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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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JCGuys wrote:
Moving this forward - we can have a facebook page to discuss these loop poolissues in greater detail (we need to be crystal clear on the problem and possible solution), then setup a meeting with Yun's office so that he is aware of our concerns.

Personally, I would like to see the new R5 zoning be tweaked for the Heights.

No pitched roofs
Side setbacks for windows (the R5 zoning has this one perfect)
Encouragement of Cornices
Strong encouragement of Bay Windows
Recessed Balconies
Banning of Cheap Vinyl Siding (ok, one of my personal per peeves)

In exchange for the allowability of 3 or 4 family homes. We're not restricting any private property rights. We are proposing another option for development - one that would simply be more economically feasible to build than it would be a Bayonne Box. The market will take care of the rest.

I don't mind good quality vinyl siding, I detest pink brick. Btw, not everyone has facebook

Posted on: 2016/11/27 19:39
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Moving this forward - we can have a facebook page to discuss these issues in greater detail (we need to be crystal clear on the problem and possible solution), then setup a meeting with Yun's office so that he is aware of our concerns.

Personally, I would like to see the new R5 zoning be tweaked for the Heights.

No pitched roofs
Side setbacks for windows (the R5 zoning has this one perfect)
Encouragement of Cornices
Strong encouragement of Bay Windows
Recessed Balconies
Banning of Cheap Vinyl Siding (ok, one of my personal per peeves)

In exchange for the allowability of 3 or 4 family homes. We're not restricting any private property rights. We are proposing another option for development - one that would simply be more economically feasible to build than it would be a Bayonne Box. The market will take care of the rest.


Posted on: 2016/11/27 14:56
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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MDM wrote:
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dtjcview wrote:


You fell for it. "Bayonne box" is a Brewster invention.

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


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

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


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

Posted on: 2016/11/27 11:57
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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dtjcview wrote:


You fell for it. "Bayonne box" is a Brewster invention.

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


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

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

Posted on: 2016/11/27 10:02
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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iGreg wrote:
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brewster wrote:
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JCGuys wrote:
At the minimum we can ask for flexibility. The current zoning allows these two unit boxes. It can be tweaked to allow 4 units with a more interesting design, like the R5 zoning did downtown. 4 units with a more interesting design is more profitable than a two unit Bayonne Box.


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

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

Resized Image




Passed this house when being built and it's no way framed out or built on the same template the Bayonne Boxes are.

It is actually very modern looking and interesting. Sure as shit cost hella more than the 250k you can slap a Bayonne Box up for.

#coolstorybro


You fell for it. "Bayonne box" is a Brewster invention.

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

Brewster is being an asshole on this imo....

Posted on: 2016/11/27 1:12
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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brewster wrote:
Quote:

JCGuys wrote:
At the minimum we can ask for flexibility. The current zoning allows these two unit boxes. It can be tweaked to allow 4 units with a more interesting design, like the R5 zoning did downtown. 4 units with a more interesting design is more profitable than a two unit Bayonne Box.


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

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

Resized Image




Passed this house when being built and it's no way framed out or built on the same template the Bayonne Boxes are.

It is actually very modern looking and interesting. Sure as shit cost hella more than the 250k you can slap a Bayonne Box up for.

#coolstorybro

Posted on: 2016/11/27 0:55
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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dtjcview wrote:
That's just a "Bayonne Box" with a wooden facade. No accounting for taste. And look at the aluminum siding next door. Lipstick on a pig is still a pig...

And I personally think most DT brownstones are piles of shit with a dark brick facade. Perhaps I'm missing the point.



Not that I really want to defend it, but no, it has none of typical BB attributes except the garage. And what does the neighbor house have to do with it? Perhaps you should post an example of your ideal multifamily rowhouse since you say very little is up to your standards.


Do I need to explain what "lipstick on a pig means"? The brownstones I've seen downtown are money-pits. My guess is you own a number of these money-pits. Right?

Posted on: 2016/11/26 23:55
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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dtjcview wrote:
That's just a "Bayonne Box" with a wooden facade. No accounting for taste. And look at the aluminum siding next door. Lipstick on a pig is still a pig...

