Multi-use bowling, entertainment center with residences shot down on Hoboken Zoning Board 5-2

UPDATE: Lots of discussion on many aspects yesterday in comments. It bears restating the mayor and City Council have no direct authority in the vote on this project. No PILOT was on the table in the proposed development in northwest Hoboken.

Those who follow Hoboken’s political scene will recall a discussion in 2009 at the City Council where the policy question of who should hold the appointing powers to the Hoboken Zoning Board. After some argued on behalf of then Mayor Peter Cammarano, who had already taken a downpayment on his $25,000 zoning variances from a federal informant would be developer, the reform City Council members voted the powers be restored to the legislative body.

The Hoboken Zoning Board acts independently and does not answer to the mayor or anyone for that matter. In the end, the community is represented on these decisions outside of the political lens or its “On the Waterfront” past.

Which means Hoboken has seen sufficient progress to have a public discussion on the merits of whether a proposed project is worthy or not. In the past, no such policy discussion was needed, as the decision was made on behalf of the public.

2009 City Council where the legislative body debated the appointing powers of the Hoboken Zoning Board. Wonder who wrote this little speech?

The Hoboken Zoning Board voted down a mixed use plan requiring two variances for northwest Hoboken last night.

One person voicing dissent over that decision penned his thoughts and has been a long time supporter of the reform movement.

It’s not clear what position the City holds, if any on the proposal but the revamped Hoboken Zoning Board stood down a number of residents who thought it was a good idea voting 5-2 against the project.

Here’s the linked column below questioning that decision, although it may be misdirected in terms of how the legislative and executive body plays into the decision by the Zoning Board representatives last night.

When Hoboken Reform started, we all we united under the idea of a “better” Hoboken. We didn’t want Hoboken to become like Newport in Jersey City (and still don’t), with high rise buildings dominating the Hoboken skyline. We didn’t want corruption and back room deals by people who had connections in the city. We didn’t want special rules for those who had a hand in someone’s pocket.

Hoboken uniting against NJ Transit and the Rockefeller Group’s plans for Hobken
was easy for the reform movement. But what about ideas people like
that require support from local boards to duplicate successes like the Pilsner Haus?
Last night a mixed use entertainment-residence was voted down 5-2 on the zoning board.

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