NJ Supreme Court declines to hear Hoboken’s appeal on Monarch project

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The New Jersey Supreme Court has declined to hear the City of Hoboken’s appeal on the controversial Monarch project, two, 11-story condo towers that would be constructed on the waterfront in the 2nd Ward. 

An artist's rendering of the Monarch project. Photo via Fund for a Better Waterfront.
An artist’s rendering of the Monarch project. Photo via Fund for a Better Waterfront.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner denied to hear the case on January 29th and the court order was filed on February 2nd, according to documents forwarded to Hudson County View.

The brief four-page filing does not provide a reason why the case won’t be heard by the state’s highest court, though it is rare that they would hear a development case that has already been decided by a lower court.

Back in August, the New Jersey Appellate Court ruled in favor of Shipyard Associates, the developers of the Monarch project, and then-Mayor Dawn Zimmer vowed to continue to fight the ruling.

“We are pleased with the New Jersey Appellate Division’s opinion today to uphold previous court decisions and recognize Shipyard Associates, L.P.’s legitimate rights under zoning law to pursue development of The Monarch project in Hoboken,”  Kevin Coakley, a partner at Connell Foley LLP and the attorney for Shipyard Associates, said at the time.

Coakley and a spokesman for Shipyard Associates could not be reached on Tuesday.

City spokesman Juan Melli said little about the court decision, simply stating “the city is reviewing its options” and declined to comment further.

Then a councilman-at-large, Bhalla previously vowed to protect the city’s waterfront from “irresponsible development” if elected mayor.

Bhalla and the majority of the city council opposed NJ Transit purchasing the Union Dry Dock property from New York Waterway last month and the NJ Transit board ultimately decided to pull the measure from their agenda.

Fund for a Better Waterfront Executive Director Ron Hine expressed disappointment with the decision, but also indicated he isn’t surprised.

“This is terrible news for municipalities that depend on land use law principles that protect the decisions of its local boards. The NJ Supreme Court has left standing the flawed rulings by the lower courts,” Hine said in an email.

1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, a recent mayoral candidate who continues to clash with Bhalla, again took aim at the current and previous administrations.

“This outcome is further proof that the Zimmer-Bhalla administration’s ‘sue first, negotiate later’ philosophy leads only to massive costs for taxpayers in legal fees, not to any kind of positive land use outcome,” DeFusco said in a statement.

“If your goal is to help out campaign contributors that’s fine, but for the rest of us it’s more clear than ever that the only responsible option in these situations is good faith negotiations with all stakeholders. My City Council colleagues and I are hopeful that Mayor Bhalla will agree to change course and enter into a negotiation with the Monarch developer with a goal of relocating the project without negatively impacting another neighborhood, and stop wasting taxpayer money on hopeless legal boondoggles.”

Back in October 2016, the Zimmer administration proposed a settlement that would stop the Monarch project and give the city ownership of the pier in exchange to settle the litigation surround 800 Monroe St.

The city would have also received $500,000 from Shipyard Associates for cleanup and planning purposes.

However, the city council voted against the settlement plan, with several council members expressing frustration that they were not part of the negotiation process.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Nice going Dawn. You really screwed the pooch with this one.
    Good not letting people loot the town but this is a big fail.

    Dawn’s legacy: the Barry Brothers’ “Dawn Towers.”

  2. Maybe if the kept Mr Gibbons and not switched lawyers just to expunge anyone the smarter councilmembers wanted the city would have listened to a good lawyer rather than the failed one who goes to lunch with undesirables costing us $700,000

    • Can’t blame the NHSA for this. Mayor handled all aspects of the fight against Michael and David Barry. They are lying filth. Dawn failed Hoboken. We wish it was otherwise but Dawn failed us.

      Run on back to the Sybil’s cold, dark, dank cave and spin this how you like.
      No one cares.

      • Methinks some Horse is a wee bit jealous that the so-called “cave” gets traffic and comments while his ghostly blog-apparition has to change its caption from “Hoboken’s biggest website covering Hoboken politics, government and corruption” to “Hoboken’s most corrupt ghost blog with the biggest drop in traffic and zero commenters”.

        In fact, it is much better to dwell in a dark, dank cave that has visitors than all alone on a ghost blog.

