The City of Union City is suing the City of Hoboken to halt the construction of a 151-foot building at 930 Monroe St., claiming that the development would impact the views, and therefore the quality of life, in the neighboring municipality.
“A height of 151 feet, significantly exceeds the height of the Palisade Cliffs and would directly impact the light, air, shadows, and views of citizens and residents of the City of Union City,” the five-count lawsuit, filed in Hudson County Superior Court on Friday, says.
“Numerous parks and public amenities, which are frequented and enjoyed by Union City and Hudson County residents, are located directly west of the Project. People enjoying these public facilities would be negatively impacted by the development contemplated by the Project.”
Jersey Digs fist reported on the lawsuit this morning.
The suit also specifically mentions the Dorac, located at 100 Manhattan Ave. in Union City, noting that the building is directly west of the project and the first floor contains outdoor amenities meant to enjoy the New York skyline.
While the iteration of the project approved by the Hoboken City Council in December capped the three-tower, 675-unit project at 11 stories/116 feet, the subsequent redevelopment agreement shows the top of the bulkhead reaching 151 feet.
The lawsuit, which also names Union City Mayor Brian Stack, also the state senator of the 33rd Legislative District, as a plaintiff and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla as a defendant, contents that Bhalla has not lived up to his word to protect the Palisade Cliffs.
“’I committed to you that the development would not exceed the height of the Palisades’ and that Hoboken would work with developers to “ensure views of Manhattan from the Doric are not impacted,” he allegedly wrote in a July 29, 2020 letter to Stack.
While he reiterated this sentiment hours before the December 20th council meeting, the court filing, which also names Monroe Properties, LLC; Hobokenfair, LLC; and Belvemonroe, LLC; the lawsuit says that Bhalla and the city engaged in “negligent representation” of the development.
Furthermore, the litigation contends that the RDA is an “arbitrary, capricious, and reasonable government action,” an impermissible government action since the $15 million in community givebacks was already ruled improper in a case against a Hoboken hotel, that land use law was violated for not filing a copy of the plan with the county planning board, and that Union City never received a notice prior to 10 days of the council hearing.
As a result, Union City is seeking to void the actions taken by Hoboken governing bodies, voiding the Western Edge Redevelopment Plan, the Monroe RDA and prior council vote, preventing any permit or development approval, as well as any other relief the court deems just and equitable.
The nearby Western Edge proposal is also tied up in litigation and the developers allege that Union City prevented Hoboken from following through on their deal. The Hoboken council is yet to vote on a proposed settlement to end the litigation.
A Hoboken spokeswoman said the municipality does not comment on pending litigation.