2010 Master Plan for West New York, New Jersey
Hunter College of the City University of New York Department of Urban Affairs and Planning May 2010
2 - Contents
Contents 1. Introduction 2. Vision Statement 3. The History of West New York 4. Demographics and Economic Indicators 5. Land Use 6. Uniform Zoning Regulations 7. Housing Plan 8. Economic Development 10. Transportation Plan 11. Community Facilities Plan 12. Waterfront Plan
3 4 5 10 23 25 38 47 62 75 80
Introduction - 3
1. Introduction West New York, with its diverse cultural heritage, is primed for remarkable changes. Once an industrial and manufacturing power house, the Town has evolved into a vibrant mixed-use community that attracts a cross-culture of people and businesses. The old industrial waterfront has been transformed into condominiums and open space, old factories have been converted to residential use, and the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) has brought a number of lucrative local businesses to the retail strips. West New York already has the attributes of a well-planned town. 2010 Master Plan for West New York, New Jersey seeks to improve upon the existing attributes of the town through a variety of innovative planning techniques, guidelines, and regulations. This document is designed to be used in developing and implementing plans for the future, with specific priorities and programs directed toward enhancing the community by supporting its neighborhoods and central business districts. The Master Plan is presented to the town planning board and town commissioners for their use and to distribute to the community to obtain input for future growth. This document establishes a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that future growth will help benefit the entire community. West New York is a great place to live, raise a family, and work. The proposed goals and recommendations of this plan should serve as a guide to protect the identity of the town and promote sustainable growth for the future. We hope that our plan helps you to see the Town through fresh eyes and that our efforts will aide you in the larger planning process that lies ahead. The Hunter College Urban Planning Studio Advisor: Richard Bass, AICP, PP Andrew Smallman
4 - Vision Statement
2. Vision Statement This Master Plan represents a vision for the Town of West New York, New Jersey as a safe, sustainable, and prosperous community. To ensure that West New York moves forward in a cohesive and equitable manner, the goals and recommendations of the Master Plan reflect this vision statement. The Master Plan will serve as a guide for the Town to build upon existing assets and create new opportunities for securing a vital and healthy future for its current and future residents. The following statements outline the vision for the Town. I. Instill a special sense of place in West New York by incorporating progressive urban design guidelines to shape the town’s commercial centers, beautify the streetscape, and preserve its historic character. II. Promote a transportation infrastructure that will safely and efficiently accommodate the current and future needs of the town, relieve automobile congestion, improve traffic flow, increase parking capacity, and support transportation alternatives. III. Protect, maintain, and expand open space and natural areas for increased recreation. IV. Facilitate and promote a mixture of residential development at all levels of affordability, maintain and expand the current housing stock, and encourage new construction through balanced growth and transit oriented development (TOD). V. Stimulate economic growth by encouraging and assisting locally owned businesses, and attracting national commercial and retail businesses to create jobs and increase the tax base. VI. Improve access to the waterfront by making it an open and accessible amenity and place of recreation for all residents. VII. Establish effective communication between all branches of the town’s government and its citizens to inspire meaningful and productive participation. Each Master Plan section identifies past and existing conditions, future needs, and plans to meet those needs. For this Master Plan to be viable, it must be regarded as a ‘living document’ that responds to change as much as it guides it. Therefore, it must be subject to periodic reevaluation to correspond with new needs and assess recent achievements. West New York is an exciting place with an integrity and character of its own. The town’s diverse community stands poised, proudly projecting a desire to move forward and capitalize on its many assets, creating a town that is the model of balanced, equitable development, and livability. This Master Plan shares that vision and offers guidelines for its fruition.
History of West New York - 5
3. The History of West New York 3.1. Colonial Beginnings Located in Hudson County, New Jersey, West New York lies on the shores of the Hudson River, directly across from midtown Manhattan. Originally settled by the Hackensack Indians, West New York and the surrounding regionâ€™s first European immigrants were Dutch. Dating back to the early 17th century, Dutch farmers established roots on the banks of the Hudson River. After the second Indian War of 1655, Peter Stuyvesant, the Governor of New Netherlands, announced that no settlements would be allowed in the outlying regions of New Amsterdam west of the Hudson River, except those already established in concentrated villages. Five years later, the settlers established Bergen, the first village in New Jersey. Bergen soon became the center for local government, schools, commerce, and public activities. Within two decades of establishing the village of Bergen, Hudson County already contained several large plantations and villages along the shoreline of the Hudson River. Despite the migration of settlers to Hudson County and the surrounding areas, the region remained predominantly rural through the 18th century. As the Dutch continued to settle along the Hudson River in New Jersey, they established towns south of West New York, from Weehawken and Secaucus to the Kill van Kull, as part of their colony of New Netherland. It was not until 1790 that West New York was established.
3.2. Nineteenth Century Development The territory that makes up what is now the Town of West New York has been part of numerous governmental divisions, the boundaries of which changed many times during the mid- to late-nineteenth century. Originally, the area was part of Bergen Township, which until the 1840 creation of Hudson County, was part of Bergen County. , In 1843, North Bergen Township was formed out of Bergen Township andUnion Township was incorporated in 1861, taking its territory from North Bergen Township. In 1878, the Town of Guttenberg was carved out of a portion of Union Township. Prior to this, in 1870, Theodore Ristow began building frame houses on Madison Avenue in West New York. The Town began to grow in 1883 when a railroad tunnel was dug between West New York and North Bergen to carry trains across the Hudson River. This tunnel project brought many Irish immigrants to the Town for employment. Once shoreline boundary conflicts were resolved between New York and New Jersey, the potential for additional transportation opportunities transformed northern New Jersey from anagrarian based economy to an industrial economy.
6 - History of West New York The Hudson River’s deep water was utilized by cargo and passenger ships passing through the New YorkNew Jersey region and railroads were used to connect to outlying regions. By the end of the 19th Century, most of the Hudson County waterfront area was taken over by the railroads to keep up with the region’s transportation demands. In the 1890s, other Europeans—Armenian, German, Jewish, Slavic, Swedish, and Swiss immigrants among them—and Americans alike flocked to West New York for the opportunity to open a small business or engage in light manufacturing. In 1894, an electric trolley line was introduced on Bergenline Avenue, the Town’s main thoroughfare.
3.3. Incorporation and Growth In 1898, West New York, its boundaries equivalent to those of Union Township, was incorporated as a town. The town form of government had recently been created by New Jersey’s Town Act of 1895, which gave a municipality the right to incorporate as a town provided that its population was at least five thousand. This type of municipal government contained a directly-elected mayor and called for the establishment of three or more wards, as intra-municipal divisions. By 1914, just sixteen years after incorporation, West New York was thriving. To accommodate for the growing population, the Town built a three-story school, Public School 5 and a three-story municipal building to replace the old town hall. Between 1910 and 1914, the Town’s population had ballooned from 13,560 to about 25,000. This accounted for the largest growth of any place in the New York area during this time. The population growth could mostly be attributed to West New York’s prominence as a center for the manufacturing of embroidery (90 factories town-wide) and silk. To accommodate all of the new residents in town, housing construction was at full force, with William Wasler building many single-family homes and apartments and Charles Weisberg building four- and fivestory rental apartment buildings. By the 1920s, West New York businesses continued to grow in number, representing 115 enterprises (in 1923), ranging from embroidery to piano manufacture. Embroidery manufacture remained important in West New York for decades. In 1948, when the Town celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, half of all American-made embroidery came from West New York.
3.4. A New Form of Government In 1931, West New York switched its form of government, retaining the title of Town but using the commission form of government. This type of government was created by the Walsh Act of 1911, which was “the first New Jersey municipal charter law to allow initiative, referendum and recall.” With this form of government, West New York has had five nonpartisan directly-elected commissioners, each of whom heads a town department and one of whom also serves as mayor. The commissioners serve in both the executive and legislative roles.
3.5. The Arrival of New Immigrants During both world wars, the region was an important manufacturer and supplier for the war effort. After World War II, like many cities around the country, Hudson County saw a demographic shift. As much of the existing population was leaving, opting for the suburbs further away from the city center, African Ameri-
History of West New York - 7 cans from the south were continuously migrating to the county to find work in the factories. Additionally, a growing number of Hispanics and Asians were also calling Hudson County home. By 1961, West New York had the highest population density of any town in New Jersey. Changes in federal immigration laws in the mid-1960â€™s opened up immigration to the rest of the world, and many immigrants eventually settled in Hudson County. With this influx of new residents, the ethnic character as well as political landscape began to change. The new arrivals had the potential to become an electoral force that would transform local politics. During the 1960s and 1980s, refugees fleeing the communist dictatorship in Cuba began to immigrate to West New York. Within a few years after the Cuban revolution,the North Hudson County region was second only to Miami for its Cuban population. Most Cuban immigrants were middle class citizens with entrepreneurial attitudes that allowed them rapid financial success. Conversely, the second influx of Cuban refugees, who arrived in the summer of 1980, included many unattached young men with little formal education or trade skills. This group found assimilation difficult due to the exodus of many manufacturing jobs. Since that time, immigrants from Central and South America, Asia, and the Middle East have also made West New York their home. Although the ethnic and racial mix of West New York created a more tolerant community than in surrounding areas, the Town was not immune to some levels of segregation.
3.6. Hudson River Waterfront In 1870 New York Cityâ€™s municipal government created a department to acquire and manage its docks. This expensive strategy eventually gave the city control of its waterfront. By way of contrast, the New Jersey waterfront remained in private hands. Manhattan became the center for passenger ships while Brooklyn, an independent city until its consolidation with New York in 1898, attracted most of the freight shipping. New Jersey drew the railroads. Hudson County, therefore served as a conduit to New York. As a result, the railroads were increasingly fierce in acquiring Hudson County property. With most of the Jersey City and Hoboken shore occupied, two new lines, the New York, West Shore, and Buffalo and the New York, Ontario, and Western, joined forces in 1881 to build a terminal in Weehawken and to tunnel through the Bergen hill. Because the shore ledge narrows as it moves north, the two lines had to spend large sums to adapt their structures to the awkward terrain. Waiting in the wings to provide funds to the joint venture was the New York Central, which was eager for its own piece of the Hudson County waterfront. After executing a 475-year lease for the West Shore line effective in 1886, the New York Central also took control of ferry service from Weehawken to Manhattan. Within a few years the West Shore expanded north into West New York and the Erie added tracks and a freight terminal in Weehawken.
8 - History of West New York In 1949, the New York-New Jersey Port Authority prepared a comprehensive survey of the 18-mile Hudson River waterfront in New Jersey. They found that, due to heavy industrialization and an unforgiving terrain, the waterfront was inaccessible to residents. Plans for pier development were suggested to begin in Jersey City and Hoboken. The Port Authority also proposed railway consolidation. Beginning in the 1980s, West New York’s waterfront became the subject of many envisioned development projects. Arthur Imperatore bought the large Port Imperial waterfront property in 1980. During this time, the real estate industry coined the Hudson River waterfront the “Gold Coast” because of its investment potential. At the time, however, the 18 mile stretch of coastland was an “Industrial wasteland – deteriorating warehouses, abandoned railroad yards, rotting piers, and unknown toxins seeping beneath the soils.” Hudson County had over 200 Chromium waste sites and controversy ensued over remediation techniques. Some suggested turning the Hudson County waterfront into parkland, but the eight municipalities along the river saw too much development potential to designate all of its waterfront land as park space. Political interests led to fragmentation between the eight towns’ development, preventing them from working in concert. Large-scale proposals encompassing all the land within multiple municipalities were necessary in order to enable profitable development and avoid fragmentation. This included working together on necessary site remediation, infrastructure capacity and market saturation from proposed development. A regional master plan was suggested that would be used to guide the strict implementation. Community involvement and participation were also considered important. Specifically in West New York, Arthur Imperatore had a $2.6 Billion development plan over a 30 year period. It would create 75,000 jobs and provide housing and retail shops. During the recession of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s waterfront infrastructure improvements included the construction of new roads, sewers, alternative transport systems, and a fire and police station. Imperatore sold his holdings in 1995 to Roseland Property Company, his plans for the site not having come to fruition. Hovnanian Enterprise and Roseland constructed high-rise and townhouse condominiums condos and retail space , transforming West New York’s waterfront. The development was made possible by accessible investments that included low interest rates, real estate confidence within the industry, and local borrowers. A Hovnanian project, Jacobs Ferry, was the first townhouse condominium development on the New Jersey waterfront. Prices ranged from $250,000 to over $1million. 25% of the initial buyers in this development came from Manhattan. Since then, migration from New York City to the West New York waterfront (and to the surrounding towns) has been ongoing. Ultimately, waterfront redevelopment is an essential part of New Jersey’s economic strategy. On the Palisade plateau lies John F. Kennedy Boulevard East (better known as “Boulevard East”). This boulevard has become a dividing line splitting West New York into two distinct neighborhoods. Along the shoreline to the east of the boulevard, high-rises and new townhomes house the Town’s upper class. The historic homes, row houses and “Miracle Mile” shopping along Bergenline Avenue lie to the west and are home to a (generally) less affluent population.
History of West New York - 9 3.7. Politics The storied history of West New York (and Hudson County) would be incomplete without mentioning political leadership and its occasional involvement in corruption scandals and internal conflict. In the 1970’s while much of the Northeast, including Hudson County and West New York, were in fiscal crisis due to the loss of the railroads and factories, infrastructure began to deteriorate and a significant portion of the white, trained, middle class sought new opportunities elsewhere. With a scarcity of jobs and a new large immigrant population, urban decay infected not only cities, but the political process as well. Bickering and infighting amongst county officials lead to Hudson County being viewed by some as a corrupt machine. This image was reinforced in 1971 when eight politicians, including the mayor and the city council president of Jersey City, were convicted on federal charges of extortion and conspiracy. Additionally, the mayors of Union City, Weehawken, and Kearny were convicted in the 1980’s. From 1971to 1994, Anthony M. Defino served as Mayor of West New York. After a close election in 1991, Delfino’s opponent Albio Sires was determined to end the current political machine governance by petitioning for a recall in February of 1993. In 1995, Sires was elected Mayor. In July 1998, Sires fired West New York police officer Charles Whisten who had been convicted of extortion in Camden federal court. Whisten, a 17-year veteran, was among ten officers and eleven civilians charged, including the former West New York police chief, his son (also an officer), and a West New York police lieutenant. Sires remained in power for 12 years until he become a congressman, serving New Jersey’s 13th Congressional district (which includes Hudson County). As a result, Silverio Vega, then a commissioner, was appointed Mayor in 2006 and was formally elected in 2007. With the elections of bother Sires and Vega, the political leadership was better suited to reflect the Hispanic majority. The West New York population was estimated to be 60% Hispanic. In April 2009, the El Diario newspaper reported that a Cuban doctor, Felix Roque, would challenge Vega in 2010. Roque contends that Vega has mismanaged the city budget while increasing taxes 47%. Additionally, Roque states that if elected he and his commissioners will take a onedollar monthly salary and donate the remaining funds to the city to be used for children and the elderly. Despite the appearance of new-found stability, in July 2009 a federal sting operation arrested 44 people in connection with a corruption investigation that included charges of bribery and international money laundering. Among those arrested were three New Jersey mayors, two state assemblymen, and five rabbis.
10 - Demographics and Economic Indicators
4. Demographics and Economic Indicators 4.1. Population Trends West New Yorkâ€™s population characteristics reveal that since 1930 there have been several periods of significant growth. The greatest increase in population occurred from 19601970 when the Town grew by 20% and again from 1990-2000 when it grew by 17.3%. The population in Hudson County population has remained relatively constant, largely because of strong immigration. The greatest increase in population in the county occurred from 1990-2000. Between 1990 and 2000, almost 56,000 new residents settled in Hudson County, with over 7,600 of them coming to West New York. The state also reflects phases of significant growth during the periods 19501960 and 1960-1970, and its greatest increase occurring from 1990-2000.
4.2. Population Densities West New York is Hudson Countyâ€™s, third most densely populated municipality, exceeded by Union City and Guttenberg. West New Yorkâ€™s average density is 44,870 persons per sq. mile.
Demographics and Economic Indicators - 11 Hudson County Population Figures, 2000 (Source: US Bureau of the Census).
Population Distribution Figure 4 highlights the population distribution for 1990, 2000 and 2006-8. West New York’s 25 to 34 age cohort reflects a steady increases from 1990-2008. As the 25 to 34 age cohort increases, the less than 5 age cohort also increases. If these cohorts continue to grow simultaneously, West New York will have to expand services ranging from early childhood, educational etc. to meet anticipated growing need. The number of residents 60 years and older is steadily increasing in West New York.
4.3. Foreign born population In 1990, 60% of West New York’s population was foreign born, compared to the County and the State, with 30% and 12% respectively. In 2000, the percentage of foreign-born residents in West New York increased to 65% with the County and State increasing to 38% and 15% respectively.
4.4. Race The racial mix of West New York presents a conflicting narrative according to census data. According to the 1990 Census, 76.7% of West New York’s total population is listed as white and 73.3% from Hispanic Origin. Based on the table below the Caucasian race would appear to form the majority in West New York from 1990-2008. But in actuality the minority population is growing. Residents of Hispanic origin are the majority in West New York with 78.1% of the total population, followed by a small percentage of African American (5.1%) by 2008.
12 - Demographics and Economic Indicators
4.5. Hispanic Population In 1990, the Hispanic population (of any race) of West New York constituted over 73% of its total population, compared to 33% of the county and 9.5 % of the state populations. By 2000, West New Yorkâ€™s Hispanic population increased to 78.7%, with both the county and state reflecting an increase to 39.8% and 13.3% respectively.
4.6. Educational Attainment In 2000, 23% of West New Yorkâ€™s total population 3 years and older were enrolled in school. Of that, 1% is in nursery or preschool, 1.5% is in kindergarten, 10% are in elementary school, 5% are in high school, and 5% are in college or graduate school.
Demographics and Economic Indicators - 13
In 2000, only 16% of West New Yorkâ€™s population had received a bachelorâ€™s degree or higher, in contrast
to the County with 25.3% and the State with 29.8%, shown in figure 8. By 2006-8, the Town population with bachelorâ€™s degree or higher increased to 22.7%, and both the County and State increased to 32.3% and 34% respectively.
4.7. Poverty Compared to New Jersey and Hudson County, West New York has a high rate of poverty, with 13.3% of all families living below the poverty level in 2008. While this is significantly lower than it was in 2000, more families are living in poverty now than in 1990. This is especially true for families with very young children (families with children aged 5 years or younger). The rate of poverty among these families has grown since 1990. In just the last 8 years, the percentage of families in poverty with very young children has increased approximately 12% since the year 2000 to just over 1 in 5 families. As these figures suggest, there is a higher percentage of families with young children struggling to support themselves in West New York than in Hudson County. At the same time, residents receiving public assistance income has declined. Only 1.19% of the population of West New York residents receives public assistance, down 27% from the previous decade.
14 - Demographics and Economic Indicators Distributed through programs such as Medicaid, public assistance income increased from 2000 to 2008 in New Jersey while it declined in Hudson County. The drop is greater in West New York, where the average public assistance income decreased 38.67%, from $3,380.00 for a household in the year 2000 to just $2,073.00 in 2008. As these figures demonstrate, the number of families with very young children living in poverty increased in West New York while public assistance decreased. This suggests that families with very young children living in poverty may not be receiving social services, especially the child-care services they need most. More research is necessary to determine the availability of social services among these at-need families. Table: Families below Poverty Level % Region 1990 2000 New Jersey 5.6% 6.30% Hudson County 12.4% 13.30% West New York 12.8% 16.10%
2008 6.30% 12.60% 13.30%
% ∆ ‘90-’00 0.70% 0.90% 3.30%
% ∆ ‘00-’08 0.00% -0.70% -2.80%
Table: Families With children under 5 below poverty, % Region 1990 2000 2008 New Jersey 10.7% 10.90% 9.40% Hudson County 22.1% 20.10% 12.80% West New York 17.9% 20.40% 21.10%
%∆ ‘90-’00 7.71% -5.16% 25.96%
% ∆ ‘00-’08 -12.76% -38.63% 11.50%
(Source: U.S. Census 1990, 2000; ACS 2006-8.)
(Source: U.S. Census 1990, 2000; ACS 2006-8.)
Table: Population with public assistance income Region 2000 New Jersey 86,704 Hudson County 11,179 West New York 759
2008 63,049 6,186 554
% ∆ ‘00-’08 -27.28% -44.66% -27.01%
Table: Mean public assistance dollars, $ Region 2000 New Jersey 3,162 Hudson County 3,179 West New York 3,380
2008 3,480 3,057 2,073
% ∆ ‘00-’08 10.06% -3.84% -38.67%
(Source: U.S. Census 2000; ACS 2006-8.)
(Source: U.S. Census 2000; ACS 2006-8.)
4.8. Households In 2000, West New York had 16, 719 (35%) total households. Of those reported 24% were family households and 15% married-couple households. By 2008 West New York’s total household population increased to 17,997 with married- couple family households decreasing to 6,580.
Demographics and Economic Indicators - 15
4.9. Housing As noted in table (N) below, the number of housing units increased 22.46%, from 15,794 housing units in 1990 to 19,342 housing units between the years 2006 and 2008. The percentage of vacant housing units varied between 1990 and 2008. In 1990, 9% of housing units were vacant. This decreased to 4% in 2000, and then increased to 7% in 2006 through 2008. Table: West New York Housing Unit Vacancies West New York 1990 Total housing units 15,794 Occupied 14,419 Vacant 1,375 Percentage of housing 9% vacancies
2000 17,360 16,719 641 4%
2006-2008 19,342 17,997 1345 7%
(Source: US 1990 & 2000 Decennial Census; American Community Survey 2006-2008.)
The State of New Jerseyâ€™s percentage of owner-occupied housing units has been consistently higher than both Hudson County and West New York. Between the years of 2006 to 2008, 60.61% of its units were owner occupied, according to the American Community Survey. In comparison, both Hudson County and West New York have higher renter occupied units. As noted in Table (N) below, 58.48% of Hudson County housing units are owner-occupied and 70.95% of West New Yorkâ€™s housing units are owner-occupied Table: Tenure of Occupied Housing Units WNY, Hudson County, and New Jersey 1990-2008 1990 2000 2006-2008 Absolute change 19902008 West New York Town Total housing 15,794 17,360 19,342 3,548 units 14,419 16,719 17,997 3,578 Total number of occupied units 3,268 3,334 4,273 1,005 Owner- occupied housing units
% Change 1990-2008
22.46% 24.81% 30.75%
16 - Demographics and Economic Indicators Renter-occupied State of New Jersey Total housing units Total number of occupied units Owner- occupied housing units Renter-occupied Hudson County Total housing units Total number of occupied units Owner- occupied housing units Renter-occupied
( Source: US 1990 & 2000 Decennial Census; American Community Survey 2006-2008.)
4.10. Housing Stock The municipality’s housing stock is relatively old, with 33%, of the housing units built prior to 1939, and about 84% of West New York’s housing structures built prior to 1970. According to New Jersey Labor and Workforce, 2,510 housing construction permits were issued between 2000 and December 2009. As shown below in Table (N), only 44% of those housing permits have been for single family units compared to 63.62% issued for 5 or more family unit housing permits. When comparing West New York to Hudson County and New Jersey, there are similar trends of a relatively old housing stock. In Hudson County, 39% of its housing stock was built prior to 1939, while 19% of New Jersey housing stock was built before 1939. 72% of New Jersey’s housing stock and 80% of Hudson County’s housing stock was built prior to 1970. Table: Age of Housing Stock for West New York, Hudson County and New Jersey Year Housing WNY % of Housing New Jersey % of Housing Hudson Structures Structures Structures County Built Built Built
% of Housing Structures Built
Demographics and Economic Indicators - 17 Built 2005 or later Built 2000 to 2004 Built 1990 to 1999 Built 1980 to 1989 Built 1970 to 1979 Built 1960 to 1969 Built 1950 to 1959 Built 1940 to 1949 Built 1939 to earlier Total
(Source: American Community Survey 2006-2008).
4.11. Economic Characteristics Per capita income in West New York has increased since 1990, growing from $12,047 that year to $24,035 by 2008. Much of this growth occurred from 2000 to 2008, when per capita income increased 43.76%. While this is typical for a town in Hudson County, this increase surpassed the state’s per capita growth by 14.53. As indicated by these figures, West New York and much of Hudson County saw significant growth in the last 8 years. Table 1: Per Capita Income Region 1990 New Jersey $18,714 Hudson County $14,480 West New York $12,047
2000 $27,006 $21,154 $16,719
2008 $34,899 $30,599 $24,035
(Source: U.S. Census 1990, 2000; American Community Survey 2006-2008.)
% ∆ ‘90-’00 44.31% 46.09% 38.78%
% ∆ ’00-’08 29.23% 44.65% 43.76%
Median income in West New York has been consistently lower than in Hudson County and New Jersey. However, over the past ten years West New York’s median income grew at a faster rate than either the County or the State – 35% compared to 33.1% and 26.3% respectively, reversing the trend of the previous decade.
4.12. Business Sector In 2002 West New York had 833 business establishments in 12 different business sectors. Retail trade is the leading business sector with 30%. Following were the healthcare, social assistance and manufacturing sectors with 13% each. Similarly, New Jersey and Hudson County have the same dominant business sector. 13% of the New Jersey business sector and 24% of the Hudson County business sector is comprised of
18 - Demographics and Economic Indicators retail trade. Other key players in Hudson County and the State of New Jersey were made up of professional and scientific and technical services
Table: Business Sectors West New York, New Jersey, and Hudson County 2002 BusiWest New WNY % New Jersey NJ % ness Sectors York Mining Utilities Construction Manufacturing Wholesale Trade Retail Trade Transportation and Warehousing Information Finance and Insurance Real Estate/ Rental and Leasing Professional Scientific and Technical Services Management of Companies and Enterprises Administrative & support & waste management & remediation service Education Service Health care and Social Assistance
Hudson County N/A N/A N/A
Hudson County %
N/A N/A N/A 106
0% 0% 0% 13%
110 271 23,612 10,656
0% 0% 10% 5%
0% 0% 0% 687 7%
2,301 24% 0%
241 2% 0% 65 1%
Demographics and Economic Indicators - 19 Arts, Enter6 tainment and Recreation Accommoda- 60 tion and Food Services Other Ser82 vices (except public admin) Total
(Source: 2002 Economic Census, by NAICS.)
4.13. Labor Force Employment increased from 1990 to 2008 in Hudson County and West New York, while unemployment decreased. However, in New Jersey employment decreased and unemployment grew slightly. West New York had a 33.8% increase in employment, while Hudson County only increased 12.6% from 2000 to 2008. As these figures show, during the last decade, West New York experienced significant growth in job opportunities that outpaced Hudson County and the state. IN LABOR FORCE 1990
4,201,393 64.2 New Jer- 4,104,673 67.0 sey Hudson 294,779 66.6 297,702 61.2 County West New 20,514 66.7 20,435 55.7 York EMPLOYMENT 1990 % 2000 % New Jer- 3,868,698 63.1 3,950,029 60.3 sey Hudson 268,816 60.8 271,770 55.9 County West New 18,751 61.0 18,358 50.0 York UNEMPLOYMENT 1990 % 2000 %
%∆ ‘90’00 2.4
%∆ ‘00’08 8.6
%∆ ‘90’00 2.1
%∆ ‘00’08 8.3
20 - Demographics and Economic Indicators New Jer- 235,975 sey Hudson 25,963 County West New 1,763 York
4.14. Journey to Work Means of Transportation A lower percentage of people in West New York (45%) used an automobile to get to work in 2006-2008, compared with both Hudson County (49%) and New Jersey (81%). As a result, West New York had a higher rate of carpooling than both the County and the State. A higher percentage ofWest New York residents used public transportation to get to work (39%) than either Hudson County (38%) or New Jersey State (10%). Also, a significantly higher percentage of people walked to work in West New York (13%), compared with either Hudson County (9%) or New Jersey State (3%). Compared to the county and the state, West New York residents drive less and use public transportation more. This reflects West New Yorkâ€™s small size and high density, which allow short trips without the use of the automobile. Table: Means of Transportation to Work New Jersey Total Total: 4,159,120 Car, 3,372,814 truck, or van: Drove 2,990,761 alone Car382,053 pooled Public 428,494 transportation Walked 137,208 83,610 Taxicab, motorcycle, bicycle, other Worked 136,994 at home
Hudson County Total 299,997 147,562
West New York Total 24,120 10,816
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2006-2008.)
Demographics and Economic Indicators - 21 4.15. Travel Time to Work American Community Survey (ACS) Journey to Work data does not show significant disparities between commute times for people living in West New York compared to Hudson County. More than half of the population had a commute longer than 30 minutes, and more than one-quarter had a commute longer than 45 minutes.
4.16. Crime In 2008, West New Yorkâ€™s total crime rate (22.9 per 1,000 residents) was lower than both Hudson County (31.8) and New Jersey (26.2) as seen in Figure n below. The West New York Crime Rate figure and table below show that the crime rate in West New York has decreased over the past 10 years, but increased slightly since 2006.
