Bayonne residents fuming after council approves 46th Street redevelopment plan

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The council meeting that started as a promising compromise between Bayonne residents and city council resulted in an outburst of frustration when the board passed the 46th Street redevelopment plan. 

John Wyciskala of Inglesino, Pearlman, Wyciskala & Taylor, LLC., who serves as a special redevelopment counsel to the City of Bayonne, first explained the process of the plan to the residents to reassure that the project was not given preferential treatment.

Councilman at-Large Juan Perez, who was not in attendance at the last council meeting, also addressed the public stating that he has watched the coverage and was therefore fully informed of what has occurred at the last meeting.

Shortly after, John McDonough, a licensed professional planner who has worked with the City of Bayonne in several development projects stated:

“Redevelopment is to reincentivize and to spark development in areas where conventional zoning may have failed and this is the opportunity for the city to capitalize on that tool, on that planning tool, and reinvigorate the Broadway corridor.”

McDonough also addressed the crowd’s confusion stating the building will be 100 feet, 10 stories, 88 units with 1.5 parking spaces allocated to each unit “which is consistent with multi-family homes.”

He also explained that this plan mandates “give backs to the community” with the park and the street scape offering shopping and outdoor cafés.

As for tax abatements, developments can apply but “tonight is just about the plan.”

The overall consensus of the public comments claimed that they were in full support of a redevelopment plan, but did not support a 100-foot building, as most feel “that it just doesn’t belong there.”

Marney Riley, who supported the plan, referred to a recent arrest report as a reason why the plan was a poor idea.

“Did you see the article this morning, ‘Bayonne man nabbed with 500 bags of heroine’, she said. “Do you want somebody coming into this town with a disposable needle or disposable income?”

Robert Engelhardt, who is not against redevelopment, but is against the plan, said community output was largely ignored.

“Councilman La Pelusa said he tried to open channels for negotiations, I was wondering if this council has gotten any farther with the public and developers to work with the height of the building?”

“The plan before us, is still the plan before us, the plan has not changed,” Council President Sharon Nadrowski immediately responded.

LaPelusa then followed up, “I have asked several times, but the developers said they could not lower it.”

“Most people that speak up against this, are not against redevelop, they are just against the height of this particular building,” said Engelhardt.

Engelhardt also brought to light that based on the Residential Site Improvement Standard (RSIS) by the state of New Jersey, a requirement is 2.6 parking spaces per multi-family home.

Tracey Monroe, a resident whose home will be across the street from the planned parking lot, was willing to sell her home because she does not want to live across from it.

Gene Hunt, also a longtime resident, asked the council why they aren’t concentrating on just bringing new stores in the city so that they would keep the shopping local and to create local family recreation venues.

Nadrowski clarified that because the median income in the City of Bayonne is $55,000 a year, businesses like” Bounce U” will not come because it’s not considered profitable by them.

Matthew Kopko, a Republican nominee for District 31 State Assembly, challenged City Clerk Robert Sloan on the confusion that happened last meeting regarding Councilman Sal Gullace.

“Tonight’s vote on the redevelopment plan is unnecessary because it was already voted on last council meeting.”

He pointed out that Gullace, who was pilloried for his decision, initially voted against it.

Kopko then challenged Sloan, “You Mr. Sloan turned around, faced Councilman Gullace and said, “Don’t vote ‘no,’ you’ll kill”.

Sloan explained to Kopko and the residents that he understood what Gullace intended to do and wanted to make sure he really wanted to vote against it.

Peter Franco, a Bayonne activist, told the council that it was important that they listen to the people of Bayonne and proposed a community redevelopment board so that the residents can have “an initial review on every development proposal.

When Lance Lucarelli, a developer of The L Group and responsible for the building design, addressed the public, he was heckled and accused of grandstanding.

“Everybody says that the solution is to save Broadway, I agree and this building that I am designing has 1.2 cars for the 88 units and its only 9 stores high,” said Lucarelli.

He explains that the units starting at $2,000 a month for rent will bring in $24,000 and year to Bayonne and this will increase the median income that Council President Nadrowski mentioned earlier in the meeting.

Lucarelli insisted that with this building, retailers will come and will only benefit the city.

