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Re: Lincoln Park home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors
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So does anyone have any recommendations on how to get involved? Maybe some of the Downtown peeps can suggest? Also, what do you do to check if your neighbor doing work on their house/land has proper permits?

Posted on: 2007/3/11 16:15
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Re: Lincoln Park home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors
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Example: even if the builders used the exact same design but with white "brick" instead of pink "brick" that would help some.

no, I'm sorry, but this would make it equally as atrocious.
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If the builders totally gave up on trying to make a "brick rowhouse" and went for a really contemporary, glass-with-corrugated-steel kind of look, that would probably help even more.


I am all for modern design, but where it's appropriate. It's not appropriate on a block that has nothing but Victorian houses. Otherwise, you just traded in one eyesore for another.

Posted on: 2007/3/11 15:34
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Re: Lincoln Park home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors
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NONdowntown wrote:

garage-on-bottom pink-brick monstrosities


I can understand why people want to build cheap new two-families.

What I don't understand is why the city planning department doesn't go find an architect and come up with an alternative design/siding combo that would be just as cheap but look a lot better.

Whenever a builder came in and wanted to build the hideous version, the city could hand the builders the less ugly design and offer some kind of incentive (10 parking tickets free? 50 percent off on payoffs to various public officials?) if they use the pretty design.

Example: even if the builders used the exact same design but with white "brick" instead of pink "brick" that would help some.

If the builders totally gave up on trying to make a "brick rowhouse" and went for a really contemporary, glass-with-corrugated-steel kind of look, that would probably help even more.

Posted on: 2007/3/11 7:06
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Re: Lincoln Park home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors
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I am not sure that Maplewood would have the architectural standards you are looking for. They have plenty of vinyl clad houses with vinyl clad windows. The only thing they have going for them is a Whole Foods. Whoopee.
I also wish that those GOBPBM's were outlawed, but I guess I am willing to stick around long enough to see it happen.

Posted on: 2007/3/11 3:57
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Re: Lincoln Park home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors
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Those "garage-on-bottom pink-brick monstrosities" are so fugly, I can't stand it! I wish those GOBPBMs were outlawed! It breaks my heart that the city can't see the rich history and the benefit to trying to hold on to the unique character of the neighborhoods of JC. Because of this lack of historical preservation, I know this city is not for me. When I make enough money to move to Millburn/Maplewood, I will - even with the taxes. Sorry JC - you have so much potential!

Posted on: 2007/3/10 22:30
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Re: Lincoln Park home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors
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Roaring20s wrote:
Quote:

Ross_Ewage wrote:

I'm more troubled by this quote:

"You have neighbors who invested in properties and have been stewards of the block for 50 years," Burke said. "Then a newcomer comes along and the city blesses them . And that's where the problem lies.

The dreaded "newcomers" with them funny soundin' names. They don't belong here.


Ross, it's obvious that you don't know Charlene Burke. I have had the pleasure of calling her a friend and neighbour for years before I left. She is truly a person who cares about Jersey City as a whole as well as the Lincoln Park neighbourhood.

Your comment about "newcomers" with funny soundin' names just stinks. If you're trying to imply that she is a xenophobe, you're wrong.

Fact is, she's right. There are people who have lived there for years and have become stewards of the block. They could have left as many did when Lincoln Park started it's long decline but they toughed it out. These developers don't care about what they're doing, it' s all a money game but those that live there have to look at it daily, long after the Margaritondas have spent the money they'll make on ruining a beautiful block.

The Margaritondas have a right to make money but should they create eyesores for the rest of the neighbours?


Amen!

Posted on: 2007/3/10 3:10
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Re: Lincoln Park home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors
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Ross_Ewage wrote:
Quote:

NONdowntown wrote:

THEY DID NOT RETURN CALLS FOR COMMENT.

Yet in paragraph one, the JJ paints them out to be a father and son in need of a home? PUH-LEEZE, LaToya! They never even returned a call to the JJ to tell them the greatest developer lie ever told ("we're building it to maybe live in.")



