Dozens of Jersey City construction sites remain open due to exemptions in gov’s order

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While Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an executive order last week banning non-essential construction, nearly four dozen sites in Jersey City remain active due to exemptions provided in the directive.

Twitter photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“For more transparency, we created an easy to use site of all active construction sites in #JerseyCity where exemptions to ‘stop work’ were filed under the rules in the Governor’s Executive Order. We also created a process here for public to file complaints,” Mayor Steven Fulop tweeted this afternoon.

He added that the site will be updated regularly and feedback will by shared with the governor’s office.

There are 44 projects that have been reviewed and only three have been shut down, according to the data compiled by the city.

The three shut down are at 25 Park Lane South, 26-28 Cottage St., and 520 Palisade Ave., respectively, which have been shut down for the individuals reasons of not being under office jurisdiction, site safety, and structural integrity.

While some residents have expressed dismay on social media about construction projects continuing after Murphy’s order took effect last Friday at 8 p.m., Jersey City Chief Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut said that the order is not as airtight as some may believe.

“We realized that the governor’s EO has a lot of exemptions, and even for the non-essential properties, there’s a lot that that the crews can still do. It’s a very narrow universe for the sites we can shut down,” he told HCV.

“We agree with the community’s concerns about construction being shut down. We’re going to be submitting these results to the gov’s office in hopes of tightening up that order. That’s why we want the community to be part of this process.”

The governor’s office did not respond to multiple inquiries seeking comment, but the majority of the Jersey City projects that remain active are doing so over site security or safety, structural integrity, and/or abating hazards.

All of those reasons, and others, are listed as exemptions in Executive Order 122 signed by Murphy.

Nevertheless, Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano expressed great dissatisfaction with the situation.

“It’s like nobody gives a damn. If they have to do the work, if it’s important work: fine. But with all these sites, there’s a lot of out of state workers and probably half of our virus [infections] in the last month came from out of state workers.”

Additionally, Ward E Councilman James Solomon tweeted the photo above on Wednesday as an example of gamesmanship by local developers.

“Only a Jersey City developer would have the chutzpah to claim its luxury development is ‘essential’ because an itsy-bitsy portion (3%) of it is a private school. Let’s stop this nonsense. It’s non-essential.”

Earlier this week, tensions between local officials and Murphy’s administration boiled over in a lawsuit regarding an emergency order closing Jersey City day cares.