"Anyone who thinks this project will not have an effect on Jersey City and Hoboken is naïve," said Ogden Avenue resident Vito Brunietti. Ogden Avenue runs parallel to Paterson Plank Road in the Heights section of Jersey City.
The proposed residential project will be located at 100 Paterson Plank Road, according to attorney George Garcia, legal representative for 100 Paterson Plank Road LLC and developer Sanford Weiss. The structure will be built on top of a century-old factory facility that is currently serving as a warehouse. Including the warehouse at the base, the residence will have five stories with 128 dwelling units and 88 parking spaces. The units will be an assortment of one- and two-bedroom dwellings, along with studio apartments. The project will be rentals, although there was no information on the projected price range for the units.
Project architect Dennis Divino added that an old staircase that used to run up the side of the cliff would be rebuilt. The New Jersey Department of Transportation is currently widening Mountain Avenue, which intersects the Paterson Plank Road at the development site. Divino said that after the state finished work in the area, the developers would make further improvements to facilitate the movement of traffic.
Sewage removal, however, proved to be one of the major points of contention between area residents and the developers. According to Garcia, it was not certain whether sewage disposal would be handled by Hoboken or Jersey City, since the project sits on the border. Board Secretary Clare Davis noted that, if the sewage were to be the responsibility of Jersey City, it would have to be pumped upward to lines in the Heights, adding more expense to the project. Davis added that the other alternative was to connect to Hoboken's system, which is part of the North Bergen Sewage Authority.
Hoboken resident Dan Tumpson objected to the use of what he described as the overburdened Hoboken sewage system.
"If there is a flood, it won't just be rain water backing out, but sewage flowing out also," said Tumpson about what could happen if the Hoboken sewage system was pushed to its capacity.
When asked by Tumpson and other residents about which municipality would actually be responsible for sewage, Davis said that issue would be settled in the developer's agreement with the city. Divino added that developers had verbal assurances from the North Hudson Sewage Authority and the Passaic Valley Sewage Authority, which handles Jersey City's waste, that their systems could handle any output from the new apartments.
Jersey City resident Rick Pastori questioned the developer's experts on possible damage that would be done by work proposed on the Palisades cliffs. According to engineer John Seel, approximately 100 steel rods would have to be driven 15 to 20 feet into the cliffside to stabilize the rocks. Seel added that nets would be positioned in different parts of the cliff to keep rocks from falling.
Pastori said the construction work required for the stabilization of the cliffs would be noisy and cause air pollution.
"The construction would be a tremendously noisy activity and would produce an enormous amount of exhaust," said Pastori. "The developers should reconsider the cliff stabilization project."
Seel said the stabilization project would take from one to two weeks to complete.
The 100 Paterson Plank Road project is done by Stanford Wiess' Manhattan Building Co., through the 100 Paterson Plank LLC. Weiss ran into controversy a few years ago with the Hoboken-based Gateway Towers at 101 Marshall Drive. Both the cities of Hoboken and Jersey City joined a suit by local residents against the project. Residents objected to what they felt was the lack of proper sewage capacity in the project and the strain it would create on Hoboken's sewage system. The project was eventually passed when the developers made adjustments on the sewage plans.