A plan that would expand a Jersey City redevelopment zone to include a stretch just off John F. Kennedy Boulevard near the Hudson Bergen Light Rail could spark a revitalization that includes new green space and affordable housing in exchange for taller buildings.
On April 5, Jersey City Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey held a community meeting that saw members of city planning present modifications being sought to the Green Villa Redevelopment Plan. Per Hudson County View, the city council moved the effort forward back in February.
The modifications would expand the existing redevelopment plan to include the area abutting the Hudson Bergen Light Rail tracks consisting of properties along JFK Boulevard between Morton Place and Orient Avenue. The changes are being sought both to facilitate smaller projects and a larger development that could sport a tiered design and rise up to 15 floors with bonuses.
While the existing R-3 multi-family zoning in Zone A of the plan would be unchanged, the density allowances in the proposed changes would grow higher heading west. What would be known as Zone B would fall along the east side of JFK Boulevard and proposed changes would allow developments up to five stories in height to include a retail component.
Zone C would see the biggest changes, as current zoning allows 4-8 story buildings. The new plan would create an affordable housing/transit bonus that would allow a development’s height to top out at a maximum of 195 feet.
The proposed changes to the redevelopment plan include a requirement for stepbacks in Zone C, and a map attached to the proposal spells many of those guidelines out. Any development in Zone C that faces the Hudson Bergen Light Rail will have to include variations in plane on the façade as to cut down on potential noise reflections in the neighborhood.
The changes, which are being sought by the property owner, would vacate a portion of the roadway along Morton Place while creating a new sidewalk along Orient Avenue where none exists. A public space of at least 3,000 square feet would need to be created as part of any potential development.
A rendering of the proposed development was featured in the city’s presentation and shows greenery that would be accessible from Morton Place and Orient Avenue. Any development built as a result of the zoning changes would need to include a 10% affordable housing component per the plan modifications.
The changes to the Green Villa Redevelopment Plan are slated to be presented to the planning board on April 25. If the board signs off on the new regulations, the city council would then need to approve the new rules before they take effect.
A developer interested in revitalizing properties included in the plan would still need to submit a formal application to the planning board and gain approvals before any construction can begin.