HOBOKEN AND BEYOND -- Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer has sent a letter to State Sen. Brian Stack asking him to oppose legislation that would allow schools like the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken to forego the approval of local municipal boards.
"While Stevens is an important member of our community, this legislation would unfairly take away the voice of the rest of our community," said Zimmer in the letter dated June 27.
Sponsored by Senators Paul Sarlo, Robert Singer, and Sandra Cunningham of Jersey City, the bill seeks to exempt private colleges from obtaining approval from local authorities such as the city's zoning board.
"The approval process often can be quite time consuming and expensive," the bill says. "This results in the delay of important educational programs and facilities for students attending the institutions as well as the diversion of critical funding away from educational purposes."
Introduced in February, the bill seeks to provide the same exemptions shared by State institutions to private institutions for the purpose of "parity." Zimmer's full letter is below. Read the full bill
"Dear Senator Stack,
"It is my understanding that the State Legislature is considering legislation (S-1534/A-2586) that would exempt certain private colleges from local zoning and planning jurisdiction. This could impact the City of Hoboken since we are the home of Stevens Institute of Technology, and I strongly oppose this legislation.
"Stevens is a tremendous asset to the City of Hoboken and a true member of our community. My Administration has partnered with Stevens on class projects to find solutions to our infrastructure problems, and their students regularly volunteer to beautify our City. We have established a strong, positive relationship, and I am committed to continuing to work closely with them in away that is mutually beneficial to both the City and Stevens.
"While Stevens is an important member of our community, this legislation wold unfairly take away the voice of the rest of our community. As a densely populated urban area facing significant infrastructure challenges, any development can have major impacts on the rest of the community. Our residents and taxpayers deserve to have a say in that process.
"I ask that you oppose this legislation. Thank you for your consideration.