Table: West New York Crime Rate
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Crime Rate 38.7 29.7 31.7 31.4 22.9 22.8 22.3 21.9 22.3 22.9
(Source: New Jersey State Uniform Crime Reports.)
Violent Crime 4.5 3.5 3.6 4.0 2.9 2.9 3.6 4.0 4.2 3.9
Non-Violent Crime 34.2 26.2 28.1 27.5 20.0 19.9 18.6 17.9 18.0 19.0
22 - Demographics and Economic Indicators Violent Crime All categories of violent crime seem to be steady or growing over the past 10 years with the exception of assaults. Alarmingly, since 2004-2005 violent crime seems to be on the rise. Since falling to a combined low of 267 (per 100,000 residents) in 2004, assaults and robberies have increased over 40% to 378 in 2008. Rapes and murders reached a combined rate of 23.8 in 2005, but dropped to 13 in 2008.
Property Crime Property crime has fallen over the past 10 years. In 1999, the combined rate of auto thefts, thefts, and burglaries was 3,407 (per 100,000 residents). By 2008, this number declined by 44% to 1,907. In 2007-2008, there was a small increase in the total number of property crimes, breaking with the longer-term trend.
Land Use - 23
5. Land Use 5.1. Background West New York Land Use Map: 2002 As the land use map above shows, West New York is predominantly a mix of commercial and high density residential properties. Of the 4,270 lots, just over two-thirds (68%) are multi-family residential. Commercial properties are located throughout the Town and make up the second largest land use at about twenty-eight percent. Commercial properties include retail, commercial services, and office space. The main commercial corridor extends the length of Bergenline Avenue, with clusters located along 62nd Street and 54th Street. There are other commercial areas along sections of Park Avenue and in the south-west quadrant of the Town west of Bergenline Avenue. Recreational uses include athletic fields and Town park land, which make up approximately five-percent of the land surface area. The steep cliffs that separate the waterfront community from the upland region contain deciduous brush-land that is undevelopable in its current state. West New Zoning Map: 1978 The 1978 zoning code permits commercial uses in a concentrated corridor along Bergenline Avenue. More intense commercial and industrial uses are permitted in the northwest and southwest quadrants of West New York along
24 - Land Use JFK Boulevard. Higher density residential uses are located in the area overlooking the waterfront and in a corridor southeast of Bergenline Ave adjacent to industrial properties. Approximately 70% of the lots are zoned residential, 20% commercial, and 10% industrial. Non-Compliant Land Use Out-of-compliance land uses are found throughout West New York. Just over a quarter of all properties (26%) do not conform to existing zoning regulations. These lots are identified on the map above. Approximately 56% are commercial uses zoned as either residential or industrial, and 44% are zoned for residential but include commercial and/or industrial uses. Though zoned industrial, the majority of the properties in the southwest quadrant are commercial or residential by use. Similarly, the commercial properties extending east of Bergenline Avenue towards Park Avenue are zoned residential.
5.2. Recommendations 1. Land Use Survey: Conduct a comprehensive land use survey to accurately identify current land use patterns. The survey will identify all current land uses such as: residential, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use properties. The survey will also identify any underutilized properties which can be used for new development and redevelopment projects. The waterfront district should also undergo a new land use survey. 2. Update Zoning Map: Zoning is a useful tool to promote and enforce a desired land use pattern. The current zoning map was completed in 1978 and reflects a land use pattern that contains a significant number of lots that are out of compliance. The number of non-compliant lots is so great that the zoning map is nearly obsolete. We recommend updating the zoning map to accurately represent current land use. This includes expanding commercial zoning to reflect properties in the UEZ and permitting residential overlay on properties facing Bergenline Avenue.
Uniform Zoning Regulations - 25
6. Uniform Zoning Regulations 6.1.Town-Wide Regulations The purpose of implementing zoning regulations is to create a sense of cohesion and integration within the UEZ to develop a distinct sense of place; a downtown within West New York’s commercial corridor. We recommend creating uniform zoning regulations that will guide future design elements. This is accomplished by regulating common features and creating standards that will unify the district, including elements such as storefronts, sidewalks, signage, and street furniture. Uniform zoning regulations are beneficial not only for economic vitality, but they also control future development in a manner that will effectively organize and unify the physical surrounding while not diminishing commercial creativity. Tree Plantings/Landscaping Street trees already exist on Bergenline Avenue. They must be cultivated and maintained. These plants and trees must be able to sustain the seasonal temperature variation as well as require minimal maintenance. Therefore, we recommend further study to create a list of native plantings. Municipal Permits for pruning are required. Tree branches can be trimmed up to 14ft from the base to allow visibility of signage. “Topping” and “heading” are prohibited.
The use of trees and plants can soften the harsh environment created by some building materials. vSource: City of Los Angeles Downtown Design Guide
Tree Topping: Tree topping negatively affects the tree and detracts from the streetscape. Source: City of Los Angeles Downtown Design Guide
26 - Uniform Zoning Regulations Way-finding Signage Way-finding signs orient and identify local destinations for both automotive and pedestrian traffic. This type of signage includes signs accessory to parking areas, directional signs, and freestanding identification signs. Making these signs clear to read, easy to recognize and locate is necessary in creating an integrated, engaging, and safe streetscape. Recommendations: 1. Scale signage appropriately for the primary viewing audience. Signs directed to drivers, such as signs accessory to parking areas, must be larger illuminated signs readable at greater distances. Signs directed to pedestrians, such as those locating a public facility, must contribute to street activity and enhance the street-level experience. Set size minimums and maximums dependent on the signâ€™s function. 2. Where possible, co-locatewith streetlights, street name signs, or traffic signs provided they do not obstruct a sign displayed by a public authority for the purpose of traffic instruction. 3. Use symbols instead of text where possible to reach the maximum audience possible. 4. Create a standard design for the layout of way-finding signs to make them immediately recognizable in West New York. For example, all signs directing traffic to municipal parking lots should look the same.
Appropriately Scale Signage: The sign on the left is an example of a way-finding sign that is small and difficult for drivers to identify or read. The sign on the right is larger and easy to understand. Right Photo Source: City of Los Angeles Downtown Design Guide Ground floor Treatment Create a coordinated streetscape that continues the aesthetics found within the Bergenline Special District.
Uniform Zoning Regulations - 27 Recommendations: 1. Coordinate architectural features with the natural and built surroundings. 2. All new residential buildings must include windows on the ground floor. 3. Fences that visually separate each structure and/or lot are prohibited. Where fences delineate private outdoor space from the public sidewalk, they must be integrated into the landscape. 4. Garbage storage containers must be located out of sight of the public, except during collection times. 5. Owners of residential propertiesare encouraged to landscape, but they must use approved planting material. 6. Commercial structures must appropriately relate to their residential neighbors. 7. Private driveways should be de-emphasized or eliminated. 8. Corner stores are permitted within residential neighborhoods. 9. Alleyways between structures are prohibited. 10. Whether windows are double hung, picture window, tilt, sliding, casement or hopper should be determined by the Town and/or the district management corporation. This is to be determined by the Town and/or the district management corporation. 11. Fenestrations above the ground floor should be of the same type. Whether windows are double hung, picture window, tilt, sliding, casement or hopper should be determined by the Town and/or the district management corporation. The use of framing materials (wood, aluminum or steel) must be consistent. These windows must also complement the windows located at the ground floor.
6.2. Bergenline Special Zoning District Bergenline Avenue in West New York is a major destination and the center of the Townâ€™s commercial activity. This street continues to function as a commercial destination in neighboring towns of Guttenberg, North Bergen, and Union City. Town officials brought to our attention that the streetscape elements of the retail corridor at Bergenline Avenue are unregulated and uncoordinated. The lack of uniformity results in an unattractive and chaotic streetscape that is confusing for customers, pedestrians, and drivers. To create a unique commercial destination in West New York, we recommend creating a special zoning district focused around Bergenline Avenue by applying specific zoning regulations to guide all future streetscape elements. Regulating storefronts, sidewalks, signage, and street furniture will create an attractive and cohesive built environment. The extent of the district should include all properties along Bergenline Avenue, as well as the cross streets which serve as feeder streets onto Bergenline. This area should include a significant portion of commercial properties on 60th Street, which is a major east-west cross street to Bergenline Avenue.
Retail Signs Retail signs are some of the most visual and recognizable elements of the streetscape. Creating enhanced signage regulations in the special district helps create a cohesive and unique retail environment that is immediately identifiable and improves the street-level experience. Recommendations:
28 - Uniform Zoning Regulations 1. Create a short list of suitable sign types and update the list of prohibited sign types for retailers to use. Awnings, illuminated awnings, blade, overhang, or cutout letters are a few examples of sign types. 2. Create a short list of permitted and prohibited colors for signs and fonts. 3. Scale signage appropriately for the primary viewing audience, pedestrians. 4. Where buildings have multiple storefront tenants, all signage should be of the same type, size, and color to create a cohesive building front. Individual stores will be identified by different store names, fonts, and window displays. 5. Set minimum and maximum floor to ceiling height limits for sign placement. This will coordinate the heights of signs for both first and second floor commercial services. 6. Limit the number of business signs.
The current sign regulations permit a wide variety of sign locations and types.
These examples show retail signage treated in a consistent manner, and scaled appropriately for a pedestrian oriented environment. Source: City of Los Angeles Downtown Design Guide
Uniform Zoning Regulations - 29 Ground Floor Treatment The design and form of the ground floor is crucial to the economic success of the store as well as the neighborhood. Careful planning of ground floor design elements is necessary to attract shoppers. The benefits of regulating form, standardizing materials and enforcing uniformity will positively affect the downtown experience. The goal of imposing guidelines will create a coordinated retail streetscape that will attract and welcome shoppers and vendors to the main street. Recommendations: 1. Coordinate architectural features with the natural and built surroundings. 2. The building facade must be flush with the sidewalk to create a consistent street-wall throughout the district. 3. Retail and commercial offices must utilize 50% to 75% of ground floor frontage space. Restaurants and entertainment facilities can occupy the remaining frontage. Space must also be provided for entry and access to any residential units above the ground floor. 4. All buildings should have a proper massing that is of pedestrian scale with appropriate proportions. The massing will also facilitate the needs of the Town with residential space above. 5. Create a uniform pattern with buildingâ€™s street wall that is amenable to pedestrians, with widths of approximately 25 feet. If stores or properties within the district are larger than this span, create facades to continue the 25foot pattern. 6. Establish and implement floor to ceiling height limits. 7. As a recommended live/work space, the second floor must conform to floor to ceiling height limits. 8. All main and primary entrances to retail and merchant space must be located on the major street thoroughfare. 9. Storefronts are required to have a minimum of at least 75% glass windows and/or doors. 10. Only clear glass is to be utilized for the storefront facades. No tinted, reflective or opaque glazing is allowed. Transparent glass and non-reflective glazing is permitted. 11. Fenestrations at the ground floor must be casement windows framed in the same materials. This is to be determined by the Town and/or the district management corporation. 12. Fenestrations above the ground floor should be of the same type. Whether windows are double hung, picture window, tilt, sliding, casement or hopper should be determined by the Town and/or the district management corporation. The use of framing materials (wood, aluminum or steel) must be consistent. These windows must also complement the windows located at the ground floor. Following a ground floor pattern is strongly encouraged. 13. Blank ground floor walls are prohibited. 14. The newly created merchantsâ€™ association/district management corporation is to create a list of acceptable faĂ§ade colors and materials within the special district. 15. Encourage and organize capital improvements with adjacent stores and lots.
30 - Uniform Zoning Regulations 16. Security grills must be concealed during business hours. 17. Street accessories (trash cans and newspaper/magazine stands) are to be consistent throughout the Town and approved by the Town or merchants association/district management corporation. 18. Ground floor residential is prohibited within the Bergenline Special District.
Recent faรงade improvement projects have been undertaken on Bergenline Avenue between 62nd and 63rd Street. These upgrades were only partially completed on two blocks. Existing ground floor conditions: Here there is no uniformity and organization because there are no rules and regulations addressing materials and design. The result is a haphazard and confused environment.
Although these are separate structures, their ground floor features should be cohesive to create a consistent street wall.
Uniform Zoning Regulations - 31 The above streetscape looks cluttered and confusing, drawing attention away from the actual stores and businesses.
An example of our proposal for facades to be uniform and maintain a rhythm.Source: City of San Diego 2008 General Plan
The use of consistent materials in a manner that can enhance the Main Street. Source: City of San Diego 2008 General Plan
An example of a large store’s use of façade design with uniform spacing and repetition of materials. This creates a more pedestrian-oriented scale. Source: Boulder, Colorado Downtown Urban Design Guidelines
Security grills do not make for an appealing storefront. It also implies a lack of safety, which could deter customers from shopping in the business district. Lower Photo Source: City of Los Angeles Downtown Design Guide A creative way to hide a store’s security grill is to use of an awning during store hours. Other methods of concealment are also encouraged. Source: City of Los Angeles Downtown Design Guide
32 - Uniform Zoning Regulations The rear of Bergenline Avenue. A lack of aesthetic attention to these facades has created blank walls and an unattractive entrance for motorists.
Automotive Parking On-street Parking along Bergenline Avenue As the main shopping area in West New York, demand for parking on Bergenline Avenue is always high. During the day, double-parked vehicles are quite common and these violations disrupt the flow of traffic along the avenue. New Jersey Transit buses and local jitneys make frequent stops which often bring traffic on Bergenline to a halt if impeded by double-parked or illegally parked vehicles. Increasing parking capacity alongside enforced parking regulations could greatly improve traffic flow on Bergenline. A proven method to increase parking capacity is to remove designated painted parking spots on Bergenline. The removal of designated spots can increase thetotal parking capacity by as much as twenty percent.
An example of a parking space that has been lost due to painted parking spots. Creating and enforcing truck loading zones can also improve traffic circulation. Encouraging off-hour deliveries can be an effective way to free up parking spaces during peak demand and should be strongly considered within the Bergenline Special District. Parking Lots Parking structures should be aesthetically compatible with surrounding buildings and should enhance the look of downtown, rather than create black spaces. Municipal lots shall utilize landscaping as a buffer from the sidewalk to the parking location. Well landscaped perimeters with plantings or trees will reduce the visually undesired impact of parked automobiles. Planting islands should also be used to direct circulation and create separate double rows of park-
Uniform Zoning Regulations - 33 ing. These plantings should be selected from the plant listing of native or adaptive vegetation that can be subjected to automobile pollution. Example of a parking lot with a soft edge on the street. These and other designs should be used creatively to integrate parkings lots into neighborhoods where they are needed. Since West New York is densely populated,the limited amount of land should be used as efficiently as possible. Single-use surface parking lots are not an efficient use of space. In areas with a strong demand for parking, we recommend a multi-level parking facility if applicable. New designs in automated parking facilities can greatly improve efficiency by increasing maximum capacity. Parking facilities should be designed to complement surrounding uses through creative design and by integrating other uses into the exterior of the structure (See also Transportation: Parking). Recommendations: 1. Sidewalk blocking: In the northeast quadrant of the Town, residents park their cars on the sidewalk. This practice greatly reduces walk-ability and detracts from visual appeal, and therefore is prohibited and enforced. 2. Crosswalks: At some intersections of Bergenline Avenue, where a side street T-intersects, it is not clear whether the curb opposite that side street is a valid parking spot. These areas should be used for parking or loading/unloading zones and should be clearly marked. 3. Bicycle parking:Secure bicycle parking should be further examined. Safe and convenient bicycle parking could encourage more residents to use cycling as an alternative form of transportation. A secured bike facility next to the new light rail station may encourage residents to ride to the station rather than driving. 4. Underground Parking: Given West New Yorkâ€™s high density, there is simply not a lot of room to create additional parking. Underground parking facilities have been successfully utilized in different cities, and should be encouraged by West New York, especially for all new large scale developments. 5. Automated Parking: An alternative to building platform or underground parking lots, automated parking systems allow a driver to leave his/her vehicle in a secure storage facility. Since automated parking does not require added space for access ramps, these systems are significantly more space efficient that traditional parking garages. Example of a poorly designed stadium that creates an unattractive â€œdeadâ€? sidewalk space behind it.
34 - Uniform Zoning Regulations
Cars parked on the sidewalk create a pedestrian hazard. Better enforcement is needed to prevent sidewalk parking.
Automated Parking: Above shows the entry into an automated parking system, where cars are stored underground. Source: WPS Parking Systems Building Requirements and Aesthetic Guidelines/Improvements Minimize the visibility of all HVAC, mechanical, structural and electrical units.Equipment should have a low profile and should be visible from the street. If this is not possible, the equipment should be set back from the street as far as possible. Additionally, the use of screens or other appropriate architectural features should be utilized to hide this equipment. Lighting Provide sufficient and well-integrated lighting throughout the commercial district in order to create a safe environment for shoppers, residents, and motorists. Recommendations: 1. Lighting must be pedestrian friendly to provide safety, encourage pedestrian activity, and support nightlife. 2. Both pedestrian and vehicular lighting is required. 3. Lighting must not overpower a buildingâ€™s facade, signs, or street signs. The source of a buildingâ€™s illumination must be integrated within the building architecture. 4. Unique architectural features should be up-lit and highlighted. 5. Landscape lighting is permitted when necessary and appropriate for pedestrian activity. 6. Exterior lighting must be designed to minimize glare from the light fixture and reflectance on shiny metallic materials. Special care should be taken in regard to vehicular traffic and residential spaces. 7. All light sources must provide a warm natural light (yellow, not blue).
Uniform Zoning Regulations - 35 8. Alleyways, parking lots, and garages shall be adequately lighted to provide security and safety for both pedestrians and vehicles. 9. Conduct a study of light intensity to verify that ample lighting is provided on the sidewalks. If any new pedestrian street lights are required, they are to match the existing lights. Implement regular linear light fixture spacing. 10. New additional lighting must be coordinated with PSE&G. West New York has already implemented some lighting improvements by recently purchasing and installing pedestrian friendly lights. These lights are lower to the ground and are aesthetically pleasing.
An example of uplighting a building. Not only does it provide light at night, but it also creates an appealing environment by emphasizing the building’s architectural details. Source: City of Los Angeles Downtown Design Guide
An example of the different lighting required on the sidewalk. Source: City of San Diego 2008 General Plan Sidewalks Create a coordinated retail streetscape that will attract and welcome shoppers and vendors to the “Main Street.” Recommendations: 1. Curb Extensions: On West New York’s portion of Bergenline Avenue, the sidewalk is narrow, generally about 10 to 12 feet. This narrow width does not allow for substantial streetscaping without impeding pedestrian flows. One way to create more space is to create curb extensions near certain intersections. A curb extension, also known as a neckdown, is an extension of the curb line into the roadway, typically at the intersections or mid-block. These have several advantages: a. Increasing pedestrian safety by narrowing the crosswalk distance and reducing the amount of time pedestrians need to cross the street.
36 - Uniform Zoning Regulations b. Reducing illegal parking within the crosswalk and, if located in front of a hydrant, keeps fire hydrant zone clear. c. If housing a bus station, speeding bus travel by eliminating the need for a bus to pull in to the curb. d. Expand the extra sidewalk space for trees, benches, signage, or other streetscape improvements. If housing a bus station, this also has the effect of removing waiting passengers from the main section of the sidewalk, improving pedestrian flows.
Examples of curb extensions (Source: NYC DOT Street Design Manual).
2. Continue beautification efforts provided by the UEZ. 3. Add paving pattern to sidewalk. 4. Designate a public agency to organize and provide maintenance. 5. Set standards for the frequency and location of street trash bins.
6.3. Engaging the Public West New York officials must engage the public in drafting the regulating guidelines; i.e. the types of trees, colors of street wall elements, and types of signs. This is vital to maintaining the character of the community and the Town. We recommend further efforts through charrettes and Town meetings in order to establish guidelines that local residents support (See also Citizen Participation).
6.4. No Undue Burden Uniform zoning regulations must not place an undue burden on property owners or tenants. Enforcement of zoning regulations comes primarily through rehabilitation and redevelopment. If regulations are burdensome or costly to implement, it may act as a disincentive to redevelop or rehabilitate underutilized sites to bring them up to code.
6.5 Implementation Implementing the above recommendations is primarily the responsibility of the planning board and the zoning board. The planning board will largely be responsible for defining the exact elements (such as types
Uniform Zoning Regulations - 37 of signs or types of trees permitted) that will form the design guidelines and these guidelines will then be written into the zoning code. Once they are part of the zoning code, the zoning board will be responsible for making sure these guidelines are followed by business owners. The building official should be involved in determining the safety requirements of the new guidelines.
Bibliography United States. City of Austin. Design Commission. Downtown Austin Design Guidelines. Austin, 2000. City of Austin - Austin City Connection: Home Page. Web. 21 Mar. 2010. <http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/downtown/designguidelines.htm> United States. City of Boulder. Downtown Urban Design Guidelines. Boulder, 2002. City of Boulder Home Page. Downtown Alliance. Web. 21 Mar. 2010. <http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2033&Itemid=186 2>. United States. City of Los Angeles. Department of City Planning. Downtown Design Guide. Los Angeles, 2009. Los Angeles Urban Design Studio. Community Redevelopment Agency. Web. 21 Mar. 2010. <http://www.urbandesignla.com/downtown_guidelines. htm>.
38 - Housing Plan
7. Housing Plan 7.1. Background 7.1.1. Introduction Housing is the greatest consumer of land in West New York, and one of the most important factors in its citizen’s quality of life. It is in their homes that people feel safe, raise their families, celebrate achievements and mourn losses. The health, safety and welfare of a community are very much defined by the condition of its housing stock. Housing is also an important contributor to the character of a place, making a community vibrant or dull, interesting or undesirable, a place one aspires to live in or is anxious to leave. West New York thrives on the diversity of its community and must have an equally diverse housing stock to maintain its vibrancy. This means having homes that are in good physical condition and are suitable for different size households and obtainable to residents at a variety of income levels. The housing plan will assess the current condition of West New York’s housing stock and make recommendations to preserve its strengths, reduce weaknesses and identify future opportunities in an effort to secure the Town’s vitality. This plan recommends that the Town be proactive in the development of market rate and affordable housing, in an effort to expand its tax base and retain its long standing place as a community for working class families and a portal for new immigrants. The housing plan seeks to alleviate some of the issues of affordability and overcrowding that are prevalent in the Town, to protect vulnerable neighborhoods from overdevelopment, and to encourage development where appropriate. 7.1.2. An Assessment of West New York’s Current Housing Context An investigation of West New York’s housing context reveals that the existing stock is old and scarce, and that many of the Town’s citizens live in overcrowded conditions and pay a disproportionate amount of their income on housing. Age & Condition of Housing Stock A majority of West New York’s housing stock is aging. More than half of the housing is over fifty years old, and a third of the existing stock is over seventy years old. Older homes require more maintenance, are more expensive to maintain and often suffer from systemic problems such as lead paint, old wiring, asbestos, foundation problems and wood rot. The Town’s aging housing stock is a matter of great concern. Vacancy Rate The vacancy rate in West New York’s rental units is extremely low at 1.9%, in contrast to 6.7% statewide. This scarcity means that the Town’s residents have few options when looking to move. Residents who wish to stay in West New York may have to look elsewhere as their families grow or they desire better conditions. The low vacancy rate also drives up housing costs due to the scarcity of options in the market. Housing availability is a major concern; the Town should improve housing availability. Overcrowding Housing overcrowding is a problem that extends beyond the household and its inhabitants. Overcrowding compromises a community’s health and vitality by contributing to the spread of communicable diseases, inhibiting children’s growth and development, creating unsafe conditions that can result in fires and other hazards (HUD 2007). A housing unit is often considered crowded if it has more than one person per room (PPR). In West New York, 10.7% of the housing units are overcrowded, in contrast to 3.0% statewide. Cost Burdens
Housing Plan - 39 People in West New York pay a disproportionate amount of their income for housing, resulting in an excessive cost burden. HUD defines housing costs between 31 and 50 percent of reported income as a moderate cost burden, and Housing costs exceeding 50 percent of reported income as a severe cost burden. Excessive housing costs disproportionately fall on certain groups including: low income, renter, minority, and elderly households. When faced with excessive housing costs, a household may compensate by sacrificing healthcare, food and clothing. In West New York, 51% of renter households pay 30% or more of their income for housing; 56% of homeowners expend that percentage of their income on their mortgages each month. 7.1.3. Encouraging Market-Rate Housing Development West New York could make better use of zoning as a tool to encourage development and to control growth in a manner that will preserve neighborhoods, stimulate economic development, foster new great places, and instill the principles of transit oriented development (TOD). Zoning to Encourage Residential Development and Preserve Neighborhood Character The Town should engage in a comprehensive assessment of its zoning and land use patterns to identify areas where new market-rate residential development is both marketable and desirable. Both zoning regulations and financial incentives should be used to promote and direct development in these areas, and to discourage over-development of vulnerable neighborhoods. Zoning to Increase Residential Development on Bergenline Avenue: Great Places and Transit Oriented Development For many of West New York’s citizens, Bergenline Avenue is the Town’s ‘main street.’ However, unlike most ‘main streets,’ on Bergenline Avenue few people live above the stores, denying Bergenline the vibrancy associated with mixed-use development.Zoning should incentivize additional residential density on Bergenline Avenue, to transform it into an attractive, mixed-used neighborhood where people live, work, shop, and relax. This will not only make for a more vibrant and complete neighborhood, but will provide safety, commercial diversity, and other benefits. Safety Mixed-use neighborhoods are generally safer because they encourage people to use them at different times, throughout the day and night. The constant changing mix of people throughout the day provides a form of natural surveillance with an eyes-on-the-street approach. Moreover, by mixing residential and commercial uses together, both will grow. Economic activity flourishes because of extra foot traffic and the simple proximity to customers, and residential units see more development as the neighborhood becomes more desirable. Commercial Diversity Creating a larger residential component along Bergenline Avenue would generate demand for new types of businesses. As the diversity of the commercial component grows, so will the attractiveness of the residential component. This cycle tends to increase property values and create a large body of stakeholders strongly invested in maintaining the character and vitality of the neighborhood. Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Bringing more residential units to Bergenline Avenue would take advantage of the large number of public transit options available on the avenue. This type of transit-oriented development would encourage more people to use public transportation and discourage car ownership. An emphasis on public transit would also bring more people to shop on Bergenline, stimulating its economy. The Bergenline Special District: Zoning Bergenline Avenue to Incentivize Residential Development
40 - Housing Plan Zoning incentives and codes should be used to control the built form of Bergenline Avenue, as described below. Building Height Bergenline Avenue consists mostly of one- and two-story buildings. Though there are some taller buildings, they stand out among the shorter stock. Given how wide Bergenline is—approximately 80 feet measured between building lines—the short buildings create an openness that detracts from the aesthetic appeal of this main commercial district. To promote the vitality of the Bergenline Special District, taller buildings should be incentivized within the district. Because of West New York’s unique geography, we recommend that the west side of the street be given a small height bonus to allow for views of the Hudson River and New York City. Thus, on the west side of the street we recommend a maximum building height of 85 feet with a base height between 40 and 70 feet. On the east side of the street we recommend a maximum building height of 75 feet, with a base height between 40 and 60 feet. The base height is the maximum permitted height of the front wall of a building before any required setback. Above the base height the building must set back 10 feet before rising to the maximum height. We believe that these dimensions will both create a human scale environment, and be suitable for maintaining and promoting the economic vitality of Bergenline Avenue. Building Width In order to maintain existing scale and traditional development patterns, building width should be restricted to 50 feet. This will also maintain storefront sizes that are characteristic of Bergenline. As an incentive for developers, larger buildings may be allowed if they provide significant public benefits, such as public open space or affordable housing units. Ground Floor Commercial Uses In order to maintain the existing character and pedestrian scale of Bergenline Avenue, ground floor commercial uses should be no wider than 50 feet. In wider buildings this can be accomplished through subdivisions. Imposing a maximum size on commercial spaces will also stimulate locally-owned small businesses that would otherwise not be able to compete with large national chains for large commercial spaces. Land Use The Bergenline Special District should be zoned residential with a commercial overlay. Ground Floor The ground floor should be exclusively commercial. No residential uses should be permitted on the ground floor. There are currently some community facilities, such as churches, within the Bergenline Special District. Such uses may be permitted with a special application and approval by the Planning Board. Second Floor The second floor should generally be residential, but some office use may be allowed. We recommend the Town evaluate the need for additional commercial space and evaluate whether those uses will be compatible with the character of Bergenline. Top Floors Everything above the second floor should be exclusively residential. Parking Lots Parking lots facing Bergenline Avenue should not be permitted within the Bergenline Special District. Parking lots endanger pedestrians as cars enter and leave the lot. They also create “dead” sidewalk space by
Housing Plan - 41 breaking up the street wall (See also Transportation: Parking). Tax Incentives This plan proposes using tax incentives in order to encourage developers to build taller buildings along Bergenline, in order to create more residential housing. Tax incentives should scale with each additional story built above a certain minimum. For example, for every story a developer builds above the second floor, the developer could receive a 10-year tax abatement of 4%, up to a 12% maximum. The logic behind tax incentives is that if the market does not justify building a taller building (because of perception that neighborhood rents are too low), a developer will choose not to build. This can occur even if the marginal cost of a taller building is small and there is a market demand for extra housing. By creating such incentives, the Town can stimulate higher density developments in specific areas, such as in the Bergenline Special District, as this plan proposes. 7.1.4. Preserving and Developing Affordable Housing Affordable housing is housing that is either rented or owned at prices affordable to households with low to moderate incomes. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determines income thresholds by household size for the Jersey City, NJ (Hudson County) HUD Fair Market Rent Area (HMFA). The HMFA includes West New York and 12 surrounding municipalities. Income levels of affordability are defined as follows: Extremely low-income: Units affordable to households with incomes at or below 30% of the HUD median income for Hudson County. Very low-income: Units affordable to households with incomes at or below 50% of the HUD median income for Hudson County. Lower income: Units affordable to households with incomes at or below 60% of the HUD median income for Hudson County. Low-income: Units affordable to households with incomes at or below 80% of the HUD median income for Hudson County. Moderate income: Units affordable to households with incomes at or below 120% of the HUD median income for Hudson County. Market rate: Units at prevailing prices without any affordability requirements. Market rate units generally exceed rental or ownership affordability levels, although some small market rate units may be priced at level that are affordable to moderate income households. The following tables show the incomes and prices for affordable rental units based on 2009 HUD income limits.
