Gilmore says he hopes to delay second reading of Morris Canal Manor plan at Jersey City Council caucus


Jersey City Ward F Councilman Frank “Educational” Gilmore said that he hopes to delay the second reading of the Morris Canal Manor plan at yesterday’s caucus meeting.

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

“I’m going to have a meeting with the developer tomorrow. I’m going to request at the time to table this just so we can have more community input,” Gilmore, who came out against the plan in December before being sworn in, said.

“You’re requesting for it to be pulled?” Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano asked.

“I’ll wait till Wednesday,” Gilmore answered.

Council President Joyce Watterman said that they would leave the ordinance on the agenda since Gilmore said he was meeting with project developer Lou Mont today.

“Can you let us know? Can you give us a heads up on the meeting?,” requested Councilman-at-Large Daniel Rivera.

“Definitely,” Gilmore replied.

At the aforementioned December hybrid meeting hosted by Gilmore, Mont said that he didn’t see any reason to hold the project up any further since there had been ample community feedback meetings.

Furthermore, a lawsuit delayed the project last year, getting it sent back to the planning board before the council approved the amended plan on first reading last month.

“He has been very receptive with regards to reaching out and he said he wants to do everything he can do to help our community and make this project work for the community,” Gilmore said of Mont.

“We’ll see what happens. In its current form, I just can’t move forward with the project, seeing as how the community has so much concerns with it. The goal is to make sure that the community’s questions and concerns are addressed.”

While Gilmore said he is in favor of the land being developed, he wants to find a common ground where everyone is happy and they aren’t there yet.

“My job is to advocate for my constituents and my community, so that’s what I have to do. If the meeting goes poorly, we’ll move to table, table the second reading ordinance until we have further meetings. I would imagine it may take more than one meeting,” he explained.

“ … I don’t want to keep on the project in totality because something has to go there. It’s an eyesore. It’s an element that encourages criminal activity,” he said.

The 17-story project, which would be built on the old Steel Tech site at 417 Communipaw Ave., would include five percent affordable housing, a recreation center, retail amenities, and assigned parking spots.

Critics have said the plan is not consistent with the neighborhood, since the building would be far larger than any others, as well as calling for more affordable housing and questioning the traffic impact on the area.

The Jersey City Council meets at City Hall, 280 Grove St., tomorrow at 6 p.m.

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