The area, some of which is landfill, would include the heavily debated possible AMB Warehouse.
The proposed new zone would allow a variety of uses, including not only industrial and open space, but possible residential and even retail.
The official title of the zone is Hackensack River Edge Study Area and the plan is the Hackensack River Edge Plan.
The area's boundaries are Duncan Avenue, Highway 1&9, the PATH/Conrail tracks parallel to Newark Avenue, and the Hackensack River.
The study stems from a compromise proposed by City Council members Mary Spinello and Steve Lipski to deal with the furor over the warehouse issue by looking at all the potential land uses for the landfill area before there is any vote to changing the area's zoning.
At an Aug. 16 meeting, City Councilman Michael Sottolano, who is also on the Planning Board, lobbied successfully for a redevelopment plan to be drawn up along with the study.
City Planner Robert Cotter was completing the study report and the plan as this article was going to press. Cotter did not return calls for comment.160 acres included
Included in the area are 87 acres of land that were once the location for the infamous PJP Landfill, where fires burned underground for nearly 40 years. Forty-one of those acres are considered as the future site for a warehouse by the AMB Company.
Also in the area is a swath of land that includes a trucking facility. Designation process
A redevelopment plan is a plan that provides for the reuse or redevelopment of property within a municipality. To create such a zone, first, the Jersey City Planning Department designates an area in need of redevelopment and drafts a redevelopment plan.
Then the plan is introduced to the Planning Board for their consideration. If the plan is approved, it goes to the City Council, which introduces the plan at a council meeting where it is read into the record.
At a subsequent council meeting, the council does a final vote to approve the plan.
The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency then designates a developer or developers based on their proposals for the redevelopment area. Up for debate
However, not everyone is enamored with talk of a redevelopment plan. Some are worried because such plans make it easier for cities to seize private property to sell to developers.
Glen Cinelli, president of Cinelli Scrap Metal, said he received a letter from the city on Monday informing him of the public hearing. Cinelli is based on an acre of land located at Broadway, under the Pulaski Skyway.
"I'll be at the meeting with my lawyer and my calculator," said Cinelli. "If [the city] wants to talk this nonsense, then it should pay me $25 million for my business. It will take care of my livelihood and my four children. What else is there to say?"
But there has been support for the plan as expressed recently by Lipski.
"I am completely on board to create open space and industry," said Lipski. "[Mayor] Jerry Healy can single-handedly take credit for the development of Jersey City's west coast."
Meanwhile, Planning Board Commissioner Leon Yost said last week that he preferred not to comment too much on the plan and study until he received them. What brought about the plan?
The issue that has brought about the redevelopment plan is the proposed 883,000 square-foot AMB Warehouse to be built off Highway 1/9 by the San Francisco-based AMB Company. The facility would be a distribution center for items brought from ports in Newark and Elizabeth.
There is disagreement among the mayor, the City Council, and county officials on what should actually be built on 41 acres of a 54-acre site. AMB is currently under contract with the Archdiocese of Newark to purchase the 54 acres once the City Council approves the idea.
Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy has been a staunch proponent of the warehouse because it is expected to bring about 300 permanent jobs for local residents, operating on a 24-hour, seven-day weekly schedule. It also would bring more than $1 million in taxes.
Hudson County officials want the land to host a golf course and have actually voted to pursue public funds to acquire the land.
And then the group known as the Lincoln Park Advisory Committee, led by local resident and lawyer Paul Catsandonis and Hudson County Freeholder Bill O'Dea, are looking for the warehouse site to be developed as open space for recreation fields but not necessarily a golf course. Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at email@example.com