In Bayonne, some residents remain skeptical about redevelopment plans

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The Bayonne City Council heard residents voice their concerns about several new redevelopment plans that ultimately received board approval at Wednesday’s meeting.

 

“When do we, meaning the residents, know what that [redevelopment plan], will be looking at, at the next meeting?,” city resident Melanie Flora asked regarding 5.21-acre plot of land on Avenue F between 23rd and 24th Streets.

“There’s no specific time frame, with a site plan,” began Business Administrator Joe DeMarco, before cutting cut off.

“No I don’t mean … what I’m saying is there’s going to be something. It’s not just he presents it and you say okay and that’s it,” she questioned.

“Correct, he would have to go to the planning board with a site plan,” DeMarco responded.

Bayonne Corporation Counsel John “Jay” Coffey sought to add further clarity to the matter.

“This is the parameters within which the builder can build, the developer can build, so that the parameters for them are laid out so they know what they can do.The developer now comes in with a specific site plan and goes to the planning board,” he said

“Then the planning board, planning board is gonna look at his plans to see if it comports with the overview here, the redevelopment plan. At that point, the planning board would determine whether or not they like or don’t like what the developer is proposing.”

Flora, who has openly opposed a possible Muslim Community Center in Bayonne,  was one of a handful of residents who spoke out against three redevelopment plans in front of the council Wednesday night.

Carlos Colon, a city resident who lives on 270 Prospect Ave., inquired as to how a 1.6- to 1.7-acre of land near the intersection of 32nd Street and Prospect Avenue could be developed if no one has purchased his home.

“My house, they’re assuming I’m letting go of my property to build … they don’t have my property. I’m on 270 Prospect Avenue, corner of 32nd Street, right on the corner.”

DeMarco, who added that the project currently calls for an eight-story building with 180 residential units, said that Colon is under no obligation to sell his property to the developer, the Alessi organization.

Furthermore, he added that in the event Colon decides to stay put, the current redevelopment plan would more than likely be scrapped.

Joe Wisniewski, who has also spoken out against the proposed Muslim Community Center, said he feels the concerns of the residents of the east side have largely been ignored by city officials.

“Everybody knows about the mosque that’s being … that’s going on in town, that’s the talk of the town in 24th Street, but there’s a lot more than that,” he said.

“You guys just recently approved a six-story building on 172-Avenue F, which is six stories, and I just don’t feel that the city council is listening to us and we’re very frustrated … it just seems like nobody cares.”

A third “amended and expanded redevelopment plan” in that area of the city, 678-688 Avenue F, was also approved by the council on Wednesday.