There are several good reasons to reject Eugene Flinn’s proposal in his letter to The Reporter of January 25th that the whole of Washington Street be rezoned as a business district.
1. Such a whopping change in the Draft Master Plan would send the whole process right back to square one. Two public meetings are now being held (1/13 and 1/27) for residents’ comments on the Draft before the final version goes to the Planning Board, expected to be in a matter of weeks. From there is goes to the City Council for implementation.
2. Intrusion of business activity into the shared space of the back yards of the shops on the west side of Washington Street and the houses on the east side of Bloomfield would have the effect of seriously damaging the viability of those single- and two-family houses as attractive places for families to live. Property values would be adversely affected as a result. Residential neighborhoods would be destroyed.
3. There are a finite number of old homes in the traditional Hoboken design. Once we lose a neighborhood of these old homes to the encroachments of a business district they are gone for good. Business can go elsewhere and is welcomed in many parts of the city, as generously and thoughtfully provided for in the Draft Master Plan.
None of this needs to happen if the public supports the excellent Draft presented to the City by the planners. Let’s be smart about this, folks. Let’s say Yes to the Draft and No hair-brained ideas like making Washington Street into a Strip.