The City of Hoboken is celebrating a relatively minor victory in what has been a string of litigation losses over the Monarch Project at the northeastern edge of town. The development project, which has been tied up in courts for five years and counting, would potential end up with two 11-story buildings being plunked down on a parcel of land at 15th Street on the waterfront—in front of the Hudson Tea Building.
Hoboken had previously attempted to enforce new zoning ordinances on the project after it had already been approved. Shipyard Associates, who are developing the property, argued that such a move was inappropriate, and that the City couldn’t block construction.
The courts agreed, and Hoboken has lost a previous attempt to appeal to New Jersey Supreme Court. However, the New Jersey Supreme Court has granted the City of Hoboken’s petition for certification asking it to review that denial of appeal.
“The Appellate ruling undermined a municipality’s authority to enforce health and safety ordinances,” said Ron Hine, of Fund for a Better Waterfront. “Now there is an opportunity for the NJ Supreme Court to remedy this critical legal issue.”
Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla said, “I’m thankful that the Supreme Court will allow us to make this argument, so we can protect our waterfront and preserve it for public, open space. Given this recent ruling, my administration will continue to explore any and all options to ensure the Monarch development does not get built and jeopardize public safety and our waterfront.”
This litigation is in addition to Hoboken’s very public brawl with NY Waterway over the ferry company’s attempted use of the waterfront property it acquired at Union Dry Dock.
Meanwhile, the City has floated numerous options to Shipyard Associates in an effort to resolve the Monarch Project over the years. On Wednesday, Mayor Bhalla and the City attorneys will reportedly brief the City Council on the status of their settlement discussions with Shipyard Associates—in light of the Supreme Court’s determination—during the closed session of the City Council meeting on Wednesday.