Just before midnight, the council voted 4-1 to pass the 46th Street redevelopment plan, with Councilman Gary La Pelusa voting against it.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The residents of 46th Street are selfish……not in my neighborhood syndrome
    It takes a community to build this city are you in?
    This City needs more then one building built.
    lets see what good we can accomplish by supporting our City for the future.
    And welcome the change that will take place in our city.
    There will be growing pains,there will be a need for more children to attend school, there will be new people walking the streets,and living in this new construction of housing that our city is trying create.
    We must support our present mayor and council to make Bayonne a destination and not the laughing stock of the state.
    Prior administrations over the last 50 years have caused this town never to grow. The politicians with good intentions but bad ideas and bad decisions have led this city to this point.

    The residents of 46th Street are selfish……not in my neighborhood syndrome. You should welcome this change.

    The starting point for a new building would have been beautiful on 46th and Broadway.
    The City image is so tarnished that outsiders look in and laugh;
    It’s a bad message to send out to the real estate community who consists of builders, contractors,and individuals like you and me..who want is invest here.

    Bayonne is primed for reconstruction,the infrastructure of the town is falling apart..
    There is never enough money to keep the town in tip-top condition, but there will be more money collected with new construction, new taxable properties, we need to think for the future and not only for today.
    Broadway is one of the—six gateways into Bayonne with the need for new construction especially on Broadway.

    I don’t know if you realize this but, in this town when you go around town, there are no new faces, no new people just the same ones for the past 50 years.

    The message that was sent to the town fathers:
    that they can be threatened by saying we put you in office and we will take you out.
    I have my doubts that most of those residents who spoke did not vote for the present administration.
    You elected this present mayor and council to effectuate change….
    City residents you must support this mayor and council.

  2. Mr Cupo if I’m not mistaken you own a realty business so it would indeed be very profitable for you to endorse this type of development. I’ve read your comments on other forums about there not being any new faces in Bayonne for the past 50 years and I personally find that to be very misleading. I have lived in Bayonne for over 40 years. I have raised my children here. I have also worked here locally since I was a teen. I do not drive by choice so I use public transportation and walk all over Bayonne. I recently walked down Broadway from 42nd St to 2nd St a few months back on a nice day. There were many people out and about. I remember thinking to myself that day that I had not seen one person who I knew. After you made these comments on another forum I felt that I should really pay attention so I did. In the past five days I have been all over town and I have only seen about five different people that I know. I have had the good fortune of making many acquaintances so I fully expected to see quite a few but I did not. Maybe they were all busy on the days I was out. What I did see was an enormous amount of new people out and about. Friendly people just going about their day like me. To imply that we have no new people here is very misleading indeed. If you are actually in realty Mr Cupo you should probably reacquaint yourself with the town you do business in. I believe the “selfish” people who live here probably helped many businesses grow. The residents who’s lives are being disrupted by all of this development are not being selfish in any way. They simply asked the developer to reconsider the height of the building. They simple asked the council to back them up. Also since I do know the town I live in I can assure you that a good many of these people did back our current council as did I. Mr Cupo do you live in Bayonne? If you do then I respectfully ask you to please put a ten story building in your backyard. If you already do live right next to one or will be living right next to one then bravo you are a very selfless human being. If not then please stop insulting the very people who may have helped your business grow.

  3. I do not own a building, live on 45th street and am in favor of this project. This is literally, in “my backyard.” Mr. lapilusa has to pull his head out of the sand and start thinking rationally. What has he done to make the 3rd ward better? Nothing and that is what cant’ continue. We have to develop this city or it will die. We can’t even support a Staples store.

    At the hearing I heard that it was ok to put big buildings in other parts of Bayonne but not on 46th Street. This is a commercial area for most of the plan. The 100 ft. section would only be on Broadway. the lady who was yelling about selling her home should take a look around what is around her house now. An all night 24 hour ATM, a gas station, Resnick’s garage that is falling down and blighted homes and stores. Yell all you want but you have to be realistic – the neighborhood is going down. It is dirty, people don’t clean up, SUV’s block driveways (yes, that one is for you Mr. Lapilusa), home need repair and it looks horrible.

    I heard people talking about transient yuppies and people who don’t support Bayonne. How many people travel to malls or shop online? Is that supporting local business?

    The “not in my backyard” has got to stop. I’m tired of hearing how you don’t get enough light. Where do you think you live? On a tropical island or an estate?

    This article says that the crowd was upset by the vote. I was there and can tell you that the comments were equal on both sides. There were many people in the audience who wouldn’t speak in favor of the project because of the rude comments made by Mr. Lapilusa’s people. This report should be more factual and report what actually happened. A 401 vote tells it all.

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