42 - Housing Plan 2009 West New York Rental Affordable Housing Guidelines Income Levels
1 2 3 4 5 6
Maximum Annual Income $14,950 $17,100 $19,200 $21,350 $23,050 $24,750
Very Low Income (50% of HUD Median Income)
1 2 3 4 5 6
$24,900 $28,450 $32,000 $35,550 $38,400 $41,250
$623 $711 $800 $889 $960 $1031
Low Income (80% of HUD Median Income)
1 2 3 4 5 6
$39,850 $45,500 $51,200 $56,900 $61,450 $66,000
$996 $1138 $1280 $1423 $1536 $1650
Extremely Low Income (30% of HUD Median Income)
$374 $428 $480 $534 $576 $619
Note: Incomes are based on the 2009 Area Median Income (AMI) limits for Hudson County. Rents are calculated based on 30% of gross monthly income. (Source:U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.)
2009 West New York Rental Market Rate Housing Guidelines Income Levels Bedroom Size 1 Market Rate Housing 2 (Hudson County HUD Fair Mar- 3 ket Rents Area) 4 5 (Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.)
Monthly Rent $989 $1045 $1219 $1477 $1591
The West New York Housing Authority Established in 1949, to â€œprovide adequate and affordable housing to low and moderate residents of West New York,â€? the Housing Authority has employed several strategies to achieve this goal. In addition to operating eight developments of various sizes, it also administers 316 Section 8 certificates, as well as 146Welfare-to-Work vouchers awarded by HUD. The Housing Authority has also been very aggressive in
Housing Plan - 43 expanding its physical plant in an effort to relieve some of the pressure on its 1,200 person waiting list and help accommodate some of the growth that West New York is expected to experience in the coming years. The West New York Housing Authority directly operates eight developments of various sizes, from the 36 unit Palisade Gardens to the 196-unit Kennedy Tower. The developments contain a total of 714 units. Of these, 473 are reserved for senior citizens. The Housing Authority has three additional developments that would expand the Authority’s capacity by 20%. The Authority is also actively seeking opportunities for development in underutilized areas of the Town where historical land use patterns might no longer be relevant. The Authority was recently awarded a $2 million contract from HUD (as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) which allowed it to modernize 168 bathrooms and replace older water heaters with new energy efficient models. In addition to overseeing the maintenance and day to day operation of its own housing inventory, the Housing Authority is also responsible for administering the distribution of the HUD’s allocation of both the Section 8 and the Welfare-to-Work housing vouchers. The Housing Authority has 462 Section 8vouchers available for distribution. The Section 8 program originated at the federal level and is the government’s primary vehicle for preventing low income Americans from spending an unsustainably high percentage of their income on housing. Anything greater than 35% is typically thought of as ‘housing strained.’ Due to the scarcity of available rentals within West New York, about a quarter of the vouchers are designated for use elsewhere in Hudson County The 146 Welfare-to-Work vouchers are contingent on the approval of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) administrator. To help the participants of this program the Housing Authority has given those on public assistance priority enrollment in one of the on-site day care centers. The Housing Authority has also instituted several other programs directed toward improving the quality of life for elderly tenants, including English language classes and free transportation. Case Study: 52nd Street Homes 52nd Street Homes is a new housing development in West New York that consists of 70 units of Workforce/Affordable/Market-rate housing. 63 of these units are available to families that have an income of 45%, 80%, or 100% or less of the Area Median Income as per COHA guidelines. This project creates affordable home ownership options for Low, Very-Low, and Moderate Income families. The homes are New Jersey ENERGY STAR Homes program certified and include high efficiency HVAC and hot water equipment. Previously, the 1.1 acre site contained a number of residential and underused post-industrial buildings and was noted as a locus of open drug sales and prostitution. In 2006-2007 the Town of West New York was proactive in obtaining the site with the intention of creating affordable housing. A diversity of financing was assembled including a Balanced Housing grant from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, theNew Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, and Hudson County HOME funds. The success of this program represents current trends in public private partnerships to create affordable housing that include mixed income requirements, which contribute to a more socially integrated society.
44 - Housing Plan It should be noted that the affordability criteria for this project is only enforceable for 20 years. After that period the units may revert to market-rate and the public investment in affordable housing will be lost. If, as this plan recommends, this project was structured as a land trust or limited equity co-op, the public benefit could be sustained in perpetuity. New Affordable Housing Opportunities Largely as a result of Federal trends towards devolution to State and local government, the construction of public housing like that of the Housing Authority is not a viable option for the future. Instead, the Town must remain diligent in identifying new funding opportunities and make the best use of potential land to continue to provide housing options for its low- and moderate-income population. Funding Opportunities The Town should be proactive in identifying current and emerging programs to fund the production of affordable housing in both the public and private sector. These programs, for example, may include the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Hudson County HOME funds, Community Development Block Grants, grants from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. Identifying and Procuring Sites to Develop Affordable Housing West New York has already shown itself to be progressive in identifying and procuring underutilized land for redevelopment as affordable housing (See 52nd Street Homes case study above). The Town should continue this practice by identifying potential sites, including empty lots, post-industrial buildings and existing under-built residential buildings. Maximizing Public Benefit and Maintaining Affordability: Community Land Trusts and Limited Equity Agreements When public funds are used to create affordable housing, it is within the principles of sound investment that the public receive maximum benefit for their contribution. Affordable housing projects that benefit from public subsidy only to revert to market-rate projects minimize the public’s return on investment and contribute to a perpetual affordable housing crisis. Affordable housing projects should aspire to be affordable in perpetuity through deed restrictions, community land trusts, limited equity agreements and similar regulatory measures. Such measures will serve to lessen West New York’s affordability gap in the future and strengthen communities. Inclusionary Housing West New York should endeavor to preserve its existing affordable housing stock and create new projects that generate affordable units. By adopting a below market inclusionary rental unit provision for future developments the Town will insure a viable affordable housing stock, while simultaneously drawing in a larger tax base to aid in increasing municipal revenues.
7.2. Recommendations 7.2.1. Affordable Housing Recommendations As per the West New York Zoning laws (Chapter 414) adopted January 17, 1979, the following recommendations are being made: §414-29 C(a): If a developer so chooses to exercise this optioni, it is proposed that 10% be set aside for very low income (50% HUD median income) and the remaining 10% for low income (80% HUD median income). This is not only to allow for a mixed income development, but to prevent residential overcrowding, fire hazards and unsanitary living conditions.
Housing Plan - 45 There is a strong probability that dense, high-rise luxury development will be built in the future, most notably on sites that afford views of the Hudson River and Manhattan. Zoning for these sites should mandate the inclusion of on-site affordable units. A healthy mix of affordable and market rate housing would be ideal to address: 1. Advancement and promotion of sound growth and general welfare of the Town; 2. Strengthen and sustain its economic development; and 3. Provide for economic and social integration appropriate for the distribution of the population (including commerce) in a variety that is compatible with community standards. To reduce residential economic segregation mandate that mix of income in a single development, the Town will foster stronger community bonds between waterfront developments and the up-land, but also among the various ethnic groups found in the municipality. 7.2.2. Inclusionary Housing Recommendations As per the West New York Zoning laws (Chapter 414) adopted January 17, 1979, we recommend the following for waterfront and upland development: §414-29 C(b): If a developer so chooses to exercise this optionii, it is proposed that waterfront development FAR be reduced (so as agreed upon by the Town Planning Commission and Town officials) so as not to isolate economically challenged residents from the Controlled Waterfront Development District; §414-29 C(b): If a developer so chooses to exercise this optioniii, it is proposed that waterfront development FAR be reduced (so as agreed upon by the Town Planning Commission and Town officials) so as not to isolate economically challenged residents from the Controlled Waterfront Development District; §414-29 C(b): If a developer so chooses to exercise this optioniv, it is proposed that waterfront development FAR be reduced (so as agreed upon by the Town Planning Commission and Town officials) so as not to isolate economically challenged residents from the Controlled Waterfront Development District; §414-29 C(b): If a developer so chooses to exercise this optionv, it is proposed that the amount placed in the Town affordable housing trust be increased to $30,000 per dwelling unit to provide adequate alternate housing since construction costs and labor cost have significantly risen since the amendment of this section in 1990. i “Of the total number of dwelling units to be constructed, 20% must be provided as affordable housing, with 10% for moderateincome and 10% for low income residents.” ii“To construct new dwelling units within the remaining portion of the Town of West New York.” iii“To rehabilitate existing dwelling units within the remaining portion of the Town of West New York.” iv“To acquire and operate affordable rental housing within the remaining portion of the Town of West New York.” v“In lieu of the construction of new units or the rehabilitation of existing units, to provide an amount equal to $10,000 per dwelling unit, to be placed by the Town in an affordable housing trust fund and used solely for the provision of affordable housing within West New York.”
Bibliography Hoch, Charles, Linda C. Dalton, and Frank S. So, Eds. The Practice of Local Government Planning (3rd ed.). International City/County Management Association, 2000.
46 - Housing Plan Kelly, Eric Damian and Barbara Becker. Community Planning: An Introduction to the Comprehensive Plan. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2000. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (N.D.) Glossary. Web. 29 April 2010.
Economic Development - 47
8. Economic Development 8.1. Background 8.1.1. Introduction West New York has experienced steady growth and development in recent years. Much of the new development has been residential. At the same time, the Town’s infrastructure continues to age and residents expect local government to continue providing a range of services. It is clear that as development continues in West New York, the development should contribute to the town’s tax base without draining resources and services. Although Bergenline Avenue will remain as the primary location for shopping and retail for West New York residents, there are other locations throughout the town that serve and can serve as commercial and retail spaces. This growth can be focused around transit stops, waterfront areas, and other north-south streets in the town including Park Avenue, Boulevard East, and John F Kennedy Boulevard. During the industrial revolution the waterfront served as a rail yard and service center for New York and New Jersey trains, but by the mid 20th century, much of the waterfront was abandoned. Although plans were suggested for residential use, the waterfront remained unused until Arthur Imperatore purchased the waterfront property for residential development in 1981. After failing to convert the waterfront into condos, Imperatore sold his waterfront holdings to the Roseland Property Company in 1995. Within a few years, the waterfront was transformed from an abandoned rail yard to a mixture of high-rise and townhouse condominiums. Although the waterfront contains a few retail stores, the main retail and restaurant areas remain closer to the center of town. Increases in population and income over the last few decades have also led to improved economic conditions for businesses in West York. Per capita income in West New York increased since 1990, growing from $12,047 to $24,035 by 2008. Much of this growth occurred from 2000 to 2008, when per capita income increased 43.76%. While this is typical for a town in Hudson County, this increase surpassed the state’s per capita growth by 14.53. As indicated by these figures, West New York and much of Hudson County saw significant growth in the last 8 years. Median income in West New York has been consistently lower than in both Hudson County and New Jersey State. However, over the past ten years, West New York’s median income grew at a faster rate than either the County or the State – 35% compared to 33.1% and 26.3% respectively, reversing the trend of the previous decade. Region New Jersey Hudson County West New York
1990 $18,714 $14,480 $12,047
(Source: U.S. Census 1990, 2000; ACS 2006-8.)
2000 $27,006 $21,154 $16,719
2008 $34,899 $30,599 $24,035
2002 Business Sectors
West New York
Mining Utilities Construction Manufacturing Wholesale Trade
N/A N/A N/A 106 64
0% 0% 0% 13% 8%
48 - Economic Development Retail Trade Transportation and Warehousing Information Finance and Insurance Real Estate/Rental and Leasing Professional Scientific and Technical Services Management of Companies and Enterprises Admin Support & Waste Management & Remediation Service Education Service Health care and Social Assistance Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Accommodation and Food Services Other Services (except public admin)
247 N/A 8 N/A 54 63
30% 0% 1% 0% 6% 8%
7 107 6
1% 13% 1%
In 2002, West New York had 833 business establishments in 12 different business sectors. Retail trade was the leading business sectors with 30%. Following were the healthcare, social assistance and manufacturing sectors with 13% each. Similarly, New Jersey and Hudson County have the same dominant business sector as 13% of the New Jersey business sector is comprised of retail trade and 24% of Hudson Countyâ€™s. Other key player in Hudson County and the State of New Jersey were made up of Professional and scientific and technical services
(Source: 2002 Economic Census by NAICS.)
8.1.2. Vacant Lots Overview In West New York, one of densest towns in the country, there are few developable vacant lots. But several large lots that are currently empty or home to vacant buildings, most notably the lot on the 300 block of 53rd and 54th Streets and the Jaclyn Handbag Site on 59th and Jefferson, are large enough to offer great potential for development. In addition, an under-utilized block on Madison Street near the Municipal Parking Lot is home to several vacant lots that could be used for small-scale commercial or mixed-use properties that feed off the dense commercial activity of Bergenline Avenue.
Economic Development - 49
In the middle of the 300 block of 53rd and 54th Sts, between Palisade Avenue and Hudson Avenue, lies a large vacant lot and a small vacant building. A vacant lot of this size represents a significant blight in the midst of an otherwise attractive residential area and stands directly across 54th Street from City View at West New York, a new condominium development. Such a large space in the midst of a residential block is an ideal candidate for a large-scale multi-family dwelling comparable to City View, and is a large enough site to accommodate market rate and affordable units. Development of this lot should not be neglected. The lot at 6113 Buchanan Street, part of a quiet residential block of attached 3-story single- and multi- family structures, should be developed with a similar 2- or 3- family home. The lot is currently fenced off and unused, and needs to be developed, not only to add housing, but to preserve the property values of the surrounding homes on Buchanan Street. Madison Street between 62nd and 64th Streets lies one block to the west of a prime stretch of the Bergenline Avenue shopping district, and across 62nd Street from the West New York municipal parking lot. An ideal location for spill-over commercial development from Bergenline Avenue, this block is nonetheless home to multiple vacant lots and underutilized buildings. One such lot, approximately 50 feet to the north of the apartments at 6218 Madison, is used only for the parking of deteriorating moving vans.
Across the street from the same apartment building is a large vacant lot that currently only serves as private parking. Were these lots acquired by the city, they would be ideal locations for commercial development that could lure shoppers by capitalizing on the blockâ€™s proximito Bergenline and the municipal parking lot. Alternately, these lots could be used small-scale mixed-use structures featuring ground-floor retail and upper-floor residential. As it stands, the block is a prime location that is severely under-utilized.
The lot immediately adjacent to 6218 should be used as the new access point to Municipal Parking Lot #5, allowing the closure of the Bergenline Avenue entrance. (See Transportation: Recommendations).
50 - Economic Development The corner of 59th and Jefferson is home to the former site of Jaclyn Handbag, and as a vacant structure is adding blight to the west side of the Town. Such a large site presents numerous options for development, from a community center to a largescale residential or mixed-use development or a public housing complex. As with the 53rd Street lot, development should be prioritized and the site should not be allowed to remain vacant for long. Additionally, the under-utilized parking lot across 59th Street should be converted to a corner park, providing a muchneeded patch of green space in a section of the Town largely devoid of parks.
The existing building on this lot is currently boarded up and is a good candidate for rehabilitation. A multi-family dwelling diagonally across the street is currently under construction and should be converted to a corner store with a residential unit above. Construction on top of the structure might also be beneficial so long as the building structure can support this addition. The space next door is overgrown with grass and weeds and appears to be a former parking lot. This space can be included in the corner housing or be used for a two-family home.
This vacant lot should either be converted into a pocket park or developed for a multi-family home that is in scale with the neighboring buildings on 57th Street. The empty lot is not assisting the surrounding landscape and must be properly developed to benefit the community.
63rd Street between Palisade Avenue and Bergenline (North Side of 63rd St, closer to Palisade Avenue).
Economic Development - 51 Boarded up existing structure with ample space on the side. This site appears to be a great location for a multi-family low-rise structure or approximately 2 â€“two family homes to match the existing streetscape closer to Bergenline Avenue.
61 Street and Madison Street (SW corner - Vacant) Corner lot should be developed for housing to match the neighboring streets.
8.1.3. The West New York Urban Enterprise Zone The Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) is a state regulated economic development tool in New Jersey that aims to assist struggling municipalities. Inclusion into the UEZ program is based on factors that include: the need for economic development, the unemployment rate, the percentage of families on welfare, and the projected program benefits to the municipality.In order to become a member, a town must undergo an extensive application process that includes a preliminary zone development plan. This feasibility study includes the suggested boundaries and existing social and economic conditions for the proposed zone along with how the municipality intends to address these issues. Once approved, the approved boundaries of the city are designated part of the UEZ which entitles business owners to charge a reduced sales tax. The location of the business must be contiguous to other UEZ certified businesses. As long as one business on a given block is part of the UEZ, the entire block joins the UEZ zone.Modifications to the Zone can be made every five years, but must maintain the original UEZ size. Therefore extending the district would require removing an existing portion. These adjustments require approval through the State. The reduced tax rate promotes business and job growth, and the taxes raised are used specifically for capital improvement in the area.Aside from locating within the UEZ district, the business must also apply to become a qualified business in order to receive a sales tax reduction. A list of allowable businesses are listed in Addendum F.These tax breaks should entice shoppers to the city. UEZ History The UEZ program began in 1983 and is regulated by the New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone Authority (NJUEZA). This council consists of nine members (Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of Economic Growth Commission, Commissioners of Community Affairs, Labor, State Treasurer, and five public members) and was established under N.J.S.A. 52:27H-60 et seq. Guidelines for those establishing a UEZ are regulated on these statutes and are based on geography and decennial census data. TheUEZ designation lasts for twenty years and at the end of the period, the town can re-apply to continue as a designated UEZ. As a result of the UEZ program, neighboring municipalities to UEZ municipalities have become economically distressed. After a similar review process, these municipalities can be designated as a UEZ-Impacted Business District. Half the tax rate is charged, but the revenue is deposited in the Stateâ€™s General Fund. With this designation, the business within the district must be annually re-certified by the State and not receive any other tax benefits or programs.
52 - Economic Development Ten zones were initially created in Camden, Newark, Bridgeton, Trenton, Plainfield, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Kearny, Orange, and Millville/Vineland. In 1994, ten more zones were added in Paterson, Passaic, Perth Amboy, Phillipsburg, Lakewood, Asbury Park/Long Branch, Carteret, Pleasantville, Union City, and Mount Holly. Zones in East Orange, Guttenberg, Hillside, Irvington, North Bergen, Pemberton, and West New York were added in 1996. Six years later, Bayonne City, Roselle Borough, North Wildwood City, Wildwood City, Wildwood Crest Borough, and West Wildwood Borough created an UEZ. In 2004, Gloucester City and New Brunswick were included in the program. A full list of UEZ municipalities by county can be found in in Addendum F. In order to become a certified business, the business must show that it will create new employment within the UEZ and nowhere else within the municipality or state. The certified company must have at least 25% of the company’s employees work within the UEZ. During the first two years of the twenty year designation, 25% of full-time hires must either be residents of an UEZ, reside in New Jersey and have been unemployed for at least six months or received New Jersey public assistance, or be considered a low income resident pursuant to the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. These requirements may be reduced at the will of the State Authority so long as the business creates certain training and job programs for at least five years. The UEZ is consistently misinterpreted as a block grant but the UEZ is strictly a reimbursement program. The UEZ coordinates with the municipality’s mayor to create a 5 year plan. This is the project pool for potential projects to be undertaken. When one is chosen, municipalities must send specifications for the proposed project in order for the funds to be encumbered. Then the municipality must find their own funding source. Assuming the project goes according to the approved specifications the State UEZ Authority will approve funds to be drawn from their account. The UEZ and State do enter into a contract in order to enforce the project specifications. UEZ and West New York, NJ Bergenline Avenue is a commercial strip that runs through Union City, West New York and many other municipalities in Hudson County. In 1995, West New York’s southern neighbor, Union City, joined the UEZ program. Shoppers who purchased goods along Bergenline Avenue in Union City received tax discounts for their purchase while a shopper on the same strip in West New York, literally inches from each, would not. Two local West New York retailers, Oscar Miqueli and Michael Park, petitioned the state legislature to include West New York into the UEZ, because they felt that the tax break in the neighboring locality threatened West New York businesses. Mr. Lou Romano, a New Jersey state assemblyman, visited Bergenline Avenue and concluded that since other sections of Bergenline Avenue outside West New York were already part of the UEZ, West New York should also become part of the UEZ. The evolution of Bergenline Avenue as a commercial Main Street through multiple municipalities puts West New York in a very special situation. The only other UEZ municipalities that have the adjoining boundaries along a common street are Orange and East Orange. There is no state incentive for UEZ’s to work together. The WNY UEZ said that they have yet to make a coordinated effort with their neighbors. If they were to do so, they could work to establish a common goal. The West New York UEZ was established in 1996 with Oscar Miqueli as the Coordinator. UEZ participation is limited to only retail goods. Some businesses prohibited from participating in the UEZ program are those providing certain services or those selling
Economic Development - 53 motor vehicles, prepared food and beverages, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and charges for room occupancy, and amusements. But a business that sells car parts, for example, can still benefit. A list of allowable businesses are listed in Addendum F. Sales tax for certified businesses within the UEZ is taxed at a reduced rate. The tax revenue from these sales is held in a separate account in Trenton. These funds can be used for the UEZ area improvements, individual business capital improvement projects, and marketing. Businesses that are not certified but located within the UEZ are also eligible to receive money for their capital improvements or job creation projects. Although the money belongs to each municipality, any request for funds must first be approved by the NJUEZA in order to receive any funding from the UEZ account. Recent streetscape projects have included sidewalk restoration near 50th Street and Bergenline Avenue, faĂ§ade restoration, and unification around 62nd Street and Bergenline Avenue. There is also a litter cleanup crew that assists West New Yorkâ€™s Department of Public Works in cleaning the streets along the UEZ area. Current UEZ Sponsored Projects and Purchases 1. Marketing promoting the UEZ 2. Renovation of Bergenline Avenue 3. Park Avenue Revitalization 4. Loan for Sidewalk Pavers on Bergenline Avenue 5. 60th St and Bergenline Ave Renovation (moved the clock to a peninsula) bought 4 faced clock 6. Facade project from 61St to 64 St (East and West side) 7. General maintenance project along Bergenline Avenue 8. Litter Vacuum Purchase 9. Two Injection Vapor System and a Generator (machine to remove the gum sidewalk) 10. Graffiti Truck equipment 11. A Sweeper truck 12. Garbage Truck 13. Three Green machines 14. 10 UEZ Police officers 15. Litter Clean Up Project-crew of 5 to maintain the Zone clean
54 - Economic Development
Additional data that included the cost for each project and year they were undertaken or enacted was requested from the UEZ. However, due to the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA), obtaining this information could not be provided in time for our review and inclusion into our plan. In order for a business to continue to be a part of the UEZ they must complete an annual recertification. Recently this was amended to every three years. Mr. Miqueli still sends out the certification, three months before the annual recertification expiration, simply to keep track of current businesses. West New York UEZ Concerns Mr. Miqueli expressed a variety of concerns regarding the UEZ, but one significant concern regarded potential earnings. Since the UEZ is based on a percentage of the municipality’s land, smaller towns were at a distinct disadvantage with towns of a larger geographic size. Mr. Miqueli stated that West New York, a town of only one square mile, had an unfair disadvantage when competing for funds against larger towns. Although West New York contains over 900 businesses, only 147 businesses are members of the UEZ. According to Mr. Miqueli, one of the biggest reasons some businesses have not joined the program is the misunderstanding of the programs benefits. For example, a local clothing retailer decided not to join the program because clothing is tax exempt. However, if this business had been a part of the UEZ, their capital improvement or equipment purchases would also be tax exempt. At the end of each fiscal cycle, Mr. Miqueli receives a working balance statement from the State andthese funds can be used for any UEZ related projects. As of December 2009, West New York’s working balance was $1,000,620.54, but in March 2010, due to statewide budget cuts, the working balance was reduced to $368,206.57. Mr. Miqueli is currently working with the State Legislature to recoup their reduced funds. Mr. Miqueli would like the UEZ funding to create and promote a marketing campaign to attract shoppers to West New York, create more parking, and create an internal micro loan program for local businesses. We were provided with a statewide “Investment and Employment Summary Report,” but additional data like the size of each municipality’s UEZ and population statistics are necessary in order to evaluate and measure West New York’s success. In performing such an analysis, the Town would benefit in determining where they rank in comparison to the other UEZ’s. If any other municipalities are faring better than West New York, their successful organization and completed projects can be assessed, adapted and implemented to better support West New York’s needs. At this time, we are awaiting further information regarding a timeline and costs for the activities mentioned above in addition to their annual budgets for the past few years. OPRA has limited the accessibility of information. We were unable to obtain additional information that would allow us to evaluate the success of the West New York UEZ. We have reached out to both Oscar Miqueli, Coordinator of the West New York Urban Enterprise Zone in addition to Kathleen Kube, Acting Executive Director of the Urban Enterprise Zone Authority within the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Ms. Kube connected us with Terri Benson, UEZ Field Representative for West New York. We were able to set up a meeting with Mr. Miqueli, Mr. Park and Ms. Benson. After this meeting, we were advised that although we had the right intentions in comparing the West New York UEZ with the other Zones, each UEZ is specifically tailored to the needs of its municipality. As a result
Economic Development - 55 there is no beneficial way to evaluate UEZ success relative to the other Zones. Doing so would not provide a fair or accurate assessment of the UEZ’s success. 8.1.4 Infrastructure Review Development increases the strain on infrastructure. Large-scale residential development on vacant lots and smaller scale infill development could push existing infrastructure beyond its capacity. West New York must contract an engineering firm to conduct an infrastructure review that examines sewerage, electric lines, and other elements of the town’s infrastructure to determine capacity and make recommendations for necessary improvement and expansion.
8.2. Recommendations 8.2.1. General Concepts 1. Encourage cooperation between the business community, residents, and local City government. The town has a variety of retail and commercial businesses that are part of the UEZ. Business owners, local residents, and local government need to work together to improve relations within the business community. Business owners and local government can also benefit from improved community outreach. 2. Encourage the creation of an additional funding source for projects within the Bergenline Special District. Special Improvement districts (SID) have been quite successful in a variety of locations including New York City. A SID is an entity funded by businesses within the district that assists with downtown marketing and management. The function of a SID can include providing additional trash collection to creating special events and fairs to attract visitors to the area. The SID can work together with the UEZ to further improve the retail and commercial areas and contribute to increasing the local tax base. 3. Mandate street level retail in “Retail Core” areas. Promoting and maintaining a vibrant street life is vital to both the residents and local businesses of the Town. Maintaining active street level retail will promote an active street community and keep life on the street. “Retail” spaces can include restaurants, bars, local retail and national chain shops, and commercial offices. “Retail Core” areas include Bergenline Avenue and Park Avenue. 4. Encourage a mix of uses in new developments. The waterfront consists of primarily residential units with a limited amount of retail spaces. Housing alone does not make a town vibrant and inviting. Retail spaces are a large and integral part of every community and should be promoted in areas such as the new waterfront development. There are also areas upland that offer prime locationss for new retail and commercial development. The Town should encourage a mix of uses in all new development. 5. Give preference to small scale “mom and pop” shops. West New York is a town with a variety of small scale family owned businesses. To maintain the identity of the Town, the town will encourage the continued existence of these types of businesses by providing economic incentives for business owners. Local business owners will receive priority for business permits from the town office, preferred parking, and tax incentives. 6. Permit home office and retail occupations as long as they do not negatively impact the neighborhood. Home offices and home businesses have become increasingly common in recent years. This plan acknowledges the desire of residents to live and work in one location. The zoning will include standards regulating such uses to minimize impacts on adjacent residences from noise, deliveries, and other negative impacts.
