Bayonne Planning Board still set to hear 1,250-unit MOTBY project on Election Day

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The Bayonne Planning Board is still set to hear a sometimes controversial 1,250-unit project that would be built at the former Military Ocean Terminal on Election Day.

Peninsula at the Bayonne Harbor developer Wasseem Boraie.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The “Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor” has been in the works since 2015 and got preliminary approval from the land use board at the tail end of a five-hour meeting on April 12th, before scheduling to hear the bulk of the project on Election Day, May 10th.

Approving a subdivision of the land into three parts was just the first step and the bulk of the project will be heard tomorrow at 6 p.m., according to a copy of the planning board agenda.

Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski, Mayor Jimmy Davis’ chief opposition on the ballot, began taking issue with the project after Politico reported that project developer Wasseem Boraie donated $25,000 to a pro-Davis group that went defunct.

The Government for the People PAC was founded by former state Senator Ray Lesniak and while he admitted it was meant to bolster Davis’ re-election, the PAC ceased operations after consultant Sean Caddle, who was paid $2,500 from the group, pleaded guilty to a murder-for-hire scheme.

While Ashe-Nadrowski attempted to get Bayonne Urban Partners Renewal, the LLC for the project, removed from the project at last month’s council meeting, the last one before the election, she was unsuccessful in getting a second on any of the three related measures.

She argued that the redeveloper agreement had expired and that the payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement only covered 850 units, though her council colleagues disagreed with her.

The development also boasts five residential buildings, 10,000 square feet of retail space, and two parking structures, among other amenities.

Having a hearing while the polls are open is a bit unusual, particularly since Davis, Ashe-Nadrowski, and Board of Education President Maria Valado – who is running for the 3rd Ward council seat on the challenger’s ticket – all sit on the board.

With the polls open between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., it’s all but a sure thing that no one on the ballot will be attending the planning board meeting.

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