News

April 2016 VVPA Monthly Newsletter

13 May 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

Welcome spring!  In addition to seeing all the beautiful flowers starting to bloom in our parks and throughout our neighborhood, we are also seeing something else making an appearance…..all of you!  We are super excited to once again connect with all of you and see you out and about in the Van Vorst community.

As usual, our monthly newsletter is packed with information about neighborhood activities as well as useful information on what’s happening in and around our neighborhoods.

As usual, the VVPA’s monthly meeting schedule is the 3rd Tuesday of the month, so we look forward to seeing you at the next VVPA monthly meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 at 7:00 PM in The Barrow Mansion, located at 83 Wayne St.

Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda
Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  Stop by and have a glass a wine on us, while you meet neighbors and learn about what’s going on here in your historic neighborhood!

This month’s meeting features a meet and greet with James Shea, Director of the Department of Public Safety for the City of Jersey City.

Agenda:

7:00pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore

7:05pm – 7:30pm – Officer & Committee Reports

  • Treasurer Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Bright & Varick Committee Report– Ceci de Leon
  • Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

7:30pm – 8:15pm – New Business

  • Donation request – Embankment Preservation Coalition
  • Parking Concerns & Community Action Items
  • Property Tax Reval
  • Future Meeting Topics/Ideas
  • Community input is welcomed for any new issues/concerns affecting our community.

8:15pm – 8:50pm – Guest Speakers

  • James Shea, Director, Department of Public Safety – Meet & Greet

8:50pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking

News You Can Use
As always, we try to bring you as many items of interest that affect our community.  If you have any items that are important to share, please email us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

  • East District Captain’s Meetings, which are regularly scheduled for the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm (typically in MS4 Library on Bright St., but location subject to change), are a great opportunity for community members to discuss crime/crime trends, quality of life issues, and other safety/security concerns with the JCPD.  For more information on upcoming meetings, reach out to the JCDP East District Community Relations Officer, Dina Lionakis, at 201.547.4370 / dlionakis@njjcps.org.
  • VVPA Sponsors – In order to bring you free and low-cost events throughout the year, the VVPA depends on fundraising and sponsorship from local businesses and community members.  For more information on the benefits of becoming a sponsor, as well as the various sponsorship levels that are available, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.  Or, you can go directly to the VVPA website and click on the Donate button!
  • In addition to receiving news you can use from VVPA, we encourage all residents to sign up to receive Community News/Updates from your elected officials. Sign up for updates from Candice Osborne and Steven Fulop by clicking on the links provided.
  • Jersey City Resident Response Center is a resource available to all to find answers to commonly asked questions or to report non-emergency concerns/problems to the City of Jersey City (potholes, failure to pick up trash, fallen tree branch removal, etc.).  In addition to utilizing the JCRRC website, residents may also download the app on their phone (Jersey City RRC Fix-It) and can attach photos to any request to help clarify the concern.  We encourage all to utilize these resources to help resolve issues in their community.
  • Stay Informed and Active in your Community by signing up for the NextDoor and Swift911 applications and monitoring local news through NJ.Com/hudson.  Nextdoor is a private social network that connects neighbors to talk online and makes communities stronger, better and safer. The City uses the Swift911 platform to send citywide emergency and non-emergency alerts through a variety of channels including voice, text message, email, fax, pager, and social media such as facebook and Twitter.  Registration is free, so join today!
  • The Office of Innovation is seeking your input for a community-wide survey to evaluate and help reform the City’s processes in the Building, Zoning, and Licensing Departments.  This is an opportunity to let your voice be heard to make a difference in your community.  Click here to access the survey.
  • Concerned neighbors posted on the Next Door app valuable information about Property Tax Appeals and the Reval.  Click here to watch the video on this topic.  Additionally, you may find useful information about property revaluations on civicparent.org.
  • Did you know that The Jersey City Free Public Library system hosts tons of free events throughout the year?  For additional information on the many wonderful events happening in May throughout the JC Library system, click here.

Community Events
Below is just a partial list of the many, many wonderful events happening in the Van Vorst neighborhood and throughout our city.  If you have a community event that you’d like featured in our newsletter, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

VVPA Sponsored Events

VVPA’s Inaugural Golf Outing – June10th, 4pm
Mark your calendars!!!  We’re extremely excited to announce that the VVPA’s Inaugural Golf Outing is almost here!!  Dust off your tees and golf clubs and get ready to show off your skills on June 10th at the Skyway Golf Course at Lincoln Park West.  Fun for all!!  Non-golfers welcome too!  Stay tuned, more details are forthcoming.  Fore!!!!!

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Other Community Events

Cathedral Arts Live – Friday, April 15th, 7:30pm
Continuing its mission to bring the best of Hudson County and beyond to Jersey City, Grace Church Van Vorst presents Hudson County Plays. During this performance, local playwrights explore city life, from the streets to home to the workplace.  For more information, click here.

JC Sumer Camp Fair – Saturday, April 16th, 10am-1pm
Come out to City Hall Plaza on Saturday, 4/16 to get information about & speak to the representatives of major Summer Camps & Activity Centers in & around Jersey City & Hoboken.  For more information, visit the Jersey City Cultural Affairs website.

