Hoboken City Council Opposes Senators Stack and Sacco’s “Palisades Cliffs” bill S3274 (and parallel assembly bill A5712)


Hoboken City Council Opposes Senators Stack and Sacco’s “Palisades Cliffs” bill S3274 (and parallel assembly bill A5712)

The Hoboken City Council voted 5-1-2 Wednesday night on a resolution opposing proposed state legislation that conflicts with New Jersey’s “home rule” government and would essentially allow two neighboring mayors to use legislative powers to limit Hoboken’s control over its land use and severely impact all economic, housing and public safety decisions in Hoboken going forward.  The proposed parallel senate and assembly bills threaten to restrict land use for only a select group of ten (10) other municipalities in Hudson and Bergen counties that are located east of the Palisades with the bills’ stated intent to “protect the unique views enjoyed by residents who live in the historic neighborhoods above those cliffs”.  Of these municipalities, Hoboken and Edgewater are the only two where 100% of the municipality occupies the area covered by the proposed legislation.

“These bills will devastate Hoboken for the benefit of just a few property owners in Union City.” says Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, co-sponsor of the resolution.  “Hoboken partners with developers on redevelopments that often include developer-funded infrastructure and resiliency upgrades, municipal and educational investments, and transportation improvements. These proposed bills do not protect against overdevelopment or even the character of Hoboken.  What they do is put the full burden of paying for critical upgrades solely on the backs of Hoboken taxpayers.”

“Hoboken only has 1.4 square miles and we have to work resourcefully within these land constraints to address the needs of our growing population.” says Council Vice President Jen Giattino, also a co-sponsor of the resolution.  “New Jersey is a home rule state and Hoboken’s future should not be determined by anyone other than the residents of Hoboken and the city leaders they elect.”

This proposed litigation threatens the feasibility of plans that would promote economic development, create jobs, reduce pollution, increase affordable housing, expand education opportunities, fund critical investments and amenities, and improve the quality of life for Hoboken residents.  Examples of plans at risk under this proposed legislation are not only those important to Hoboken like the redevelopment of its Department of Public Works garage, but also to the region and state including the redevelopment of N.J. Transit’s Lackawanna Terminal, the local investments required for North Hudson Sewerage Authority’s Long Term Control Plan, the revitalization of the Hoboken Housing Authority’s 1950’s built main campus that houses 800+ families, and Stevens Institute of Technology’s Strategic Plan.

The other stated intent of the proposed legislation is to “preserve the views and topography features of the Palisades”.  The two councilwomen point to the irony of this given “the recent practices in the towns of each of the sponsoring Senators/Mayors where portions of the Palisades have literally been gutted entirely to accommodate projects built directly into the same cliffs these bills state they are trying to protect”.

The resolution will be sent to the mayors of the towns that are directly impacted by the proposed legislation including Alpine, Edgewater, Englewood Cliffs, Guttenberg, Fort Lee, Jersey City, Tenafly, Weehawken, and West New York.  Along with Councilwomen Fisher and Giattino, Councilmembers DeFusco, Jabbour and Ramos voted in favor of the resolution.

A copy of the resolution is attached.

Resolution Opposing S3274 and A5172
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