56 - Economic Development 7. Create opportunities for more gathering places. West New York has a high concentration of restaurants along the Bergenline corridor. Although there are many eating establishments, the town is not known for coffee houses and other casual places for food, work, and recreation. In order to create a more balanced economy, the Town will promote the creation of more non-restaurant type establishments. These businesses will provide meeting places for residents and can improve the overall quality of town life. 8.2.2. Retail Business Districts 8. Zone to encourage residential units above retail along Bergenline Avenue. West New York is already one of the densest municipalities in the country but there is still room for development. Bergenline Avenue is the Town’s main street and includes a variety of retail and commercial stores. To encourage development along this corridor, we propose the addition of residential units above the stores. Encouraging residential uses above the commercial storefronts will increase density, add to the existing housing stock, and encourage a pedestrian friendly corridor. New residentialdevelopment can be six stories in height and provide a residential entrance along Bergenline Avenue. 9. Mandate 1st story retail along Bergenline Avenue. Since Bergenline Avenue is the main commercial district in West New York, we want to maintain the current zoning and land use along this corridor. All future development at street level will remain commercial and/or retail to preserve the current identity of the street. 10. Provide technical assistance for storefront and building façade improvements. Businesses often choose the most economical design for their storefronts due to a variety of reasons. The Town should provide a service to help encourage a more varied, yet appropriate façade design for all storefront throughout the Town (See also Urban Design Guidelines: Bergenline Special Zoning District). 11. Provide schematic design guidelines for storefront signage. The town will provide guidelines for all storefront signage. Storeowners will be able to choose from a variety of sign designs and sizes to fit their individual needs. 12. Promote a variety of appropriate storefront designs. The town will provide guidelines for storefront designs. Since there are a variety of store types, the guidelines will include general criteria to promote certain design types. Creating standard guidelines will have a positive impact on both the storefront as well as the entire block. 13. Regulate the design and use of awnings. Awnings can be an important design characteristic of storefront design. However, their uncontrolled use can become unsightly and potential dangerous if not maintained properly. The town will provide specific regulations for awning types and sizes for storeowners to choose from. Regulations will prohibit internal awning illumination. 14. Limit the size and placement of “sandwich” signs on sidewalks. Signage is incredibly important to businesses but placement of sign should not interfere with pedestrian safety. Freestanding portable signs should be limited, directly in front of stores. Signs will be permitted within certain limitations of Bergenline Avenue at cross streets to promote local businesses located within a few blocks. 15. Encourage varied types of illuminated signs. These types of signs are appropriate for the retail corridors of the Town. However, these signs should be limited in type and in size. The Town will provide guidelines for illuminated signage to help vary the appearance of signage within the Town. 16. Limit the size and placement of temporary signs. Signage is vital to business but overuse of nonpermanent signs, such as within windows and storefronts, can negatively affect the appearance of the
Economic Development - 57 area. The Town will strengthen regulations and restrictions on non-permanent signs to maintain the appearance of the area. 17. Prohibit solid security gates over storefronts. West New York has many stores with roll down security gates, which were likely installed during an earlier time. Businesses should be encouraged to have internal security gates on their windows or see-through mesh roll-down gates. 18. Focus/define views at the ends of Bergenline Avenue with design features. Placing various design features at the corners of Bergenline Avenue will help define the street and make it more pedestrian friendly. Possible features could include but are not limited to sculptures, monuments and signature buildings. 19. Create standard lot sizes along retail strip. The Town will create standard retail lot sizes along Bergenline Avenue to help maintain conformity along the street. All lots along Bergenline will require retail on the first floor and residential will be encouraged above up to six floors in height. 20. Provide economic incentives for local mom and pop stores. The Town currently has a number of small mom and pop stores scattered throughout the Town. To encourage future small scale stores, the Town will provide economic incentives to these business owners. The Town will facilitate the permit process, provide a designated parking space, and provide tax incentives to promote these types of retail stores. 21. Explore additional loading zones for business deliveries. Deliveries to many business are made from the street to the sidewalk in front of the buildings. There is limited space for unloading, particularly along Bergenline Avenue. The Town will explore changing parking and street regulations and moving loading areas to the rear of buildings to provide additional loading spaces without impacting existing on-street parking and traffic flows. 22. Improve availability of data relating to the Urban Enterprise Zone. A map of the current West New York Urban Enterprise Zone has been created in ArcGIS. It was reviewed with the UEZ Coordinator. However, we recommend that the map be cross-referenced with both the town and state agencies to ensure its accuracy. It should also be revised as the zone is updated and modified. 23. Additional Funding Options. Due to the current budget deficit with the State, the UEZ money is temporarily frozen, although merchants are still doing business and their tax revenue is still being collected. However, loans still need to be repaid and ongoing projects need to be funded. Therefore we suggest further studies as to an alternate means of funding to maintain and improve the central business district. This could be accomplished through the creation of a Special Improvement District (SID), a merchant group, or a block pool group. This organization would work in unison with the UEZ and provide funding for additional street cleaning, maintenance and improving the streetscape as per the proposed Uniform Zoning Regulations (See Design Guidelines: Uniform Zoning Regulations). It is our understanding that resolutions for SIDs have been voted down by merchants in the past because of the inability for individuals to control proposed projects, but not necessarily because of the cost of the assessment. Therefore, this financing tool should be re-considered. Data showing that financing the SID will benefit the Town is necessary. A SID has the potential to enhance the Zone. 24. Coordination with Adjoining Towns. As noted above, West New York is bordered by 2 other Urban Enterprise Zones. There has been no form of organization with their neighbors. By acting individually, any improvements are not necessarily fulfilling potential returns for all municipalities. West New York must begin a dialogue with Union City and Guttenberg in order to form and achieve common goals.
58 - Economic Development 25. Merchant Directory and Mass Communication. The UEZ is composed of hundreds of merchants yet there is no means to contact them at once. Instead, the coordinators rely on dispersing information in person, which is not the best way to connect with a mass audience. Therefore, the UEZ must begin a database of all businesses within the Zone. A mailing address, phone numbers, fax and email addresses must be collected and stored for use when necessary. 26. Further Investigation. Ultimately the Urban Enterprise Zone alone is not sufficient to provide funding that will enhance both the business’s revenue and physical appearance. The goal of further investigation will determine the appropriate means and outlet to making such improvements. 27. Exploring the Special Improvement District (SID).Although similar to the goal of the UEZ program, it is a different economic tool that would supplement the UEZ. The SID is municipally oriented and imposes a cost to the merchants rather than having the state contribute directly to the use of a municipality’s tax revenue. It requires an assessment on property owners within the created district. Due to the prohibitive costs and legal requirements associated with a SID, it may not be the best tool for better funding the Bergenline Special District and/or the central business district especially since merchants have previously voted down SID resolutions. However it should not be eliminated from the conversation though. Below is a summary from the Pedestrian Mall and Special Improvement District Act, N.J.S.A. 40:56-65-40:56-89. i. Legislature recommends that municipalities should be encouraged to create a self-financing special improvement district in order to improve local businesses. Municipalities should enforce an ordinance based on their local needs. ii. Protect the public welfare, and interests to enhance the function and appearance of the business district. iii. quired.
In order to create a special improvement district, a district management corporation is re-
Create a SID after studies find the potential benefits.
v. District Management Corporation provides the administrative service to benefit the businesses and employees within the district. “Apply for, accept, administer, and comply with the requirements respecting an appropriation of funds or a gift, grant or donation of property or money (40:5683)“ vi. Special assessment on the businesses and collected by the municipality at the same time as property taxes. All money would be transferred to the management corporation. Municipality would delegate powers and responsibilities. One member of the board of the directors must be from the municipality. vii. Feasibility studies are required and must include construction and maintenance estimates in addition to the potential benefits from the programs creation. viii. From 40:56-70(2010): “In the case of a special improvement district, these studies and plans may include criteria to regulate the construction and alteration of facades of buildings and structures in a manner which promotes unified or compatible design.” ix. ers.
Adoption of ordinances requires 10 days prior to a public hearing, notify involved landown-
Economic Development - 59 x. District Management Corporation is to review then approve/disapprove so long as municipality gives it the power.
Downtown business improvement zone (see 40:56-71.1)
Department of Community Affairs provides SID oversight.
Assessment is only to commercial properties
40:56-77 describes the allowable improvements
xv. Advisory Board of 7 or more persons that includes property owners or occupants to advise the governing body. This role can be provided by the District Management Corporation
Annual reports are to be provided
Annual budget reports to be provided and public hearing is required
xviii. Contracts for work must be reviewed by municipal engineer prior to rewarding job.
28. The SID as an Umbrella Organization. If a SID is feasible we recommend that it become an umbrella organization for the central business district. It should be an outlet for merchants to work together, suggest improvements, and ultimately have a forum to voice concerns. The SID could also be responsible for regulating and enforcing the Uniform Zoning Regulations (See Recommendation # 15 under Retail Business Districts). 29. Using a Voluntary Block Pool Group instead of a SID.Two other funding mechanisms may be preferred yet its more voluntary nature can become controversial and create a free rider problem. Certain blocks have a specific clientele base which may not be able to afford or benefit from a SID. The type of commerce also varies from the southern end of Bergenline Avenue to that at the northern end. Therefore these businesses may be able or may prefer to allocate more funding to their streetscape and the related maintenance required. If each block pools money together separately then each block will have more of a say of where the money is going to finance and could better reflect each individual blockâ€™s preferences.
8.3 Implementation There are several possible mechanisms, both private and public, for implementing the above mentioned recommendations. The zoning and planning boards will be instrumental in ensuring the ongoing effectiveness of the recommendations to the physical plant of the city (new zoning and design features) upon implementation. Coordination with both the county and state in updating property records (via taxes) would go a long way toward an accurate enumeration of uses which in turn would help ensure West New York an equitable distribution of funding for its UEZ
Bibliography United States. Departments of Commerce and Economic Development. Department of Community of Affairs. New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zones Act 52:27H-60 (2009). By New Jersey Legislature. 2009. Annotated Statutes. LexisNexis. Web. 29 Apr. 2010.
60 - Citizen Participation 9. Citizen Participation Engendering Citizen Participation The Town of West New York should work to provide an effective structure for citizens to participate in planning and government, to communicate community needs and actively shape the future of their Town. The Town would greatly benefit from more open and effective communication between the Town’s government and citizens. Such a change would inspire meaningful and productive participation. It is recommended that the Town make a greater effort to engender citizen participation. The NJ MLUL (40:55D-27) empowers the mayor to create a citizens’ advisory committee to assist the planning board. It is recommended that such a committee be created and supported by the Town with technical and material assistance. Citizen involvement and participation in West New York is hindered by the Town’s acute socio-economic disparity as well as extremes in its geography and topography. Any effort to create a citizens’ advisory committee should consider these factors and strive for equal representation of all of the Town’s different areas and populations. It is recommended that community districts be created to reflect these factors and that committee members be drawn as district representatives. It is further recommended that a member of the planning board be drawn from this citizens’ advisory committee. Given the high percentage of West New York residents that are Spanish-speaking, every attempt should be made to provide Spanish translations of key documents and community announcements.
Opening the Land-Use Review Process The Town’s land-use review process, while conforming to the MLUL minimum requirements for public notice, does little to engender public participation. It is recommended that the process be extended by one month in an effort to increase citizen awareness, participation and discourse, all of which will assist government in making more informed determinations. The process would span two Planning Board sessions: the first when an application will be acknowledged, and a second session for the hearing and determination. All MLUL provisions for public notice would be applicable to both sessions.
Improving Communication through the Town Website The current website is very basic. The use of a municipal website should be better utilized and updated frequently. The Town should encourage better transparency and interactive communication online by posting relevant information and making it more user-friendly. Since almost everyone has access to a computer and the internet, residents should be able to retrieve public information. Whether it is for viewing garbage collection and recycling schedules, obtaining a parking permit,determining parking regulations, accessing property records and information as well as other permit information and applications, or directions and forms for obtaining additional public records, a centralized public repository of common public documents should be stored on the Town’s website. The
Citizen Participation - 61 hope is that by simplifying access to municipal information the Town could be more efficient at deterring and discouraging violations or prohibited activities.
Use Technology to Extend and Promote Public Participation Technology and the internet need to be used to benefit the residents and enable them to have a voice with the Townâ€™s decisions. There are some residents that would like to take part in Town government meetings, but are unable to attend those meetings. The apathetic participation of the public can be improved by streaming public meetings on the Townâ€™s website and/or broadcast meetings on a local cable television network or on the radio. Encourage public participation by providing additional means of outreach. This accessibility must be promoted and advertised in order for this tool to be successful. An up-to-date resident directory should also be created. This information should be kept confidential, but is to be used for mass notifications. In the wake of 9/11, accurate current contact information is necessary for records and outreach when communication is necessary.
62 - Citizen Participation
10. Transportation Plan 10.1. Background 10.1.1. Roads The Town of West New York has several important bidirectional north-south arteries, which run from its northern border with Guttenberg to its southern border with Union City. These include, from west to east: John F. Kennedy Boulevard West: Referred to, locally, simply as “Kennedy Boulevard” and designated as County Route 501, this arterial road runs from the Hudson/Bergen county line to the Bayonne Bridge. Bergenline Avenue: This major commercial corridor runs from the Hudson/Bergen county line through North Bergen and West New York, becoming a one-way southbound route south of 48th Street in Union City, and ending at Washington Park, also in Union City. Broadway: This local north-south route runs from North Hudson Park in North Bergen to its intersection with Park Avenue, just south of Cooper Place in Union City. Park Avenue:This local north-south route runs parallel and to the east of Broadway, until it intersects with Broadway in Union City. Park Avenue continues until its southern terminus in Hoboken. John F. Kennedy Boulevard East:Referred to locally as “Boulevard East,” this north-south arterial begins at the Hudson/Bergen county line where it meets John F. Kennedy Boulevard West. It runs through West New York along the Palisades cliffs, bordered on the west by high-rise apartment buildings and the east by parkland, before terminating just south of the Lincoln Tunnel Approach in Weehawken. Within West New York, this road is designated as County Road 505 south of 60th Street, where the designation switches to Anthony M. Defino Way, and as Hudson County Route 693 north of that point. Anthony M. Defino Way: This north-south route runs along the western border of the Port Imperial waterfront site. Designated as County Route 505, this road bends to the west to become 60th Street. Route 505 is River Road in Guttenberg and North Bergen. West New York has only one major east-west artery, which across the municipality north of its latitudinal center: 60th Street: This bidirectional east-west route, which is entirely within West New York, runs from John F. Kennedy Boulevard West to John F. Kennedy Boulevard East, where it becomes the northward-running Anthony M. Defino Way. The municipal building is located on this road, just east of Bergenline Avenue.
Citizen Participation - 63 The only other east-west street that runs interrupted from John F. Kennedy Boulevard West to John F. Kennedy Boulevard East is 62nd Street, which is a minor, westbound-only street. 10.1.2 Public Transportation West New York is served by New Jersey Transit, which operates buses, commuter rail, and light rail throughout the state. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates the PATH rapid transit system between New York City and Hudson and Essex Counties in New Jersey, as well as the Port Authority Bus Terminal, from which NJ Transit buses depart. Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Although there are no light rail stations within the Town limits, New Jersey Transitâ€™s Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system runs just south of the Town. Running through the nineteenth-century rail tunnel built from the Hudson River to North Bergen, the light rail has two stations within walking distance of West New York: Bergenline Avenue Station: Located at 49th Street and Bergenline Avenue in Union City, just across the street from West New York, this station has elevators for accessing its underground platforms. Port Imperial Station: Located between Pershing Road and Port Imperial Boulevard in Weehawken, this station is above-ground and is a short distance south of West New Yorkâ€™s waterfront community. There is also a stairway to connect the station with the Palisades above. This station allows for easy access to the NY Waterway ferry terminal, with service to Midtown and Lower Manhattan. Both stations are on the Tonnelle Avenue-Hoboken Terminal and West Side Avenue-Tonnelle Avenue lines. To the south of the Port Imperial station, trains travel to either Hoboken Terminal or West Side Avenue in Jersey City. Passengers wishing to travel to stations in Bayonne can transfer at the Liberty State Park station to the 22nd Street-Hoboken Terminal line. This line currently terminates at 22nd Street in Bayonne, but will continue to a new 8th Street station in the future. North of the Bergenline Avenue station, all trains make their final stop at Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen. The fare for the light rail system is $1.90, regardless of trip length or transfers. Tickets are purchased at on-site machines and must be validated before riding. Tickets remain useable until ninety minutes after validation. Rapid Transit and Commuter Rail There are no rapid transit (subway) or commuter rail stations in West New York. However, Hoboken Terminal is accessible by light rail and offers a plethora of options for commuting to New York City or to other areas of New Jersey and southern New York State. The terminal offers PATH train service to Midtown Manhattan and serves as a station for numerous NJ Transit commuter rail lines, which run to Bay Head, Hackettstown, and Gladstone, New Jersey and Port Jervis and Spring Valley, New York. Buses NJ Transit operates numerous bus routes that serve West New York. The following fifteen routes run within the Town:
64 - Transportation Plan 22 (Hillside):runs between Nungessers in North Bergen and Hoboken Terminal, along Bergenline Avenue in West New York. Buses along this route stop at Bergenline Avenue and 60th Street in West New York and the Bergenline Avenue light rail station in Union City. 23 (Hoboken-Port Imperial-North Bergen): also runs between Nungessers in North Bergen and Hoboken Terminal, but instead stops at Boulevard East and 60th Street in West New York and the Port Imperial light rail station in Weehawken. 84 (North Bergen-Jersey City-Journal Square): runs between Nungessers in North Bergen and Journal Square in Jersey City, which offers PATH service to Newark or Lower Manhattan. Buses along this route stop at Bergenline Avenue and 60th Street in West New York and the Bergenline Avenue light rail station in Union City. 88 (North Bergen-Journal Square): runs to the west of the #84 route, bypassing stops along Palisade Avenue in Jersey City. This route runs along JFK Boulevard West in West New York. 89 (North Bergen-Hoboken): has the same termini as the #22 route (Nungessers and Hoboken Terminal), but runs along Park Avenue in Guttenberg, then crosses West New York on 60th Street and continues on Bergenline Avenue into Union City. Stops on this route include Bergenline Avenue and 60th Street in West New York and the Bergenline Avenue light rail station in Union City. 128 (North Bergen-Boulevard East-New York): runs between Nungessers in North Bergen and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, stopping at Boulevard East and 60th Street in West New York. 154 (Fort Lee-Palisades Park-New York): runs between the Bergen Boulevard Ramp in Fort Lee (Bergen County) and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, stopping at JFK Boulevard West and 61st Street in West New York and the Bergenline Avenue light rail station in Union City. 156 (Englewood Cliffs-Fort Lee-New York): runs between Englewood Cliffs in Bergen County and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, stopping at Bergenline Avenue and 60th Street in West New York, the Bergenline Avenue light rail station in Union City, and the Port Imperial light rail station in Weehawken. 158 (Fort Lee-Edgewater-New York): runs between Mediterranean West in Fort Lee and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. In West New York, this route runs along River Road and Port Imperial Boulevard. There is a stop at the Port Imperial light rail station in Weehawken. 159 (Fort Lee-New York): runs between Linwood Park in Fort Lee and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, stopping at Bergenline Avenue and 60th Street in West New York, the Bergenline Avenue light rail station in Union City, and the Port Imperial light rail station in Weehawken. 165 (Westwood-New York): runs between Westwood (Bergen County) and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, via Paramus, Hackensack, and Teterboro, stopping at Bergenline Avenue and 60th Street in West New York. 166 (Cresskill-Bergenfield-New York): runs between Merritt Gardens in Cresskill (Bergen County) and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, via Dumont, Englewood, and Tenafly, stopping at Boulevard East and 60th Street in West New York.
Transportation Plan - 65 168 (Paramus-Ridgefield Park-New York): runs between the Paramus Park Mall in Paramus (Bergen County) and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, via Hackensack and Teaneck, stopping at Boulevard East and 60th Street in West New York. 181 (Union City-New York (GWB)): runs between the Bergenline Avenue light rail station in Union City and the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal in upper Manhattan, stopping at Bergenline Avenue and 60th Street in West New York 188 (West New York-New York (GWB)): runs between JFK Boulevard West and 61st Street in West New York and the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal, via River Road in Edgewater and Fort Lee. Buses along this route also stop at Bergenline Avenue and 60th Street in West New York. Bus fares vary based on travel distance, with a $2.55 one-way fare between West New York and New York City. Jitneys Besides the NJ Transit bus routes, West New York and surrounding areas are served by privately-run jitney buses, which stop along Bergenline Avenue and provide an alternative mode of transportation within Hudson County and to New York City. However, these jitneys often cause congestion as they stop frequently along the avenue, blocking the free flow of traffic. 10.1.3. Parking Metered Parking The Parking Authority of the Town of West New York, New Jersey operates metered parking throughout the Town. The authority is responsible for the metering and maintenance of 1,644 parking spaces. Included in this figure are 628 on-street spaces, representing 38.2% of all metered spaces. Spaces along the streets are painted with white lines to delineate their boundaries. The remaining 1,016 spaces are located within nine different municipal lots and garages, representing 61.8% of all metered spaces. The lots/garages are metered using pay-by-space meters. Using these meters, the driver pays for a desired length of time for numbered parking space. The municipal lots/garages are distributed throughout the Town as follows:
66 - Transportation Plan Lot
# of spaces
1 2 3 4
66th-67th St & Park Ave (East Side) 54th-55th St & Park Ave (West Side) 55th St & Hudson Ave 67th St between Bergenline Ave & Palisade Ave Bergenline Ave between 62nd St & 63rd St 61st St – 62nd St & Van Buren Pl. 57th-59th St West of Bergenline Ave 57th-58th St between Bergenline Ave & Palisade Ave 51st-52nd St West of Bergenline Ave
57 55 25 27
Share of all metered spaces 3.5% 3.3% 1.5% 1.6%
336 205 93
20.4% 12.5% 5.7%
5 6 7 8 9
The 336-space facility is a combination of surface lot and parking garage. All of the remaining facilities are surface lots. The cost of metered parking is $0.25 per half hour. Parking regulations for metered parking are as follows: • Lots # 1, 2, 3, & 6: On Monday through Saturday, meter regulations are in effect from 9am to 9pm. • Lot # 4, 5, 7, 8, 9: On Monday, Thursday, and Friday, meter regulations are in effect from 9am to 9pm. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday, meter regulations are in effect from 9am to 6pm. Meter requirements are not in effect on Sundays. Resident Parking In addition to metered parking, the Town also has resident parking. Residents are allowed to park both on the street and in some municipal parking lots. There is no fee for on-street parking, but drivers must pay meter fees in the parking lots. A residential parking permit is required on designated streets listed below. Currently there is no fee for the permit unless a resident’s vehicle is registered with out of state license plates. The cost of a resident permit decal for these users is $25.00 per month. Lot # 1 and Lot # 4 have resident parking from 9pm to 9am and a residential parking decal or pass is required. Drivers must adhere to meter requirements until midnight. Lot # 6, 7, 8, & 9 are used for municipal parking permits. The cost is $75 per month or $200 per quarter. A parking spot can be reserved
Transportation Plan - 67 at the garage in Lot # 6 for $100 per month. All vehicles must move for alternate-side parking. If parked at a metered space, the driver must pay at the meter. Parking Decals & Passes Required on Streets: 9am to 12 Noon Fairview Terrace between 51st St & 54th St Boulevard East between 51st St & 67th St Park Avenue between 51st St & 67th St 51st, 54th, 60th St between Blvd East & Park Ave 62nd, 63rd, 64th St between Blvd East & Park Ave Westover Place Highland Place Monitor Place Parking Decals & Passes Required on Streets: 6 am to 12 Noon Palisade Avenue between 64th St & 67th St Hudson Avenue between 64th St & 67th St Dewey Avenue between 64th St & 67th St Broadway between 64 & 67th Street 64th, 66th, 67th St between Blvd East & Bergenline Ave Lincoln Place McKinley Place 67th Street Triangle
10.2. Recommendations After studying and analyzing the existing transportation conditions within the Town of West New York, there are eight recommendations for improving circulation and parking: 1. Establish a transit village in accordance with New Jersey D.O.T. guidelines. 2. Improve the pedestrian connection between the Bergenline Avenue light rail station and Lot #9. 3. Remove painted on-street parking spaces and install pay-and-display meters. 4. Investigate parking alternatives, such as converting existing surface parking lots to parking garages and installing automated parking systems. 5. Adopt more specific parking regulations. 6. Coordinate with private landowners for shared parking facilities. 7. Move the access point of Lot #5 from Bergenline Avenue to Madison Street.
68 - Transportation Plan 8. Provide better east-west access via a Town-supplied transit loop. These eight recommendations are explained in depth below. 1. Establish a transit village in accordance with New Jersey D.O.T. guidelines. Since 1999, the New Jersey Department of Transportation has sponsored a program to promote the use of transportation nodes as centers for growth and development. The Transit Village Initiative encourages municipalities throughout the state to work on mixed-use transit oriented development (TOD) projects that present an alternative to the urban sprawl that prevails throughout the country. The transit villages that have heretofore been established are Belmar, Bloomfield, Bound Brook, Burlington, Collingswood, Cranford, Elizabeth (Midtown), Jersey City (Journal Square), Matawan, Metuchen, Morristown, Netcong, New Brunswick, Orange, Pleasantville, Rahway, Riverside, Rutherford, South Amboy, and South Orange. In order to qualify as a transit village, municipalities must apply to be part of the program and meet certain criteria. For a community to qualify it must have plans for TOD sites, improved pedestrian conditions, construction of affordable residences, and even new civic activities and events. The program is attractive to communities because, in addition to encouraging smarter growth, there are also economic incentives. Areas that are granted transit village status can apply for certain grants and may be able to receive state funding. West New York and the neighboring municipalities of Union City and North Bergen could benefit greatly from the creation of a transit village. According to the guidelines, the transit village can encompass the area within a half-mile radius of the transit site. In this case, the transit site being considered is the Bergenline Avenue station of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. This station is located in Union City, just across the street from West New York and only about five-hundred feet from North Bergen. The map at the right shows the area that can and should be included in the transit village. Since this area spans three different municipalities, regional cooperation is essential to establishing a transit village. West New York should work with Union City and North Bergen for the betterment of all three communities. 2. Improve the pedestrian connection between the Bergenline Avenue light rail station and Lot #9. Lot #9 is on the west side of Bergenline Avenue between 51st Street and 52nd Street. This facility is an important amenitythat provides ample parking for light rail commuters using the Bergenline Avenue Station,
Transportation Plan - 69 located at 49th Street and Bergenline Avenue in Union City. However, there is no direct pedestrian path for commuters to walk from the parking lot to the light rail station. This lack of connectivity between the commuter parking lot and the light rail station should be analyzed and a redevelopment study performed for Murphy Place between 49th Street and 51st Street. This study will determine which properties need to be acquired and the methods of acquisition. The property should be converted to a landscaped public plaza that would provide a direct connection to the light rail station. This would create a more welcoming environment for pedestrians and would become a Town landmark. This plaza should be an integral part of the daily life of the Town. Daily usage for this plaza may include: 1. Seating for casual use 2. Interactive fountain for visual and interactive enjoyment 3. Monumental display of the Townâ€™s history 4. Wheeled kiosks for street vendors 5. Planted trees and flowers throughout the throughout the street 6. Walking and biking 7. Covered space for picnics, small gatherings, or individual use This plaza may be a use for programs that commuters can participate in such as: 1. Markets 2. Music festivals 3. Wine Tasting 4. Ethnic Festivals Other recommendations for Murphy Place include: 1. Applying for transit oriented development grants to maintain this area. 2. Designing the street to follow West New Yorkâ€™s uniform zoning regulations. 3. Providing ample street lighting for safety.
3. Remove painted on-street parking spaces and install pay-and-display meters. Along the major arteries of West New York, metered parking spaces are defined by white painted lines on the pavement. This allows one vehicle per parking meter. An alternative to this system of street parking would eliminate pre-defined spaces and allow drivers to park with as much space between vehicles as they feel is necessary. It has been found that, without painted spaces, there is an approximately 15% increase in the number of vehicles that can park on the street, and a 5% increase to the overall municipal parking supply.