JC Department of Recreation Bootcamp Program – Tuesdays at 10am and Thursdays at 7:45am, beginning April 19th
Get fit with the JC Department of Recreation as they present their Bootcamp Program!  This program is open to adults and seniors.  For more information, call 201.547.5003, or visit jerseycitynj.gov for additional information..

The Great Jersey City Cleanup – Saturday, April 23rd, 9am

On Saturday, 4/23/16, head on out to The Great Jersey City Clean-up, brought to you by the City of Jersey City and Keep Jersey City Beautiful.  The initiative is looking to mobilize thousands of residents alongside neighborhood and civic organizations, community leaders, and elected officials to roll up their sleeves and help clean our City on a single day!  For more information, click here, and to register with the VVPA contingent, click here. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

Earth Day Festival – Saturday, April 23rd, 11am – 6pm

After you’re done with the Great City Cleanup, join community activists at the 3rd annual Jersey City Earth Day Festival (JCEDF) at City Hall.  The JCEDF is a day long celebration of sustainability and environmental awareness with New Jersey farm vendors, locally produced goods, workshops, activities, community organizations, live music, and upcycled/sustainable artists’ market.  For more information, click here.
Important City Public Meetings
For the full schedule and location details of Important City Public Meetings, please refer to the Public Meetings Calendar found on the City of Jersey City website.  Remember, it’s YOUR COMMUNITY, so stay informed and stay involved!
Thanks to our Generous Sponsors!
We’d like to thank our sponsors Dixon Leasing: a subsidiary of Dixon Advisory and Barrow Mansion Development Corporation for their generous donation.  And, we always love working with Friends of Van Vorst Park!  Without our sponsors and friends, we would not be able to bring you so many FREE or low-cost events throughout the year.  We encourage all of you to support these businesses and let them know that you appreciate their donations!  If you are a local business that would like to become a VVPA sponsor, please reach out to the VVPA sponsorship committee at vvpanews@gmail.com.

March 2016 VVPA Monthly Newsletter

13 May 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Meeting Agendas

Spring is nearly upon us!!  As the weather starts to get a little warmer and the days a little brighter, there are lots of happenings around Jersey City!  As usual, our monthly newsletter is packed with information about neighborhood activities as well as useful information on what’s happening in and around our neighborhoods.

The VVPA’s monthly meeting schedule is the 3rd Tuesday of the month, so we look forward to seeing you at the next VVPA monthly meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 at 7:00 PM in The Barrow Mansion, located at 83 Wayne St.

Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda
Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  Stop by and have a glass a wine on us, while you meet neighbors and learn about what’s going on here in your historic neighborhood!

This month’s meeting features a discussion about the current and future status of the Pedestrian Mall (this agenda item was postponed from last month).

Agenda:

7:00pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore

7:05pm – 7:30pm – Officer & Committee Reports

  • Treasurer Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Bright & Varick Committee Report– Ceci de Leon
  • Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

7:30pm – 7:50pm – New Business

  • Community input is welcomed for any new issues/concerns affecting our community.  In particular, we’d like to hear from you about the future agenda items / guest speakers you’d like to see at our monthly VVPA meetings.

7:50pm – 8:50pm – Guest Speakers

  • Pedestrian Mall – Brian Platt, Office of Innovation, JC Mayor’s Office
  • 158-162 Mercer Street: Renovation of the Church / Rectory into a multi-family residential building – Dixon Properties
  • 254 Montgomery Street: Renovation of the single story rear garage on Barrow Street to include a new roof deck addition – Dixon Properties

8:50pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking

News You Can Use
As always, we try to bring you as many items of interest that affect our community.  If you have any items that are important to share, please email us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

  • East District Captain’s Meetings, which are regularly scheduled for the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm (typically in MS4 Library on Bright St., but location subject to change), are a great opportunity for community members to discuss crime/crime trends, quality of life issues, and other safety/security concerns with the JCPD.  For more information on upcoming meetings, reach out to the JCDP East District Community Relations Officer, Dina Lionakis, at 201.547.4370 / dlionakis@njjcps.org.
  • VVPA Sponsors – In order to bring you free and low-cost events throughout the year, the VVPA depends on fundraising and sponsorship from local businesses and community members.  For more information on the benefits of becoming a sponsor, as well as the various sponsorship levels that are available, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.  Or, you can go directly to the VVPA website and click on the Donate button!
  • In addition to receiving news you can use from VVPA, we encourage all residents to sign up to receive Community News/Updates from your elected officials. Sign up for updates from Candice Osborne and Steven Fulop by clicking on the links provided.
  • Jersey City Resident Response Center is a resource available to all to find answers to commonly asked questions or to report non-emergency concerns/problems to the City of Jersey City (potholes, failure to pick up trash, fallen tree branch removal, etc.).  In addition to utilizing the JCRRC website, residents may also download the app on their phone (Jersey City RRC Fix-It) and can attach photos to any request to help clarify the concern.  We encourage all to utilize these resources to help resolve issues in their community.
  • Stay Informed and Active in your Community by signing up for the NextDoor and Swift911 applications and monitoring local news through NJ.Com/hudson.  Nextdoor is a private social network that connects neighbors to talk online and makes communities stronger, better and safer. The City uses the Swift911 platform to send citywide emergency and non-emergency alerts through a variety of channels including voice, text message, email, fax, pager, and social media such as facebook and Twitter.  Registration is free, so join today!
  • The Next Library Board Meeting is Tuesday, March 8, 2016 @ 5:30 p.m. at the Miller Branch Library – 489 Bergen Avenue.  For additional information on the many wonderful events happening throughout the JC Library system, click here.

