Hoboken councilwomen urge NJ DEP to reject NJ Transit’s Union Dry Dock plan


Hoboken Councilwomen Jen Giattino and Tiffanie Fisher are urging the state Department of Environmental Protection to reject NJ Transit’s Union Dry Dock application due to the “potential negative impact to the Hoboken community.”


By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We are urging you to reject the Application on its merits and because of the potential negative impact to the Hoboken community and the disruption to a decades-long effort to secure the waterfront for public use and access,” they wrote in a letter to the NJDEP yesterday.

“This request from NY Waterway in concert with both Union Dry Dock and NJ Transit, came as a surprise without any input from Hoboken officials or its residents. Prima facie, it is disingenuous, intentionally disregarding a 2012 agreement made by NJ Transit to not pursue the Union Dry Dock property for this use.”

Two weeks ago, the Hoboken City Council approved an ordinance that would give the city the ability to use eminent domain to acquire the Union Dry Dock property.

Since the first reading of the ordinance was okayed in October, New York Waterway purchased the property for $11.5 million.

Then, last week in light of Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Mayor-elect Ravi Bhalla voicing “strong opposition and extreme disappointment” in NJ Transit trying to acquire the land, an NJ Transit spokeswoman exclusively told Hudson County View they hoped to use the property for a ferry maintenance and fueling facility.

In their two-page letter, Fisher and Giattino emphasize that they believe “this application is anything but environmentally sound,” since a ferry refueling station would violate Hoboken’s zoning regulations, an analysis has been conducted as to why NY Waterway is leaving their Weehawken location and a detailed assessment of future plans has not been prepared.

“Enjoyed by both residents and visitors there is currently a popular fishing pier, a skateboard park actively used by children of all ages, kids playground and swings, large grass lawn and a boat house including a natural sand beach to allow for free activities including kayaking,” they continued.

“It’s an understatement to say a ferry refueling, repair and storage operation of 20 -34 ferries would be environmentally unsound and could destroy the opportunity for visitors and residents to fish, kayak or enjoy the public waterfront.”

The councilwomen also call on NJ Transit, state officials “and other relevant stakeholders” to hold public hearings to discuss all potential locations where NY Waterway could house their ferry maintenance.

NJ DEP spokesman Larry Hajna said that application is still under review to determine if it has been completed properly.

“This waterfront development application is still in the initial 20-day administrative review process during which DEP will determine if an application is complete and has provided sufficient information for review,” he said in an email.

“That determination has not yet been made. If it is accepted as a complete application, the DEP will consider all public comments.”

A spokeswoman for NJ Transit did not return an email seeking comment.


Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with a comment from the NJ DEP. 

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  1. Since the two councilwomen damaged the City’s legal position by, for purely political reasons, postponing the eminent domain vote until after the sale of the property had closed, they have alot of damage control to do.

    But sadly sending this letter without consulting or including their council colleagues or the mayor or the mayor elect just shows that they are still playing politics with the vital interests of the City.

    They should be apologizing to the public for their mistake and standing with their council colleagues behind the Mayor and the Mayor Elect, so NJ Transit, the DEP, Governor Christie, Governor Elect Murphy and all the other relevant parties understand that the City stands together and speaks with a single unified voice.

    And whether they like it or not, the appropriate single voice is Mayor Zimmer until 12/31 and Mayor Bhalla after that.

    Please Councilwomen. Stop grandstanding and do the jobs your constituents elected and pay you to do. One Beth Mason in a political lifetime is enough!

    • No one is buying this weak sauce of lies. There was no damaged position other than the City’s failure to act years ago when there was a chance. Sending a letter to constituents is not wrong, bad and how do you know the mayor didn’t get it? Your criticism is political dumb and braindead. Nothing happens in days; it takes weeks and months and Hoboken has a bad hand while NJ Transit has a strong one and their guy in the mayor’s office come January 1st.

      Nothing the City Council does now or as they began before the election changes the details of where things are or how it will go. Seriously, stop trying to BS people. That’s Ravi’s job now and he is going to make a serious production of faking how the outcome is so sad for Hoboken.

      Deals are already cut on Hoboken.

      • I always thought you were just pretending to be stupid. But it turns out you and your idiot sidekick are just as dumb as everyone said you were.

        There are meds for crazy people. But true dumbness has no known cure.

        • You thought you were smart but is it smart you and your sidekick are trying to put a million dollar bill on the backs of the poor agency exploited time after time in Hoboken?

          Is there something you can put in a bong for that?

  2. Nice to see someone in the fight and Councilwoman Fisher does fight for Hoboken residents. Not everyone is on the payroll of NJ Transit and their PAC and some will learn who is for Hoboken and who trades on Hoboken. Sadly, it’s probably too late.

    • LOL not everyone is on the payroll of the second-ward councilwoman’s solicitations and the Giattino campaign PR slush fund. Perry Klaussen had big shoes to fill, but your hooves managed to pull it off.

      • Nancy, why must you live like an insect feasting on lies and smears? Who are you accusing of being on any payroll? You keep attacking Horse and Kurt for his new issues oriented website. They’re far better but at least you were once funny. Now you’re just an attack mutt for Ravi, NJ Transit and back room deals for a NJ insider pay-to-play law firm and Russo against people who fight for Hoboken and stand up for Reform principles. Sad.

        Go have fun with Ravi and Russo. Oh and good luck with your career in Al Jazeera propaganda videos for Ravi. Big future there.


        • Roman, you need a shrink. I have not posted on this thread, zero, zip, nada–ask your bud John Heinis. You are obsessed with me. You have responded many times to others (not me) this way, by lasing out at your obsession (me). Why don’t you get your life together? I am not online 24/7 like you appear to be.

          • Jake ain’t new, he’s Hoboken’s resident interloper and he’s the fakest striver whammy.

            Everyone is tired of the lies and defamation by him and Nancy Russo. That’s not inside baseball, that’s just the way it is.

          • It is sad that Roman Brice is becoming even more unhinged than ever with another court date looming.

            No amount of deranged spin or bitter attacks can alter the facts of his unscrupulous behavior. You can make up whatever fantasy fits your narrative on your blog, but not in a court of law!

            Good luck with that.