The West New York Zoning Board of Adjustment voted down the controversial Meridia project by a vote of 5-2, ending an over two-year battle with Boulevard East residents and Capodagli Property Co.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The proposed 13-story high rise was voted down by zoning board members Theresa Cruz, Ramon Morejon, German Albert Chapin, Almer Martins and Board President Kenneth Blaine.
Board members Mohamed Elmaksoud and Jesus Alvarado voted in favor of the project.
Elmaksoud declined to comment on why he voted in favor of the Meridia project when reached by Hudson County View over the phone, while Alvarado could not be reached for comment.
Residents in and around the Versailles building at 6600 John F. Kennedy Boulevard East, many of which are a part of the “concerned-citizens” movement, vocalized their displeasure with the project as recently as May 7 – protesting on the plot of land where the project would have potentially been built.
Dating back to last year, some resident told the board of the commissioners that they felt the zoning board of adjustment is too political.
Joshua Breakstone, the leader of the concerned citizens, expressed his content with the board’s decision.
“I think it’s an example of the zoning board acting to protect the residents of West New York, [they’re] meant to protect residents from proposals like this one. They really did the right thing last night.”
A representative for Capodagli Property Co. could not immediately be reached on Friday morning.
Amen to the 5-2 vote which was a mirror opposite the first time around several years ago. Mayor Roque and his administration is to be acknowledged for allowing this zoning board to do its job unfettered from meddling from Town Hall. Mayor Roque deserves credit for having re-appointed Chairman Blaine and having appointed qualified members, with the exception of Mr. Mohammed El Maksoud, who, as a teacher employeed by the WNY Board of Education which Mayor Roque has defacto control, is, in fact in de facto Conflict of Interest on any matter brought before our Zoning Board.
I doubt this is the result that Roque intended, and he doesn’t deserve any credit.
The credit belongs to the Zoning Board members who had the courage and the integrity to do the right thing and vote against the Meridia project. They are to be commended.
And thank you to Chairman Blane for his astute, thorough, spot-on, excellent criticism of the project in explaining his vote to reject it.
If Capodagli and The Variance Brothers come back with another outrageous, non-conforming Meridia project, we will be there to fight against it once again.