The City of Hoboken has lost another appeal to halt the Shipyard Associates from building the Monarch project, which consists of two 11-story condo towers that would potentially be built on the waterfront.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The controversial project has been in court for over five years and the most recent appeal centered on if the city’s land use laws could prevent the construction of the project.
“In the current litigation, Shipyard filed suit to prevent the City from enforcing the ordinances to block construction of its project,” New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Judges William Nugent, Susan Reisner and Hany Mawla wrote in their January 7th decision.
To be clear, the issue before the trial court (as on this appeal) was not whether the ordinances themselves were valid. The issue was whether the ordinances could be retroactively applied to this project, which had final land use approval.”
In short, the nine-page ruling pointed to a previous ruling in the saga where a judge decided that a municipality could not apply “newly-enacted zoning ordinances” to projects that had already received final site plan approval, based on Municipal Land Use Law.
“We agree with Shipyard that appellants misplace reliance on New Jersey Shore Builders Association v. Township of Jackson, 199 N.J. 38 (2009), and Sparroween, LLC v. Township of West Caldwell, 452 N.J. Super. 329 (App. Div. 2017),” the opinion also says.
“Jackson approved the enforcement of a general municipal ordinance concerning the removal of trees. The Court concluded that the ordinance was a “generic environmental regulation” that was “not subject to the specific limits in the MLUL.”
The New Jersey Supreme Court declined to hear Hoboken’s appeal on the Monarch project back in February and it is seems more than likely that this is the final chapter in the longstanding court case.
In a mass email sent out back on December 8th, 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher noted that Mayor Ravi Bhalla was soliciting opinions from residents to try and come up with a solution that works for everyone.
“Mayor Bhalla is actively working with Dave Barry and Ironstate/Applied, owners of the proposed Monarch site as well as other development sites in Hoboken, to identify a solution that could see the conclusion to the longstanding battle for our waterfront including vacating their interests on the north waterfront,” she wrote.
The councilwoman also indicated that Bhalla had met with the residents of the Hudson Tea Building, whose condominium association was also a defendant in the appeal.
“The Administration is working with counsel to evaluate our next steps that are in the best interests of the residents of Hoboken,” added city spokesman Vijay Chaudhuri.
The Fund for a Better Waterfront, another defendant in the case, did not return an email seeking comment.
The full decision can be read here, courtesy of HobokenHorse.com.