70 - Transportation Plan In order to pay for the parking, there would be a pay-and-display system. This system uses machines similar to the pay-by-space ones used at the municipal lots. However, instead of having a space number and saving their receipt as a back-up proof-of-purchase, drivers instead use the meter to pay for the desired length of time and then place the receipt on the windshield, inside of the vehicle. This receipt informs parking agents that a driver has paid for the parking. This is necessary because, without space numbers, parking cannot be monitored using a computerized system in the same manner used for the parking lots. This system is also more aesthetically pleasing then having meters at each parking space. 4. Investigate parking alternatives, such as converting existing surface parking lots to parking garages and installing automated parking systems. According to municipal officials, parking was consistently a major concern and more parking was desired. However, West New York is very small and available land is hard to find. We suggest making the existing parking facilities more efficient. Not only are surface lots ineffective, but they are also uneconomic and aesthetically unpleasant. Automated parking systems or low-rise (3-4 stories) parking garages could produce the necessary additional parking spots while also improving the streetscape by minimizing the harsh automobile landscape created by surface lots. These structures can be successfully integrated into their surroundings with careful attention to the design of their exterior faĂ§ades. This will generate additional funds that will subsidize and, over time, pay for the cost of such improvements. Automated parking systems allow a driver to leave their vehicle in a secure storage facility. The driver parks the car on a storage pallet in the entry area. The driver leaves and the vehicle is transported to an individual parking slot by an automated trolley system. To retrieve the vehicle, the driver swipes an access card at a terminal, and the vehicle is transported back to the entry area. There are several advantages to this system over traditional parking facilities. 1. Developers benefit from the systemâ€™s compact and customizable design, which often allows for the creation of a parking system where a conventional garage would not fit. 2. There are no access ramps to multiple floors of parking spaces, resulting in increased capacity per square foot, and a more efficient use of space. 3. There is no risk of damage, theft or vandalism, since the driver does not enter the parking area. This allows for cost savings through reduced expenses for insurance, ventilation, and lighting.
Transportation Plan - 71 Automated parking systems are not conducive to parking situations, found in stadiums and theaters, where multiple users enter and exit the system at the same time in large numbers. However these systems are suitable for residential and commercial retail parking conditions, where parking turnover is more evenly distributed over time. Candidates for garages or automated parking systems are Lot # 5, 7, 8, & 9. This would benefit the suggested transit village and encourage the use of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. 5. Adopt more specific parking regulations. Currently all the municipal parking facilities have varying parking regulations. It is very confusing to understand where and when an automobile can be parked in certain locations. To simplify parking, universal standards for residential permit parking should be established. Charging a nominal monthly fee for all users in order to obtain a parking permit does not seem unreasonable. Designating certain locations for resident parking with decals during standard hours of the day can properly provide ample space and known places to park. Additionally, restrictions vary in neighboring municipalities. Since streets and commercial activity are continuous throughout neighboring municipalities, parking regulations should be more consistent to create and maintain a parking marketplace. Shoppers should not be discouraged from parking in the Town because parking is less expensive in neighboring towns. Local municipalities should work together to coordinate parking regulations and create a more seamless parking system. 6. Coordinate with private landowners for shared parking facilities. The West New York zoning code requires each building or facility to include a minimum amount of offstreet parking. This contributes to an inefficient use of space. There seems to be a handful of private parking facilities that are underused. In order to benefit both the Town and the private landowner, the Town should create a shared parking program. Shared parking is a parking management strategy in which multiple user groups share a single parking area. Specific groups of users, such as residents, employees or church-goers, use parking spaces only part-time. This leaves many parking facilities designed for a single use-group with a significant number of unused spaces during the off-peak periods. Parking can be shared among different building and facilities in West New York to take advantage of different peak periods. Weekday Peaks Evening Peaks Banks Auditoriums Schools Bars and restaurants Factories Theaters Medical clinics Meeting halls Offices Professional services
Weekend Peaks Religious institutions Parks Shops and shopping centers
This will reduce the need to provide new parking spaces for each building or facility. Not only is this a more efficient use of space, but it can represent a cost savings for new developments or redevelopments that would otherwise require adding off-street parking. The Parking Authority would manage the lots, but both parties would share the generated revenue. The Town should seek voluntary participants from existing parking sites and, in the future, require such businesses and uses to incorporate shared parking in their development plans.
72 - Transportation Plan Some high-rise towers also own surface parking lots and a parking garage structure. Studies on their effectiveness and feasibility in providing public metered parking should be conducted. It is possible that lots could be consolidated and offer vacant land for new parking locations or other effective uses. In order to implement a shared parking scheme, the following steps should be taken: • Conduct a study to identify under-used private parking lots that can be shared with adjacent or nearby uses. • Amend the zoning code to allow and encourage shared parking. • Create standards to evaluate, manage, and enforce shared parking arrangements. Shared parking lots should be illuminated and marked similarly to municipal lots to ensure safety. • Provide a maximum amount of on-street parking in an area. • Allow the collection of fees in lieu of creating private off-street parking.
These two private parking locations, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 63rd Street and Palisade Avenue, and Capital One Bank at 60th Street and Van Buren Place, are examples of opportunities to implement a shared parking arrangement with nearby facilities. The map below shows other potential sites for the implementation of shared parking programs.
7. Move the access point for Lot #5 from Bergenline Avenue to Madison Street. Lot #5 is on Bergenline Avenue between 62nd and 63rd Street. Its entrance/exit point interrupts a heavily trafficked pedestrian sidewalk. It also takes cars directly onto the busy multi-lane Bergenline Avenue. This is a danger-
Transportation Plan - 73 ous access point for a parking lot. It threatens the safety of both pedestrians and automobiles since its large pillars create blind sights for drivers. Directly west of the parking lot is a vacant lot that can be accessed from Madison Street (See Economic Development: Vacant Lots). Lot #5 should be converted to a multi-level parking garage and the lot on Madison used for the new entry point. The entry from Bergenline Avenue should be closed off and an integrated faĂ§ade should be applied to the front of the garage to better unify the Bergenline Avenue streetscape and remove the spatial gap created by this lot. 8.
Provide better east-west access via a Town-supplied transit loop.
New Jersey Transit provides sufficient access through the north-south corridors of the Town. However, there is very little means of transport east-west without an automobile and the topography of West New York deters some waterfront residents from venturing into the rest of the Town (See Waterfront: Recommendations). The Town should work with jitney operators to initiate a service that would carry passengers in a loop between the waterfront and Bergenline Avenue. It should operate in half hour intervals during peak hours of the day, though initially service could be less frequent to determine demand. Further study and outreach should be completed in order to determine the appropriate frequency and schedule. Funds to subsidize this new service could be obtained through UEZ or SID funding, (if a SID were created) (See Economic Development: The West New York Urban Enterprise Zone). This service would integrate the two â€œneighborhoodsâ€? of West New York, provide opportunities for the disabled and elderly to reach the Bergenline commercial strip and increase the customer base for Bergenline by encouraging people from the waterfront to shop there.
10.3 Implementation Implementing the above suggestions will depend on several local and state agencies. In order to create a transit village, the Town of West New York mustapply toNew Jersey Transit for transit village designation. The West New York Parking Authority will be responsible for implementing the recommended parking improvements, though the building official will also be responsible for reviewing new parking structures. The planning board will be responsible for reviewing plans for a pedestrian connection between the light rail station and nearby parking lot, and should also review the movement of the Lot #5 access point from Bergenline Avenue to Madison Street. The mayor should review options for contracting jitney service to provide improved east-west access, and should provide general oversight on examining parking alternatives and funding sources.
74 - Transportation Plan Bibliography Fink, Jason. “Jitney checkpoints caused crowding during morning commute.” NJ.com 2 November 2007. Web. Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft Streets & Trips (2010 edition). 2009. New Jersey Transit. 2010. Web. NJDOT Transit Village Initative. 2010. Web. NY Waterway. 2010. Web. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 2010. Web. Robotic Parking. 2010. Web. VenTek International. 2010. Web. West New York Parking Authority. 2010. Web.
Community Facilities Plan - 75
11. Community Facilities Plan 11.1. Background 11.1.1. Educational Facilities West New York is home to a first-class library, strong public schools, and a branch of Hudson County Community College. These facilities contribute to a strong sense of civic identity within the Town’s one square mile, and their maintenance and ongoing improvement are vital to West New York’s sense of community life. West New York Public Library The West New York Public Library, centrally located at 60th Street and Bergenline Avenue, is open seven days a week and participates in a statewide inter-library loan system. The library houses 65,000 books and 100 periodicals, in addition to newspapers, DVDs, CDs and audio books. Appropriately for a town with a large number of native Spanish speakers, the library offers 5,000 books in Spanish. There are also 40 personal computers available to the public, equipped with internet access and the Microsoft Office suite. The Children’s Department features weekly programming for toddlers and elementary-aged children . West New York School District With eight schools, a current operating budget of over $4 million, and nearly 6,000 students enrolled , the West New York School District effectively addresses the needs of this densely populated and diverse town. The district’s schools include six elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Spending per pupil is $16,361, slightly higher than the state average of $15,798. This is despite the fact that a significantly higher percentage of the district’s students are coming from low income households, as demonstrated by the high percentage of students qualifying for the free or reduced-lunch program, 59% versus the state average of 28%. The school district is a state-supported Abbott District . The school most in need of academic improvement is arguably Memorial High School, whose students tested significantly below state averages in math and language arts. Seventy percent of the school’s eleventh graders were proficient in language arts, compared to 84% statewide; 65% of eleventh grade students were proficient in math, compared to the state average of 73%. Overall, however, test scores are consistently higher for math than language arts . The lower scores in language arts could be explained by the fact that many students in the district come from homes where English is not the primary language spoken. School buildings and facilities are well-maintained and in good condition and often function as community facilities after school hours. They currently provide census training programs, after school activities for children and language classes. The West New York Wellness Initiative, a fitness and nutrition program started
76 - Community Facilities Plan by the district, has received national recognition and was praised by former president Bill Clinton. The schools recently served as centers for a relief aid program for victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The district has saved money by expanding in-district special education services. This reduces transportation costs, as the district does not have to pay to transport children in need of special education across district boundaries. Hudson County Community College – North Hudson Center The North Hudson Higher Education Center of Hudson County Community College (HCCC) is currently located at 6515 Polk Street in West New York . The Center offers an array of courses and is used by both residents pursuing a degree program and those looking to take just a few courses. In 2011, the Center will be moving to a new facility just outside of West New York, at Kennedy Boulevard (West)and 48th Street in Union City . 11.1.2. Parks and RecreationalFacilities Parks West New York has numerous parks, which are mostly in good condition. There is an ample supply of playgrounds, and fencing around many of them help keep them in good repair. Given the many children living in housing without backyards, these parks play an important role in providing recreation space. As the Town’s population grows, there will be a continuing need for more open space. The minimum requirements for recreation and open space set forth by the National Recreation Standards and the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association is 6.25 to 10 acres per 1,000 persons . Currently West New York has 51 acres of parkland. Based on West New York’s 2008 population estimate of 46,472, there are about 1.1 acres of parkland per 1,000 persons, which is equal to just a fraction of the minimum requirement. West New York has eleven parks: Auf Deheide, Verrazano, McEldowney, Donnelly, Veterans, 50th Street, Fillmore, Miller, St. Mary’s, Washington, and Weigand Parks. Their locations and acreages are listed below: Park Auf Derheide Park Verrazano Park McEldowney Park Donnelly Park Veterans Park 50th Street Park Fillmore Park
Location 62nd St. & Blvd. East 63rdSt. to 67th St. &Blvd. East 61st St. to 62ndSt. &Blvd East 54th St. to 60thSt. &Blvd. East 56th St. to 53rd St.&Blvd. East 427 50th St., between Palisade& Bergenline Aves. 221-227 61st St.
Acreage 1.96 2.06 n/a 11.61 7.24 0.68 0.98
Community Facilities Plan - 77 Miller Park St. Mary’s Park Washington Park Weigand Park
5709-5711 Jackson St. 6501-6505 Jackson St. 308 66th Street,between Hudson & Palisade Aves. 54th St. and Park Ave. Total Acreage:
21.2 1.89 1.07 2.31 51
These parks serve as gathering places for community residents, provide recreational space for older youth and adults, and offer play space for young children. Currently three parks are under renovation: Miller, Donnelly, and Verrazano. New equipment, including new playgrounds and benches, will be installed in these three parks. The parks in West New York vary widely in their function and purpose. Weigland Park, a new pocket park adjacent to the Town’s little league diamond, is set up for sitting in a well-designed, shaded space. This park is well-maintained and gated, so it can be locked at night. The park features a swing set and a small toddler playground. Similarly, St. Mary’s Park is also gated, and has a playground for toddlers and another playground for elementary-aged children. There are benches for parents and care-givers, as well as fixed, weatherproof tables and chairs used for playing board games or eating. The playground surface is padded; there is also a padded circle for toddlers to crawl on. Donnelly and Veterans Parks lie on the east side of Boulevard East. These parks, which are really two parts of a larger single park, offer spectacular views of Manhattan, ample benches for sitting, and a narrow strip of green space. There are playgrounds just south of 60th Street and basketball courts that have been adapted for use in soccer matches. Though the park is narrow, it nevertheless offers some of the best green space in Town.
78 - Community Facilities Plan Miller Park features the largest offering of green space in West New York. It covers one square block and is heavily shaded by old trees and covered with grass. This park is large enough for recreational activities on its wide grassy areas. It is also home to two playgrounds, two basketball courts, and benches for resting.
Washington Park is designed primarily for recreation, with padded courts that can be used for a variety of sports, such as touch football and soccer, a basketball court, a playground for elementary-aged children and a toddler playground. Benches are provided around the playground and in the center of the park. The park is surroundedby trees and shrubs.
Miller Stadium Miller Stadium is located at 57th and Jackson Streets, across the street from Miller Park. The stadium is host to Babe Ruth little league games and sports events between area schools. The stadium is relatively new and in superb condition, and its presence adds big city flavor to this compact Town.
Basketball Courts at Public School #4 During off-school hours, until 10pm, the outdoor basketball courts at Public School #4,at 63rd Street and Palisade Avenue, are available for public use. These courts are heavily used and serve as important recreational spaces for young basketball players.
11.2. Recommendations After studying and analyzing the existing conditions within the Town, the following recommendations are for improving and expanding community facilities and parks: 1. The Town should study park use and conduct a demographicstudy of park users. The data obtainedis
Community Facilities Plan - 79 vital in making infrastructure improvement decisions. This allows the Town to provide services and facilities that are consistent with residentâ€™s needs and overall municipal demographics. 2. Though Weigland Park offers ample seating, the addition of playground equipment for children over the age of four should be installed. This would improve the parkâ€™s utility for families. 3. In Donnelly and Veterans Parks, the basketball courts are routinely used for soccer matches and the basketball hoops have been removed. These courts should be further adapted for use as soccer fields. The fences should be moved out and the concrete should be replaced with a softer surface. 4. The renovation of Miller Park should include the re-sodding of some areas where the grass has been worn away. Green space is the most unique and important function of this park, and the grass should be improved and subsequently maintained. 5. The Town should convert the corner parking lot across from the Jaclyn Handbag site at 59th Street and Jefferson Street into a playground. This lot is underutilized and would provide park space for an area of the Town that lacks open space. 6. Since West New York has a limited number of youth and sport facilities, the Town should provide a full range of active recreational uses, particularly for high school students who may not be interested in traditional team sports. 7. The lighting around the parks should be upgraded to improve safety. 8. The Town should maintain a publicly-available and up-to-date inventory of all park facilities and open spaces. To serve this purpose, the Town should keep track of park acreage and create a map showingevery park and open space.
80 - Waterfront Plan
12. Waterfront Plan 12.1. Background 12.1.1. History Unlike New York City, which created a department to purchase and manage its waterfront property in 1870, New Jersey waterfront remained in private hands throughout the 19th Century. As the Hudson River and New York Bay waterfronts rapidly industrialized, Manhattan became the center for passenger ships, Brooklyn attracted most of the freight shipping, and New Jersey drew the railroads. Hudson County served as a conduit to New York City and by the early 20th Century the West New York waterfront was blanketed by rail tracks. In 1949, the New York-New Jersey Port Authority prepared a comprehensive survey of the 18-mile Hudson River waterfront in New Jersey. The study found that the waterfront was too heavily industrialized to be accessible to residents. Plans for pier development were suggested to begin in Jersey City and Hoboken. The Port Authority also proposed railway consolidation. , Beginning in the 1980s, West New York’s waterfront, though heavily industrialized and polluted, became the subject of many envisioned development projects. Arthur Imperatore bought the large Port Imperial waterfront property in 1980 during a time when the real estate industry was coining the Hudson River waterfront the “Gold Coast” because of its investment potential. Imperatore had a $2.6 Billion development plan over a 30 year period that would supposedly create 75,000 jobs and provide housing and retail. During the recession of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s significant infrastructure improvements were made to the waterfront that included roads, sewers, alternative transport systems, and a fire and police station. However, his plans for the site having never come to fruition, Imperatore sold its waterfront holdings in 1995 to Roseland Property Company. 12.1.2. Current Status The entire West New York waterfront consists of a large-scale mixed-use development constructed by Roseland and Hovnanian Enterprise. The development includes a mix of high-rise residential buildings and townhouses in addition to ground floor retail space. The residences include owner-occupied units and rental units. The project is the result of accessible investments that included low interest rates, real estate confidence within the industry, and local borrowers. Jacobs Ferry was the first townhouse condominium development on the Jersey waterfront. Prices ranged from $250,000 to over $1million, and 25% of the original buyers in the development moved from Manhattan. Since then, migration from New York City to the West New York waterfront has continued. The new developments offer larger, less expensive apartments with incredible views and a twenty minute bus or ferry ride to Manhattan. Development has continued to keep up with market trends and demand and waterfront redevelopment remains an essential part of New Jersey’s economic strategy. Through reclaim-
Waterfront Plan - 81 ing waterfront land and continuing redevelopment, the 2002 regional master plan projected population growth in West New York.
12.2. Recommendations Improve integration between the waterfront and the upland There is a distinct geographic and cultural division between the waterfront development and the upland community of West New York. The geographic division is a product of the Hudson Palisades, the sheer height of which forms a very literal barrier to full integration of the waterfront into the rest of the Town. This geographic barrier also serves to solidify and maintain the social and cultural division between the Port Imperial development, which was designed to lure upper-middle-class commuters to New York City, and the upland community’s largely working class families. As Port Imperial matures over the coming years, attempts the gap between these two communities should be bridged – offering greater incentive for waterfront residents to take advantage of shopping on Bergenline Avenue and Park Avenue, and giving upland residents greater access to the waterfront. The stairs up the palisades should be repaired and lighting improved. Jitney operators should be contracted to provide weekend shuttle service between the waterfront and the rest of the Town. Underused piers along the waterfront could be adapted to more recreational uses (fishing, canoeing, etc.) to make the river a more inviting (and welcoming) destination for upland residents. Businesses in Bergenline Avenue’s UEZ should be encouraged to market to Port Imperial. These initiatives and others like them have the dual purpose of bringing more business to the Town’s prime commercial areas and offering upland residents a better opportunity to take advantage of the riverfront. In the process, the Port Imperial development could be better integrated into the Town, giving waterfront residents a stronger sense of identification with West New York (and not just Port Imperial) and providing greater incentive for them to stay in their homes long-term. The developers of Port Imperial constructed a waterfront walkway along the entire 0.9 mile stretch of waterfront in West New York, in accordance with the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway Plan. However, the most recent version of that plan noted that there was a lack of public amenities available to pedestrians using the walkway in West New York. It also noted a lack of access points and adequate signage directing pedestrians to the walkway. Signage should be improved and new access points for public use should be created. A public comfort station should also be constructed. This would help clarify that the walkway is a public entity and a part of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, and not a private space for use only by Port Imperial residents.
82 - Addendum A Addendum A. Municipal Land Use Law Title 40 of the New Jersey State Legislature is an act referred to as the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL). The act was initially signed into law in 1975 and was most recently revised in 1997. New Jersey, considered a strong “home rule” state, delegates significant power to municipalities over planning decisions. The MLUL grants municipalities the authority to develop zoning and land use ordinances, provided the municipality has a current Master Plan. The MLUL forms a comprehensive framework that defines the powers of municipalities and encourages the coordination of various public and private procedures to engender appropriate, equitable and sustainable land use and development. The governing body of a municipality may utilize permits, certificates, and authorizations as a means to enforce the MLUL (40:55D-18) and safeguard against unlawful and dangerous subdivisions, constructions, repairs or maintenance. MLUL outlines the expectations of developers seeking to develop property while also establishing the responsibilities of the municipality in sharing costs of structural improvements, drainage, street lighting, and other costs associated with development. Municipalities create planning boards that are responsible for: subdivision control and site plan review, the official map, zoning, capital improvements, certain variances and building permits, and maintaining data as part of an ongoing planning process. The municipality may create a seven or nine member planning board (40:55D-23) composed of members drawn from four defined classes, which include: the mayor or mayor’s designee, a mayoral appointee, a member of the governing body to be appointed by it, and other citizens of the municipality to be appointed by the mayor who do not hold municipal office, position or employment, or that bear stipulated conflicts. This planning board shall elect a chairman and vice chairman from the fourth class of its members. The planning board may employ staff and consultants (40:55D-24) and the mayor may appoint one or more persons as a non-voting citizens’ advisory committee to assist the planning board (40:55D-27). The planning board will exercise their power over the master plan, subdivision control and site plan review, the official map, zoning, capital improvement, certain variances and building permits, and assemble data as part of an ongoing planning process (40:55D-25). Applications for development must be certified by the municipal agency within 45 days. Inaction by the agency at the close of this period shall deem the application certified (40:55D-10.3). Prior to submission, developers may request and are entitled to a preliminary informal review by the municipal agency (40:55D10.1). Municipal agencies shall conduct hearings for all applications for development as well as any new adoptions, revisions, and amendments to the master plan. The date and nature of the hearing shall be made public, and the public shall have access to all materials relative to the application for at least 10 days prior to the hearing. Testimony from witnesses and other interested parties will be allowed. Hearings will be documented verbatim and thereafter made available to the public. The MLUL (40:55D-9) mandates that applicable municipal agencies will consider applications for development at a regularly scheduled monthly public meeting. Business shall not commence without a quorum, and a majority vote by present members will decide the applications determination, which will thereafter be documented in a memorializing resolution. Minutes of the meeting will be kept and made available to the public (40:55D-13). Hearings concerning the adoption, revision or amendment of the master plan must be published in the official newspaper of the municipality, made available to the contiguous municipalities, and the county planning board at least 10 days prior to the hearing. After the hearing the planning board shall vote on the application at their board meeting as defined above. Master Plan Requirements
Addendum A - 83 N.J.S.A. 40:55D-28 enumerates both the required and optional elements that make up a master plan. According to New Jersey state law all master plans must contain at least: 1. A vision statement of objectives for the development of the city to work toward. 2. A land use element that describes the existing and proposed topography (soils, drainage, geology etc.) and built environment (distribution, types and intensity of uses). The element should also describe the relationship of these attributes to the zoning ordinance. This element should describe any airports or proposed airport development. This element should have recommendations regarding “population density and development intensity.” The following ten elements are not mandatory; however, a master plan should include these elements if warranted by the needs and priorities of the municipality. 1. A circulation element that encompasses the existing and proposed transportation plans. 2. A utility element that deals primarily with water supply and waste treatment and disposal. 3. A community facilities element that would acknowledge existing educational and cultural facilities while suggesting locations and types for future ones. 4. A recreation plan element describing areas and activities available for public use. 5. A conservation element which outlines the plan for the preservation of natural resources and sets limits to the exploitation thereof. 6. An economic element that promotes those avenues of economic development which will maximize employment for the available labor pool, while providing the best opportunity for sustained economic vitality. 7. A historic preservation plan assesses and identifies sites and areas worthy of preservation protection and analyzes the impact the rest of the plan has on these sites. 8. Appendices and supporting reports and papers. 9. A recycling plan (in this case the Hudson County Improvement Authority’s plan). 10. A housing element that includes existing standards as well as proposed construction and preservation. References New Jersey State Legislature: “Title 40 Municipalities and Counties.” http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us (accessed February 10, 2010). Citizen’s Guide to New Jersey Municipal Master Plans. http://www.thewatershed.org (accessed March 3, 2010).
84 - Addendum B Addendum B. Mount Laurel Decisions From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, three important court rulings, known collectively as the Mount Laurel decisions, helped to shape New Jersey’s residential inclusion and affordable housing laws. The decisions were named for the Township of Mount Laurel in Burlington County, which was the respondent municipality in the original case. Mount Laurel I was decided in 1975, Mount Laurel II in 1983, and finally Mount Laurel III in 1986. These three decisions are discussed at length below. Mount Laurel I The first Mount Laurel decision, Southern Burlington County N.A.A.C.P. v. Township of Mount Laurel, issued in 1975, stated that the system of land use regulations in the Township of Mount Laurel, New Jersey illegally excluded both low and moderate income families from living in the municipality. , The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional zoning ordinances that physically and economically prevented the creation of low and moderate income housing. The Mount Laurel case resulted in the creation of a set of guidelines that would require that municipalities use zoning to provide a “realistic opportunity” for the creation of low and moderate income housing. Unfortunately, the guidelines written by the New Jersey Supreme Court left many questions unanswered. The guidelines did not define whether it was the developing municipality or the county that was responsible for providing the housing. The guidelines also failed to address how the “fair share” of housing was to be calculated within the region. Other questions that remained unanswered involved granting building permits. The decision did not provide a set time period for courts to grant building permits. If a plaintiff-developer successfully challenged the zoning ordinance to build housing, the courts did not have to process building permits in a timely fashion. The failure to set a time period prolonged the construction process and inevitability pushed back the completion dates of the housing projects. The decision resulted in a number of lawsuits being filed against municipalities throughout New Jersey. The plaintiffs in these suits fit into three categories: lower income persons in need of public housing assistance, the New Jersey Public Advocate, and builders/developers that wanted to construct developments containing affordable housing components. Despite the initial court ruling, the early lawsuits resulted in only a small number of affordable housing construction projects. Eight years later, the second Mount Laurel decision would give the New Jersey Supreme Court a chance to resolve the problems of the first decision.
Mount Laurel II Mount Laurel II was the decision reached by the New Jersey Supreme Court in the case of Southern Burlington County N.A.A.C.P. v. Township of Mount Laurel, which although decided in 1975, was taken up again in 1983. It was then that the original case was remanded. The Court’s decision was administered by Justice C.J. Wilentz. In addition to revisiting the original Mount Laurel case, the Court also issued its rulings to five other cases with this wholesale decision. Those five other cases were Caputo v. Township of Chester, Glenview Development Co. v. Franklin, Round Valley, Inc. v. Clinton, Urban League of Essex County v. Mahwah, and Urban League of Greater New Brunswick v. Carteret, and dealt with fair share housing in different parts of the state. The main impetus for the Court to rule again on the Mount Laurel case was what it described, in no uncertain terms, as the township’s continued effort to keep out low-income residents: “After all this time, ten years after the trial court’s initial order invalidating its zoning ordinance, Mount Laurel remains afflicted with a blatantly exclusionary ordinance. Papered over with studies, rationalized by
Addendum B - 85 hired experts, the ordinance at its core is true to nothing but Mount Laurel’s determination to exclude the poor.” The Court did not mince words in its castigation of the Township of Mount Laurel and went on to clearly state its intention to remedy this situation. The Court, in its quest to end this unfair treatment of lower-income populations in Mount Laurel and across New Jersey, repeatedly discussed “the builder’s remedy” as a viable and approved judicial tool. The remedy, a court-ordered issuance of a building permit, allowed a developer to go to court against a municipality for the right to build low-income housing where desired.In the second Mount Laurel case, there was an additional plaintiff, not part of the original case. Davis Enterprises, a development company, which was described in the case as an intervenor, wanted to build a mobile home community in Mount Laurel. However, such residential use was entirely verboten in the township. The company’s involvement in this case was tied heavily to the issue of the builder’s remedy. A significant concern of the Court, which was expressed in its decision, was how to determine a specific formula for fair share housing. The Court made it clear that such a formulaic decision was difficult to reach and depended on growth predictions and employment, and differed by community. However, the Court did rule that three judges would be chosen to deal with all forthcoming fair share housing issues in three different geographic sections of the state. Another important part of the decision was the discussion of subsidies, incentives, set-asides, mobile homes, and “least cost” housing as useful options for municipalities to use in the event that they were unable to meet the required standards for fair share housing. Subsidies were to be used as an economic relief for developers to assure building of low income housing. Incentives were to allow for greater density in residential developments that include low income housing. If utilized by a municipality, set-asides required that a pre-determined percentage of housing in a given area be low income. The Court stated that mobile homes are an inexpensively-constructed form of housing and could be used effectively to provide low income housing. Finally, in the event that a municipality is unable to effectively provide low income housing to its residents, “least cost” housing allows for the municipality to at least provide the most inexpensive housing it can. Overall, Mount Laurel II reinforced the decision reached in Mount Laurel I that New Jersey municipalities had a duty to accommodate low income residents by creating affordable housing. The second decision gave municipalities no room for excuse by providing an array of options for meeting the required goal of residential inclusion. Still, three years later Mount Laurel III would further clarify New Jersey’s affordable housing requirements. Mount Laurel III Although not as magnanimous as the prior two decisions, Mount Laurel III was important for its significance in legitimizing the 1985 Fair Housing Act and the Council of Affordable Housing (COAH) (See also Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) Addendum). Immediately after its issuance, the constitutionality of the Act and its subsequent transfer of Mount Laurel cases to COAH were argued, which resulted in much litigation between many New Jersey municipalities and developers. In 1986, 12 separate appeal cases were collectively combined into one suit and became known as Mount Laurel III. The lead dispute in the case was Hills Development Company v. the Township of Bernards . The Fair Housing Act froze any builder’s remedy proposed after the Mount Laurel II decision. COAH had five months upon establishment to issue fair housing criteria and guidelines. The expiration of the morato-
86 - Addendum B rium coincided with the municipalities’ deadline to file their rezoning plans. Then COAH would verify the plans with their findings. Periodically COAH would update these numbers in order to maintain compliance. Prior to this, during the trial court proceedings, all but one of the twelve cases ruled in favor of the developer and the builder’s remedy. The municipalities wanted to minimize intensive development by allowing the transfer of their cases to COAH, which was believed to be more favorable for the towns, by giving them more control. Many municipalities preferred voluntary development decisions rather than forced litigation obligations. Therefore, the municipalities appealed the trial court decisions and requested stays of further proceedings until the cases were finally resolved. For unknown reasons, the appellate hearing of the Bernards case was consistently postponed. During this time complaints emerged from Hills Development. The company argued that this delay was counterproductive, hindering the production of low and medium income housing and costing the company money from related deals that had been made. Beginning in the 1950’s, years before the Mount Laurel decisions, there was development conflict in Somerset County, the county in which Bernards is located. The state Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bedminster Township, a neighbor of Bernards. Exclusionary zoning practices were upheld by requiring minimum lot sizes of five acres. Although development was curbed until the 1960’s, construction of the interstate system brought corporate companies to the region. Bedminster suffered a severe blow with the Mount Laurel II decision and the builder’s remedy, which resulted in 3,200 housing units being constructed, which drastically changed that township’s rural fabric. Bernards Township did not want the same result and fought to avoid what they considered an excessive responsibility. In the final ruling, the state Supreme Court endorsed the Fair Housing Act and the creation of a responsible administrative agency besides the courts to determine low and moderate income housing for regions around the state. These 12 Mount Laurel representative decisions were to be handed over to COAH unless transfer cases were considered incredibly unfair. None of the cases were found to be unfair and COAH oversaw zoning changes. This overturned the misuse of the builders remedy and ended developer benefits of building more housing and making greater profit at the expense of open space. Consequently, in compliance with the Fair Housing Act, the Township of Bernards was only required to build more modestly with 1,880 units.