Community Events
Below is just a partial list of the many, many wonderful events happening in the Van Vorst neighborhood and throughout our city.  If you have a community event that you’d like featured in our newsletter, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

VVPA Sponsored Events
Easter Egg Hunt – Date TBD
Check out the annual Easter Egg Hunt in Van Vorst Park co-sponsored by VVPA and Friends of Van Vorst!  Date TBD — keep checking the VVPA Facebook page for details! 
And, as an FYI, we are at 996 likes for the page…only 4 more and we hit 1000!!!!

Other Community Events

International Tuesday Women’s Day – Tuesday, March 8th, 7pm-9pm

Mayor Fulop, the JC Municipal Council, Councilwoman at large Joyce Watterman and the Women’s Committee present International Tuesday Women’s Day at NJCU’s Margaret Williams Theater, 2039 Kennedy Blvd.  Event features music, dance and drumming.  RSVP for FREE tickets and parking!  For additional information on this event, or the many other wonderful city-sponsored Women’s History Month events, visit the City of Jersey City website.
In Full Color: Stories by Women of Color – March 17, 19 & 20

Art House Productions presents an evening of moving, hilarious, and heart-warming stories in honor of Women’s History Month.  Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to WomenRising
Due to a recent burst pipe in Art House’s space, resulting in severe water damage and flooding to their facilities, they have temporarily shut down their facilities to asses and repair the damages.  Therefore, the event will take place in a rented space at Merseles Studios in downtown Jersey City.  All are encouraged to attend this great event and to consider making donations to offset the unexpected costs associated with the facility repairs.
Cantigas Women’s Choir Concert – Saturday, March 19th, 4pm
Join Cantigas Women’s Choir from Hoboken and Con Brio Women’s Choir from Seattle for an afternoon of festive choral singing at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 440 Hoboken Ave, Jersey City. Suggested donation is $20 for adults, $5 for seniors and students. For more information, click here.

When Wine Meets Chocolate – Tuesday, March 31st, 6pm-8pm
Join the JCMC Registered Dieticians and The Women’s Health Center at Grove St for a nutrition discussion along with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.  Event will be at Liberty Prime Steakhouse.  RSVP to reserve a spot!  For more information, click here
The Great Jersey City Cleanup – Saturday, April 23rd
Save the date for the Great Jersey City Cleanup!  The Great Jersey City Clean-up is brought to you by the City of Jersey City and Keep Jersey City Beautiful.  The initiative is looking to mobilize thousands of residents alongside neighborhood and civic organizations, community leaders, and elected officials to roll up their sleeves and help clean our City on a single day!  For more information, click here.
Important City Public Meetings
For the full schedule and location details of Important City Public Meetings, please refer to the Public Meetings Calendar found on the City of Jersey City website.  Remember, it’s YOUR COMMUNITY, so stay informed and stay involved!

Thanks to our Generous Sponsors!
We’d like to thank our sponsors Dixon Leasing: a subsidiary of Dixon Advisory and Barrow Mansion Development Corporation for their generous donation.  And, we always love working with Friends of Van Vorst Park!  Without our sponsors and friends, we would not be able to bring you so many FREE or low-cost events throughout the year.  We encourage all of you to support these businesses and let them know that you appreciate their donations!  If you are a local business that would like to become a VVPA sponsor, please reach out to the VVPA sponsorship committee at vvpanews@gmail.com.

Brrrrr!    We hope everyone has made it through the recent record-setting Blizzard without too much trouble, and is geared up to battle the last half of this winter season!

As usual, our monthly newsletter is packed with information about neighborhood activities as well as useful information on what’s happening in and around Jersey City.  The VVPA’s monthly meeting schedule is the 3rd Tuesday of the month, so we look forward to seeing you at the next VVPA monthly meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, February 16th, 2016 at 7:00 PM in The Barrow Mansion, located at 83 Wayne St.

Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda
Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  Stop by and have a glass a wine on us, while you meet neighbors and learn about what’s going on here in your historic neighborhood!

This month’s meeting features a recap of the immensely popular DCNA Town Hall Meeting held on 1/26/15, discussion about the current and future status of the Pedestrian Mall, as well as two developer presentations.

Agenda:

7:00pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore

7:05pm – 7:30pm – Officer & Committee Reports

  • Treasurer Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Bright & Varick Committee Report– Ceci de Leon
  • Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

7:30pm – 8:00pm – New Business

  • DCNA Town Hall Meeting (1/26/15) Recap [Click here to access the video of this meeting — thanks, Yvonne]
    • Community Action Items / Follow Ups
  • Community input is welcomed for any new issues/concerns affecting our community.  In particular, we’d like to hear from you about the future agenda items / guest speakers you’d like to see at our monthly VVPA meetings.

