Freeholders counsel rejects Monarch appeal

(May 30, 2012)
On February 22, in a decisive 6 to 2 vote, the Hudson County Planning Board rejected the proposal to build two 11-story towers on a Hoboken pier. For two evenings, the Board heard the unanimous opposition to the project from neighboring residents, elected officials and local organizations such as the Fund for a Better Waterfront. The developers filed an appeal to the Board of Chosen Freeholders that the Freeholders’ counsel Carmen Mendiola emphatically rejected in a letter dated May 22, 2012. The Monarch’s attorney, Kevin Coakley attempted to argue, yet again, that the Freeholders had failed to act within the required 45 day limit and thus the project must be automatically approved.

The Hoboken Planning Board cannot grant approval to this project unless developers Michael and David Barry are successful in reversing the County rejection of their application. Nevertheless, they are pressing ahead with their application before the Hoboken Board, now rescheduled for Tuesday, July 10 at the Wallace School gymnasium (1100 Willow Ave.).

Just last week, the developers submitted slightly revised plans to the Hoboken Planning Board. The height of the twin towers were lowered by one story from 11 to 10 stories. Total units were reduced from 78 to 70. The developers are brothers Michael and David Barry who last year completed the final buildings approved in 1997 as part of a 1160-unit planned unit development. The 1997 Hoboken Planning Board approvals required the Shipyard Associates to develop this same pier as open space with tennis courts and the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. The developers also signed an agreement with the City of Hoboken that they would provide this open space in accordance with their approvals.

monarch rendering

Rendering of Monarch towers at Weehawken Cove.

On March 7, the City of Hoboken filed suit to enforce the 1997 developers agreement. The City, the Fund for a Better Waterfront and the Tea Building Condo Association have all appealed the State Department of Environmental Protection’s waterfront permit granted to the Monarch project.

Related links

Mendiola letter final decision 5.22.12
City sues Monarch developers for breach of contract
County Planning Board stuns Monarch developers with “no” vote
Can the waterfront walkway be a “street”?
FBW challenges state approval for towers on Hoboken pier
DEP flouts its permit to restore pier as open space
Shipyard’s plan to privatize pier