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Noise Issues with 225 River Street Construction Project from Hoboken Resident – City Council Meeting 5/15 Possibly Extending Construction to Saturday

City of Hoboken Update: At the request of SJP Properties, the resolution to consider a waiver to the noise ordinance will be heard on Wednesday, May 15th rather than May 1st.

Hoboken resident Ariel Bucher has issues with the construction going on at 225 River Street past the normal allotted hours according to the City of Hoboken’s noise ordinance. At the meeting tomorrow night 7pm on May 1st, 2013 the City Council will vote up or down the extension of construction to Saturdays for this site. Residents impacted by this purported off normal hours construction are encouraged to attend. Both Ariel’s note and the City of Hoboken press release on this topic are below….

To Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the Members of the Hoboken City Council,

I am writing in regards to the proposed waiver for the 225 River Street Construction project, which will be discussed at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. The email informing residents about this waiver was just sent out this evening, only two days in advance.

225 River Street Constuction Hoboken 4-27-2013

As you can see from the correspondence below, I previously contacted the Mayor’s office and filed a noise ordinance violation complaint on the Hoboken City government website. I have heard and seen construction occurring at this site outside of permissible hours (including starting at 7:40am) several times, but my first complaint was for Saturday, April 13th. I was told by the Mayor’s Office on Monday, April 15th by phone that the 225 River project was actually shut down by police that Saturday – that police “stayed until the workers shut down and locked up the site.”

I was told that there have been problems with this project, and that other residents have filed complaints similar to mine. Finally, I was told to call any time I heard or saw construction occurring outside the permissible hours – that the city “wanted to know if they [the construction project] were continuing to violate the noise ordinance.” 

I am frankly astounded that a construction project that knowingly violated this city’s noise ordinances, and was forcibly shut down by the Hoboken Police on at least one occasion (Saturday April 13th), is actually being considered for favorable treatment by this city’s council. I have grave concerns about this request – not only because the few quiet hours that remain for the residents here in this area are being threatened, but also that such a violator of the law suffered no penalties and in fact may get a waiver – a reward - for their illegal behavior. [Note: It turns out that the developer has a right to apply for a Saturday permit with the Hoboken City Council as they are the redevelopment authority on this project. It will be up to the City Council to approve or deny this exception and extension of construction hours]

I live at 235 Hudson Street, in the Hudson Square North building, on a 10th floor unit with a balcony facing south. The noise from the 225 River Street construction project is so loud that on the 10th floor, I still hear the work noise while wearing earplugs. I am a second year law student and work from home frequently, and have had an extremely difficult time working during the construction hours.

I am absolutely sickened by the thought of construction now continuing on Saturdays. I specifically left Manhattan to a “bedroom community” with a better quality of life and less noise. After moving here immediately after Hurricane Sandy, and all the trials and tribulations that came with it, to now be subjected to this noisy and disruptive project all week as well as the weekend is extremely disheartening.

I will be attending Wednesday’s meeting. I am about to begin my law school finals, but must take the time out because I cannot believe what this city’s council is proposing. I am also forwarding this email to local news agencies, so that local residents are aware of this situation. I am confident that many other residents share my concerns, both those that have contacted the Mayor’s office previously and those that will likely do so if this waiver were to pass. 

I would be happy to discuss these concerns with you before the meeting. Please contact me via email or phone. 

Sincerely, 
Ariel Bucher
New York University School of Law J.D. Candidate, 2014

From the City of Hoboken:

CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER WEEKEND CONSTRUCTION WAIVER REQUEST

Residents are advised that on Wednesday, May 1st  May 15th, the City Council will consider a request by SJP Properties to do construction work on Saturdays at the Waterfront Corporate Center III, located at 225 River Street. The City’s noise control ordinance does not permit for construction to take place on Saturdays without a waiver from the approving board. Since the project is part of a Redevelopment Area, the City Council, as the Redevelopment Agency, has jurisdiction over granting or denying a waiver.

Previously, SJP’s contractor commenced work on Saturdays out of concern for meeting deadlines with their anchor tenant. After the City advised SJP that they could not work on Saturdays, the developer requested a waiver to conduct work on Saturdays, stating: “Saturday construction has become necessary to ensure the project meets the construction milestones required in the lease agreement with the anchor tenant, Pearson Education. The project is currently behind schedule to meet these milestones.”

The noise control ordinance requires that waiver requests be submitted along with a noise mitigation plan. The public hearing for the resolution to grant a waiver request will be an opportunity for the public to express their concerns and for the City Council to ask questions of the developer.

SJP is developing a 500,000 square foot office and retail building – the final site of Hoboken’s 26-acre waterfront, mixed use master plan neighborhood. Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, has signed a 200,000-square-foot lease at the property and will be the site’s anchor tenant. Pearson is scheduled to relocate approximately 900 employees from its current offices in Upper Saddle River and Old Tappan to Hoboken, and will occupy five floors of Waterfront Corporate Center III.

Chapter 133-9C of the City code states:

“All construction and demolition activity, excluding emergency work, shall not be performed between the hours of 6:00 p.m., and 8:00 a.m. on weekdays or at any time during weekends and federal holidays. Work crews may be on site between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. to do preparatory work, but no motorized equipment, including but not limited to pile drivers, jackhammers, riveters, stone breakers, cranes, earthmoving equipment, compressors, saws and cutting equipment, and any other such equipment that is plainly audible beyond the real property line, shall be operated before 8:00 a.m. Work may take place after hours and on weekends only with express authorization from the approving Board and only after a noise mitigation plan has been submitted to that Board. At all other times, the limits set forth in Tables I, II or III do not apply. All motorized equipment used in construction and demolition activity shall be operated with a muffler and/or sound reduction device.”

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1 Comment

  1. Why did you assume Hoboken was a "bedroom community"?

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    Comment by Justin — April 30, 2013 @ 5:49 PM

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