8:00pm – 8:45pm – Guest Speakers

  • Pedestrian Mall – Brian Platt, Office of Innovation, JC Mayor’s Office
  • 87 Bright Street
  • Proposed Development Project at the foot of Jersey Avenue near the Morris Canal Basin – Architect Jay Valgora

8:45pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking

News You Can Use
As always, we try to bring you as many items of interest that affect our community.  If you have any items that are important to share, please email us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

  • East District Captain’s Meetings, which are regularly scheduled for the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm (typically in MS4 Library on Bright St., but location subject to change), are a great opportunity for community members to discuss crime/crime trends, quality of life issues, and other safety/security concerns with the JCPD.  For more information on upcoming meetings, reach out to the JCDP East District Community Relations Officer, Dina Lionakis, at 201.547.4370 / dlionakis@njjcps.org.
  • VVPA Sponsors – In order to bring you free and low-cost events throughout the year, the VVPA depends on fundraising and sponsorship from local businesses and community members.  As we enter a new calendar year, it’s time to think about becoming a VVPA sponsor.  For more information on the benefits of becoming a sponsor, as well as the various sponsorship levels that are available, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.  Or, you can go directly to the VVPA website and click on the Donate button!
  • In addition to receiving news you can use from VVPA, we encourage all residents to sign up to receive Community News/Updates from your elected officials. Sign up for updates from Candice Osborne and Steven Fulop by clicking on the links provided.
  • Jersey City Resident Response Center is a resource available to all to find answers to commonly asked questions or to report non-emergency concerns/problems to the City of Jersey City (potholes, failure to pick up trash, fallen tree branch removal, etc.).  In addition to utilizing the JCRRC website, residents may also download the app on their phone (Jersey City RRC Fix-It) and can attach photos to any request to help clarify the concern.  We encourage all to utilize these resources to help resolve issues in their community.
  • Stay Informed and Active in your Community by signing up for the NextDoor and Swift911 applications and monitoring local news through NJ.Com/hudson.  Nextdoor is a private social network that connects neighbors to talk online and makes communities stronger, better and safer. The City uses the Swift911 platform to send citywide emergency and non-emergency alerts through a variety of channels including voice, text message, email, fax, pager, and social media such as facebook and Twitter.  Registration is free, so join today!
  • Look for the cover story in the Sunday, 2/14 Real Estate section of the New York Times discussing development in Jersey City.
  • The Jersey City Recreation Department is offering a variety of fun classes, including Spin classes, Free Swimming Lessons, and Ice Skating Classes.  Click on the links for additional information, or contact the Jersey City Recreation Department.  Additionally, the Jersey City Recreation Department wants to hear from you!  Please download their form and share your ideas on how to improve their services.

Community Events
Below is just a partial list of the many, many wonderful events happening in the Van Vorst neighborhood and throughout our city.  If you have a community event that you’d like featured in our newsletter, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

VVPA Events
The RED Party – Saturday, February 13th, 7:30pm – 11pm
The VVVPA invites you to join us at the HOT, HOT, HOT RED Party!  Chase away those winter blues and party at the Barrow Mansion (shout out to our donor, Barrow Mansion Development Corporation!) on Saturday, February 13th with DJ Marvilous.  Tickets are $20 in advance (through Eventbrite) or $25 at the door.  Enjoy $5 drinks and food from our fabulous donors, OraleCocoa Bakery, Park n Sixth, and Shadman.

And, as always, the VVPA Events Committee is always looking for volunteers to help plan, decorate and work at these VVPA sponsored events.  For those who are interested in volunteering, email vvpanews@gmail.com

Other Community Events
Liberty Humane Society (LHS) Adoption Event – February 1st – 14th
Looking for a pet for that special someone?  Look no further!  The Liberty Humane Society is having an adoption event – FREE adoptions for cats and dogs 4 months and older!  For more information, click here.

Important City Public Meetings
For the full schedule and location details of Important City Public Meetings, please refer to the Public Meetings Calendar found on the City of Jersey City website.  Remember, it’s YOUR COMMUNITY, so stay informed and stay involved!

Thanks to our Generous Sponsors!
We’d like to thank our sponsor Dixon Leasing: a subsidiary of Dixon Advisory for their generous donation.  And, we always love working with Friends of Van Vorst Park!  Without our sponsors and friends, we would not be able to bring you so many FREE or low-cost events throughout the year.  We encourage all of you to support these businesses and let them know that you appreciate their donations!  If you are a local business that would like to become a VVPA sponsor, please reach out to the VVPA sponsorship committee at vvpanews@gmail.com.

April 2016 VVPA Monthly Meeting Minutes

20 Apr 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

7:05pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

Officer / Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Tabled
Construction /Development Committee Report – Tabled
Bright & Varick Committee Report– Tabled
Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

  • Art Show in connection with JC Fridays – June 3rd at Barrow Mansion. Calling all artists to donate art, as well as volunteers to help out with the event. Contact Maria @ bestcats99@yahoo.com for additional information and to participate!
  • Inaugural Golf OutingJune 10th – Skyway Golf Course at Lincoln Park West – food & drinks included, more info to come soon, so stay tuned!

