Residents who live above Hoboken’s Hudson Tavern, a defunct bar, are coming out against the cannabis dispensary plan that has received preliminary approval from the city’s cannabis review board.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We believe there are serious drawbacks to putting an adult Recreational Cannabis Dispensary that will operate 13 hours a day in a building where children and families live,” said Leslie Bradley, a resident of 51-53 14th Street.
“I caution the city council to be cognizant of the fact that what they are doing here on 14th Street will be precedent setting for the entire city. Once they allow marijuana retail and storage facilities in our building; what’s to stop other cannabis business from moving into similar buildings in similar neighborhoods.”
The proposal cleared the cannabis review board unanimously (3-0) at the end of February, with the meeting spanning five hours as dozens of residents spoke out against it – citing the potential for violent crime, a decrease in property values, and an opaque process.
“Obviously Story plans on marketing its products to a wide-ranging geographic area, that includes New York City and our neighboring municipalities, many of which are not allowing recreational dispensaries. We will see hundreds, if not a thousand strangers a day coming in to our neighborhood and building,” added Michael Alicastro, who lives in the building with his wife Danielle and their two children.
“If anyone in City Hall thinks that type of business fits the C-3 definition and the associated traffic is not going to have a negative impact on the community’s quality of life, they are not paying attention.”
The situation has put Mayor Ravi Bhalla and 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, who represents the ward where the dispensary would be located, at odds, with Fisher opposing the concept and Bhalla defending it.
However, they both agreed some common sense regulations should be in order, a couple of which the council approved at their March 23rd meeting: prohibiting all smoking in parks and preventing cannabis licenses being granted at Marine View, as HCV first reported.
At the same meeting, Bradley asked the council members to voice their opposition to the project, which Mike DeFusco, Fisher, Ramos, and Jen Giattino did.
A third measure is on the agenda for Wednesday’s council meeting, which would not permit cannabis dispensaries in C-3 zones, require a minimum of 500 feet between cannabis businesses, at least 600 feet between school, and no grandfathering clause.
“There was little to no public input for the change in zone, nor a reason why the city chose to rezone our neighborhood,” added Edward Graham.
“This pot shop would not be catering to community needs and it would be a very intense use, generating a lot of traffic.”
The project must clear the planning board before heading to the council for final approval.
The council meeting convenes at 7 p.m. Wednesday evening, their first meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic where public participation will be in person.
Marine view is a much a better location since it’s near the PATH. We uptown residents are really getting screwed just because the Mayor hates our Councilwoman.
Screwed how? i would welcome a dispensary uptown. How is it any different or worse than the bar that was there?
Us uptown residents only have our own Councilwoman to thank for this situation. See the quote NJ.com published on 3/2: “She didn’t realize legislation she had approved last year would allow dispensaries in part of her ward, and she admitted she regrets not paying closer attention at the time.”
Given that City Council is her ONLY job, I’d expect the Councilwoman to have enough time to pay attention to what’s going on in her ward. But I guess she’s too busy drafting 5,000 newsletters and tweeting at trolls.
I don’t always agree with Councilwoman Fisher she is correct about this.
We should also remember that there are three City Council members at large who also should be the eyes and ears of all the residents of Hoboken. They failed.
Council members Emily Jabbour, James Doyle and Joe Quintero and Phil Cohen have made it very clear their overriding priority is blindly supporting Mayor Bhalla’s political agenda.
This dispensary will serve a critical need in our community. It is vital that the free market be allowed to flourish. As such, those who live in condos can sell their units. It’s all part of the system. High by Design!
Mayor Fulop’s wife would never let cannabis store anywhere near their home so why is she behind the one on 14th Street. Oh yeah lots of cash money
Yet Mayor Bhalla is letting his good political buddy screw over the very people of Hoboken he took an oath to protect.
People need to accept that it is legal now. The dispensaries have to go somewhere. Learn to live with it! They chose to live in a city where there is tons of foot traffic. If they don’t like it, they can move to the suburbs and get a house.
Cannabis my be close to legal but most municipalities in New Jersey like Union City chose not have stores open their cities, Jersey City have isolated their stores in non-residential areas.
Hoboken residents were NEVER asked about where the outlets should be located. They should have been.
Face it Bhalla & Co was able to keep all the complicated rules and regs on the down low during the height of the pandemic to push the liberal Democratic agenda being pushed by Governor Murphy. They seem to forget that their first responsibility is to be honest and truthful and put Hoboken’s residents ahead of their political agenda.
We all remember how the Hoboken School Board tried to slip past the exorbitant new sports complex high school with no public input and had to be dragged kicking and screaming to answer any questions about quarter billion dollar boondoggle. Bhalla & Co. ran interference for that one too. Thankfully the voters definitively voted no.
I feel sorry for the residents around the 14th Street site that seem to have been most impacted with no real recourse and a City Administration actively working against them but we as a City have learned a very important lesson that we can not trust Bhalla & Co..
I live across the street from a busy bar, trust me I’d rather have a cannabis dispensary than drunk people screaming at each other after midnight. And the morning puke puddles. And drink glasses, beer bottles and sidewalk pizza.
Take a visit to one of the cannabis clubs in Manhattan. It’s like visiting the apple store.