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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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Quote:

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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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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I dont live in the heights, but I am 100% in agreement and behind you on this. These are the thorn in the side of the cities aesthetics and even if they never build another, there are already too many here.

Posted on: 2016/11/18 8:45
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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Have you guys been following the Master Plan rewriting story? That's the place to address this. 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. We need people involved who want to get right to the point and not bog down in the weeds.

Other cities have zonings that might as well be called "Historic Lite", an aesthetic code rather than a preservation code. We might benefit from that. But as has been discussed in other threads, all it might take is getting rid of R-1.

Notice no one builds them in Downtown or Hoboken any more. There's definitely a price point filter, that people willing to pay over a certain amount won't pay that for a Bayonne box. But perhaps there's something we can do to put a thumb on the scale.

Posted on: 2016/11/17 23:20
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Re: Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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I would be interested in joining you. I can also have a few other like minded people join us. PM me and we can set something up

Posted on: 2016/11/17 18:14
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Battle against the "Bayonne Box" in The Heights
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A call to action - we really need to contact Councilman Yun, Mayor Fulop, and any other decision makers on the proliferation of the ugly Bayonne Boxes taking over the heights. What's needed is a zoning change. Something that would allow more flexibility in design. Three or four units, ditch the pitched roof, encouragement of bay windows and discouragement of protruding balconies, and better design of the garage space. What else?

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Posted on: 2016/11/17 16:14
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