I don't understand the emphasis on their not calling the JJ. Hell, I wouldn't give that rag the chance to misquote me. Besides, they already changed their design once to try and satisfy their neighbors - they don't owe anybody an explanation.


The issue is with "that rag" the JJ opening their article with this paragraph, entirely on speculation (since they did not speak to the developers):

"To a father/son development team, the two-family house going up at 91 Gifford Ave. in Jersey City represents a good investment and a home where they might someday live."

Quote:

Sure, the system is broken but these guys didn't break it. It would be different if they tried to do the work unpermitted in the dead of night.


Agreed. But the city being asleep at the wheel and refusing to enforce its own building standards does not make it any less callous for a developer (or the historic home-owner who sold off the plot) to drop a ground-floor-garage pink-brick monstrosity in the middle of that block.

Quote:

I'm more troubled by this quote:

"You have neighbors who invested in properties and have been stewards of the block for 50 years," Burke said. "Then a newcomer comes along and the city blesses them . And that's where the problem lies.

The dreaded "newcomers" with them funny soundin' names. They don't belong here.


Nice try, but it's one thing to racist-bait with anonymous jclist posters expressing their white-fright about the pathmark on grand. It's another thing entirely to ascribe to a named person a subtext that isn't there. The fact is that Gifford Avenue consists of an ethnically diverse group of homeowners, as does the majority of the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Those who have been conscientious stewards of this neighborhood and that block in particular hail from varied ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds. And one thing a majority of these homeowners have in common is the desire to preserve the beauty of their neighborhood, and consequently, the value of their property, as is their right.

There are plenty of far "funn[ier] soundin' names" than Margaritonda in our neighborhood, and there have been for decades. The Margaritondas have no more or less of a "right" to make money than their neighbors. And their desire to put up the cheapest possible structure they can in the space will result in a windfall for them, thanks to the work of their neighbors, whose property values will suffer for it.

The city is to blame for making the zoning process the joke that it is, but the "they told us we could do it" excuse is hollow and insincere, and no amount of baseless Jersey Journal hackery can make those guys into victims.

Posted on: 2007/3/10 2:25
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Re: Lincoln Park home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors
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Quote:

Ross_Ewage wrote:

I'm more troubled by this quote:

"You have neighbors who invested in properties and have been stewards of the block for 50 years," Burke said. "Then a newcomer comes along and the city blesses them . And that's where the problem lies.

The dreaded "newcomers" with them funny soundin' names. They don't belong here.


Ross, it's obvious that you don't know Charlene Burke. I have had the pleasure of calling her a friend and neighbour for years before I left. She is truly a person who cares about Jersey City as a whole as well as the Lincoln Park neighbourhood.

Your comment about "newcomers" with funny soundin' names just stinks. If you're trying to imply that she is a xenophobe, you're wrong.

Fact is, she's right. There are people who have lived there for years and have become stewards of the block. They could have left as many did when Lincoln Park started it's long decline but they toughed it out. These developers don't care about what they're doing, it' s all a money game but those that live there have to look at it daily, long after the Margaritondas have spent the money they'll make on ruining a beautiful block.

The Margaritondas have a right to make money but should they create eyesores for the rest of the neighbours?

Posted on: 2007/3/9 23:42
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Re: Lincoln Park home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors
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Quote:

NONdowntown wrote:

THEY DID NOT RETURN CALLS FOR COMMENT.

Yet in paragraph one, the JJ paints them out to be a father and son in need of a home? PUH-LEEZE, LaToya! They never even returned a call to the JJ to tell them the greatest developer lie ever told ("we're building it to maybe live in.")



I don't understand the emphasis on their not calling the JJ. Hell, I wouldn't give that rag the chance to misquote me. Besides, they already changed their design once to try and satisfy their neighbors - they don't owe anybody an explanation.

Sure, the system is broken but these guys didn't break it. It would be different if they tried to do the work unpermitted in the dead of night.

