It’s hard to believe that it’s already August, but the calendar doesn’t lie. So, with summer in full swing, it’s a good time to pause and reflect upon what’s happened in 2015 and HCA’s goals for the rest of the year.
There have been a lot of changes in our neighborhood in recent months (the MGM Redevelopment Plan, the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall, just to name two) and HCA has done its best to raise awareness and work proactively to give residents a voice in how they take shape.
However, with so much activity going on, there’s been precious little time to devote to the community building that is vital to maintaining a thriving neighborhood. Regular general meetings are important to tackle weighty issues, of course, but it’s equally important for neighbors to get to know one another in a less formal and more relaxed atmosphere. For the remainder of 2015, this will be one of HCA’s goals. The Board has a few thoughts on how to do this, but we certainly welcome our members’ input and ideas as well.
More on that and our usual updates below, but first…
As always, HCA encourages our neighbors to shop locally, and hope everyone supports these businesses that make living in Harsimus Cove even better. We’re pleased to note that Torico Homemade Ice Cream and Barcade have renewed their generous sponsorship of our association this year. We also welcome our new sponsors Dixon Advisory. If you have a neighborhood business and are interested in HCA sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to an HCA Board member. Click on their logos below to visit our sponsors' websites.
It’s time for a breather. So, as usual, there will be no general meeting in August. Our next meeting will be Monday, September 14.
Ordinance Passes Making Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall Official
On Wednesday, July 15, by a 6-3 margin, the City Council approved the ordinance authorizing the conversion of Newark Avenue between Erie and Grove Streets into a Pedestrian Mall. Based on the results of polling and a live membership vote at our July general meeting, HCA expressed our support for the ordinance (albeit with a couple of qualifications).
Now that the pedestrian zone is fully recognized, HCA encourages residents and members to continue to voice creative ideas to help the area realize its most positive potential, while at the same time keeping us aware of any day-to-day issues so that we can work with the City to mitigate and resolve those. All on this chain should certainly feel free to provide feedback to us via the various available channels including our Facebook group, direct email or attendance at our monthly general meetings.
For those interested in details of the Pedestrian Mall, the City’s website has a page at http://www.jerseycitynj.gov/PedestrianMall. There will also be periodic postings on the HCA website and Facebook page.
Neighborhood Party in the Works for the Fall
Keeping with the spirit of community building mentioned in the introduction, HCA is in the planning stages for a Neighborhood Party for this Fall. At this point, it’s likely to be in mid-September. Also, our annual Halloween block party, the Afternoon of Fright on Fourth Street, takes place on Saturday, October 24. Stay tuned for details on both events.
Columbus Corner Redevelopment Plan Update
In July, HCA sent a position letter to the Director of Planning (with copies to the Mayor, members of the City Council and others) indicating HCA’s alignment with Van Vorst Park Association (our neighbors to the south) in opposition to currently proposed changes to the Columbus Corner Redevelopment Plan. The present proposal would allow greater density and 18 stories to be built, whereas the existing RDP allows for a maximum of 7 stories.
Since this is just across our southern border (south side of Columbus Avenue near the intersection of Barrow Street) HCA believes that adding any height and/or density would have a detrimental impact not only on Van Vorst Park but on Harsimus Cove as well, while offering no benefit at all to residents in either neighborhood. Accordingly, we have asked City Planning to reject this change.
Events & HappeningsWhile this isn’t technically in Harsimus Cove, it’s not far and the organization does share our name, so... The Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery is having its first Annual GOAT-STOCK Festival fundraiser from 3:00 to 9:00 PM on Sunday, August 2. There will be bands, historic walking tours and, of course, goats! See the Facebook event page for more information.
HCA Committees and Board MembershipAre you an HCA member who would like to make a greater impact and get actively involved in the neighborhood? Here are some great ways to do it.
HCA will be reaching out to those who expressed interest in joining its Development Committee in hopes of activating that arm of our organization in the near future. That committee is not “full” by any means though. Participation requirements are that you be an HCA member (living in Harsimus Cove) with an interest broad range of development-related HCA decisions and a willingness to educate yourself on topics such as construction design, zoning, and other legal and practical aspects of development. HCA members with professional background in architecture, urban planning, engineering, or similar, are particularly needed and encouraged to join.
Additionally, based on interests expressed by residents, HCA is now considering forming a Sidewalks & Streets Committee to deal with issues like traffic calming, parking safety and availability, sidewalk closures and pedestrian safety. No expertise is required, just membership in HCA and a willingness to learn and invest the necessary time.
Finally, but certainly not least: Would you like to be involved more broadly? If so, now is the time to consider joining next year’s Board. If any of these opportunities is of interest to you, please email HCA President Jeremy Jacobsen for more details: email@example.com
Join the discussion happening in our Facebook group. It's a great way to keep up on neighborhood happenings and discussion between meetings. And follow our Facebook page or Twitter feed for announcements.