 

New Business

  • Parking Concerns & Community Action Items
    • Per Councilwoman Osborne, each neighborhood to come up with their own areas to pilot red zone painting/enforcement in trouble spots. Will send list to her, and community to monitor/advise how pilot is going.
      • Meaningful discussions about change must include Traffic Engineer, Director of Parking Authority, and Representative from the Law Department to see what kind of clear ordinance is viable and enforceable.
      • Resident only parking proposed on streets where there is parking on only one side – what is criteria to establish which streets will be resident only?
      • Enforcement is paramount to this to make it successful – more people were hired for this purpose.  Community suggested change color of annual sticker to help make enforcement easier.
      • James Solomon – community member with background in urban planning will be doing a community presentation for the Heights neighborhood organizations to discuss options for parking concerns. Willing to do something similar for the Downtown neighborhoods – stay tuned, more information to come on this.
  • LSP Letter to Army Corps of Engineers re: Commercial Barges
    • Received request from Candice Osborne’s office to ask us to sign on to letter to oppose commercial barges, general consensus from association is to sign on to this letter.
    • NJ/NY Baykeeper – go to their site for additional information on this issue
  • Master Plan
    • Mayor agreed to find funds this year to move forward with a master plan for the city. Planning Department will draft RFP to do nationwide search for firm to assist with this.
    • Need 1-2 reps per association to liaison with (VVPA recommendation: Tom Ogorzalek & ean Gallagher).
    • Other non-VVPA board members are also encouraged to step up to volunteer & share in the load for this or any other initiatives where community leadership is needed.
    • Bayonne also has done recent work in this area, opportunity to learn lessons from their approach
    • Boston City Planner conference call –
      • “Meeting in a Box” – funnel information to city in the same way
      • Office of Neighborhood Services – staffed by professionals to be liaison between City and the communities
      • Long term vision with great website for information
  • Zone captain for Great Jersey City Cleanup needed – contact vvpanews@gmail.com to volunteer
  • Get to know your Neighbors Initiative – Invite leadership from other community groups to introduce themselves and bridge the gap between neighbors.  Will help to bond across neighborhoods.
  • Columbus & Barrow Parking Lot – Del Forno Real Estate asked Aaron (a community member) what the community would like in that spot. Just goes to show, we can influence and make a difference in the development process!
  • Donation Request for Embankment Preservation Coalition – go to their site for additional information and to donate
  • Property Tax Reval – video available about reval & property tax appeal process – see our newsletter for link
  • Future Meeting Topics/Ideas – email suggestions to vvpanews@gmail.com

 

 

Guest Speaker Captain Dan Sollitti, East District (stand in for Director Shea)

  • Schools – better drop off plans needed, additional police presence is not feasible. Looking to reconfigure the traffic patterns, working with school parking guard coordinator (Cynthia Vazquez) to evaluate parking guard personnel skills, working with school safety officials to address.
  • Deployment of Officers – Information about the stats can be obtained on City Website. Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) information on calls for service.       Also can look at police radio on your smartphone.
  • East District – Thankfully not many violent crimes, but have many Property crimes & quality of life crimes. Will be getting additional officers soon to help address some of these issues.
  • Coffee with a Cop Program – open forum for discussion between community & police. Community suggested having it at Van Vorst Park – stay tuned for information!
  • Interaction from community groups helps drive where police are dispatched to prevent issues, so reach out to Captain Sollitti or Dina to let them know about your concerns.
  • Reach Captain Sollitti via the JCPD website (http://www.njjcpd.org/east-district).       Email feedback form on police website to report ongoing issues (do NOT use the form to alert police to crimes in progress; instead, call 911)
  • Curfew for kids in the park – 11pm (dedicated curfew crew)
  • To report non-emergency issues (e.g. persons sleeping in Park), use the Non-Emergency Number: 201-547-5477

 

Adjournment – 9:00 pm

Come on out and join your neighbors for an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast sponsored by the Historic Paulus Hook Association!

Where: St. Peter’s Prep High School Cafeteria, 144 Grand Street (NE Corner of Van Vorst & Grand)
When: Sunday, April 10th, 9am – noon

Visit the Historic Paulus Hook Association website for additional information and to purchase tickets for the event (tickets also available at the door on the day of the event)!

Gluten Free options available!  Kids activities!  Door Prizes!

