Fear of being priced out

Dear Editor:
After several meetings with the public the Jersey City Council has decided to move forward with introducing the West Bergen East Lincoln Park Historic District. At those meetings the citizens spoke against the district for a variety of reasons. One was the lack of transparency on the part of the administration in this regard. Many residents claimed they received no notice about it. Another claim was the lack of clear standards and procedures that homeowners will have to follow. Others spoke about their fear they will be “priced” out of their homes as real estate speculators descend on their quiet neighborhood which is home to elderly, retired, low income and disabled people as well as the average working person trying to make ends meet.
What is clear is that there is no overwhelming support for this district from the people who live within its borders. There is deep concern that historic district designation will lead to higher property values which translates to higher taxes for homeowners. All the costs the owners incur will be passed directly onto their tenants many of whom are senior citizens on fixed incomes. Some are young families with children and others are handicapped or unable to find employment.
Those who live here are still waiting for the campaign promises of clean streets and community policing to happen. Despite experts claims to the contrary this is just another attempt at government control of private property. In a recent discussion of his proposed driveway ordinance on a local TV show Ward B Councilman Chico Ramchal, in whose ward the bulk of the proposed district lies, responded as to his reason for proposing that ordinance said “Why would I have to pay tax for a piece of property that I own and I can’t do whatever I want to do with it?” He is so correct and I trust he will apply that reasoning when he has to vote on the historic district ordinance.

Charles Balcer

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