        • MSV with Hudson County View they break the biggest stories. The biggest. Hoboken411 lying and whining is at the Cave. She can lie to a small group of fanatics with multiple screen names but no one is fooled.

          Horsey just broke another huge story before yesterday’s meeting. Well, Sybil breaks big stories if you call whining about council members for months who don’t bow to Ravi big stories.

          http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2018/02/bhalla-bros-we-know-override-will.html

          • Holy Casper! Who cares what the mayors BROTHER thinks? Ghost-blog attacks a politician’s FAMILY and his LIVELIHOOD and calls that a “big story.” “Horse” likes to attack people’s FAMILIES, drop their names on his dead blog.

            The real news WHO supplied this nothingburger to the Ghost blog…Ghost blogger wont tell you… and it all leads back to Team Giattino.

  3. Sad to see Councilman DeFusco making even more wild unfounded accusations.
    So happy the voters of Hoboken understood his unsuitability for the higher office.

  4. Sad to see a the 33% of the reform movement struggling to remain relevant.
    The Icebergs are melting and you’re wasting time here!
    Run Shadow Run, get on a plane and fly to the Northwest, they need you there! Besides they won’t know who you are, Dana won’t tell

    • Still struggling with math I see. Unless of course you’re talking about Giattino losing to Bhalla by 2-1. My guess is that if the election was held today the margin would be more like 3-1. But since correctly reading the pulse of the electorate is not within your and the Fisher faction’s skill set, I’m not surprised you and they don’t understand that.

      • No one cares about your speculative nonsense Shadow. What exists today is the Monarch Towers going up. We blame you Shadow. You effed up!

        Why did you cancel the Planning Board Meeting Shadow? Why?

          • We Blame you Shadow!
            We all know. Keith knows.
            We all do.

            Now why did you screw up Hoboken on this? It’s time for a Shadow explanation? What, you’re at a loss for words?

            The Shadow is at a loss for words?
            What, the Shadow doesn’t know?
            The Shadow knows, the Shadow knows!

    • Yes, its sad to see the 33% of reform that voted for Giattino is so disillusioned with her. First she joined a coalition led by Ramos, then flipped on runoffs.

      The 66% majority of reform that voted for Bhalla welcome the other 33%! The sad 33% are realizing they were duped. Bait and switch. Vote reform, get Ramos-lite.

      So sad! A ghostly dead blog entity with zero comments, haunted by Shadows!

  5. SAD!!!! Dawn Zimmer is 0-2 on protecting our Waterfront. Perhaps if she wasn’t spending so much time on plastic bag recycling, composting and a 9 million dollar plaza she would have hired the best lawyers and advisors who would have told her and her Shadow that all actions in land use must take place within 30 days. Mayor’s have total authority on Planning Board appointments and debacles like this are exactly why we all supported taking Zoning appointments out of all Mayor’s hands. Too bad the state doesn’t allow for municipal councils to appoint planning commissioners too. Thanks to Zimmer’s idiocy Hoboken could look like Weehawken in 1990

    • Any honest discussion of the Planning Board’s actions on Monarch leads straight to the mistakes (in my opinion) made by the committee chaired by Ann Graham. I believe Ann was well meaning and don’t judge her for the unintended consequences of the bad decisions made by the committee she chaired.

      Apparently the Fisher cabal agrees since Jim Aibel’s and Ann Graham’s appointment to the ZBA were in my opinion the price paid by Ramos and DeFusco for the Fisher cabal’s support for 2 ZBA appointments, Ramos as council president and DeFusco on the planning Board. Seems like Ramos DeFusco got by far the better deal. Surprising given Fisher’s vaunted negotiation skills.

      • Oh stop the speculative Shadow-Sybil Cave babble.
        Everyone knows this was ordered by the Shadow.

        Now why won’t the Shadow tell us?
        Tell us why Shadow? Why did you stick up with the Monarch Towers?

  6. Sybil’s cave and it’s freelance Shadow writer’s content/OPRA providers are nothing more than Hoboken 411 2.0
    Some say she’s even worse, going after people on their PERSONAL facebook pages, allowing posts attacking people’s jobs, homes and lifestyles.
    The Bhalla brothers text exchange belongs to EVERYONE on that exchange. The person who gave it out was also THE OWNER of the message.
    Only a complete idiot wouldn’t know this.

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