Addendum C - 87 Addendum C. Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) Background The New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) was created by the Fair Housing Act of 1985 in reaction to a series of New Jersey Supreme Court cases known as the Mount Laurel decisions (See also Mount Laurel Decisions Addendum). COAH’s commission included “setting local fair share requirements, monitoring local compliance, and facilitating the voluntary trading of fair share units between municipalities.” Through COAH, the Supreme Court established a constitutional amendment requiring that each of the 566 New Jersey municipalities create opportunities for the provision of fair share low and moderate income housing, typically through land use and zoning control. COAH has promoted the construction of affordable housing partly through the creation of regional agreements in which suburban municipalities subsidize the construction and rehabilitation of affordable units in the urban core. The legislature provided an administrative alternative to this constitutional obligation with the Fair Housing Act. COAH is an administrative and regulatory organization with twelve members appointed by the Governor on the advice and consent of the Senate. The Council’s mission is to facilitate the production of sound, affordable housing for low and moderate income households by providing an efficient process through which municipalities, housing providers, nonprofits and developers can address their constitutional obligation within the framework of efficient, comprehensive planning. The Council does not fund affordable housing or compel municipalities to expend local funds to build affordable housing. Zoning for affordable housing in market rate developments (inclusionary zoning) does not require outside funding provided that a compensatory benefit, such as an increase in the allowable density increase, is offered to the developer. Funding for other types of affordable housing is usually provided by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs or by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, which utilizes its bonding capabilities and its low income housing tax credit allocations. Municipalities are also permitted to collect development fees at the local level, to be used for the creation of affordable housing. In 1993, the state issued a report titled “The Math of Mount Laurel,” which noted that COAH had only achieved modest results.As of January 2006, 287 of New Jersey’s 566 municipalities were part of the COAH process. Originally, municipalities were allowed to fulfill up to half of their COAH obligations by entering into a Regional Contributions Agreements, which allowed them to pay a fee to another municipality that would agree to provide affordable housing units. On July 17, 2008, Regional Contributions Agreements were suppressed by the latest amendments to the state housing laws. Major components of the new law included the following: 1. The establishment of a statewide 2.5% non-residential development fee.(Subsequently, on July 27, 2009 Governor Jon S. Corzine signed into law the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009. Sections 37 through 39 of the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009 suspended the Non-Residential Development Fee Act.) 2. The establishment of a new $20 million fund to create or rehabilitate housing for families earning income equal to or less than 120% of regional median income 3. The elimination of Regional Contribution Agreements 4. A provision for planning for affordable housing opportunities based on infrastructure and transportation within 5 regions regulated by planning entities—Highlands, Meadowlands, Pinelands, Fort Monmouth, and Atlantic County. 5. A requirement for 13% of a municipal fair share obligation, and 13% of all units funded by Balanced
88 - Addendum C Housing and the statewide Affordable Housing Trust Fund, to be restricted to very-low income households (30% or less of the median income). 6. The establishment of a State Housing Commission. Also, under the newregulations, signed into law by Governor Jon Corzine, the affordable housing units created may not be located in Urban Aid or Abbott municipalities. It is important to note that West New York is both an Urban Aid and Abbott District municipality. On February 9, 2010, GovernorChris Christie suspended COAH and appointed a committee to preparefor its dismantling. COAH Regulations 5:96 Third Round Procedural Rules 5:96 lays out rules and regulation for how to comply with COAHâ€™s Third Round bids. Its main points include the following: 1. A municipality may file a fair share plan at any time, which must be submitted to the council for approval. The following rules apply:
COAH has 45 days to review and comment on deficiencies.
If municipality does not make correction in 45 days, the filing is rejected.
2. A municipality may petition for substantive certification, meaning that the municipality may challenge COAH critiques through a review process to ensure that COAH challenges are consistent with the Fair Share Housing Act. The following rules apply:
The petition must be submitted within two years of the date of filing with COAH.
ii. The petition is open to public review and must be made available with municipality clerk for 45 days.
3. Objections can be made to substantive certification within 45 days of those results being publicized. The following rules apply:
The burden of proof is now on COAH to show why the municipality did not comply.
ii. COAH must provide a clear statement for each aspect of municipality Housing Element and Fair Share Plan objection.
COAH must include referenced expert reports and studies to back up non-complaint claims.
COAH must submit proposed modification that will remedy objections.
4. COAH will review and approve municipality-imposed development fees and review the municipality-proposed spending plan for the housing trust fund set up to pay for affordable housing. 5. COAH must evaluate the plan twice a year to ensure that it meets the Councilâ€™s standards and that housing is proportional to actual residential growth and employment growth. The following rules apply: i. Again, COAH must review, and recommendations must be made public, on a regular basis within the municipality. These recommendations must be published on the Council website.
Addendum C - 89 ii. The RCA (Regional Contribution Agreement) administrator is employed by the municipality to monitor and assure that the housing plan is up-to-date and meets COAH standards, oversees housing trust funds, etc. iii. If municipality fails to provide monitoring information are subject to “Council action.” Such action may includerevoking credit (i.e. money) for the housing program,revoking approval of the RCA administrator, requiring the municipality to appropriate funds from general revenue in event of a shortfall in funding, or other actions that the Council deems necessary. 5:97 Third Round Substantive Rules (Including Data for West New York) The following information defines important terms relating to 5:97 and provides data relating specifically to West New York. The rehabilitation share: It is important to have a count of housing (as of April 2000) that is deficient (overcrowded and/or inadequate plumbing/kitchen) and occupied. The rehabilitation share is determined by multiplying the total number of deficient units (based on the Census) by the percent of units with occupants that have a low or moderate incomes (based on the American Household Survey). This total is adjusted by subtracting the sum of the reallocated present need (allocated to those locations where rehabilitation need is increasing) and the spontaneous rehabilitation (where residents can make their own repairs). For West New York, the rehabilitation share was as follows: Crowded, Built Incomplete Incomplete Low/Moderate Pre-1950 Plumbing Kitchen Income Share 1705 346 339 0.639
Rehabilitation Share Credit -391
Total Rehabilitation Share 1136
Prior round obligations: An important equation is the adjusted base plusdemolitions minus filtering minus residential conversions. Adjusted base is the recalculation (from 2004) of the prospective need (from 1993) based on the 2000 Census. The demolition data was taken from the New Jersey Construction Reporter. Filtered units were those which experienced a significant price change or whose occupants’ income had changed. The number of residential conversions was the difference between the net change in total housing units and the net of housing units constructed and demolitions lost over the period. It is important to note that West New York has no prior round obligations. Growth share: The total projected need is first identified by taking New Jersey’s projected housing need and assuming a static proportion of low and moderate income need. From this number, the number of people who spend less than 38% of their income on housing is subtracted. This gives the numerator for the two ratios used, projected housing unit growth and projected employment growth. The breakdown should work out to one affordable housing unit for every five units of market rate housing, and one unit built for every 16 new jobs created. The following shows West New York’s projected growth share: Rehabilitation 1987-1999 Prior Housing Projection Employment ProShare Round Obligation jection 1,136 0 456 975
Projected Growth Share 152
90 - Addendum C
Rehabilitation: Municipal investment in rehabilitation of deficient affordable housing units occupied by lowand moderateincome households must average $10,000 per unit. Controls on affordability for rehabilitated rental and owner-occupied units must be in place for a minimum of ten years. Inclusionary Zoning: Zoning for inclusionary development must include financial incentives to produce affordable housing units, including increased densities and reduced costs for the developer. For each site or zone proposed for inclusionary development, there is a minimum of eight units per acre, with a maximum set-aside of 25% of the total number of units in the development for owner occupied units. Rental units must have a minimum density of 12 units per acre, with a maximum set-aside of 20% of the total number of units or which 10% are affordable for households earning 30% or less the area median income. The inclusionary zoning ordinances allow developers to construct the required affordable units on site or elsewhere in the municipality. Alternatively, the developer may make a payment to the municipality in lieu of providing all or a fraction of the affordable units required. The size of the payment is based on the cost of constructing new units, offset by anticipated proceeds from the sale or rental of the unit, and must be deposited into an affordable housing trust fund. If a parcel cannot accommodate at least one affordable unit at 20% of all rental units, or 25% of owneroccupied units, affordable housing is not required. For example, a parcel with fewer than five rental units is exempt, as 20% of the total units results in less than one affordable unit.
Addendum D - 91 Addendum D: The Master Plans of Hudson County and Neighboring Municipalities Hudson County Master Plan The Hudson County Master Plan was prepared by Heyer, Gruel & Associates PA of New Brunswick, NJ. It was adopted on March 28, 2002. A detailed summary of this plan follows. Goals and Objectives The following describes the many goals and objectives of the Hudson County Master Plan: General Goals 1. To improve the overall quality of life in Hudson County. 2. To provide for the economic revitalization of the County’s commercial and industrial base. 3. To preserve the character of existing well-established neighborhoods. 4. To improve the transportation network. 5. To increase the tax base. Land Use General design standards should include transit-friendly development, maintaining character of existing neighborhoods for infill developments, and creating “a sense of unity and order” with new developments and streetscaping. There is also an emphasis on maintaining, modernizing and expanding existing industrial uses and attracting others. Access to transportation should be a key element in this effort. Commercial areas should be unified into functional commercial centers through neighborhood improvement districts and local development corporations. Municipalities should help these areas with problems such as parking and loading. Commercial districts should retain first floor retail sales and services, and complementary land uses should be development in close proximity to commercial areas. Residential is a key component of a healthy community, and existing neighborhoods should be protected from incompatible development. There should be an effort to increase the home ownership rate to improve housing maintenance, and illegal additions or alternations to residential structures should be discouraged. Circulation Transportation improvements should be coordinated with land use activities and economic development. Transit corridors and hubs should support existing economic centers and promote development of new ones. Various modes of transportation should be coordinated with each other to improve “ease and speed of modal change” via multi-model transit centers, parking, signage, and so on. Hudson Bergen Light Rail Transit (HBLRT) is under construction and should be continued with sensitivity to its surrounding neighborhoods and environment. Expansion of ferry service and integration of HBLRT into ferry terminals is a part of the strategy. The Plan also encourages pedestrian and bike traffic between residential and employment centers, scenic walkways and bikeways along the Waterfront, and development of continuous walkways and bikeways facilities among communities. Public access to the Waterfront is a part of this effort. Economic The Plan encourages adaptive reuse of older industrial facilities, whether for other types of industrial uses or, on a case-by-case basis, conversion to commercial uses. A shared real estate database is a key objective
92 - Addendum D to keep track of sites with interested developers. Maximizing the water as an economic development asset should be encouraged, and water-dependent uses, where appropriate, should be leveraged. Job training services should be provided to meet the employment needs of the County. Stronger coordination between local high schools and post-secondary institutions should be promoted, and local businesses should be involved in shaping the school curricula. County industries should capitalize on the development of energy efficiency programs that would enable them to receive Emission Reduction Credits. Brownfields cleanup can also be leveraged as an economic development tool. Housing Affordable Housing Trust Fund should be utilized for creation of affordable housing. Home ownership should be encouraged, abandonment, displacement, and relocation should be discouraged. Regional Contribution Agreement funds should be used for rehabilitation and new construction. HOME and CDBG funds should be used for create additional elderly housing. Non-profits that develop and provide affordable housing should be encouraged and assisted with technical and financial support. The Plan encourages municipalities to consider reusing municipally owned properties for housing. Utilities Combined storm water and sanitary sewers should be separated, wherever feasible, as new development occurs. Existing sewer systems should be upgraded to reduce pollutants entering the waterways. The Plan encourages municipalities to adopt capital improvement plans to maintain and replace existing infrastructure facilities as needed. Drainage facilities are needed to address local flooding problems. Out-of-county reservoir watersheds must be protected to maintain water quality and security. Utilities that are necessary for new technologies, such as fiber optic cable, should be encouraged to stimulate future economic growth. Community Facilities and Social Services Intergovernmental and inter-municipal coordination and cooperation must be encouraged to eliminate redundancy and improve service efficiency in areas of public safety, education, and health services. The County should be seen as an â€œumbrellaâ€? organization. Information on disadvantaged populations needs to be provided to the state and communities to promote public support services. There is a need for additional after school programs to accommodate the increasing number of women in the workforce. Improved transportation services are needed for disabled and elderly populations. Homeless assistance and prevention is a key objective. A resource referral center should be created where information is easily accessible on social support services. New developments should provide public access to the waterfront. Developers should be required to provide coordinated public access in accordance with NJDEPâ€™s Hudson River Walkway and Hackensack Walkway plans. Existing parks should be expanded and new parks encouraged where feasible. Municipalities should prepare inventories of publicly-owned properties they are willing to consider selling or reusing for community facilities. Coordination between municipal and county park departments and boards of education needs to be leveraged to best use public spaces for recreational programs.
Addendum D - 93 Conservation and Historic Preservation Hudson County has many environmentally sensitive areas which should be protected, such as endangered species habitats and wetlands. Technical assistance should be provided to local communities to protected these sensitive areas. Clean-up operations should be promoted through removal of regulatory and financial obstacles. Energy conservation should be encouraged, and land use patterns that reduce reliance on automobile should be encouraged to reduce air pollution. Development that protects harbor view sheds and other visual resources (e.g. the “Palisades”) should be encouraged. To preserve historic districts, places, and structures of historical significance, County’s historic districts should be used. Owners of buildings in such districts should be encouraged to preserve their façades through façade easements. Historic structures should also be considered for conversion to communitybased uses. Demographic Profile According to the 2000 Census, which is used throughout the Demographic Profile section of the Hudson County Master Plan, the county had a population of 608,975. This represented a 10% increase over 1990, after decades of sustained population decline from 1930-1990. With a population density of 13,068 people per square mile, Hudson County was the most densely populated county in New Jersey, and the sixth most densely populated county in the United States (only counties in New York City and San Francisco are denser). The largest age cohort in Hudson County was 25-34, representing 19.6% of the total population. 11.4% were above the age of 65, a slight decline from 1990. The “baby boom group,” (ages 35-54 in 2000) demonstrated the largest rate of growth, increasing by 51.5% from 1990. Hudson County has historically been a “magnet” for immigrants to the U.S., and that continues to be the case today. Nearly 72% of the county’s population “identif[ied] with a single ancestry or country of origin other than the United States.” Almost 10% of the population hailed from Puerto Rico, and 40% of the population identified as Hispanic (78.7% of West New York’s population identifies as Hispanic.) The county was 14.2% African-American, with the largest concentration of African-Americans in Jersey City (28.3%). The county had an even breakdown of men and women. Land Use Plan Hudson County’s Land Use Plan was updated in 2001 for the first time since 1974. The purpose of the Land Use Plan was to “provide a comprehensive approach to address the variety of issues facing Hudson County from both a local and a regional perspective.” Due to rising real estate values in Manhattan in the 1990’s and strong economic conditions, Hudson County experienced a resurgence of commercial and residential development after 1990. Much of this development was concentrated along the Hudson River. Waterfront commercial sites drew financial institutions from Manhattan and residential development drew new residents lured by views of Manhattan and proximity to New York City’s central business district. Growth was expected to continue through 2010, with 90% of that growth expected to occur in West New York, Weehawken, Jersey City and Hoboken, each home to large development projects in 2001. There are several obstacles to continued development, however, including 545 contaminated “brownfield” sites and infrastructure that is now over-burdened. In addition, the Land Use Plan notes that “all plans for civic improvement rely on a flourishing economy”, a troubling remark given the current economic situation.
94 - Addendum D At the time the Land Use Plan was written, 14% of the county’s land was residential, 4.9% was commercial, 12.9% was industrial, 5.9% was public or semi-public, 3.9% was parks and open space, and 16.9% was vacant. Much of the recent residential development since 1974 had been concentrated in Secaucus, North Bergen and Jersey City while most of the commercial development during that period had been for office space. The loss of manufacturing had been off-set by an increase in “wholesale trade, distribution and transportation related uses.” The new 1,700 Liberty Science Center in Jersey City accounted for some of the growth in public and semi-public space while the nearby Liberty State Park accounted for some of the growth in Parks and Open Space. A sizable portion of the vacant land was located along redevelopment areas along the waterfront and in the Meadowlands. The aging, densely populated municipalities of Hudson County benefitted from several programs implemented by the state of New Jersey to stimulate development. These included Urban Enterprise Zones (such as the West New York UEZ around Bergenline Avenue), Special Improvement Districts, and the Urban Coordinating Council. These “special development areas” were targeted for various forms of tax breaks and other incentives to stimulate small- and large-scale commercial and residential development. Eight of the twelve municipalities were home to special development areas, with Jersey City perhaps the greatest beneficiary of these programs. Given that continued population growth was projected through 2010 in Hudson County, the Land Use Plan outlines some strategies to promote continued development. Highlights of these strategies include: 1. Creating an inventory of publicly-owned land in order to utilize under-used land. 2. Streamlining the State regulatory process regarding the cleaning up and reclaiming of brownfields. 3. Establishing a county-wide UEZ and UCC. 4. Encouraging redevelopment around existing transit stops. 5. Encouraging the construction of a coordinated waterfront walkway. 6. Integrating waterfront neighborhoods with adjacent neighborhoods. 7. Encouraging municipalities to establish planned manufacturing districts. 8. Supporting efforts to provide additional hotel space and a convention center. 9. Encouraging the grouping of comparable retail establishments into district “niches.” 10. Promoting home ownership to increase housing maintenance and improvements. Overall, the county was hoping to continue to capitalize on the migration of residents and businesses across the Hudson to new waterfront development areas. Circulation Plan The Circulation Plan was designed to “integrate all modes of transportation into a coordinated and efficient network to support economic growth while relieving congestion on the County’s road and transit systems.” The modes referred to include car and truck travel, bus travel, heavy passenger and freight rail, light rail, ferry service and freight shipping. Hudson County’s location directly across the Hudson River from New York City assures a high volume of traffic as goods and people move through the county to reach New York. The county ranks 8th in the nation in the percentage utilizing public transportation to get to work, at 29.3%.
Addendum D - 95 New Jersey Transit, which has three rail stations within the county, provides passenger rail to New York City. The PATH rapid transit system is much more widely used by Hudson County residents, however. 45% of the county’s residents use rail travel to New York, and the majority of these use PATH. Every PATH station aside from Newark Penn Station is located within Hudson County. At the time of the Circulation Plan’s release in 2001, the Hudson Bergen Light Rail Transit (HBLRT) was under construction. That would eventually provide light rail service near the Hudson River, connecting municipalities in Hudson County and providing links to PATH service. Bus service is provided in Hudson County by New Jersey Transit and a number of private operators, including licensed and un-licensed jitneys. Bus travel constitutes the majority of transit trips within Hudson County, since rail lines are oriented towards commuting into Manhattan. Ferry service is provided at eight ports in Hudson County, and provides a short trip into New York City. Major roadways in the county include the New Jersey Turnpike (Routes 78 and 95) and U.S. Route 1&9T. These routes are heavily congested with truck traffic carrying goods into NYC in addition to commuters entering New York for work. Over the past two decades, large trucks have been routed away from the Lincoln and Holland Tunnel crossings, using the George Washington Bridge or the Staten Island bridges instead. This can actually have negative consequences on traffic in the county, as “large trucks originating in Hudson County add to traffic congestion on north/south routes on their way to the George Washington Bridge.” Ten-and-a-half percent of Hudson County’s workers walked to work, and 0.1% biked. In order to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, the New Jersey DOT published the Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan in June 1995. Among the scheduled improvement to pedestrian and cyclist conditions was the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, which was to provide a continuous path along the waterfront in the county. The Circulation Plan outlines five “Goals for the Future”, including the construction of maintenance facilities for cyclists, an improved sense of security for pedestrians and cyclists, and reformed land use policies that maximize opportunities for walking and cycling. The Circulation Plan includes an Implementation Plan on how to improve transportation in such as a ways as to encourage economic development, people movement, goods movement and eased congestion. For economic development, the Implementation suggests a “center-oriented” approach that promotes “higher development densities in areas served by public transportation” in order to maximize existing infrastructure. For people movement, the plan advocates the provision of better intra-county transportation in order to raise the percentage of county residents traveling by transit. For goods movement, the plan calls for highway and interchange improvement to ease truck travel and a deepening of the Port Jersey channel to allow for a higher volume of freight shipping. To ease congestion, the plan suggests improving roadway capacity, promoting alternatives to driving, and using technology to maximize roadway efficiency. Economic Plan Hudson County was one of the few urban counties to experience a stable population and employment base. Overall the quality of life was improving.The county contains some of the most valuable real estate in the nation which made it perfectly situated for industry as well as commerce as it is located between New York, and Newark, New Jersey. With the county being a transportation node located in the vicinity of three major airports, truck line railroads and deepwater shipping ports exporting goods to worlds markets and importing raw materials for distribution throughout the East Coast and the United States, making this county a powerful component in the economy. Hudson County’s employment performance has been consistent with the state for the past two decades. According to the master plan, both the county and the state have experienced significant employment increases for most of 1980’s, suffered unemployment losses during the years 1989 to 1992 recessions and
96 - Addendum D have been benefited from the renewed employment growth since 1993. To be more specific, in 1986 the county’s employment was 192,533, which later increased to a peak of 208,196 in 1989. Later it declined to 180,627 in 1992, and recovered at 194,520 in 1997, making that a total increase of 1 percent. Although the master plan states that Hudson County has experience high levels of unemployment and public assistance, current employment projections indicate that most municipalities experience employment growth through 2010. Hudson County’s largest employers were United Parcel Service (transportation) located in Secaucus with approximately 2,200 employees, and ADP Brokerage Service Division (financial) located in Jersey City, with approximately 2,200 employees. There is no information on what the percentage of residents work for these employers. However, the Hudson County labor force contained a larger number of unskilled and uneducated workers. The county had a larger concentration of residents working in low-skilled, low paying positions. A significant amount of residents worked in non-durable goods, manufacturing, and transportation industries. It can be concluded that many households fit in the low-income bracket. According the master plan Hudson County median household income in 1990 was $30,917, which was 32% less than New Jersey ($40,927). Original state and federal programs, for example, enterprise zones, special improvement districts, redevelopment and competitive and trades policies have been a key in creating jobs, retaining businesses and overall prosperity. The county must continue these programs and encourage municipalities to do so. The master plan also discusses the 199 Hudson County Economic Development Strategies, which was approved by the US Economic Development Administration on June 2001. According to the master plan this program sets forth planning and projects implementation designed to address economic problems, tap county economic potential, create jobs, foster effective transportation systems, protect and enhance environment and promote balance sound development and growth. This program improves quality of workforce through workforces development, improves infrastructure through transportation development projects, encourage industries to remain though industrial development. In addition to commercial expansion, waterfront development, program delivery and marketing project. Some other strategies that are discussed in the master plan include addressing the skills gap though a stronger support of ESL, GED, and adult educational programs, promotes local businesses in workforce training, providing affordable childcare, encourage new nonresidential development to create jobs, and utilizing post secondary institutions for skill training. Housing Plan Hudson County’s housing stock was emblematic of older urban areas that have been developed. With about 50% of the county’s housing constructed before 1940, a significant portion of the units were older, smaller and more densely developed. This county’s master plan addresses three main issues: housing affordability; the rehabilitation of existing housing units; and the significant amount of special needs population (elderly, AIDS patients, disabled individuals and homeless). Housing affordability was Hudson County’s most critical issue. Almost 70% of housing stock is renter occupied and about 30% of renters spend 30% of household income on rent. Public housing and Section 8 play a significant role within the county with over 9,400 public housing units. Furthermore, there are over 4,360 Section 8 units in the county with more than 22,500 households on the waiting list. Outside of Section 8 housing there is a major need for affordable barrier free housing for the special needs population witnessed throughout the county.