March 2016 VVPA Monthly Meeting Minutes

21 Mar 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

7:10pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

Officer / Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • Lost about $200 on the RED party (due inclement weather); however, was not intended to be a major fundraiser
  • New Rental Agreement w/Barrow Mansion includes 3 events at the Barrow
  • All bills up to date (except Legal Bill for Bright & Varick)

Construction /Development Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • Café on corner of Bright & Barrow – given another temporary COO, working towards achieving full COO
  • Barrow & Wayne corner 2 houses renovated – open house tonight by Dixon Properties

Bright & Varick Committee Report– Ceci de Leon

  • Waiting to be scheduled for hearing

Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

  • March 26th – Annual Easter Egg Hunt & Bonnet Contest – volunteers welcome (sign up via vvpanews@gmail.com)
  • Upcoming Events

o   Movies in the Park

o   Wine Tasting – Limited Capacity in Barrow Mansion (classroom type setting)

o   Golf Outing still being planned for the spring

o   Disco in the Park

New Business

  • Reiterate to Mayor the need for “No Bikes on the Sidewalk” signs (reach out to him and RRC)
  • Post-winter, Pedestrian signs should be put back on the road – email Candice & RRC to help push the issue
  • National Search for Planning Director, still not clear on vetting process and who is going to be on selection committee
    • Bob Kotter helped JC receive many awards for the work he did during his tenure during planner – all are encouraged to review his resume as part of this process
    • Going away party – Liberty House – April 30th
  • State of the City Address – 6pm on Wednesday, March 16th

Guest Speakers

  • Pedestrian Mall – Brian Platt, Director of Office of Innovation, JC

 

    • Mission: Address Quality of Life Issues that residents face ad revitalize commercial corridors to reinvigorate Small Business
    • Newark Ave Pedestrian Mall (Iterative Process)
      • Cycling in Pedestrian Mall needs to be addressed
        • Cannot ride bike at all in a Commercial District; Outside a Commercial District, can ride on sidewalk if you are 9 and under
        • Will be doing a social media push for bike safety, working with County and Bike JC to help with signage
      • Consider Seasonal use of plaza or put events on during winter
      • Monty’s back to work; Hard Grove Café – will building be shored up and ready to re-open soon? Unknown. City bought property next door and will be involved in the lawsuit to help facilitate.
      • Ideas: Bioswale tree pits (green infrastructure to absorb/retain groundwater) on opposite side of street as light pole, add ADA access points —- the bioswales and any changes/additions will allow for 15’ of access for emergency vehicle access
      • Residents state that they don’t have a good idea of what the comprehensive plan/goal is for the Pedestrian Plaza and feel that this isn’t very pretty yet. City wants to make it a destination and social place. Looking to spend $ on the next phase, now knowing that most people like the idea of the pedestrian mall. Go to jerseycitynj.gov/pedestrian mall for more information, contact Brian directly at BPlatt@jcnj.org
      • Additional security/police available during peak times, good partnership with Downtown SID to clean up
  • Traffic Safety – Deputy Mayor Marcos Vigil, Joe Cuna – Municipal Engineer and Andrew Vischio from Transportation, Traffic & Engineering
    • Mayor tasked him with re-conceptualizing tax abatement policy.       Pulling plug little by little on tax abatements in Downtown. Incentivizing development in other parts of the City. Besides focusing on Journal Square, focusing on Ward F & MLK.
    • The Hub Annex – moving forward with consolidating new city offices on MLK corridor. Looking for new ways to attract businesses there, such as pop up shops in the area over the holiday.
    • Suggestion: Establish Community Boards throughout the City?
    • Master Plan – Planning Group was tasked with coming up with a plan for Community outreach for updating the City’s Master Plan
    • Search for City Planner – Placed Ads with Regional Planning Association and American Planning Association. Rough timeline – will look to close out application process within the month. Small vetting committee in place, Deputy Mayor is heading up Committee.       Will have to place an acting Director in the interim.
      • Disconnect between what Deputy Mayor knows and what communities know – creates a chasm and thus the rumor mill. Deputy Mayor invited to DCNA meeting to bridge that gap.
    • Traffic & Engineering Department handles traffic signals, timing, flow, etc. –
      • Jersey Ave Bridge – This is moving forward, potential bid date for end of this year (still in design phase). Most of the decisions are out of City’s control. Travel lanes 10’ each, 3’ buffer between traffic and bike lanes, 7’ bike lane. Pedestrian bridge will remain in place.
      • Traffic pattern assumptions built into Sam Schwartz study
      • What may discourage traffic cut through: Narrow lanes slow down, HBLR crossings, limit truck traffic (by ordinance), Right or Left turn only during rush hours, etc.
      • Traffic Light synchronization, functionality – will be changing signals so Walk signal comes up automatically (without having to push the button) throughout the City
      • Safety Improvements – Received grant from NJTPA for Montgomery from Grove to Baldwin. There will be a meeting in May, VVPA will be invited.
      • Share concerns via email, and they are available to come back periodically for community updates (jcunha@jcnj.org, avischio@jcnj.org)
  • Development 158-162 Mercer St.– Kirk Mitchell
    • Burned out church and rectory looking to do 8 new high end units in Church – 4 duplex units (1400-1700 sq ft space each), two 3BR “flat” units (1600-1800 sq ft), and two 4BR duplex units (2500-2700 sq ft); Looking to do two units in Rectory space – bottom floor is a 1 BR unit (nanny’s quarters possibly) and the second unit will be 3 floors
    • Will require new use for church to be repurposed for residential application, will need approval for dormers to allow for headspace for top levels.       Timetable 14 months -18 months once construction starts. Will be looking for variance for project for the parking requirement (2.5 spaces)
    • No major objections from community, generally supportive, would encourage developers to look into getting use of HUD parking lot across the street.
  • Development – 254 Montgomery St – Nelson Benedides?
    • Proposal: Garage restoration (access on Barrow St.) with full restoration of carriage style doors & new roof deck over one story garage (with internal staircase). The restoration will “beautify” the current aesthetics of the garage.
    • Set back 18” from face of garage. Community concern about precedent for historic district and concern for adjacent property owners. Dixon is open to other ideas from community.
    • Will also be restoring the fountain