And I personally think most DT brownstones are piles of shit with a dark brick facade. Perhaps I'm missing the point.



Not that I really want to defend it, but no, it has none of typical BB attributes except the garage. And what does the neighbor house have to do with it? Perhaps you should post an example of your ideal multifamily rowhouse since you say very little is up to your standards.

Posted on: 2016/11/26 23:27
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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brewster wrote:
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JCGuys wrote:
At the minimum we can ask for flexibility. The current zoning allows these two unit boxes. It can be tweaked to allow 4 units with a more interesting design, like the R5 zoning did downtown. 4 units with a more interesting design is more profitable than a two unit Bayonne Box.


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

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

Resized Image


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

And I personally think most DT brownstones are piles of shit with a dark brick facade. Perhaps I'm missing the point.


Posted on: 2016/11/26 18:01
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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The fire protection codes:

I had to deal with them when I gut renovated my 4 family. I had to bring everything up to code. At the time (around 2002), I didn't need to put in sprinklers because I was "3-1/2 stories". If I was 4, I would have to install them. I think the cost estimate at the time was something like $25k to $35k, but my memory on that cost is a bit fuzzy.

I did however have to install fire rates walls, ceiling, and doors, which wasn't a big deal. I had to use 5/8" Type X drywall and install in multiple layers in places. I also used fire resistant insulation. The costs adders for these were manageable and frankly, made for a better building (i.e. better sound insulation between apartments).

The sprinklers however, would have hurt $$$ wise. They were also something that I would fear a tenant's kid would set off, creating a wave of destruction through the building.

Posted on: 2016/11/24 9:03
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Bamb00zle wrote:
Aside current zoning rules, don't overlook the impact of fire code requirements on new construction design. Installation costs for fire code requirements add up VERY quickly, with on-going expenses as well.

Anything more than 2-family, and even certain 2-family buildings, need sprinkler systems. If mains pressure is insufficient a pump may be required, adding to costs.... The on going costs are for central monitoring, back-flow preventer inspections / certification, maintenance, yearly registration fees to JC Bureau of Fire Prevention, Fire Department inspections, and so on.

The impact of these requirements is very substantial in money, time and headaches. For a small building, 3 or 4-family, the economics are marginal – too few apartments to share the additional costs.... So even if zoning rules are changed I can't see 3- or 4-family buildings becoming the design of choice for those lots, replacing 2-family structures, anytime soon.

Fire code requirements need to be simplified for new construction 3 and 4-family buildings to be economically viable. That is done at the State level, beyond direct control of the City. And it's the opposite of what the Fire Prevention industry thinks we need. They want sprinklers mandated for everything, including single family homes. There's a good deal of money at stake so expect a big fight before any changes.


That's a fascinating angle on the issue, but it's not stopping development of these types of properties in DT or Hoboken. Can you put actual numbers to this, as in what would it cost for a typical 4 family on a 25x100 lot?

Posted on: 2016/11/23 20:06
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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MDM wrote:
There is a lot of demand for say a 2 bedroom at $1,200, but it is impossible to offer something in that price range when you can only build 2 units on a 25' x 100' lot.


Aside current zoning rules, don't overlook the impact of fire code requirements on new construction design. Installation costs for fire code requirements add up VERY quickly, with on-going expenses as well.

Anything more than 2-family, and even certain 2-family buildings, need sprinkler systems. If mains pressure is insufficient a pump may be required, adding to costs.... The on going costs are for central monitoring, back-flow preventer inspections / certification, maintenance, yearly registration fees to JC Bureau of Fire Prevention, Fire Department inspections, and so on.

The impact of these requirements is very substantial in money, time and headaches. For a small building, 3 or 4-family, the economics are marginal – too few apartments to share the additional costs.... So even if zoning rules are changed I can't see 3- or 4-family buildings becoming the design of choice for those lots, replacing 2-family structures, anytime soon.

Fire code requirements need to be simplified for new construction 3 and 4-family buildings to be economically viable. That is done at the State level, beyond direct control of the City. And it's the opposite of what the Fire Prevention industry thinks we need. They want sprinklers mandated for everything, including single family homes. There's a good deal of money at stake so expect a big fight before any changes.

