Despite yet another iteration of the Hoboken Rail Yard Redevelopment Plan expected to receive a vote on first reading tonight, this evening’s session will now just be a public hearing with the vote delayed until next week, officials told HCV.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
” … I’ve written into the redevelopment plan an essential amendment that will incorporate a designated pick up and drop off zone contained within the development area. This covered area for ride sharing services (like Lyft and Uber), taxis and shuttle buses is needed to prevent these vehicles from clogging our neighborhood streets,” 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco said in an email blast this morning.
“I spoke with Council President Jen Giattino last night and she has agreed that this element is essential to ensure we are putting a sensible traffic circulation plan in place and I thank her for her collaborative spirit.”
Reached over the phone, Giattino confirmed that tonight’s special meeting will no longer have a vote, instead serving as a public hearing where audience members can provide their input.
“I’m happy to hear council members changes and incorporate them into the plan,” she added, noting that the first reading will likely not be voted on until February 5th, with a special planning board meeting scheduled between now and then.
The latest version of the plan, which has changed at least twice since a public session in October where residents almost universally panned the project, no longer includes any residential buildings throughout the 80-acre project – all of which is owned by NJ Transit.
Other new changes include reducing the size of a building on Hudson Street and Hudson Place to between 200 feet and 300 feet tall, as opposed to just a clearly defined 300 feet.
In November, the council approved a first reading of a plan that changed the designation of a 944,000 square-foot area previously designated as “future potential development” to a “no build zone” for NJ Transit in order to not interfere with the $230 million Rebuild by Design flood prevention project.
While that version of the plan never received a second vote, the “no build zone” remains in tact.
About two weeks after that vote, DeFusco and Councilwoman-at-Large Vanessa Falco announced the new rail yard agreement would include 20 percent affordable housing.
Whether or not the version of the project ultimately sent to the planning board will include any residential units remains to be seen.