Chamber of Commerce offers zoning symposium

Dear Editor:
In her letter to the editor, Hoboken Planning Board Chairwomen Ann Graham suggests there were inaccuracies in the open letter issued by the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Economic Development Committee that discussed the Master Plan Reexamination Report. We respond here to her criticisms, and also outline a symposium regarding these very issues to be hosted by the chamber at Stevens Institute in May, 2011.
Though Ms. Graham notes the report reflects current planning viewpoints, and that the city’s active consideration of blighting and condemning industrial sites motivated its decision to move from the industrial transitional classification and leave the industrial zones unchanged, her primary focus was to claim public meetings were held. This, we submit, misses the point.
We are constrained to quote the report. At page 32, as it trains its focus to identifying “specific changes recommended for the master plan or development regulations,” the report then acknowledges in the second full paragraph the “changes identify a clear shift in some of the prior City policies.” As to input, it makes no reference at that page to public hearings or matters identified in such a forum, rather, and instead, mentions only “interviews with both elected and appointed City officials.” This language suggests at worst the hearings were mere window dressing, or at best ignored by the authors. In either case this language amply demonstrates why the report – released on a Monday, but voted on three days later at a ‘special’ meeting on March 10 – is suspect, and approval should be rescinded to allow for a full exploration of the issues at hand.
To pro-actively aid this, the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to announce that in May 2011 it will host a symposium regarding these very topics at Stevens Institute. This will feature presentations from professionals who will comment on the direction best suited for Hoboken, the reexamination process in general and the specifics of this report. Seating will be limited, but the entire city is being invited. Our goal through this communal outreach is to achieve total transparency.

Hoboken Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
and Economic Development Committee

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