After some contention, Jersey City Council OKs Ward F portion of Morris Canal plan

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In another initiative to try and move development beyond the waterfront, the Jersey City Council approved Berry Lane Park zones for the Morris Canal Redevelopment Plan.

In a 7-1(1) vote during Wednesday night’s council meeting, with Ward D Councilman Michael Yun voting no and Council President Rolando Lavarro abstaining, the new mixed-use, eight-story apartment complex with affordable housing at the foot of Woodward Street paves the way for redevelopment within Ward F.

Throughout the meeting, major concerns pertained to the additional four stories added to the redevelopment plan along with environmental impact, sewage, and infrastructure.

While Jersey City residents like Allison Trumbell, believe adding an additional four stories to the project will effect the precedent of the neighborhood, Ward F Councilman Jermaine Robinson finds redevelopment necessary.

“We as a community need to stop fighting [against] each other. We need to come together to make sure we put Ward F first and put Ward F on the map. In order for Jersey City to be the best mid-sized city in the nation, there cannot be a tale of two cities. It’s been going on for far too long and we are losing,” said Robinson.

Even though there are supporting and opposing sides to the argument, Genova Burns law partner Jennifer Mazawey showcased the proximity to Berry Lane Park, convenience of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station and affordable housing as community incentives.

“Previously the Morris Canal Redevelopment Plan has been around for 18 years. This project, this property has been undeveloped during that period of time and what we’re asking you to do is look at the zoning and that is actually one of the responsibilities as a redevelopment owner,” said Mazawey.

“Look at the plan, look at the zoning. Is it working? It’s not working here because it hasn’t been redeveloped for all those years. There is a need for additional density to make this project work. It is not density for the sake of density. Here the landowner and development owner is giving significant community give-backs.”