I'm more troubled by this quote:

"You have neighbors who invested in properties and have been stewards of the block for 50 years," Burke said. "Then a newcomer comes along and the city blesses them . And that's where the problem lies.

The dreaded "newcomers" with them funny soundin' names. They don't belong here.

Posted on: 2007/3/9 23:06
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Re: Lincoln Park home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors
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Of the garage-on-bottom pink-brick monstrosities, can anybody name me more than 2 of them in the entire city that are owner-occupied?


although I can't name two, the one on my block is owner occupied.... and what an eyesore it is.

Posted on: 2007/3/9 20:31
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Re: Lincoln Park home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors
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"To a father/son development team, the two-family house going up at 91 Gifford Ave. in Jersey City represents a good investment and a home where they might someday live."

THEY DID NOT RETURN CALLS FOR COMMENT.

Yet in paragraph one, the JJ paints them out to be a father and son in need of a home? PUH-LEEZE, LaToya! They never even returned a call to the JJ to tell them the greatest developer lie ever told ("we're building it to maybe live in.")

Of the garage-on-bottom pink-brick monstrosities, can anybody name me more than 2 of them in the entire city that are owner-occupied?

Posted on: 2007/3/9 18:24
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Re: Lincoln Park home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors
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There are two sides to every story. In this case there were three. They failed to mention how negligent the city was in allowing this to even happen. They also paint out the Margaritonda family to look like the vicitims in all of this. They are investment developers who are just there to make a buck and move on while the rest of the block has to deal with it. Go Jersey Journal !!

Posted on: 2007/3/9 18:04
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Lincoln Park home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors
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Home plan is altered, but not enough for neighbors

Friday, March 09, 2007
By KEN THORBOURNE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

To a father/son development team, the two-family house going up at 91 Gifford Ave. in Jersey City represents a good investment and a home where they might someday live.

But to Charlene Burke, president of West Bergen/Lincoln Park Neighborhood Coalition, the house is a "travesty" that will stick out like a sore thumb. She objects to the large size and the style of the house.

"How can this happen?" Burke wrote city officials in January. "One of the most beautiful and historic blocks in Jersey City. a new residence is under construction that does not share any characteristics with the housing to either side."

Burke added, "Creation of this monster house amid these historic structures impacts this block negatively both visually and economically. Doesn't anyone in any department responsible for construction in this city care about any neighborhood?"

Shortly after receiving Burke's letter - and complaints from others about developers snapping up large Victorian-type homes, ripping them down, and building two homes in their stead - the City Council passed an ordinance in February to enact a new R1-A zone. The ordinance requires developers to build homes in the R1 zone that fit in with the other properties on the block.

But the developers of 91 Gifford Ave. - Donald J. Margaritonda and Donald A. Margaritonda, owners of the Harrison-based DJM Group - received approvals from the zoning officer on last Nov. 16, and building permits for the project were issued on Dec. 19, according to city records.

The approved plans were governed by the existing R1 Zone, which permits construction on a normal 25-foot-wide lot.

But when local residents raised a ruckus, the Margaritondas - who didn't return phone calls seeking comment - voluntarily returned to the zoning board to make changes they felt would make the house more acceptable to their neighbors.

The proposed home is now set back 24 feet, instead of the R1 Zone standard of 10 feet. The width of the garage was reduced. The window above the front door was changed from oval to rectangle and the exterior facade became red brick, city officials said.

Since the Margaritondas didn't want to shorten the 68-foot length of their house, they applied for and were granted a rear-yard setback reduction from the standard 30 feet to 171/2 feet.

But Burke and others still aren't satisfied, and said community residents are exploring options, including finding a buyer for the property.

The city is ignoring its own ordinances requiring "in-fill" housing to follow the pattern of other houses on the block, she said.

"You have neighbors who invested in properties and have been stewards of the block for 50 years," Burke said. "Then a newcomer comes along and the city blesses them . and that's where the problem lies."

Posted on: 2007/3/9 17:41
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