New Hoboken Citizens Group to take on Monarch Project

The following is a letter from a new citizens group: Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront.

Welcome to Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront
Dear Concerned Neighbor:
Thank you for requesting more information.  Please ensure you also sign our petition to send to public officials if you have not already.  The goal of Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront is to give residents of Hoboken a platform to come together and voice concerns about the privatization of the waterfront.
Our first order of action is to defeat the “Monarch at the Shipyard” proposal put forth by Shipyard Associates, a division of Applied Development.  The Monarch at the Shipyard project is composed of two eleven story residential towers connected by a three story building containing a private parking garage, private swimming pool and lobby on the dilapidated pier/platform over the Hudson River just east of the Hudson Tea building.  This new application is in direct conflict with the original application submitted for this land and approved by the state, county and city in 1997.  The original approved application was for 1,160 residential units (now the Shipyard buildings, Constitution, etc.) with promised open space for the public, a recreational area and much needed public parking to be located on the pier/platform of the newly proposed Monarch project.  The development approval was contingent on the open park space being completed.  Now that all 1,160 residential units are complete and occupied, Shipyard Associates re-applied to amend the original applications with the goal to residentially develop this last plot of land rather than provide the promised open space, recreational area and public parking for the neighborhood and city.
We fundamentally believe THE WATERFRONT SHOULD BE PUBLIC OPEN SPACE FOR ALL HOBOKEN RESIDENTS and their visitors to come and enjoy.  Our beautiful waterfront is a big part of what makes Hoboken special.  If the Monarch development is successful, it will be the ONLY private development on the waterfront in Hoboken and will be contrary to both the Hoboken and Hudson County master plans which call for the continuous, public waterfront access.
TRAFFIC along Hudson Street, 15th Street, Shipyard Lane and Sinatra Drive are already at elevated levels.  There are existing approvals in the immediate neighborhood of the proposed Monarch project for an additional 661 units to be constructed at the Hoboken Cove/Hudson Tea complex.  This overdevelopment of a relatively small area in Hoboken will cause a dangerous traffic situation.  Without counting the Monarch project, approval is already in place for 2,438 residential units between the Hoboken Cove/Hudson Tea and Shipyard complexes.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION in the uptown neighborhood of Hoboken is crowded.  Hoboken residents wait on long lines at bus stops in town, at ferry terminals and in Port Authority in Manhattan.  Many times buses drive past uptown Hoboken bus stops because buses have reached maximum capacity.  We believe the public transportation system cannot adequately handle additional high rise development in the uptown Hoboken neighborhood.
In October 2010, a portion of Sinatra Drive and the public riverfront walkway on the Shipyard site COLLAPSED into the Hudson River.  Luckily, there were no injuries.  More than one year later Shipyard Associates has not yet completed repairs on the riverfront walkway.  Hudson County has already completed their repairs and Sinatra Drive reopened in the summer of 2011.  We believe it is dangerous and risky to allow a developer to construct a residential development on a platform over the Hudson River when they have such an unsafe history.
This is just a small sample of reasons why we oppose the proposed Monarch project.  We would love to hear your concerns as well.  Together, we will fight this project until we receive the open space we deserve and were promised.
How You Can Help RIGHT NOW:
1.       SPREAD THE WORD!  You can LIKE our Facebook page at<> and follow us on Twitter @HobokenRPW to get up to the minute updates.  Encourage your neighbors and friends to do the same.  We have strength in numbers.  You can also reach out to our group via email at<>.
2.       SIGN OUR PETITION!  To send the strongest message possible to elected officials that residents of Hoboken do not want private development on our waterfront.
3.       WE NEED VOLUNTEERS!  To pound the pavement and gather signatures for our petition.  We can provide you with signup sheets to use in your neighborhood or lobby of your building.  We would love to also gather signatures at bus stops, ferry terminals, the PATH station and other areas where residents congregate.  Please email us at<> if you can help us collect signatures.
4.       SEND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR!  Of local and regional newspapers.  We believe this is an effective method of spreading our message to a larger audience.  Again, we can provide you with contact information for the relevant publications we have been communicating with.
5.       SHOW UP FOR PUBLIC HEARINGS!  We will notify everyone when public hearings are scheduled for the Hoboken Planning Board, Hudson County Planning Board, and hopefully appeal hearings at the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.  We must speak with a loud unified voice to ensure these regulatory bodies understand what is at stake.
6.       SEND LETTERS TO ELECTED OFFICIALS!  Voicing your concerns about private residential development along the waterfront.  We are happy to provide you with contact information for members of the entities listed above as well as Mayor Zimmer, Hoboken City Council members, Hudson County representatives, and state legislators.
Shipyard Associates’ application has been approved by the New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection.  As concerned residents, we need to support an appeal of this approval.  In the past, public outcry has caused the DEP to rescind approvals.  We believe the DEP did not perform proper due diligence in approving this application and we have a strong defense for appeal.  The application also needs to pass the Hudson County Planning Board and the Hoboken City Planning Board before this project can become a reality.
A new Hoboken citizens group is looking to keep the Hoboken waterfront public
with a view to take on the Monarch project on the northeast pier.
We have been inspired by the work of FUND FOR A BETTER WATERFRONT (<>), a local nonprofit that has fought for open space initiatives and smart city planning.  They have successfully defeated many private development projects along the Hudson River, both in Hoboken and neighboring cities.  They were also major players in the Pier A park and Maxwell Pier park projects.  We are happy to be working in conjunction with this fine nonprofit that has already given so much to Hoboken.
We promise to stay in touch to keep you updated on the latest news and more ways to help the cause.  Please reach out to us at<> if you have additional items to share or want to get more involved.
Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront

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