A Nationwide Search for the Next Director of City Planning

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Below is a letter from the Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, joined by community groups throughout Jersey City, to Mayor Steven Fulop asking for a proactive, nationwide search for the new Planning Director.


February 23, 2016


Dear Mayor Fulop:

A new era for Jersey City begins with the news of the retirement of long-time Director of City Planning, Robert Cotter, planned for April 1, 2016. To make Jersey City the “best mid-sized city in America,” we need to conduct a national search for another planning director who will also bring creativity, appropriate thought, vision, and practice to the current state of our redeveloping city.

The Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (DCNA), and our sister neighborhood associations and community groups throughout the city have long recognized the importance of proactive city planning. In this time of unprecedented growth, Jersey City’s long-term success depends on its ability to deal with a complex set of conditions. Issues will include: outdated sewer and water infrastructure, increasingly overburdened mass transportation, a shortage of accessible and open green space, and a rapidly growing need for safer streets for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Now is the time to think forward, think new, and think big. The new Jersey City Planning Director is a key position in the ongoing transformation of our city into the “best mid-sized City in America” that you’ve often spoken about publicly. The position needs someone of world-class caliber, who understands and can manage the long-term effects of development; someone with a fresh viewpoint who is ready to chart a new course for the next chapter in our city’s evolution.

DCNA members, members of other community groups, and your fellow residents have one simple request of your administration: conduct a proactive and vigorous nationwide search for this key position, and hire the best qualified person you can find for Director of City Planning. 

Please seize this opportunity to leave behind a lasting positive legacy. It is likely the best legacy you can ever provide for the city that you (and we) love.

With best regards,

The Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (DCNA)

• Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association

• Harsimus Cove Association

• Historic Paulus Hook Association

• Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood Association

• Van Vorst Park Association

• Village Neighborhood Association

Duncan Avenue Neighborhood Association

West Side Community Alliance (WSCA)

Riverview Neighborhood Association

Jersey City Parks Coalition

Bergen Communities United

Civic JC

Storms Avenue Block Association (SABA)

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