Mastering the plan

Bayonne begins process of reexamining master plan to make updates

The city took the first step toward updating its master plan for the first time in years when DMR Architects of Hasbrouck Heights, its consultant on the project, discussed the initiative at the Sept. 8 Planning Board meeting.
Francis Reiner of DMR made a presentation, “Bayonne’s Master Plan Reexamination,” and explained that the state of New Jersey encourages municipalities to reassess their master plans every 10 years. Bayonne’s most recent master plan was adopted in 2000.
Master plans set goals for development, preservation, transportation, recreation, and other aspects of the community’s future.
Bayonne’s master plan has become a point of contention for residents of 46th and North streets who are angered by the approvals of residential projects of nine and 22 stories on their blocks. Residents questioned if the city’s master plan was being adhered to in allowing the projects to move forward.
The Resnick’s Hardware property on 46th Street, where a 9-story building is to be built, is in an area that had been designated as “in need of development,” which allowed developers to build higher than in other areas.
The North Street project is part of the larger City of Bayonne Eighth Street Station Rehabilitation Area Plan. The 22-story tower is allowed because developers adhered to 10 beautification requirements for the area.
The primary reason for a master plan re-examination is to identify and implement modifications to the existing zone ordinance to show updated priorities, city officials said. The city’s current zoning ordinance was adopted in 2002.
Reiner explained that the master plan re-examination is generally a one-year process and usually includes three to four meetings or work sessions involving his company, the administration, and residents.
“This is a process which engages the community,” Reiner said, since the process involves improving the quality of life for residents.
The public outreach component typically includes public workshops, a steering/advisory committee, and key stakeholder interviews.


“This is a process which engages the community.” – Francis Reiner

Re-examination components

Components of reexamination studies usually include land use, housing, community facilities, parks, recreation and open space, conservation, historic preservation, and recycling.
The re-examination could focus on such goals as increasing parks and other open spaces or improving transportation options.

Public input opportunity

“A master plan re-examination offers the people of Bayonne the opportunity to see which aspects of our existing master plan might be in need of updating,” Mayor James Davis said prior to the meeting.
The city is seeking community involvement in the updating of the master plan and invited residents to attend upcoming meetings in other venues.
Davis has said that as part of the re-examination process, committees will be formed to discuss particular elements of the master plan. He said that he wanted the final document to reflect the “citizens’ vision” for the future of the city.

Joseph Passantino may be reached at

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