Adjournment – 10:15 pm

As you may be aware, after many years serving as the Planning Director for Jersey City, Robert (Bob) Cotter will soon be retiring.  The Jersey City Planning Division invites you to come and celebrate the incredible career of Robert D. Cotter, Planning Director for Jersey City.   Cost per person is $65 using cash or check and $70 electronic payment, which includes buffet and cocktails.  This event will take place on 3/30/16, starting at 6pm at the Liberty House Restaurant.  You MUST RSVP and have paid by March 24.   Additional information about the event and tickets purchases can be made through Brown Paper Tickets.

 

February 2016 VVPA Monthly Meeting Minutes

25 Feb 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

Meeting Minutes – February 16th, 2016

7:05pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

Officer / Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • Awaiting receipts from RED Party
  • In good standing, made payment towards B&V legal fees
  • Treasurer will sit with Events Committee to plan/budget
  • Sponsorship per event should be explored

Construction /Development Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • On the horizon: brand new project for 16 Bright St (in Bright St. Redevelopment plan – empty lot by Firehouse).
  • Café on corner of Bright & Barrow – garbage issues, City gave Temp Cert of Occupancy.       Complaints made to City, but they have not been responsive. All residents encouraged to reach out to RRC if they have issues or email Brian Blazick.

Bright & Varick Committee Report– Ceci de Leon

  • Waiting to be schedule in court

Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

  • RED Party was fun, but due to the weather the turnout was a little lower than expected
  • Will be a Golf Outing in the Spring, date TBD

New Business

  • DCNA Town Hall Meeting (1/26/15) Recap

 

    • Items of discussion in meeting: Development; Transportation; Open Space; Quality of Life; Jersey Ave Bridge; Casino
    • Mayor agreed to perform traffic study in the spring to determine impact of Jersey Ave Bridge on downtown
    • Planning Director retiring – DCNA asked for national search for replacement to get best candidate for the job. Need forward thinker, person with requisite skill set. DCNA will be writing letter to formally request that a national search be performed (will be placed on VVPA website when available).
      • ACTION ITEM: Email Mayor (Fulops@jcnj.org) re: your thoughts on the Planning Director position and transparency for posting and hiring
    • Reval – Mayor said that he was adamantly against it.
  • Parking Ordinance –pending reschedule post-DCNA Town Hall Meeting. Ben and Oona to follow up with Councilperson Candice re: rescheduling meeting
    • Candice wants to implement a pilot for 3 hour grace period, enforcement until 11pm. Pushback from community – questions about benefits of the 3 hour period and how this will be enforced have not yet been answered.
    • ACTION ITEM: Voice your concerns about the parking ordinance proposal at vvpanews@gmail.com and they will be gathered together and presented to DCNA for unified position.
  • Booting Ordinance – tabled in City Council because no discussion between Parking Authority and City Council for how to enforce it, insufficient resources to enforce it. Will most likely be re-presented again when details worked out.

Guest Speakers

  • Pedestrian Mall – Brian Platt, Office of Innovation, JC Mayor’s Office

 

    • Tabled – will be rescheduled to March
  • 87 Bright Street – Chuck Harrington, Anthony Vandimark
    • Originally proposed 4 units and commercial space in September for continuing non-conformance use. Took community feedback and adjusted plans.
    • New proposal – 2 family structure, including one unit on the first floor and an upper triplex unit with an elevator. Project also includes two additions. May need height variance to be elevated out of the flood plain. Made setbacks to accommodate community concerns about light and air. Roof deck will be green.
  • Proposed Development Project at the foot of Jersey Avenue near the Morris Canal Basin (“The View”) – Nathanial, Project Manager; Architect Jay Valgora
    • Joint Venture between numerous renowned firms. Project part of previously approved Grand Jersey Development Plan. Engaging neighborhood associations to ensure community concerns addressed.
    • Larger buildings planned to be 45 stories and 65 stories, using same or less built area (smaller footprints, but taller buildings).       Currently approved for 2M sq feet, which equates to approx. 2000 units. As of now, primarily rentals; unsure of affordable housing.       Commercial space – not finalized yet, but there will be some.   Parking not finalized yet, also adding on-street parking.
    • Jersey Ave Bridge will impact their design. Will work salt water edge into design to create transition into community. Working w/ city and State w/ how to address combined sewer outflow issue.       Remediation will be needed, is in flood plain, so will need to be elevated.
    • Looking for 7-8 year timeframe for project, much of the infrastructure and parks will be in earlier phases. Will need to amend the redevelopment plan – reconfigure blocks to have more sensible relationship with property lines
    • Project Design Principles:
      • Bring the park into the City – gradual transition to the park;
      • Increase pedestrian & Bike access, minimize vehicular impact – traffic circles
      • Create buildings integrated with the landscape (smaller footprints, open spaces, push parking below level and burm into site)
    • Community concerns: addnl transit to support additional community members (exploring possibility for additional HBLR stop, extended water taxi service), need for better coordination between Turnpike Authority, City, Project, and Residents.
    • LSP was very positive about design