Addendum D - 97 According to the 2000 U.S Census, Hudson County had 240,618 housing units. With Hudson County’s large and older housing stock it is important that there is rehabilitation of older housing. Of the 9,400 public housing units over 1,000 need restoration. According to COAH, there are over a total of 7,545 housing units that need rehabilitation. According to the master plan, the goal of the housing plan was to preserve Hudson County’s quality of life and support its revitalization by providing for continued development of well-built and diverse housing. This mission could be reached through various incentives that are used in Hudson County. At the time of the plan, five municipalities (Bayonne, Jersey City, Kearny, Union City, and West New York) received urban aid funds. These funds had to meet certain statutory state requirements and are used for property tax relief. In addition, these municipalities were eligible for specific programs and are exempt from certain state requirements. Another incentive used in Hudson County is the Regional Contribution Agreement (RCA) which allows one municipality to transfer a portion of its fair share obligation to another municipality within the same housing region for a fee. In Hudson County the municipalities that are receiving RCA is Jersey City, Bayonne, Kearny, and Weehawken. Hudson County Affordable Housing Trust Fund This is a fund that the county administers and one of the largest dedicated to affordable housing ever established in New Jersey government. This fund was established in 1989 by issuance of county bonds for Hudson County Improvement Authority. How this fund works is that Hudson County Improvement Authority provides financing at below market rates for development of new and rehabilitated housing projects providing that no less than 20% of units are reserved for low and moderate income families. More recently, in May 2000, the county issued a total of $39 million of debt from the trust fund to private developers and non-profit entities. As of then, a total of 788 unites were developed in the program in the first five years with 58% of those units being located in Jersey City and 13 percent of those units being in West New York. Consolidated Plan HUD requires that the consortium prepares a consolidated plan for grant programs. These grant programs include Community Development Block Grants, HOME investment partnership, Emergency Shelter Grants, Housing Opportunities for person with AIDS. Hudson County’s consolidated plan identified constraints to providing and maintaining affordable housing and reducing the hazards of lead based paint. Some constraints that the consolidated plan identified were the lack of available rent subsidies, the issue of maintaining rents at an affordable lever due to the lack of financial resources, the loss of affordable units due to conversion of condo and cooperatives, and the age of existing housing stocks. Community Block Grant is a grant created to provide funds for local improvement projects. Hudson County has received $50 million since 1987. Another aspect of the consolidated plan is HOME. HOME is administered by HUD, and is meant to expand the supply of decent and affordable housing, particularly low income housing for low income families. This program strengthens the abilities of state and local governments as it is meant to design and implement strategies to achieving affordable housing. Hudson County has participated in HOME since 1992 receiving over 16.2 million dollars. In fiscal year 2001 Hudson County’s budget was 3.445 million dollars as it helps fund rental housing production, homeowner rehabilitation programs, home buyer assistance, HOME administration, and funding which provided funding for non-profit organizations. The plan ends with strategies that should be used to improve Hudson County’s quality of life through housing. These strategies comprise of committing major portion of its HOME funds in a rental program with the goal of allocating $1,300,000 for 50 units, commit a portion of its HOME funds to homeowner rehabilita-
98 - Addendum D tion program, and obtain assistance for purchaser, tenants and applicants on hazards of lead based paint poison. Community Facilities Plan In Hudson County, cost of services was a major issue witnessed throughout all municipalities. This becomes important as municipalities try to upgrade their facilities such as parks, open space, public safety, or schools. In Hudson County there are 12 municipalities, in which 6 are less than 1.5 square miles. These small geographic sizes result in administration inefficiencies creating a barrier for some municipalities to have their own police department, fire and school system. Parks, cultural resources, education and public safety are all important components of Hudson County, as each plays an essential role. Parks and open space are intricate systems serving a variety of functions. These aspects are essential to sustain Hudson County as a desirable place to live and work. Parks and open space protect the quality and quantity of surface and ground water resources; guide demand growth; conserve natural and historic resources; and form communities character and offer land for outdoor recreation. Hudson County is comprised of 3,382 acres of park and open space. This includes 408 acres owned by municipalities, 716 owned by county, and 2,258 owned by states. A distinct feature of Hudson County is the Hudson River Walkway. This is a multipurpose path along the Hudson County waterfront stretching from Palisades Park on the north to Liberty State Park. Despite this being a great feature to the County it can use some rehabilitation. There is work need on the walkway as it has been poorly designed. Furthermore there are issues with the access in Weehawken with the steps to access the waterfront. Cultural resources are important in any community as it promotes tourism and provides amenities and attracts new businesses and creates jobs. Hudson County can be described as a tourist destination, having recreational assets and cultural institutions. One of its municipalities Jersey City is known as a natural home of artist. This city has even permitted an artist of residence zone which legalizes artist use of building for living and working. Furthermore there is Park Theater in Union City, which is opened for special occasion that needs some updating and a permit to open daily. Hudson County is the home to five post secondary schools, Hudson County School of Technology, Hudson County community college, New Jersey City University, Saint Peterâ€™s College, and Stevens Institute. Educational institution brings diversity to the county, as outsiders travel to the area, and locals are able to further their education near home. According to the master plan, the key element of this plan is the establishment of open space as an important land use category along with all other uses permitted in the district. This section of the master plans stresses the concept of regionalism. The plan ends with strategies that can help improve community facilities. These strategies include coordinating inter-municipal agreements for efficient resources, assisting municipalities in providing computer infrastructure, establishing central warehouse for purchasing material, continue to pursue fair share from state that will cover county cost of housing for inmates, optimize county investments in correctional facilities, and encourage all municipalities to enter into mutual aid agreements to help reduce cost and provide greater coverage. Utility Services Plan Hudson Countyâ€™s utility service plan addresses the need for essential infrastructure. This includes sewer and storm water management, water supply, and solid waste and recycling systems. The plan indicates that regional cooperation is important when it comes to these systems.
Addendum D - 99 The county has four different sewer systems. Three of these are inter-municipal systems—North Bergen Municipal Utilities Authority (which also serves Guttenberg), North Hudson Sewerage Authority, and Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission. The fourth system is Secaucus’ own Secaucus Municipal Utilities Authority. The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission is a large regional service that does its own sewer system planning. The remaining three systems, with a total of six sewage treatment plants, have their planning done collectively by Hudson County. One problem with the sewers is the issue of combined sewer overflows, where waste goes into rivers in about one-hundred places in the county. Of specific interest, West New York is served by the North Hudson Sewerage Authority, has a 10 million gallon per day capacity treatment plant, and has two outfall points for combined sewer overflow. Its sewage treatment plant has the capacity for the anticipated increased need created by new waterfront development. The plan suggests several strategies for improving and keeping up the county’s sewer systems. Among these strategies are improving the combined sewer overflow situation, getting financing to draft sewer system plans, and updating the county’s Wastewater Management Plan to get state and federal funding for sewers. As for storm water management, a significant challenge in the county, the plan suggests that money should be put into preventing polluted storm water from entering rivers and that when system expansion occurs storm water and sewage pipes should be separate from each other. All of Hudson County’s water is piped in from other areas, specifically from reservoirs in the northwestern part of New Jersey. There are three different companies that provide municipalities with their water—North Jersey District Water Supply Commission, Passaic Valley Water Commission, and United Water Company. United Water Company is a regional water supplier, serving many places including several municipalities in the county, among them West New York, where the company extended a main to serve new waterfront development. The company also has a contract with Jersey City to operate its municipal water supply. Since all of the county’s water has its source in distant reservoirs in predominantly less-urban areas, the plan calls for preserving these reservoirs. Solid waste management has been a major issue. The Hudson County Improvement Authority is in charge of solid waste management and planned to build extensive facilities within the county. However, since the infrastructures were not built, even though bonds were issued, the county is in debt for solid waste management. The county’s solid waste is currently sent to landfills in New Jersey and elsewhere, and the utility services plan calls for improving this process and reducing the existing debt. Municipalities handle recycling in adherence with a county-wide plan, although a county recycling facility was among the structures never built. The county increased its recycling rate from 8% to 62%, between the 1980s and 1997. West New York has a recycling program and a drop-off site. Social Services Plan “The purpose of a social services plan is to reduce impacts that place particular groups at a disadvantage and to achieve greater equality among social groups.” Hudson County is very diverse and faces different social issues, “including poverty, homelessness, special needs populations, alcoholism and drug abuse, AIDS, and juvenile crime.” A particular concern, with respect to vulnerable populations, is housing. “As economic growth occurs, property taxes, rents, etc. increase, often at a faster pace than income growth.” Inventory & Implementation The Hudson County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) runs the various social and health programs, but the social programs themselves are administered (through contracts with the Department) by independent organizations. There is little or no formal relationship between local and county governments and these organizations.
100 - Addendum D There is also a separation between physical planning and social services, both institutional and structural. Planning departments typically deal with physical planning, and less so with social services. The structural split between municipal and county-level services also creates confusion. “Successful social planning requires: e. ties to the service system that actually provides the services; and f. good information about the needs of the group to be served.” The plan provides a 13-item action strategy for improving coordination of services. The strategy emphasizes County as an “umbrella” organization, and calls for better information and resource sharing, constituent participation, and fiscal monitoring. Additionally it points to improved transportation for disadvantaged populations and strengthening inter-agency coordination. Welfare and Homelessness Many households in Hudson County rely on some form of welfare. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) was introduced in New Jersey as Work First, and offers child care, transportation and support services in addition to Medicaid. Also, many households receive Food Stamps. Jersey City is by far the largest recipient of welfare in Hudson County, followed by Union City and West New York. “The current goal for Hudson County is to have every client in a work activity in two years and assuring a limit of five years of public assistance for all TANF households.” As of the publication of Hudson County’s Master Plan, an estimated 12 percent of Hudson County’s population is either homeless or at risk of being homeless. The Jersey City Medical Center has provided some characteristics of the homeless population. The ones that stand out are: 5. An estimated 80 percent were minorities. 6. Approximately 15 percent of the women observed were pregnant. 7. An estimated 25 percent were mentally ill. The Jersey City Medical Center operates the Medical and Social Services for the Homeless Project (MASSH), which provides numerous services to homeless adults and families in Hudson County. In addition, the Homeless Prevention Program administered by the Department of Community Affairs in Jersey City offers short term assistance with rents or mortgages for households facing foreclosure or eviction. The action strategy for welfare promotes job training to help recipients become self-sufficient, as well as provide child care options to allow recipients to be able to take advantage of job training. For homelessness, prevention is stressed, as well as assessing individual needs and providing culturally aware outreach workers to help bring homeless people into existing shelters or make the transition to permanent housing and independent living. Elderly, Disabled Populations, and Youths There was a fairly large senior citizen population in Hudson County, with concerns of an increase as the baby boomers grow older. However, there was a projected decline from 1990 to 2010. There are many services available to the elderly and provided through DHHS and the Division of Social Services. Programs include Social Service Block Grants, Medicaid, Home Health Services, the Community Care for the Elderly and Disabled (CCPED), Meals on Wheels, and Homecare Service. Additional services are provided through the Office on Aging and Transcend Office.
Addendum D - 101 A substantial percentage of the Hudson County population was physically (12%) or mentally disabled (14%) as of 1990 Census. The organizations involved include the Hudson County Division of Social Services and the Clinical Case Management Program of Mt. Carmel Guild in Union City. The action strategy for senior citizens and the disabled includes development of assisted living facilities within subsidized housing, developing additional housing, improve transportation services, and make access to information and resources easier through a resource referral center. According to the 2000 Census, children in Hudson County comprised 25.1% of the population, with one in four living in poverty. “The disintegration of the traditional family is a significant problem for Hudson County children.” One of the big concerns mentioned in the Master Plan is the lack of after school child care programs. Hudson County’s youth dropped out rate is generally higher than the statewide average (14% vs 9.5% in 1990). The Hudson County Department of Health and Human Services includes the Hudson County Youth Services Commission. “The goals of the Youth Services Commission is to help troubled youth by planning, coordinating and developing services utilized by troubled youth and their families.” The action strategy for youths includes coordination between child care services and welfare and job training programs, creating cooperative child care facilities, and improving coordination between the Department of Corrections and DHHS. Education Hudson County’s Master Plan recognizes the importance of education in fostering a prospering economy. Unfortunately, nearly a third of the population of Hudson County over the age of 25 has less than a high school education. The Master Plan calls for improvements to local elementary and secondary schools as a way to attract new residents and retain existing ones. Many of the county’s elementary and secondary schools were marked by low test scores and high drop-out rates. Unfortunately, these indicators highly track poverty and income levels. The Plan encourages coordination between school districts within the county to cut costs, as well as local strategies such as school choice and decentralization. Special emphasis should also be placed on early childhood programs and postsecondary schools, such as community colleges. The action strategy for education emphasizes early childhood development and stresses support for ESL, GED and adult education. Also, active participation of local business in establishing the curriculum for high schools and post-secondary education is encouraged. It also stresses expanding capacity of post-secondary schools and continuous learning for adult workers. Health Services There is a Hudson County Department of Health and Human Services, but because it is not certified, it is not eligible to receive grant money from the State. Many of the county hospitals and nursing homes have been privatized. As of the writing of the Master Plan, the Department was trying to acquire certification to provide regional health services. It does manage tuberculosis and CDC programs for Hudson County, as well as some operating some laboratories and an employee clinic. “Hudson County has the third highest rate of AIDS in the country, with only New York City and San Francisco having higher rates […] Hudson County is in dire need of housing for AIDS patients.”
102 - Addendum D The action strategy for health services includes pursuing the state certification of a Public Health office, coordination with local hospitals, and try to move more services to the County level as it is likelier to get various grants than individual municipalities. Specifically regarding AIDS, the strategy promotes providing additional housing opportunities and health services, as well as providing AIDS testing and counseling for pregnant women. Conservation Plan The purpose of Hudson Countyâ€™s conservation plan was to try to improve the environment and preserve it for the future. In many cases, the urbanized county faces environmental challenges such as contaminated water and soil. However, because of efforts to turn the tide, the county has seen some improvements in the condition of its natural resources. The conservation plan was based largely on sources from state-level environmental entities. The plan discusses numerous environmental concerns including waterways and flood plains, air pollution, soil character and contamination, endangered fauna, wetlands, topographic features, and scenic views. Hudson County has numerous waterways, including the Hudson River, Hackensack River, and Passaic River. All of these rivers have SE (saline estuary) water, which should allow for recreation and fishing, but pollution prevents such uses. According to the plan, however, the Hackensack River has seen improvement, as preventative and cleanup initiatives have helped to reduce aquatic pollution. The plan calls for the further reduction of point (site-specific) and non-point (more generalized) water pollution. With rivers comes the additional concern about flooding. About forty-three percent of Hudson County falls within the hundredyear flood zone. This zone includes West New Yorkâ€™s waterfront along the Hudson River. The plan encourages flood control projects and revising federal flood zone maps. Air pollution was another issue in Hudson County, although there had been recent reductions. Still, industry and automobile traffic were significant causes of diminished air quality. There is significant ozone pollution in the county. The plan calls for use of light rail and ferry transportation as alternatives to automobiles. (Since the West New York area has both light rail facilities, in nearby Union City and Weehawken, and ferry facilities, also in Weehawken, this is of importance to the town.) There is also ground contamination at over five hundred properties. Much of this contamination is from chromate; cleanup can be cost prohibitive. In West New York, there are no such chromate contamination sites. The techniques advocated by the plan for combating the problem of contamination include giving site owners financial and technical help for cleanup and making it easier for these sites to be used again once they are decontaminated. Hudson County also had a few other environmental concerns, including wetlands, topographic features, endangered animal species, and scenic views. Wetlands make up thirteen percent of the land area in the county. There are significant topographic features at the Palisades and in the interior of the county. There are six areas in the county with endangered species, including several species of birds and a species of turtle. The county also has many places that afford scenic views of the waterfront, of Manhattan, and of meadowlands. The plan suggests protecting these views with parks and waterfront pedestrian paths. Of specific interest, West New York has a small bit of wetlands, the cliffs of the Palisades, endangered wood turtles, and scenic views along the water. Historic Preservation Plan The historic preservation plan was written to help Hudson County keep its past alive by assuring that certain important buildings and sites in its twelve municipalities remain intact. This plan is based on historic registers and local master plans. The inclusion of historic preservation plans in the local master planning process is a result of a section of the Municipal Land Use Law enacted in 1985. There are fifty buildings and sites in Hudson County already on the National Register of Historic Places or the New Jersey Register of Historic Places, or both. Among these, are two National Historic Landmarks (the Holland Tunnel and the
Addendum D - 103 Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company Warehouse) and two National Historic Monuments (Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty). Of specific interest, the West New York Post Office is on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. This state historic register is administered by the State Historic Preservation Office. The registers provide historic assets with two significant advantages—eligibility for preservation funding and protection from damage. Any property on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places benefits from a process that requires oversight on neighboring development projects that could pose it harm. Besides the fifty properties already on historic registers, there were ninety-two properties in Hudson County that had been designated as being qualified for either of the registers. If a building or site has been designated as appropriate for the National Register, then it is given a DOE, or determination of eligibility, which helps protect it. If a building or site has been designated as appropriate for the New Jersey Register, then it is given a COE, or certificate of eligibility, which helps it get funding. Also separate from the historic registers, are federally-designated Local Certified Historic Districts, and state-designated local historic districts. The Southern Hoboken Historic District falls into the former category. The Hoboken Historic District and Jersey City’s Bergen Hill, Hamilton Park, Harsimus Cove, Paulus Hook, and Van Vorst Historic Districts all fall into the latter category. These districts are distinct because of the historical significance, cultural character, and architecture of their buildings and spaces. According to the master plan, historic preservation can have positive effects for for all types of neighborhoods. Preservation in New Jersey is facilitated by tax breaks and grants. Such grants have been secured by the Hoboken (Ferry/Rail) Terminal and Jersey City’s Ionic House/Barrow Museum, Loew’s Jersey Theater, Old Bergen Church, and Saint Patrick’s Church. The historic preservation plan also discusses cultural assets in Hudson County. Like New York’s SoHo, Jersey City has an artists’ district zoned for live-work spaces. It is known as a WALDO, or Work And Live District Overlay, area. Hudson County also has an historic live theater (Union City’s Park Theatre), museums, the riverfront, and Ellis and Liberty Islands. The plan closes by identifying strategies that should be used by the county in its historic preservation initiatives. These strategies include expanding the performing arts scene in the county, by opening new venues and schools and supporting pre-existing ones. Other strategies suggested include reusing historic structures, preserving of building facades, creating special districts, using industrial buildings for artist living, and increasing transportation options for visiting historic sites. Comparison with Other Plans “Both the State Development and Redevelopment Plan and the Municipal Land Use Law stress that master plans consider the relationship of the master plan to plans of contiguous municipalities, county plans, and the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan (SDRP). The intent is to coordinate planning and land use activities among communities andto reduce potential conflicts.” The biggest obstacles seem to be the lack of municipal cooperation and lack of interagency coordination. The Hudson County Master Plan (HCMP) attempts to minimize future conflicts by identifying the major development projects over the next twenty years. The following documents were evaluated: 1. Municipal master plans 2. Bergen County Master Plan 3. Essex County Master Plan 4. Union County Master Plan
104 - Addendum D 5. New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) Master Plan and Open Space Plan 6. “A Region at Risk” - The Third Original Plan for the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut Metropolitan Area by Regional Plan Association 7. New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan 8. Hudson County Urban Complex Strategic Revitalization Plan, 1999 9. Hudson County Cross Acceptance Report, 1998 Bergen County Bergen County borders Hudson County to the north and northwest. The zoning and land use in Bergen County is “substantially consistent” with the Hudson County Master Plan, and the major new regional and subregional developments in Paramus and Hackensack conform to HCMP. There are some minor incompatibilities between adjacent zoning, such as a commercial zone abutting a residential zone, but none seem severe. The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) the Hackensack Meadowlands District, a 32 square mile district which includes portions of 14 municipalities in Hudson and Bergen Counties. As of the writing the HCMP, NJMC was re-examining and updating its Master Plan. However, the Land Use Element of the NJMC’s Master Plan is substantially consistent with the Hudson County Master. Essex County Essex County borders Hudson County to the west, with the Passaic River and Newark Bay separating them. The zoning and land uses along the Essex County border are substantially consistent with the Hudson County Master Plan. Union County Though Union County is zoned industrial, HCMP deems it unnecessary to do a detailed zoning and land use analysis because the two are separated by over a mile of open water, though technically sharing a border. New York City HCMP acknowledges the importance of New York City because of its proximity and effect on Hudson County. Impacts to consider include water quality of Hudson River and New York Bay, transportation to and from Manhattan, and waste management practices of trucking of waste from New York through Hudson County. Reexamination Report (2008) In August 2008, “Hudson County: Reexamination of the Master Plan” was issued. The reexamination report called itself an “addendum” (p. vii) to Hudson County’s master plan, which was issued six years earlier. The report was done by Heyer, Gruel & Associates, the same firm that did the master plan. The reexamination report sets updated goals for the county. Many of these goals are related to environmental or “green” considerations, which are a significant focus of the report. Green buildings are also discussed in the report. The report has population projections for Hudson County and each of its municipalities, through 2030. The county’s population is predicted to increase from 609,000 in 2000 to 760,700 in 2030. This is a 24.9% increase. The population of West New York is predicted to increase from 45,770 in 2000 to 56,040 in 2030. This is a 22.4% increase.
Addendum D - 105 The report discusses at length the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system, which has been developed by NJ Transit since the master plan was originally drafted. The reexamination report has maps of the system and details its importance as a transportation system and as a means for redevelopment within the county. Another transportation improvement, NJ Transit’s construction of the Secaucus Junction rail transfer station in 2003, is also detailed. One specific point of interest for West New York is the report’s discussion of three suggested infrastructure projects within the town. The first is adding bus stop signs at Boulevard East and 60th Street. This is expected to cost $5000 or under. The second project is to add left turn lanes and shift bus stops on Bergenline Avenue. This is a much costly project, with an anticipated price tag of $95,000 to $100,000. Finally, the third project is the retiming of traffic lights on Bergenline Avenue between 48th Street and 50th Street. This project, which covers geographic territory within West New York and Union City, is expected to cost no more than $5000.
Master Plans of Neighboring Municipalities Union City Union City is located at West New York’s southern border. Similar to West New York, Union City is primarily a diverse residential community with a mix of commercial districts. Land use between these municipalities is consistent: commercial properties in Union City are found primarily along Bergenline Ave as in West New York. According to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, by 2015, Union City will undergo an 11.9% increase in population from year 2000, to over 75,000 residents. For the same time period, they forecast a 15.3% increase in employment to 13,400, and a 13.1% increase in households to 3,000. This suggests a decrease in persons per household and an increase in employment opportunities within Union City. The goals and objectives of Union City’s Master Plan derived from an analysis of the city’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, otherwise known as a SWOT analysis. This was done in part with the public, community stakeholders and leaders, to build a framework for future development and redevelopment. The master plan identifies three main goals to guide the planning process for Union City. Capitalize on proximity to Manhattan One of Union City’s strengths is its location relative to Manhattan. Lower property values, rents, and a short commute are attractive to residents working in New York City. Union City is looking to accomplish this goal by preserving and creating new housing at all income levels through home ownership programs and housing rehabilitation grants. Expanding the Community Development Agreements to guide and coordinate signage, awnings, and window displays, along with creating form-based zoning standards, will enhance commercial corridors within Union City build upon their unique identity. This is similar to what has been done in West New York with Urban Enterprise Zone funds, to beautify and unify the streetscape. Opportunities to enhance the character of the cities unique areas come through new developments and where code enforcement result in redevelopments and rehabilitation. Improve transportation networks Union City faces transportation issues similar to those in West New York, with issues revolving around eastwest access, jitney service in commercial corridors, congestion, and parking. Because of the diversity of languages, improving transportation and landmark signage that will rely on graphics rather than language will reach more residents. Where possible, West New York should coordinate transportation improvements with Union City, as they share a main commercial corridor along Bergenline Avenue.
106 - Addendum D Union City is examining ways to improve internal circulation and connectivity to the regional bus and light rail transit services. Linking pedestrian, bicycle, and mass transit circulation with parking remains an important objective in improving transportation networks. Some improvements Union City is considering require coordination with the NJ State DOT and NJ Transit. This includes increasing capacity and extending light rail hours of operation. West New York should coordinate efforts to improve mass transit service with Union City and other municipalities to improve mass transit service throughout the region. Preserve open spaces As Union City is built out with few opportunities to create new spaces, preserving open spaces, community facilities, and recreational amenities is important. Churches, schools, and other institutions remain important centers for providing cultural activities and social services in the diverse neighborhood. Furthermore, Union City is looking at policies that will require new developments and redevelopments to share indoor and outdoor recreational facilities with the public. An opportunity to build new open space within Union City comes from a plan to build over top a section of I-495 and create a town square. Linking existing park and open spaces to pedestrian and bike access remains an important objective, and West New York should coordinate efforts with Union City to create regional park and open space connections. North Bergen The Township of North Bergen is located along the western border of West New York along John F. Kennedy Boulevard Land use along this border is consistent between the two towns, consisting of mostly commercial and mixed residential. Bergenline Avenue in North Bergen continues to function as a commercial corridor. Similar to Union City, North Bergen is a built urban landscape with future development focused on in-fill residential and the reuse of old industrial sites. North Bergen is taking steps to reduce congestion and create links to the light rail by offering a free shuttle bus from 6 am to 8:40 am and from 4 pm to 7 pm. Like West New York, North Bergen benefits from UEZ status, which spurs economic development and provides funds for improvement projects, including the Bergenline Avenue / Broadway Streetscapes . This is significant as both Bergenline Avenue and Broadway continue as major thoroughfares through West New York. Here, UEZ funds are available, and West New York street improvements within these corridors should take into consideration the efforts in North Bergen to create a coordinated commercial corridor. Weehawken West New York shares it southeast border with the Township of Weehawken. Historically, the Weehawken waterfront served as the site for industrial production and shipping facilities. But by the end of World War II industries which had relied on the waterfront began to migrate away to areas which could afford expansion and land growth at a cheaper cost than the cities of the Hudson River could provide. This area described as a brownfields, which is “an abandoned, idled, or under-utilized industrial or commercial facility, where expansion of redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination”. Under the New Jersey state-mandated master plan a vision was to set to connect the municipalities from the Bayonne Bridge to the George Washington and a enacting for a major mixed-use intra-modal community located along the Hudson River overlooking midtown Manhattan while providing contiguous and unhindered access to the water’s edge. This area also creates an urban linear park offering expansive views of the Hudson with the spectacular backdrop of the New York skyline. The plan is coined as the “most ambitious and highlight publicized Brownfield development projects in New Jersey”.
Addendum D - 107 Port Imperial Plan Highlights Brownfield site of 150 upland acres backed by the Palisades was site of former Pennsylvania railroad yards. Planning includes 7,000 residential units in mid- and high-rise buildings; 1.5 million square feet of office; 300,000 square feet of retail; public parking structures of 2,000 spaces; integrated parking structures for all uses; banquet facilities; sports and fitness center; intra-modal transportation system integrating ferry service, light rail, bus and vehicular traffic. the development includes the remaining waterfront property of the town of Weehawken, all of the waterfront property of West New York, and the water front property in the southern portion of Guttenberg, reclamation of this environmentally degraded industrial Brownfield site and the extension of the historic Palisades Communities to reunite with the Hudson River waterfront as an area dedicated to active public use. Of significant merit is the uniting of New Jersey and New York through the embracement of the Hudson River as a link rather than a barrier. Core planning objectives for Port Imperial focused on: 1. The creation of new neighborhoods. 2. The fostering of active street life. 3. The construction of humanly-scaled buildings. 4. Maintaining ease of pedestrian mobility. 5. The preservation and augmentation of public access to views of Manhattan. 6. The introduction of enhanced public access and enjoyment of the Hudson River. 7. The preservation of the Palisades. Hoboken Hoboken, located in Hudson County, New Jersey, is a city with over 38,000 people according to the 2000 US Census. It is separated from West New York by Weehawken. Incorporated in 1855, Hoboken’s first master plan was developed by the John Steven’s Land and Improvement Company. Hoboken has grown and changed dramatically over the past century and a half. In 2001, Hoboken set out to create a new comprehensive master plan to address the needs of the community which was adopted in April 2004. The master plan contained ten goals and objectives that served as the foundation for all plan proposals which encompass the economic, physical, and social needs of the city. The goals were: (1) Amplify Hoboken’s sense of community, encompassing its social diversity, (2) Enhance Hoboken’s unique setting as an urban enclave facing New York Harbor, (3) Protect its historic row house fabric, (4) Celebrate Washington Street’s classic “Main Street” character, (5) Improve the appearance of Hoboken’s streets, (6) Maintain Hoboken’s urbane mix of uses, (7) Enhance its walkability and pedestrian amenities, (8) Contemporize its community facilities, (9) Provide additional open space and recreation facilities, (10) Tap into the entrepreneurial and community spirit of Hoboken’s residents. The planners also focused on completing and connecting the waterfront restoration, preserving and expanding open spaces, and promoting walkable streets throughout the city. The transportation goals focused on expanding the light rail service and increasing accessibility to and from the stations. The plan also addressed the need for increased safety regarding pedestrians and cyclists. To address this problem, it was recommended that the city would create intersection improvements that favor non-motorists. Public parking through shared parking and new garage space would also be increased. In addition to added parking, the city was urged to expand shuttle and taxi service to and from the parking garages and the light rail system.
108 - Addendum D The city proposed to increase park space and improve school facilities. Over the next few years, the city will consolidate all emergency services into newer modern facilities at the center of city. Also, if and when public facilities are replaced by newer facilities, the older facilities will be converted into charter schools, cultural spaces, or community center space. In 1995, Hoboken contained less than twenty acres of park space. By 2014, the city plans to have sixty acres. Most of the increase would come by connecting the waterfront via a pedestrian walkway. In addition to connecting the waterfront, the city planned to unify all city park space to increase accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. The city also advocated for updating the existing recreation facilities over the next decade. Hoboken sought to increase population density through development that encourages and fosters ethnic diversity. The city proposed reforming the city’s inclusionary housing rules to ensure that a certain percentage of housing remained affordable. The plan also advocated the creation of innovative “quality housing” which the city defined as promoting home ownership and creating larger housing units through zoning changes. Economic Development focused on promoting new development to increase the tax base. The revenue increase would help directly fund community improvements like Washington Street. Washington Street, the “main street” in Hoboken, would continue to serve as the main area for shopping, retail, restaurants, and nightlife. The southeast corner of the city would develop modestly scaled office buildings near Hoboken terminal. The northwest corner would develop a mix of specialized offices, limited live and work spaces, and “medium” box retail. Also, each ferry and light rail stop would eventually have service amenities. The land use regulations helped to preserve the heart of Hoboken as a historical district and the completion of the waterfront space would unify Hoboken’s entire waterfront. Any new development in former industrial areas of the western section of the city would become connected residential neighborhoods with shopping and mixed-use development. Finally, all future large-scale development within the city would contain mixed-use development. All future design would promote “green” architectural standards that would continue to modernize the city, preserve the rich history that is associated with traditional Hoboken architecture, and promote the “Hoboken lifestyle”. Guttenberg The Town of Guttenberg is just north of West New York. The town’s Joint Planning/Zoning Board adopted a reexamination of the town’s Master Plan and Development Regulations on June 15, 2009. The last plan Master Plan was conducted in 2006. This reexamination plan focused on existing development regulations which is contained in their Land Use Procedures, Land Subdivision and Site Plan Review and Zoning, with zoning is indicated as being necessary to implement certain recommendations. Zoning Under the reexamination report the town is divided into 6 zone districts: low density residential, high density residential, waterfront residential, mid rise mixed use, commercial and parks and recreation. The Towns zoning map is also amended to now include waterfront residential zoning. Along with amending block zone uses for blocks shared by North Bergen; now designated as Mid-Rise Mixed Use Zones. These changes will also reflect on the Towns tax Map. Another special highlight of the plan includes a shared designation along Bergenline from both West New York’s border to North Bergen border now rezoned as Commercial.
