The first new historic district in over 30 years is happening in Jersey City, and not everyone is thrilled about it.
A meeting was held on June 10, 2015, and in a 6 – 3 vote by the City Council after six hours of debating, it was decided that the West Bergen – East Lincoln Park Historic District would be a reality. The last historic district created was in Harismus Cove in 1983. Those in favor of the plan said it would prevent over-development and preserve their area, especially considering the large developments that are currently going up in other areas of Jersey City. Those against the plan say it’s going to have an unfavorable effect on prices, and they fear they’re going to have to move. They also don’t want to be restricted when it comes to what they can and cannot do with their homes considering many changes to properties that are located within historic districts must first be approved by the Historic Preservation Commission.
The New Jersey State Review Board for Historic Sites already deemed the area a New Jersey historic district back in October 2014, and the Planning Board approved the new district in March. The West Bergen – East Lincoln Park Historic District is the only historic district that’s located outside of the downtown area.
Council President, Rolando Lavarro Jr., stated, “Jersey City is a city of communities and neighborhoods that is rich with cultural diversity and history. We have listened to what the community has said, and with this historic district designation, we will be maintaining the character and history of the West Bergen-East Lincoln Park neighborhood for generations to come. We have seen how the areas of downtown have benefited from historic designation, and as Jersey City continues to develop and grow, we want to retain our uniqueness while preserving our past.”
Of the new change, Mayor Steven Fulop said, “This is a landmark moment for Jersey City, as this will be the first historic district created in over 30 years and the first outside of downtown. We are looking at relief measures for homeowners as well to make sure that all the current residents benefit and nobody gets left behind. This is a huge win for Jersey City.”
The West Bergen – East Lincoln Park Historic District is going to affect approximately 600 properties that are set between Fairmount Avenue to Harrison Avenue (north to south) and Bergen Avenue to Lincoln Park (east to west).