Westside Neighborhood Association starts

Dear Editor:

I’d like to inform Hoboken residents, and those of the northwestern part of the city in particular, that a number of concerned citizens have formed the Westside Neighborhood Association. The WNA’s mission is to increase the quality of life for residents on the west side of town. Our present focus is to address the lack of progress in adding much needed park space in the northwestern part of town.

Hoboken’s 2004 Master Plan identified two large sections in the northwestern part of Hoboken where parks could be built. One includes portions of an 8-block area north of 9th Street along the western edge of town (“Western Edge”) and the other is the former Henkel/Cognis site bordered by Madison, Adams and 12th and 13th Streets. These are two of the last remaining large parcels of land that can provide space for athletic fields and active recreation as called for in the Master Plan.

In recent years, several new large residential buildings have been constructed on former industrial and commercial properties in the northwestern part of town, bringing new life to the area. Several others are in the works. In outlining the City’s plan for revitalizing the quadrant, the Master Plan called for such residential development to be accompanied by the provision of parks and active recreation space. Even without the addition of hundreds of new residents, the Master Plan noted a woeful lack of parks to serve Hoboken’s existing population.

Yet there has been no substantial effort to take the steps needed to use these parcels in the northwestern part of town to significantly add to Hoboken’s park space. If this chance is missed now, the opportunity to construct parks large enough to expand the city’s playing fields and add significantly to open space will be lost forever.

On March 6, 2007, the Planning Board voted to recommend that the City Council designate the “Western Edge” area a redevelopment area. The city has made no commitment to build parks in the redevelopment area. Instead, the Zoning Board has already granted zoning variances to one developer to build a 12 story building on one of the lots in this area that was proposed for park in the Master Plan.

The WNA asks that the City take steps to create the parks in the northwestern part of Hoboken called for in the Master Plan.

If you are interested in joining us in our efforts, please send an email to WNAHoboken@yahoogroups.com, and we will keep you informed.

Rosemary Hyson
Westside Neighborhood Association


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