Hoboken City Council rejects Zoning Board's approved variances for high-rise

Hoboken City Council rejects Zoning Board's approved variances for high-rise

March 25, 2010, 1:28PM - Jersey Journal

The Zoning Board of Adjustment’s approval of the construction of a 12-story residential building on 509 Newark St., in Hoboken was rebuffed by the City Council on Wednesday night. The City Council appealed the Zoning Board’s granting of five D-type (or, the most severe) variances regarding the building’s size at the special meeting in City Hall.

Fourth Ward Councilman Michael Lenz motioned and Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla seconded a rejection of the height and bulk variances on the grounds that it was completely unsupported. All variances regarding the size and intended use of the property were overturned.

All council members but Second Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason were present for the vote.

The variances, according to the attorneys for the Zoning Board, changed the height of the property from 40 feet to 125 feet high and from two stories to 12 stories. The Rey Foods property owners had initially come to the board with the proposal.

“These people single-mindedly believed, ‘We’re building it 12 stories high,’ but other things weren’t considered,” Lenz said. “While property owner has the right to use of his property, he doesn’t have profit-maximizing use.”

Lenz said that two stories is a valid use of the property at a time when the city is running out of space in schools and parking on the streets.

Councilwoman Carol Marsh motioned to reject the variance to change the use of the building to residential. The board failed to prove the positive effects of such a change, Lenz said.

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