2012 Jun 4th

Want More Parks in Hoboken? Read This:

OPEN LETTER TO RESIDENTS FROM MAYOR ZIMMER REGARDING PARK SPACE ACQUISITION

Dear Hoboken Residents,

This Wednesday, June 6th at 7:00 is a crucial City Council meeting for everyone who wants more park space in Hoboken. Do you want more space to play in your sports league? Do you think our parks are too crowded? Do you want more space for your child to practice and play sports? Do you want to introduce a new sport to Hoboken? Do you want more open space to just relax, lounge, read a book, and enjoy the outdoors? If you want more park space for any of these reasons, then please read on and let your Council member know your views.

The New Park Challenge:

This Wednesday, the Council will be asked to authorize the potential acquisition of land through negotiation and, if necessary, eminent domain for parks in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Wards (roughly the western half of Hoboken).

The only way our open space promises can be fulfilled is if we take the tangible steps that are needed to actually fulfill them. This means we need to acquire property before the market makes it unaffordable or development makes it impossible.

The time has come for your elected officials to deliver on the open space promises we have all made at election time. The City has $23 million (including a $3 million Open Space County grant) to acquire land for open space. On Wednesday, the Council will be voting on a 2nd and final reading to authorize the acquisition of approximately an acre of property in the Southwest. They will also vote on 1st reading to authorize the potential purchase of approximately six acres in the 5th Ward (known as the Henkel/Cognis site, now owned by BASF) and a smaller property in the 3rd Ward (known as the Pino site).

The $23 million will likely not be sufficient to acquire all of these properties, but the authorization will enable the City to conduct serious negotiations for these properties.

Council members need to hear directly from residents concerned about this issue. Please take a few moments to email them and/or attend the Council meeting to voice your views.

Council President Bhalla: [email protected]

Vice President Cunningham (5th Ward): [email protected]

Councilwoman-at-Large Marsh: [email protected]

Councilman-at-Large Mello: [email protected]

1st Ward Councilwoman Castellano: [email protected]

2nd Ward Councilwoman Mason: [email protected]

3rd Ward Councilman Russo: [email protected]

4th Ward Councilman Occhipinti:  [email protected]

6th Ward Councilwoman Giattino: [email protected]

If you want to discuss this directly with me, feel free to stop by my open office hours from 5pm-7pm today, Monday June 4, at my office on the 2nd floor of City Hall. No appointment is necessary.

Thanks so much for listening,

Mayor Dawn Zimmer

Email: [email protected]

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  1. rich

    I would love to see some more parks in the south west as I own a house there. But I was wondering if anyone has put together anything on what it might cost to aquire this land. They keep saying – they have 23 million but it is not likely to be enough to buy only part of the land they want.

    Sites in play…
    *Henkel/Cognis – (I think this is the site by weehawken but someone can correct me if I am wrong). Crappy location but seems like a good size site for ball fields
    *Pino site – a mid sized site where they use to tow cars.
    *1 acre in the SW(this sounds like a small part of the development zone and not that whole big area that are talking about)?

    If 23 million is not enough does that means it could take 50 million to buy these and closer to 75 million to include a nice chunk in the south west.

    The 2012 budget was 107 million. I think that means if you pay $10,700 a year in taxes your share of this park purchase is $7,500? that seems like a lot even if they bond it and spread it over some years..

  2. Andy

    I am all in favor of open space but honestly, parks are not going to suddenly make Hoboken even better. They need to fix the parking situation, reduce the cost of city hall, police / fire, and do a reval. All of which they should be doing way in advance of overpaying for land that could end up driving up taxes even more. To be honest I think its quite foolish and our lovely mile square city is just that a mile, folks on 1st and jackson can walk to pier A and people uptown can walk to Maxwell or Elysian. How about they fix the soccer field at Sinatra park and repair the crumbling pilons near the stevens stairs. Developing land for the sake of it in this economy is not going to suddenly improve propertly values in that corner of town. And if its the 3mm in grants that they are afraid of loosing so be it. if it costs the city more to purchase and ends up raising our taxes it could potentially wipe out that 3mm grant money in less than a year.

  3. MD

    Andy,
    You are missing crucial pieces of the puzzle with regard to every single point that you have made above (do you know why the waterfront is crumbling, do you know that Hoboken itself needs to wait for all sorts of external approvals because fixing the waterfront also effects the Hudson River- EPA etc). Walking 10 minutes to a park is doable, but if you are truly worried about the value of your property maybe you should have the forsight to realize a park in your neighborhood is worth more to the value of your property than any tax increase. Also, you can do the research required to review both the current valuation of the property and the zoning to realize how much that property is worth- actually using the 3MM gets you close to where you need to be on the acquisition cost.
    Stop ranting and start helping- and actually understand the cost and timing of all of your solutions. You would do everyone a favor.

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