What is Mayor Roberts up to? Why is he tying to gut the intent of the Hoboken Master Plan? Is the Master Plan just a public relations gimmick? These are all questions I came away with after the last City Council meeting.
In a surprise move, Mr. Fred Bado, Hoboken City Development Director, proposed that a huge portion of the northern section of Hoboken be declared a Redevelopment Zone. Including Sanford Weiss’s much criticized waterfront tower project at 1600 Park Avenue. This would remove the property from the Master Plan guidelines, remove it from public debate at the Zoning Board and place it in under the Planning Board, who could then do whatever it wants including giving the developers tax exempt status.
One requirement of declaring a “Redevelopment Zone” is that the property be declared, “blighted”. Do the Mayor and Mr. Bado consider waterfront property in Hoboken with spectacular views of Manhattan “blighted?” The developers of these properties stand to make additional tens of million dollars selling condos at $300.00 to $500.00 a square foot with favorable zoning decisions. What will the people of Hoboken get in return?
In the meeting City Councilman and Mayor Roberts supporter Mr. Campos asked do you want this decided by the Zoning Board after they approved the 17 story 101 Marshall Street? If the Mayor does not have confidence in the Zoning Board then he should say so. Mayor Roberts re-appointed many of the Zoning Board members who voted for Sanford Weiss’s 101 Marshall Street Towers (aka Sky Club.)
There may be a good explanation as to why Mayor Roberts is doing all this political/legal maneuvering; if so he should make a detailed on the recorded statement to the public.