there and monitor what was going on inside it. From what I have seen of the embankments they are mostly above street level. How do you keep it a safe park and keep the thugletts from taking it over??? I am not pro-development but I was just wondering if anyone else had thought about this.

Posted on: 2006/9/20 19:20
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Re: Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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I pray they forbid people from building on the embankment. With all the skyscrapers they're building, where are the parks?

Posted on: 2006/9/20 18:53
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Zoning Board to Consider Building Housing on the Embankment
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Please see below, a developer is seeking approvals to build housing on the eastern portion of the 6th Street Embankment.

The Board of Adjustement (Zoning) will hear the case on Thursday, September 21.


Please be advised the following items will be heard at the next Regular Meeting of the Jersey City Board of
Adjustment, scheduled for Thursday, September 21, 2006, 6:00 p.m. in the Council Caucus Room, Room
204, 2nd floor, City Hall, 280 Grove Street, Jersey City, New Jersey.

8. Case: Z06-034 ?A? Appeal
Applicant: 247 Manila Ave, LLC
Attorney: Michele R. Donato
Address: 441-447 Manila Ave
Block: 247 Lots: 50A
Zone: Grove Street NDP Area Redevelopment Plan
For: Appeal of the decision of the Zoning Official that one and two family housing
is not a permitted use on the subject lot


9. Case: Z06-033 ?A? Appeal
Applicant: 212 Marin Blvd, LLC
Attorney: Michele R. Donato
Address: 437 Luis M. Marin Blvd
Block: 212 Lots: M
Zone: Luis Mu?oz Marin Blvd Redevelopment Plan
For: Appeal of the decision of the Zoning Official that one and two family housing
is not a permitted use on the subject lot

Posted on: 2006/9/20 14:19
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