From the Hoboken Reporter:
The goals for the southwest corner of Hoboken are easy enough to express. It’s a traffic-clogged, flood-prone, park-starved area that has century-old sewers. It could use traffic planning, new open space, and major infrastructure improvements.
Those needs are largely uncontested, but there is controversy over how to make them happen.
A packed council chamber More than 150 people looked on as the Hoboken City Council debated until 1 a.m. Wednesday night. They finally voted 5-4 to create a Southwest “Industrial Transition” District Redevelopment Area.
The properties in the Southwest “Industrial Transition” District Redevelopment Study Area that were identified as being “in need of redevelopment” include surface parking, stacked car storage, vacant lots, two residences, and a holding area for police horses and other animals. According to the redevelopment study, many of the buildings are poorly maintained or are in need of general maintenance.
So why is there so much opposition to the creation of a redevelopment area?
In one word – trust.
There is a large segment of the population that does not trust the mayor and the City Council to effectively manage a redevelopment area, especially considering that redevelopment law gives the City Council such sweeping authority.
They worry that the city will abuse its powers, which could lead to high-rise, high-density development, with nothing more than small strips of landscaped land that would pass as parks.