One city in Bergen County is taking steps it hopes will stem its decline, but not everyone is supportive of the move.
The Garfield Planning Board has recommended designating for development 27 properties in its First Ward, according to The Record. The council and mayor still have to approve the recommendation before the redevelopment agency can move forward with acquiring the properties through eminent domain.
The properties, all in close proximity to the Passaic Street train station on the southern end of the municipality, include single- and multi-family houses, apartments, a fire house, houses of worship, and an eight-bed transitional housing facility for veterans.
“It’s an old town. When it was built, buildings and homes were just dropped in places,” said James Clark, who heads the planning board. “Now we have an opportunity to improve the city and hopefully everyone here will become a part of it.”
Mayor Richard Rigoglioso fears that without revitalization, NJ Transit will close the train station, dooming the area.
A pair of organizations are working to fight the city’s move, including the Stand with Southern Garfield coalition and the Institute for Justice, a civil liberties law firm that worked with property owners in Long Branch and Atlantic City.