This week, on Thursday February 15, the zoning board will vote on a project at 1415 Park Ave. This project if approved will be comprised of two seven-story towers on a five-foot base.
It was six years this month that uptown residents came together to fight a proposed monster development at 1600 Park Ave. The public rallied to fight the 180-foot tall towers and after much outcry the area is now slated for a new park. It is just as important that the public learn about this new 1415 Park application and come out to fight its approval too.
Unlike the 1600 Park Ave project, the developers at 1415 are working to win over to Hoboken's parents. The developer has entered into discussions to lease a portion of the building to a Charter School and the zoning board meetings have been well attended by parents with kids in tow. I am not anti children nor anti education. I am, however, for reasonable development and enforcement of the state's zoning laws.
The state requires that applicants for zoning ordinances provide a positive benefit for the community. The developer may have thought he found the perfect benefit by providing for a charter school- but the board should be careful not to get sucked into an emotional debate. Will the addition of 378 more parking spaces - meaning more cars - and the strain of hundreds more residents on this city's infrastructure be an equal tradeoff? The new buildings will also push the hundreds of cars parked in the existing parking deck into city streets.
The board should also consider the safety of the surrounding intersections at Garden Street, Park Ave. and 14th Street. Children and adults pedestrians from the new building will have to cross these intersections everyday. It is the board's responsibility to scrutinize the applicant's traffic study to see how the level of service will be affected and what safety improvements are planned for the busy intersections.
I hope that the public will come out to ask questions of the applicant and voice its opinion against this project.