Planning Board Votes “No” to LeFrak: Parking Ratios Remain at Hamilton Park’s Revetment Building

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meetingAfter four hours of public comment, the Jersey City Planning board voted down a proposal by Newport Associate’s to lower the parking ratio at The “Revetment”, a 6-story residential building being constructed at the 10th Street Embankment location in historic Hamilton Park, Jersey City.

Originally agreeing to 163 parking spaces for 163 units, LeFrak’s team made their case to the Planning Board Tuesday night to lower parking based on city traffic surveys and current usage at their buildings throughout the area.

After twenty-six neighborhood residents expressed their outrage concerning the requested deviation, the planning board sided with the public, citing their concern about the validity of the numbers Newport Associates used in their testimony, and the overwhelming display of opposition from the neighborhood, despite the recommendation of city planning officials that the Board approve the deviation.

The Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association (HPNA) led a grassroots campaign to rally residents to show up to the meeting, which was scheduled at 5:30PM. It was thought that, due to the meeting time on a workday and a miserable rainy night, most would be unable to attend. “We must acknowledge and thank the community first for supporting the HPNA’s efforts to hold Lefrak to the terms of its previously approved resolution. Many who turned out may or may not have been HPNA members, but they responded when it counted — especially for a meeting that was scheduled at 5:30PM in an effort to minimize the ability of residents to attend,” they said.

The City Planning Board was also acknowledged: “The Board was extremely attentive and concerned. They truly listened to its residents. They acknowledged that it was amazing to see so many neighbors speak that evening in defense of the written resolution the developer had signed off on just a few years ago. Their dedication to attending that meeting made this happen.”


LeFrak’s Newport Associates were clearly disappointed in the outcome, and have yet to release a revised parking solution. In a statement, they were quoted as calling the vote “a sad day for Jersey City”. They were clear in their testimony that they felt the 1 to 1 parking was now unnecessary and that the parking provided within other available lots and the Newport Centre Mall would be sufficient to make up the difference. “The requirement for ‘one to one’ parking imposes on future development in Jersey City an accommodation of car ownership and desire for parking in front of one’s home that is based on a suburban lifestyle, and not on the lifestyle of transit-oriented sustainable urban development…The frustration expressed by residents about the lack of free street parking reflects both unrealistic expectations as well as unhappiness with the city’s residential parking permit program.”

The HPNA welcomed LeFrak to re-enter negotiations with the community and promised to keep residents informed of the changes as they emerge.

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3 COMMENTS

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  2. So why are the neighbourhood residents “outraged” by parking lot requirements for a building the don’t even live in? The article doesn’t say, beyond a “concern” about some numbers used by the developer. Numbers that aren’t mentioned, either. It would be odd for Hamilton Park to be out of sync with the rest of that part New Jersey for vehicle ownership. In the demographics I could find¹, a third of households in that area don’t even have a vehicle. So what the HPNA wants, by maintaining the 1:1 ratio, is a large lot or a parking garage that will be at least 1/3rd empty all the time. That’s wasted space and a parking garage will unnecessarily add to maintenance costs of the building and therefore increase the rents in that building. A parking lot around the building instead of a garage underneath will still have maintenance costs and it will also be an eyesore where you could have a park, or put up another building that would house stores and other services the residents of the neighbourhood might want which would support the neighbourhood’s walkability score and even help create jobs.

    ¹http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/works/njchoices/pdf/demographic_memo.pdf

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