Announcements & Community networking

  • Still looking for Block Captains – to volunteer, email vvpanews@gmail.com

Adjournment – 9:15 pm

DCNA Letter to Mayor Re: City Planner Search

24 Feb 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in News You Can Use

On February 23rd, the Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (DCNA), along with numerous other community groups City-wide, sent a letter to the Mayor regarding resident desire for a true nationwide proactive search for the successor to the position of Director of City Planning for the city of Jersey City.  As indicated in the letter, residents, neighborhood associations and community groups throughout the city have long recognized the importance of proactive city planning and understand that the Jersey City Planning Director is a key position for addressing complex issues in our City.  Thus, the letter urges the Mayor to conduct a vigorous nationwide search to find the best possible qualified person for this position.
We urge all residents to review the letter as well as to read the thread about this topic on the NextDoor application and to voice your opinions on the matter to your elected officials (fulops@jcnj.org).

Note: On the original publication of this post, we linked to the incorrect version of the letter that went to the Mayor.  Please accept our apologies, and utilize the links above which now attach to the correct version of the letter.

January 2016 VVPA Monthly Meeting Minutes

24 Feb 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

Vvpa 1/16/2016

Frank from the RRC

  • Call RRC for the trimming of trees.   Do not cut tree limbs yourselves.

Treasurers

  • All accounts in good standing
  • No outstanding bills, (except legal)
  • Negotiated new lease with the Barrow

 

Next event – Red Party – Dance Party Feb 13th Saturday / $20 ticket

Construction Committee report

Bates St. RDP

  • PD committee met with Bates Street RDP developer asking for feedback on an amended RDP.
  • They will come back and present to the group when they are further developed (site plan approval) Probably around March.

Morris Canal Redevelopment Area

  • LSP Basin (near bridge)
  • 6 story buildings residential with 2 tall towers (50 stories) alot of landscaping
  • End of the canal – west of the footbridge;
  • Not part of LSP
  • Cul de sac is part of their project
  • Very early stage – shopping around to get community support prior to anything
  • Working with the epa – to redo the sewage issue.
  • Keep an eye on the available open space
  • Make a park
  • Stream encroachment, contamination
  • Will present at Feb VVPA meeting

Barrow / Columbus development

  • No news ; rehabilitation of building on Barrow and Wayne is moving in a snails pace.

Status of the Jersey Ave Bridge – on hold from the state level

Traffic signal change

  • Left turn on Columbus and Jersey Ave (walking an issue)
  • Pressing button doesn’t work, Montgomery at school – changing signals, etc…
  • Traffic and engineering person to come to talk

Developer – 274 Barrow Street

  • Ed Ciolko and Nick Teremi? Working with developer (Office on Newark and Coles )
  • Redesign of project previously presented.
  • 3 story, masonry
  • (2) 1 bedroom flats with (2) 1 car garages.
  • Main entrance off of Montgomery
  • 2 principal uses on one lot and density
  • 3 units in the existing building with 1 professional office
  • Same lot coverage, more building coverage
  • Marvin windows – no brick samples
  • 707 sf units (1 bedroom)
  • Schedule as soon as possible
  • Dan and Tanya working on it from the planning office
  • Would they consider 4 larger units instead of 6?
  • Gary – not contemporary enough.
  • VVPA will write a letter summarizing the comments

JC fish stand – Jill and John

  • Open 11 – 7 M-F;   10 – on sat, closed Sunday
  • Farmers market on grove st and VVPA
  • Want to bring as much wild caught fish
  • Menu will change everyday
  • Sourcing from Huntspoint,
  • Mussels, clams / oysters
  • Partnering with farm to table people to provide meals, soups, stews.
  • Deliveries come in at 11, website has info of what they have by 12

General Update

  • Parking Issue…no clear indications from Candice on 8-11 requirements –
  • She is clear that no one is happy, proposed an opt-in/opt out option, no concrete answers
  • She got sick and went into limbo
  • What it the motivation?
  • Paulus hook has been in discussions with Candice about parking time zones since she got into office.
  • Oona has spoken with DCNA – HCA has opted out, (Rebecca on board) until enforcement can be addressed

DCNA is hosting mayor meeting, Tuesday the 26th Grace Van Vorst

  • Coming up with questions, sending to mayor in advance.
  • Finalizing questions tonight…
  • Half DCNA questions, other half public
  • Development / Redevelopment Plans
  • Retaining experts? Other municipalities?
  • What is the communication between other municipalities and us?
  • Budget transparency/ Analysis
  • Jersey Ave Bridge
  • Casino – why is the community against the casino?
  • Quality of life
  • Reval

Brian Platt coming in Feb to talk about pedestrian mall