Posted on: 2016/11/23 19:44
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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How refreshing to read a thoughtful thread on this board, with no rants on national politics.

Happy Thanksgiving, neighbors.

Posted on: 2016/11/23 16:31
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Re: Parking -- Michael Yun's team was putting together meetings on various "parking" topics (e.g. illegal parking spots). Not sure if they have started the meetings, but contact his office for more information.

Posted on: 2016/11/22 12:46
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Off of Webster Ave, three new building were put up that are not BB types, which completely surprised me. The three replaced a disaster of a building that was torn down last year. I'll snap a photo later today and post it.


Posted on: 2016/11/20 10:18
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Although I would prefer the same old same old corniced brownstone, the photo you posted shows a house that someone took some time with: it has its own integrity and specific aesthetic, as opposed to the cheap looking, out-of-the-box BB house. I kind of like it the more I look at it...

Posted on: 2016/11/20 9:32
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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JCGuys wrote:
At the minimum we can ask for flexibility. The current zoning allows these two unit boxes. It can be tweaked to allow 4 units with a more interesting design, like the R5 zoning did downtown. 4 units with a more interesting design is more profitable than a two unit Bayonne Box.


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

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

Resized Image

Posted on: 2016/11/19 23:57
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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JCGuys wrote:
4 units with a more interesting design is more profitable than a two unit Bayonne Box.


It will also help keep rents lower without squeezing the building owners. A lot of the new, high density construction has been focused on higher end (i.e. $3k+ a month) apartments.

There is a lot of demand for say a 2 bedroom at $1,200, but it is impossible to offer something in that price range when you can only build 2 units on a 25' x 100' lot.

As a landlord, I would rather have a portfolio of mid range apartments than the high end stuff (at least here in the Heights). I am less likely to have vacancies during hard economic times.

Posted on: 2016/11/19 13:25
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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At the minimum we can ask for flexibility. The current zoning allows these two unit boxes. It can be tweaked to allow 4 units with a more interesting design, like the R5 zoning did downtown. 4 units with a more interesting design is more profitable than a two unit Bayonne Box.

Posted on: 2016/11/19 13:03
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Wishful_Thinking wrote:
Is the best approach to start by reaching out to Councilman Yun, or form a group to prepare a campaign, visuals, etc., to take directly to the MasterPlan committee?


The latter sounds like the way to go, to create a "stakeholder entity" that can consistently argue it's case. We've got to remember that this is a unique time to push this issue, when the Masterplan is being reviewed and citizen input is a mandated part of that process.

This is not going to be easy, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, re: Dingers remark on MDM's drawings. For the buyers of these monsters, beauty is clearly a low price. Also any zoning, but particularly aesthetic zoning, runs up against the rights of property owners. Who are we to say whether a steel and glass curtain wall rowhouse is prettier or uglier than a Bayonne Box?

Posted on: 2016/11/19 12:19
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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[quote]
MDM wrote:
Turns out I still have some draft plans for my long since cancelled project in the Heights (corner lot).

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

Jeezus that is one fugly pile of doo doo. I hope you aren't an archie.

Posted on: 2016/11/18 18:17
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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OneSkirt wrote:
Where does RNA stand on this? I thought they favored the zoning changes you guys are discussing and had already begun working on it...?


I don't trust RNA one bit, and they don't speak for me. There were the biggest opponents against the Central Avenue plan.

Posted on: 2016/11/18 16:33
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Where does RNA stand on this? I thought they favored the zoning changes you guys are discussing and had already begun working on it...?

Posted on: 2016/11/18 16:27
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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JCGuys wrote:
As a first step, we probably need to gather all like minded residents together so we can properly organize and discuss exactly what the problems are and how they can be fixed.


I know some of the property & business owners on Central Ave. All pro development. All frustrated with the zoning. I already reached out to one of them.

Posted on: 2016/11/18 16:00
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Turns out I still have some draft plans for my long since cancelled project in the Heights (corner lot).