Addendum D - 109 Language Special note is given to language where â€œSpecial Exceptionâ€? has been deleted to now include Permitted Principal Use for a particular zoning district. This language change is specified so that each location will comply with the condition and standards for the location authorized by the Planning board. District Regulation Under the reexamination report there was a replacement of the existing schedule of district regulations for each zone district. The new use regulation include permitted principal uses, permitted accessory uses, permitted condition uses and bulk regulations. Under each regulation there is a designation for lot sizes, types of uses and design guidelines meaning yard space, rear yards, building coverage and lot coverage. Parking Off street parking and loading regulations were now included which set the number of off street parking spaces required per use. Certain uses are explained to be unique but such uses must be permitted uses in their respective districts. An important feature of the parking regulation include off site or joint parking which is subject to site plan approval. Under this subdivision, zoning is used to create a control for types of use in a particular space. Properties fronting on Palisades Avenue or Park Avenue whose use is that of retail and/or service commercial are only permitted on the ground floor. Telecommunication Antennas and Towers Wireless telecommunication appears to be a prevalent theme in Guttenberg with the reexamination report establishing general guidelines for the placement and appearance of wireless telecommunication facilities. Under this additions highlights of this subsection include protecting residential areas and land uses from potential adverse impacts, encouraging the location of new towers in industrial places, minimizing the total number of towers, creating join uses of new and existing towers, minimizing visual impacts, considering public health and avoiding potential damage to buildings by towers.
110 - Addendum E Addendum E. New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan Importance of the State Plan New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation with approximately 1,100 people per square mile. As such, its land and resources must be efficiently allocated. This requires an effective state-wide plan. The State Planning Act In 1985, the New Jersey State Legislature found that New Jersey should plan its future to maintain and preserve its abundant natural, cultural, economic and social assets and its quality of life. The adoption and execution of the State Planning Act in 1986 marked the start of a new era for New Jersey State Planning. The State Planning Act represented a new effort to redefine “Home Rule.” This plan sought to foster the mutually beneficial policies from multiple government perspectives. The redefinition was important because numerous municipalities were faced with infringements (by the Plan) that imposed on decisionmaking abilities but would benefit the State/Region collectively. What the State Planning Act Directs The State Planning Act addressed ten important actions to be taken. However, only a few main ones will be addressed here. The first of which is that the Act establishes a 17-menmer State Planning Commission to be representative of State Government departments, county and municipal jurisdictions and members of the public. Another creates the Office of State Planning to assist the Planning Commission in carrying out its duties. The Act identifies the Planning Commission as the major assessor of suitable locations for infrastructure, housing, economic growth and conservation. And finally the State Planning Act calls for the revision of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan to be carried out on a three-year cycle to maintain its relevance and modernity. Conversely, there are some points of contention with the Plan. The fact that it does not address statutory overlap and potential conflicts with municipal and county ordinances causes a problem. It does not override these already established laws. Also, the State Plan is voluntary for counties and municipalities, and as such, when county and municipality master plans are updated, they should be modified to reflect the provisions of the State Plan (if municipalities choose to adhere to its suggestions). The Plan is not intended to be regulatory. It is, as it states, “intended to be a guide, to provide a frameworks for decision-making.” State Plan Structure The State Plan structure consists of the following six main components: 1. Vision Statement - Provides description of New Jersey’s future in 2030. 2. Goals – Reiterates the goals contained in the State Planning Act. 3. Statewide Polices – Provides specific guidance for State, regional, county and municipal government officials. 4. State Plan Policy Map – Geographic component identifying and locating planning Areas and other geographical features. 5. Resource Planning & Management Strategy – Promotes preferred forms of future growth and development in New Jersey. 6. Monitoring & Evaluation – Identifies key indicators and targets for achieving State Plan’s goals. The State Plan Goals (from 1986 State Planning Act)
Addendum E - 111 1. Revitalize the stateâ€™s cities and towns. 2. Conserve the stateâ€™s natural resources and systems. 3. Promote beautification. 4. Protect the environment, prevent and clean up pollution. 5. Provide adequate public facilities and services at reasonable cost. 6. Provide adequate housing at reasonable cost. 7. Preserve and enhance areas with historic, cultural, scenic open space and recreational value. 8. Ensure sound, coordinated and integrated statewide planning. 9. Increase energy efficiencies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The State Plan Policy Map (SPPM) The State Plan Policy Map (SPPM) recognizes that different approaches are required for differing areas. Therefore the SPPM seeks to advise municipalities and counties on the allocation of land use in varying regions. Among those are: The Metropolitan Planning Areas, Suburban Planning Areas, Fringe Planning Areas, Rural Planning Areas, and Environmentally Sensitive Planning Areas.
Metropolitan Planning Areas - Include a variety of municipalities ranging from large Urban Centers to 19th century towns shaped by commuter rail and post-war suburbs.
112 - Addendum E Suburban Planning Areas – Located adjacent to the Metropolitan Planning Area, but distinguishable by lack of high intensity Centers, availability of developable land and dispersed pattern of predominantly low-density development.
Fringe Planning Areas – Still rural landscape that is not prime agricultural land or environmentally sensitive land. Containing small communities and freestanding residential, commercial and industrial development.
Rural Planning Areas – Comprise much of New Jersey’s countryside where large masses of cultivated or open land surround rural Regional Centers, Towns, Villages and Hamlets.
Addendum E - 113 Environmentally Sensitive Planning Areas – Contain large contiguous land areas with valuable eco-systems, geological features and wildlife habitats.
The Plan Adoption & Revision Process The plan creates “Cross Acceptance,” a process that ensures government at different levels and public-atlarge participate in revision and preparation of the State Plan to attain compatibility with local government and the State Plan. Implementation The problem with implementation is that the State Plan is silent on the matter. It cannot force local governments to adhere to its suggestions, however the Office of Smart Growth (OSG) does administer a certification process called “Plan Endorsement.” Plan endorsement only occurs when the State Planning Commission is satisfied with the municipality’s plan and is consistent with the vision and goals of the State Plan. Plan Endorsement benefits allow municipalities, a county, or a regional agency to implement the plan with priority for state discretionary funds as well as expedited permitting and enhanced planning assistance. Monitoring & Evaluation The State Planning Act requires that the State Planning Commission properly monitor variable and plan targets in the economic, environmental, infrastructure, community life and intergovernmental coordination areas to be evaluated on an on-going basis. To do this the State Plan sets up critical indicators and targets included below.
(Source:New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan: Final Draft.)
114 - Addendum F Addendum F. UEZ Documents UEZ Overview DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS NEW JERSEY URBAN ENTERPRISE ZONE PROGRAM Christopher J. Christie, Governor Lori Grifa, Acting Commissioner Urban Enterprise Zone Authority Kathleen G. Kube, Acting Executive Director 650 South Broad Street, P.O. Box 822, Trenton, NJ 08625-0822 (609) 292-1912 fax (609) 633-8004 http://www.nj.gov/dca/affiliates/uez/
OVERVIEW The Urban Enterprise Zone Program (UEZ) was enacted by the New Jersey State Legislature in 1983 to revitalize the State’s most distressed urban communities through the creation of private-sector jobs and public and private investment in targeted areas within these communities. The first ten Urban Enterprise Zones as designated in 1984 are: Bridgeton, Camden, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Kearny, Newark, Orange, Plainfield, Trenton, and Millville/Vineland (Joint Zone). The Legislature has added other Zones as follows: 1994: Carteret, Lakewood, Mount Holly, Passaic, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Phillipsburg, Pleasantville, Union City, and Asbury Park/Long Branch (Joint Zone). 1996: East Orange, Guttenberg, Hillside, Irvington, North Bergen, Pemberton, and West New York. 2002: Bayonne, Roselle, and joint zones of Wildwood/ North Wildwood/Wildwood Crest/West Wildwood; created Impacted Business Districts; and extended the life of the existing Urban Enterprise Zones. 2004: Gloucester City and New Brunswick as new zones. INCENTIVES • Qualified retail businesses may charge 50% of the mandated 7% NJ sales tax on certain “in person” purchases. • Revenue generated from the 3.5% sales tax is allocated 0.5% to the Property Tax Relief Fund; while, 3.0% is maintained in Zone Assistance Fund (ZAF) accounts and dedicated to use within the zone for certain economic development and/or public service improvement projects. • Small UEZ businesses with less than $10 million in annual gross receipts in the prior tax year enjoy 100% sales tax exemption at time of purchase of certain materials and tangible personal property. Larger businesses may file quarterly for a rebate after paying the applicable sales tax. • One-time corporation tax credit of $1,500 for each new, full-time permanent employee who is a resident of a municipality in which a zone is located and who had been unemployed for at least 90 days or dependent upon public assistance; OR, Tax credit against the Corporation Business Tax of 8% of Investment in the zone by an approved “In Lieu” agreement with the Urban Enterprise Zone Authority and Municipality for certain firms. • Subsidized unemployment insurance costs for certain new employees with gross salaries of less than $4,500 per quarter as per Department of Labor schedule. • Priority financial assistance from the New Jersey Local Development Financing Fund (LDFF) and Department of Labor Job Training Program.
Addendum F - 115 • Energy and utility service sales tax exemption on consumption within an enterprise zone by manufacturing firms with at least 250 employees, over 50% of whom are in a manufacturing process. • Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant (“BRRAG”) for relocation and retention of at least 250 non-retail jobs where the grant is a material factor. Special limitations/bonuses for UEZs. • Business Employment Incentive Program (“BEIP”) applicants may be eligible for a grant award of up to 50% of the State income taxes withheld for new employees hired, may increase up to 80% if “Smart Growth”. • Most Urban Transit Hub areas overlap Urban Enterprise Zones which may make firms eligible for tax credits equal to 80%-to-100% of the qualified capital investments made within an eight-year period, to be applied as 10 percent of the total credit amount per year. HIGHLIGHTS OF ZONE ACTIVITY(data current as of end of February 2010) Full Time Employment in participating UEZ busi130,243 nesses: Qualified businesses currently participating in the 6,681 program: Private Investment by UEZ businesses since 1985: 30.1 Billion ZAF revenue collected since 1985: $1,069 Million ZAF projects and total dollars approved since 1985: 2,561; $936 Million UEZ Zones
NEW JERSEY URBAN ENTERPRISE ZONES MUNICIPALITY UEZ AUTHORMUNICIPAL 50 % SALES TAX ITY APPROVAL ORDINANCE EF- EFFECTIVE DATE DATE FECTIVE DATE Pleasantville January 11, February 9, March 8, 1995 1995 1995 Mount Holly January 11, March 7, 1995 March 8, 1995 1995 Pemberton April 12, 1996 May 23, 1996 May 23, 1996 Township City of North July 10, 2002 August 29, 2002 August 29, 2002 Wildwood*** July 10, 2002 August 29, 2002 August 29, 2002 Borough of West Wildwood*** City of WildJuly 10, 2002 August 29, 2002 August 29, 2002 wood*** Borough of July 10, 2002 August 29, 2002 August 29, 2002 Wildwood Crest***
ZONE EXPIRATION DATE March 8, 2015 March 8, 2015 May 23, 2016 August 29, 2022 August 29, 2022
August 29, 2022 August 29, 2022
116 - Addendum F Camden
Camden Gloucester City
Bridgeton Millville** Vineland**
East Orange Irvington Newark Orange
Bayonne City Guttenberg Jersey City Kearny North Bergen Union City
West New York Trenton Carteret New Brunswick Perth Amboy
Asbury Park* Long Branch*
September 27, October 18, 1984 1984 August 11, 2004 September 4, 2004 April 2, 1985 April 22, 1985 February 4, April 3, 1986 1986 January 29, April 3, 1986 1986 April 12, 1996 June 3, 1996 April 12, 1996 May 7, 1996 December 5, December 5, 1984 1984 December 3, December 23, 1985 1985 August 14, 2002 September 12, 2002 April 12, 1996 May 11, 1996 December 23, January 16, 1985 1986 December 26, January 16, 1985 1986 April 12, 1996 May 18, 1996 January 11, February 11, 1995 1995 April 12, 1996 May 7, 1996 April 4, 1985 April 24, 1985 January 11, February 22, 1995 1995 December 8, December 29, 2004 2004 September 14, October 29, 1984 1984 August 10, 1994 September 21, 1994 September 14, November 21, 1994 1994 September 14, November 1, 1994 1994 July 13, 1994 August 24, 1994 July 13, 1994 September 2, 1994
January 1, 1986 January 1, 2006 September 4, 2004 January 1, 1986 October 1, 1988
September 4, 2024 January 1, 2006 October 1, 2008
October 1, 1986 October 1, 2008 June 3, 1996 June 3, 2016 May 7, 1996 May 7, 2016 January 1, 1986 January 1, 2006 November 27, 1992 September 12, 2002 May 11, 1996 November 27, 1992 November 27, 1992 May 18, 1996 April 12, 1995
November 27, 2012 September 12, 2022 May 11, 2016 November 27, 2012 November 27, 2012 May 18, 2016 April 12, 2015
May 7, 1996 May 7, 2016 January 1, 1986 January 1, 2006 March 8, 1995 March 8, 2015 December 29, 2004 October 29, 1984 September 21, 1994 November 21, 1994 November 1, 1994 August 24, 1994 September 2, 1994
December 29, 2024 October 29, 2014 September 21, 2014 November 21, 2014 November 1, 2014 August 24, 2014 September 2, 2014
Addendum F - 117 Union
November 27, 1985 Hillside April 12, 1996 Plainfield June 17, 1985 Roselle Borough August 14, 2002 Phillipsburg October 12, 1994
December 17, 1985 May 7, 1996 June 17, 1985 August 29, 2002 November 1, 1994
November 27, 1992 May 7, 1996 January 1, 1986 August 29, 2002 November 1, 1994
November 27, 2012 May 7, 2016 January 1, 2006 August 29, 2022 November 1, 2014
* Joint Zones ** Joint Zones ***Joint Zones Source: NJ Department of Community Affairs (2010)
Sales Tax Benefit Summary STATE OF NEW JERSEY URBAN ENTERPRISE ZONE - SALES TAX BENEFITS SUMMARY PERSONAL PROPERTY EXEMPTIONS ON REDUCED RATE ON PURCHASES, RENTSALES, RENTALS ALS, LEASES FOR AND LEASES FOR QUALIFIED BUSIRETAILERS NESSES Advertising Materials Limited to items distrib- Yes Yes uted exclusively at the UEZ business location Alcohol Subject to Alcoholic No; Except when purNo Beverages Tax chased as an ingredient in food or baked products - resale emption may apply Yes; Boats Boats Boats are not considered No No; Trailers motor vehicles; trailers for transporting boats are motor vehicles Building Materials Yes; Used/consumed Yes exclusively at qualified UEZ location Cigarettes Subject to Tobacco Prod- No No ucts Wholesale Sales & Use Tax Contractor Equipment No Yes; except motor vehicles Energy (Natural/Gas/ No No Electricity) Office Equipment & OfYes Yes fice Furnishings Food & Food Ingredients Grocery food items not No Yes defined as prepared food
118 - Addendum F Fuel Telecommunications Equipment
Subject to Gross PetroNo No leum Fuels Tax or Motor Fuels Tax Yes; Stationary, nonYes mobile or cellular equipment (landline/desktop) Yes No
Manufacturing Equipment Motor Vehicles Off-the-Road/Nonconventional Vehicles (e.g. forklifts) Prepared Food & Beverages Repair/Replacement Parts - Motor Vehicles Repair/Replacement Parts - Off-the-Road/ Nonconventional Vehicles ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Yes; for vehicles used exclusively at the qualified UEZ location
--Exempt purchases made by qualified businesses do not have to be purchased from sellers located within a UEZ. Exempt items purchased from an out-of-State seller and delivered into New Jersey are exempt from use tax that would otherwise be due. --Purchase transactions must be for tangible personal property or services that are used or consumed by the qualified UEZ, business at its zone location. --”Small Qualified Businesses” may issue a UEZ Purchase Exemption Certification (Form UZ-5-S13) for point-of-purchase exempt purchases. All other UEZ businesses must pay sales tax on taxable sales but may apply for a refund of the sales or use tax paid. --For reduced rate sales tax collection completed purchase transactions must be made face-to-face; either by customer ordering at the UEZ qualified retailer’s site or by picking up at that site. --To be authorized to collect sales tax at the reduced rate, the business must make retail sales and is not primarily a catalog, mail order, or internet business. --Contractors must purchase materials, supplies and services that are used and consumed exclusively at the UEZ businesses location. --Delivery charges associated with exempt purchases of tangible personal property are also exempt; delivery charges associates with taxable purchases of tangible personal property are also taxable.
Source: NJ Department of Community Affairs (2010)
STATE OF NEW JERSEY URBAN ENTERPRISE ZONE - SALES TAX BENEFITS SUMMARY
Addendum F - 119 SERVICES - CHARGES/ FEES
EXEMPTION ON PURCHASES FOR QUALIFIED BUSINESSES* Admissions Charges to or for the use of any place of amusement in NJ or any entertainment event or sporting activity which takes place in the State (excludes participatory sports) Catering Services Prepared meals & beverages Contractor Services to Installation, repair, Real Property maintenance, service (includes landscaping, floor covering installation, alarm system installation) Delivery Transporting & handling of goods; providing postage Direct Mail Advertising Connected with advertisProcessing Services ing/promotional material distributed in NJ Hotel Occupancy Use, possession or right to use or possess any room or rooms in a hotel (except rooms used for assembly) Information Services Furnishing information collected, compiled or analyzed by seller other than personal or individual information not incorporated into reports furnished for other people Laundering, Dry Cleaning Cleaning, processing, taiServices loring, & similar services
Limousine Services Massage, Tanning, & Tattooing
Transportation originating & ending in NJ
REDUCED RATE ON SALES, RENTALS AND LEASES FOR RETAILERS** No No
Yes; exempt purchases of TPP; No; taxable purchases of TPP No
Yes; exempt purchases of TPP; No; taxable purchases of TPP*** No
Yes; linens, drapes, carpets, upholstery, etc. used exclusively at the qualified location No
120 - Acknowledgements Membership Fees/Dues
For access to or use of property or facilities of a health & fitness club, athletic, sporting or shopping club Parking Parking, storing or garaging a motor vehicle Repair & Maintenance Motor vehicles are intended for operation Services to Motor Vehicles on public highways (includes trailers & house trailers) Noncommercial offRepair & Maintenance Services to Motor Vethe-road vehicles (e.g. hicles - Nonconventional forklifts) Motor Vehicles Safety Deposit Box Storage Space Space for storing TPP provided by a business engaged in furnishing space for such storage Services to Real Property Repair & maintenance including janitorial & waste removal Telecommunications Other than alarm moniServices toring systems **** Services to Tangible Per- Installation, repair & sonal Property (Includmaintenance services ing telecommunications equipment) Utility Services Electricity
Yes; (no mobile or cellular equipment)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: *Services must be performed exclusively on the property of the qualified UEZ business. **The 50% reduced rate sales tax collection is not applicable for the sale of services. ***Fees for delivery services follow the taxability of the tangible personal property sold or purchased. ****Alarm monitoring is included in the definition of investigation and security services which may be exempt when provided exclusively at the qualified UEZ business location.
Source: NJ Department of Community Affairs (2010)
References - 121 Acknowledgements A special thanks to the following, whose contributions made this plan possible: Town Officials:
Other Helpful Resources:
Mayor Silverio A. Vega
Commissioner Michelle Fernandez-Lopez
Commissioner Gerald Lange
Frederick J. Tomkins
Commissioner Lawrence Riccardi
Commissioner Alberto Rodriguez
Albert L. Bringa Francisco D. Martinez
Sal A. Bonaccorsi
Robert M. Cabana
Dr. Robert Van Zanten Joseph McConnell Oscar Miqueli Michael Parks Kathleen Kube Terri Benson Thomas Oâ€™Malley
Special thanks to the West New York planning board.
122 - References References Winfield, Charles H. History of the County of Hudson, New Jersey, From its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time (New York: Kennard & Hay, 1874), p. 62-63. Hood, John. Index of Colonial and State Laws of New Jersey Between the Years 1663 and 1903 Inclusive (Camden, N.J.: Sinnickson Chew & Sons, 1905), p. 777. Winfield, p. 332. Hood, p. 777. Ibid., p. 1092. Ibid., p. 1093. Heyer, Gruel & Associates, PA, Historical Preservation Plan, Hudson County New Jersey Master Plan 2002, http://www.hudsoncountynj.org/planning/masterplan.asp (Feb. 11, 2010) Heyer, Gruel & Associates, PA, Economic Plan, Hudson County New Jersey Master Plan 2002, http://www.hudsoncountynj.org/ planning/masterplan.asp (Feb. 11, 2010). Ibid. West New York Public Library. Ibid. Hood, p. 1093. Egenton, Michael A. Modern Forms of Municipal Government (Trenton, N.J.: State Commission on County and Municipal Government, 1992), p. 7. Ibid. “Commercial growth in New Jersey town on Heights has doubled the population within five years,” New York Times, 20 December 1914, p. XXI. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. West New York Public Library. “O’Dwyer to speak at Jersey Jubilee,” New York Times, 20 September 1948, p. 44. Egenton, p. 53 Wolfe, Albert J. History of Municipal Government in New Jersey since 1798 (Trenton, N.J.: New Jersey State League of Municipalities, 1990), p. 19. Egenton, p. 53, 55 Ibid., p. 55 Heyer, Gruel & Associates, PA, Historical Preservation Plan, Hudson County New Jersey Master Plan 2002, http://www.hudsoncountynj.org/planning/masterplan.asp (Feb. 11, 2010) “Jersey census finds West New York bulges,” New York Times, 17 September 1961, p. 67. Ibid. Heyer, Gruel & Associates, PA, Historical Preservation Plan, Hudson County New Jersey Master Plan 2002, http://www.hudsoncountynj.org/planning/masterplan.asp (Feb. 11, 2010) Doherty, Joan F. Hudson County: The Left Bank. Windsor Publications Inc: 1st Ed. 1986. West New York Public Library. Doherty, Joan F. Hudson County: The Left Bank. Windsor Publications Inc: 1st Ed. 1986. Ibid. West New York Public Library. Doherty, Joan F. Hudson County: The Left Bank. Windsor Publications Inc: 1st Ed. 1986. Doherty, Joan F. Hudson County: The Left Bank. Windsor Publications Inc: 1st Ed. 1986. Ibid. “New Jersey’s Waterfront,” New York Times, Feb. 15, 1949, p. 22. (Proquest). Joseph J. Ryan, “Port Agency Lists Jersey Pier Plans,” New York Times, Feb. 15, 1949, p. 47. (Proquest). Doherty, Joan F. Hudson County: The Left Bank. Windsor Publications Inc: 1st Ed. 1986. Ibid. Martin A. Bierbaum, “Waterfront Development Requires Cooperation and Coordination,” New York Times, May 13, 1984, p. K28. (Proquest). Laura Mansnerus, “Development on a Toxic Site Draws Scrutiny in New Jersey,” New York Times, Oct. 02, 2006, p. B1. (Proquest). Martin A. Bierbaum, “Waterfront Development Requires Cooperation and Coordination,” New York Times, May 13, 1984, p. K28. (Proquest). Ibid.
References - 123 Andrea Kannapell, “On the Waterfront,” New York Times, Feb. 15, 1998, p. NJ1. (Proquest). “Living In/Port Imperial, N.J.: Where Manhattan is the biggest amenity,” New York Times, 20 May 2006, p. J9. Andrea Kannapell, “On the Waterfront,” New York Times, Feb. 15, 1998, p. NJ1. (Proquest). “Living In/Port Imperial, N.J.: Where Manhattan is the biggest amenity,” New York Times, 20 May 2006, p. J9. Anthony DePalmas, “Jersey’s Hopes For Riverfront Are Faltering,” New York Times, Dec. 1, 1998, p. B1. (Proquest). Jerry Cheslow, “Blending Two Cities Into One,” New York Times, Oct. 9, 2005, p. L7. (Proquest). Doherty, Joan F. Hudson County: The Left Bank. Windsor Publications Inc: 1st Ed. 1986. Joseph F. Sullivan, “Voters Oust, Then Elect, Their Mayor,” New York Times, Feb. 4, 1993, p. B6. (Proquest). LoboGuerrero, Cristina. “Despiden A Policia De WNY Culpable De Corrupcion.” El Diario La Prensa. New York, NY: Jun.19, 1998. Joseph F. Sullivan, “Voters Oust, Then Elect, Their Mayor,” New York Times, Feb. 4, 1993, p. B6. (Proquest). Ibid. LoboGuerrero, Cristina. “Buscan Botar A Alcalde Latin De NJ.” El Diario La Prensa. New York, NY: Apr. 21, 2009. Halbfinger, David M. “44 Charged by U.S. in New Jersey Corruption Sweep.” New York Times; July 23, 2009. West New York Public Library, 2010. Web. 20 April 2010. West New York School District. 2010. Web.15 April 2010. Education Law Center, 2009. Web. 3 May 2010. “HPSA Results.” GreatSchools. GreatSchools, 2010. 15 April 2010. Hudson County Community College, 2010. Web. 3 May 2010. Clark, Amy Sara. “Hudson County Community College’s building spree continues with North Campus in Union City.” Nj.com. 18 February 2009. West New York Parks Department. Personal interview. 14 April 2010. “New Jersey’s Waterfront,” New York Times, Feb. 15, 1949, p. 22. (Proquest). Joseph J. Ryan, “Port Agency Lists Jersey Pier Plans,” New York Times, Feb. 15, 1949, p. 47. (Proquest). Doherty, Joan F. Hudson County: The Left Bank. Windsor Publications Inc: 1st Ed. 1986. Ibid. Martin A. Bierbaum, “Waterfront Development Requires Cooperation and Coordination,” New York Times, May 13, 1984, p. K28. (Proquest). Ibid. Andrea Kannapell, “On the Waterfront,” New York Times, Feb. 15, 1998, p. NJ1. (Proquest). “Living In/Port Imperial, N.J.: Where Manhattan is the biggest amenity,” New York Times, 20 May 2006, p. J9. Andrea Kannapell, “On the Waterfront,” New York Times, Feb. 15, 1998, p. NJ1. (Proquest). Jerry Cheslow, “Blending Two Cities Into One,” New York Times, Oct. 9, 2005, p. L7. (Proquest). Rachelle Garbarine, “In New Jersey, Condo’s Sprout Along Hudson,” New York Times, Feb. 5, 1999, p. B8. (Proquest). Anthony DePalmas, “Jersey’s Hopes For Riverfront Are Faltering,” New York Times, Dec. 1, 1998, p. B1. (Proquest). Heyer, Gruel & Associates, PA, Land Use Plan, Hudson County New Jersey Master Plan 2002, http://www.hudsoncountynj.org/ planning/masterplan.asp (Feb. 11, 2010). Hudson County Division of Planning, Hudson River Waterfront Walkway Plan, 2006. http://www.hudsoncountynj.org/planning/hrww.asp 336 A.2d 713 (N.J. 1975), Southern Burlington County N.A.A.C.P. v. Township of Mount Laurel. “History of the Mount Laurel Decisions.” The New Jersey Digital Legal Library. Rutgers University, 2010. Web. 15 March 2010. “Mount Laurel Decisions I and II.” Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Mount Laurel Township, 2010. Web. 15 March 2010. 456 A.2d 390 (N.J. 1983), Southern Burlington County N.A.A.C.P. v. Township of Mount Laurel. Ibid., quoted from p. 410. 510 A.2d 621 (N.J. 1986), Hills Development Company v. Township of Bernards, LEXIS 86. Chambers, Steve. “Courts had a hand in mountain’s fate,” NJ.com, 11 June 2001. Hoch, Charles, Linda C. Dalton, and Frank S. So, Eds. The Practice of Local Government Planning (3rd ed.). International City/County Management Association, 2000. “COAH.” New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The Department, 2010. Web. March 2010. Ibid. Ibid. “Council of Affordable Housing.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 2010. Web. March 2010. Fleisher, Lisa. “N.J. Gov. Chris Christie creates task force to review affordable housing.” NJ.com. 9 February 2010. Union City Master Plan: Housing Element. from www.ucnj.com/ North Bergen Official Homepage: UEZ Office, from: http://www.northbergen.org New Jersey Office of Smart Growth. New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan: Final Draft.
124 - References Ibid. New Jersey State Act 52:18A-197. New Jersey State Act 52:18A-196 (c). New Jersey State Act 18A-220b.