Judge on temporary garage, “Common sense better prevail”

The Superior Court in New Jersey  granted  access Wednesday to Hoboken Unleased on the site of the City of Hoboken’s temporary garage in preparation for the dog day care company’s eventual occupancy.  As reported earlier by Hoboken Patch, the judge is seeking a middle ground when the owner of the disputed leasing agreement at 1714 Willow Avenue leased the property to both Hoboken Unleashed and the City of Hoboken with the city holding a valid 60 day lease. 

This led to a dispute over the City being in the space with the Hoboken Unleashed owner, Mike Stigliano looking for both access and the City’s removal from the property to eventually set up his business on the same space.  Judge Thomas Olivieri found a middle ground in the dispute.  Who can be on the disputed leased space and when is resolved for the moment, by granting Hoboken Unleashed access and instructing the city to move vehicles when necessary with 24 hours notice.

What the public had yet to understand leading into the original Court appearance last Monday is who is at fault in a possibly overlapping lease situation on the uptown Willow Avenue property.  Based on the Claire Moses’ first hand report, the owner, Frank Savino of Willow Enterprises LLC executed a lease with both Hoboken Unleashed and the City.  Hard core opponents of the mayor’s administration sought to blame the mayor and her council coalition for the situation by springing news of the other lease’s existence during the last City Council meeting.  The City while aware of the overlap gave assurances a resolution would be found.  To this point, it hasn’t and Hoboken Unleashed went to court to force the issue.

The owner of the Willow Avenue property states he intends to allow Hoboken Unleashed to assume use of its lease after it obtains the necessary paperwork from the Hoboken Zoning Board.  Typically, such an application would take several months at a minimum, but Mike Stigliano, a partner in Hoboken Unleashed said he would pay to expedite the matter.  

There’s just one problem.  In a phone interview earlier Wednesday afternoon with Hoboken Zoning Board President Tony Soares, no such application had been filed.  
“When working in the zoning office signing plans today, I asked our secretary when we could expect to hear the much mentioned Canine Day Care center- I was told  in fact  they have received  telephone calls on the application but they had yet to receive anything in the Zoning Board office.

“It may very well be the applicant submitted plans to the building dept or Zoning official, however that process must take it’s normal course before we can legally schedule them on any agenda.  We will treat this application objectively, fairly and the lease issue as well as the litigation between the applicant and the city should have no bearing on the merits of the application.  The two issues are totally separate.”

In a chance meeting Wednesday evening with Hoboken resident and yet unannounced fifth ward council candidate Perry Belfiore, he described the court appearance earlier that day as another problem for the City in its quest for a stable garage space.  On the ultimate trump card the city hold with its eminent domain powers, he felt the case could linger in court for  a year and a half.  

Belfiore is the Hoboken resident who originally brought the leasing situation to light during the last City Council meeting.

The litigation parties are scheduled to meet again October 12th back in Jersey City.  The judge’s comment should be ringing in everyone’s ears leading in, “Common sense better prevail.”

Talking Ed Note:  The Municipal Garage saga is a long and painful story in recent years.  Many people have exploited this situation sometimes more than once in that time.  Today, it’s no different.  City Councilman Peter Cunningham spoke about the frustrating process over recent months on the situation.  

On this matter, MSV wants to see what the judge is asking and a resolution to the problem for both the City and Hoboken Unleashed, the sooner the better.  The voices of negativity can then move on to playing their gotcha games on something else.  No doubt they will.

Stay tuned.  There’s some whispers floating in the air more news is in store soon. 

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