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

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

Resized Image


Resized Image

Posted on: 2016/11/18 15:58
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Wishful_Thinking wrote:
Count me in! A few questions/suggestions:

Is the best approach to start by reaching out to Councilman Yun, or form a group to prepare a campaign, visuals, etc., to take directly to the MasterPlan committee? In NYC, where I work in historic preservation, well organized and articulate advocacy groups get the elected officials behind them.

Market demographics - I live in the Heights, and have watched these go up over the last 8 years. They overwhelmingly sell to immigrant families, for whom they provide an investment asset as well as a home (I'm currently looking to rent a parking spot, one I've see is one of the two outside spots at one of these Bayonne Boxes) - a successful campaign to replace them would entail an understanding of local market forces.

Parking - the examples shown are good, but the overwhelming contextual design hurdle is the 2-car garage along with 2 outdoor spots. This dictates the siting, lack of landscaping, disruption of the residential streetwall etc. There may need to be a parallel plan to deal with added parking needs.

Visuals - any designers, graphic artists, or even reasonably experienced users of SketchUp out there? Some streetscape renderings of what things would look like under a revised zoning ordinance may get more people on board.


i know sketchup and depending on the scope of work, could likely make some mock ups or maps if time permits to help out. i would get all the ducks in a row first to know who to go to with this info first, but glad to help if it means putting an end to these structures from being built.

Posted on: 2016/11/18 15:12
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Here is an example of an infill building with a garage that's based more on a small-scale industrial building, which there are lot of in the Heights. Some things it suggests to me are - no parking outside of the garage, keeping the streetwall, attached or semi-attached, setbacks to keep the flat roofs, etc.

Resized Image


Posted on: 2016/11/18 15:08
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Count me in! A few questions/suggestions:

Is the best approach to start by reaching out to Councilman Yun, or form a group to prepare a campaign, visuals, etc., to take directly to the MasterPlan committee? In NYC, where I work in historic preservation, well organized and articulate advocacy groups get the elected officials behind them.

Market demographics - I live in the Heights, and have watched these go up over the last 8 years. They overwhelmingly sell to immigrant families, for whom they provide an investment asset as well as a home (I'm currently looking to rent a parking spot, one I've see is one of the two outside spots at one of these Bayonne Boxes) - a successful campaign to replace them would entail an understanding of local market forces.

Parking - the examples shown are good, but the overwhelming contextual design hurdle is the 2-car garage along with 2 outdoor spots. This dictates the siting, lack of landscaping, disruption of the residential streetwall etc. There may need to be a parallel plan to deal with added parking needs.

Visuals - any designers, graphic artists, or even reasonably experienced users of SketchUp out there? Some streetscape renderings of what things would look like under a revised zoning ordinance may get more people on board.

Posted on: 2016/11/18 14:58
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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As a first step, we probably need to gather all like minded residents together so we can properly organize and discuss exactly what the problems are and how they can be fixed. I personally believe it's an issue of zoning. Zoning is always a hot topic, and it may be politically better to leave it alone, even if there is a major problem resulting from it, than to try and fix it. This is because there are a vocal number of misguided residents (like Yvonne and the ones MDM described) that will try to derail any efforts for change, even if the change proposed is positive and would lead to what we all want: a visually attractive and vibrant community.

We can draft an email to Councilman Yun letting him know this is an issue many are passionate about. We can then setup an in person meeting with him and the city planning department. We can also write a Letter to the Editor of the Jersey Journal.

I'm thinking we may also need a website to explain out positions once we figure them out internally.

Lastly, I'm probably the worst to lead an effort like this. I'll show up at meetings, write letters, and let my voice be heard, but hoping someone setup those meetings and take this to the finish line. We need someone that is knowledgeable of the problems with the R1 zoning and have real world experience of how they can be remedied.

Posted on: 2016/11/18 12:49
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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brewster wrote:
I went to the session at City Hall and it was all touchy feely PC nonsense about how we can solve all the social ills of the city with zoning.


That was the case when I went to a meeting about the future of Central Ave (Heights). Lots of talk about organic coffee shops and art shows...

Not a whole lot on how to bring enough people in to support that stuff or the fact that public transport kind of stinks up here (for those not near the PATH or the HBLR).

Posted on: 2016/11/18 10:07
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