Posting a press release is usually not our bag baby, but in this case we are making an exception, because it’s that big:
MAYOR DAWN ZIMMER WINS HALT TO STATE LEGISLATION WHICH WOULD HAVE GIVEN NJ TRANSIT AUTONOMY OVER HOBOKEN TERMINAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS
City of Hoboken October 1, 2009 – Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced today that she has won an agreement to halt state legislation that would have allowed NJ Transit to go forward with their plan to build skyscrapers over the rail yards in South Hoboken over any objections raised by the City and its residents. Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36), the sponsor of this legislation, S-2972 has agreed that the bill will not go forward unless and until Hoboken is satisfied with its content.
This agreement was reached at a recent meeting between Senator Sarlo and Mayor Zimmer. Governor Jon Corzine arranged the meeting at Mayor Zimmer’s request.
NJ Transit’s proposed $1 billion Hoboken and Terminal Yard Redevelopment Plan includes residential buildings as high as 45- stories and a 70-story commercial tower. It envisions 3,200 new condo units. It is a proposal that would drastically change the character of Hoboken.
“I thank Governor Corzine and Senator Sarlo for recognizing that Hoboken residents must have a say in decisions that will have a profound impact on the shape of our City’s future,” Mayor Zimmer said.
Zimmer went on to say, “I believe in a different approach to development-one that begins with what the community wants. Our over-emphasis on adding new condos has given us more flooding, more taxes and a costly stepped-up demand for city services. We must make sure that the NJ Transit project is at the appropriate scale for Hoboken.”
“I believe it is important that the concerns of Hoboken be addressed,” Senator Sarlo said. “I pledge to consult with Mayor Zimmer and ensure that she is satisfied before proceeding with legislation in this area.”
The state legislation in its current form would have given NJ Transit nearly unfettered authority to redevelop any property they own throughout New Jersey adjacent to bus stations, rail stations or rail yards in any way they see fit without regard to local zoning requirements or the wishes of host communities.
Talking Ed Note: Although the City Council had voted in unison to voice its concern over any plans the State had to push forward NJ Transit’s large development plan, there had been no commitment from the backers of the legislation in Trenton to respond in kind.
At the risk of feeling dirty, we took a look over on Hoboken 411’s headlines and sure enough, the usual voice of bile and spin is attempting to turn a victory for the town into a personal attack on the Acting Mayor. The City Council’s recent vote had no binding affect on the State. Negotiations on any development resulting in Hoboken’s sentiments being a part of any decision in this development is a winning verdict.
With an election coming so soon, there’s of course no way to entirely separate any good news for Hoboken and divorce it from political impact in an upcoming election. There’s no reason of course not to enjoy the victory for the town and the role of its leadership in bringing the impact of such to fruition.
We must emphasize the point of the quote from the sponsor of the legislation agreeing to satisfy the Acting Mayor before any plan is advanced. That is leadership and that is certainly leading as a mayor, even from our Acting Mayor.
Related: Earlier story as featured in Hoboken Now
Photo courtesy: NJ.com