The New Jersey Appellate Court has ruled in favor of Shipyard Associates, the developer’s of the controversial Monarch project, but Mayor Dawn Zimmer has vowed to now take the matter up with the Supreme Court.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Today the NJ Appellate Division unfortunately decided in favor of the Shipyard Developer, ruling against the City regarding the Monarch Shipyard development agreement and the City and County Planning Boardâ€™s actions,” Zimmer said in a statement yesterday.
“Despite this setback, I am directing our legal team to continue the legal battle by requesting certification from the Supreme Court to hear this matter.”
Kevin Coakley, a partner at Connell Foley LLP and the attorney for Shipyard Associates, said his client looks forward to finishing the Shipyard development.
“We are pleased with the New Jersey Appellate Division’s opinion today to uphold previous court decisions and recognize Shipyard Associates, L.P.’s legitimate rights under zoning law to pursue development of The Monarch project in Hoboken,” Coakley said in a statement.
“Our client looks forward to completing the Shipyard development.”
The mayor further stated that as a result of this ruling, a case regarding the city’s flood prevention ordinance will move forward in Superior Court.
“This legislation, approved by the City Council after Superstorm Sandy, prohibits residential development on the garden/ground level in all flood zones in our City and generally prohibits residential and commercial development on our Cityâ€™s waterfront.”
The measure was approved unanimously back in 2013 and is relevant because Shipyard Associates litigation alleges that local legislation shouldn’t apply to the Monarch project.
“This is an unfortunate ruling that places developer interests over the interests of Hoboken’s residents. The Shipyardâ€™s proposed development along the waterfront poses a serious risk to our City and the safety of our residents,” added Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla.
“Climate change is a real danger to coastal cities like Hoboken, and placing a large residential building directly in a flood zone violates our flood ordinance. I am very supportive of Mayor Zimmerâ€™s decision to forge ahead and continue defending our community before the New Jersey Supreme Court.”
Bhalla, also a mayoral candidate, said he would continue to protect the waterfront from “irresponsible development” if elected.
Back in October 2016, the Zimmer administration proposed a settlement that would stop the Monarch project and give the city ownership of the pier in exchange to settle the litigation surround 800 Monroe St.
The city would have also received $500,000 from Shipyard Associates for cleanup and planning purposes.
However, the city council voted against the settlement plan, with several council members expressing frustration that they were not part of the negotiation process.
Zimmer also noted that the City won the 800 Monroe development case at the Superior Court and is continuing to fight that case in the Appellate court.