The Community Planning Assistance Program was invited by the Coalition to Preserve the Palisades, Inc. to develop a community vision plan for a 6.55 acre site that lies on the Palisades Cliffs, a line of steep cliffs formed about 200 million years ago. Part of the James J. Braddock North Hudson County Park, the site is owned by Hudson County, but is currently closed to visitors.
A team of volunteers worked with the City’s Planning Department to create a stakeholder driven, broad brush vision plan for the 22nd Street Hudson Bergen Light Rail Transit Station (HBLRT) Neighborhood – one that provides general direction for the City’s upcoming area redevelopment plan. The goal of the City of Bayonne’s municipal government is to encourage more transit oriented developments in this neighborhood.
Chapter volunteers have conducted two Community Planning Workshops to introduce planners and Community based groups to the benefits of developing community-driven plan for their areas. The goal of the workshops is to make community based organizations more aware of how a plan can support their overall objectives and to introduce planners to the needs of this relatively untapped market for planning.
CPAP was contacted by the Urban League to support their efforts to resist a plan by the local utility to place a major electric switching station in the middle of the Fairmount neighborhood in Newark’s Central Ward. The site being proposed for the switching station was identified the Fairmount neighborhood’s plan as for mixed use, job-generating commercial and residential development. Chapter volunteers advised the neighborhood on technical issues related to the utility’s proposal and supported their efforts prepare testimony to given to Newark’s Board of Adjustment.
The CPAP team was invited to develop a strategic plan for this neighborhood surrounding the West Side County Park in Newark’s Central Ward. The neighborhood has many of the challenges facing older city neighborhoods throughout New Jersey, including poverty, high crime, challenged schools, abandoned buildings and lot, a lack of jobs, and inadequate recreational activities for children. All of these challenges have become more severe since the recession that started in 2008, now exacerbated by the high number of foreclosed residential properties.
CPAP volunteers were invited to Perth Amboy to work with the public, municipal officials, and business owners to develop strategies for improving the City’s commercial street, Smith Street. The effort was concentrated on the portion of Smith Streets west of the NJ TRANSIT train station. The planning work was carefully coordinated with several other planning efforts that were underway in the area, including a Together North Jersey funded TOD study at the train station and larger area-wide plan funded by the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. The planning work involved two meetings with the public, a survey or business owners and customers on Smith Streets, and numerous field visits.
Chapter volunteers participated in a public charette in Seaside Heights on October 29 to support the non-profit, Architecture for Humanity. AfH is working with the community to design a new event center on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights. The event center will be funded with money raised by MTV after Superstorm Sandy damaged the Seaside Heights boardwalk.