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Borough of Fort Lee, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 3-27-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-7]
There is hereby adopted, pursuant to the New Jersey Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, specifically N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-7 et seq., a redevelopment plan entitled “Redevelopment Plan for Redevelopment Area I in the Northeasterly Portion of the Borough of Fort Lee, New Jersey,” prepared by Abeles, Phillips, Preiss & Shapiro, Inc., and dated December 2002, on file with the Borough Clerk and incorporated by reference as if set forth at length herein. The specific properties deemed to be an area in need of redevelopment in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-5 are as follows: Block 6101, Lots 13, 14, 15 and 20, and Block 6102, Lots 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21, as designated on the Tax Map of the Borough of Fort Lee and hereinafter referred to as the “Bridge Plaza North/Hudson Street Redevelopment Project.”
Pursuant to the authority granted by N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-4C, the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Fort Lee is hereby designated to exercise the powers of a redevelopment entity for the Bridge Plaza North/Hudson Street Redevelopment Plan.
There is hereby adopted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-7 the redevelopment plan prepared by Abeles, Phillips, Preiss & Shapiro, Inc., dated December 2002, which is specifically incorporated herein. This plan is on file with the Borough Clerk. The plan includes the following:
A. 
Relationship to local objectives. The purpose of the Bridge Plaza North/Hudson Street Redevelopment Plan advances the objectives and recommendations of the Borough’s 1988 Master Plan, as well as the 1995 and 2001 Master Plan reexaminations as follows: promotion of development in areas with highway access to minimize traffic impacts on the Borough; furthering redevelopment of the area in a manner compatible with existing development in the area; otherwise promoting the public health, safety and welfare; expansion of the tax base to promote economic well-being of the Borough and its residents; promote the full economic potential of land where commercial development is appropriate; promote and expand economic opportunities in Fort Lee in order to maintain lob opportunities and economic well-being of Fort Lee’s citizens.
B. 
Relationship to the intent and purpose of the Zoning Ordinance.[1]
(1) 
The redevelopment area is currently zone C-3 Limited Business District, as per the Fort Lee Zoning Ordinance. The C-3 District permits business and professional offices, banks and other financial institutions, as well as municipal buildings, schools and parks. Permitted conditional uses include hotels, retail and service businesses, gas stations and planned commercial and mid-rise residential development. Accessory uses include off-street parking. Permitted building heights vary from 40 feet to 150 feet depending on use; with a one-hundred-foot maximum height permitted for office buildings and financial institutions and a one-hundred-fifty-foot maximum height for hotels. Floor area ratios vary from 0.6 to 2.5 depending on use; with offices and hotels permitted floor area ratios of 2.5 and 1.5, respectively. Yard requirements are based on formulas that consider right-of-way width and building height.
(2) 
The development standards of the redevelopment plan shall supercede the provisions of the C-3 zoning. Where there is a conflict between specific use, bulk or other development provisions of the redevelopment plan and the C-3 zoning, the provisions of the redevelopment plan shall apply.
[1]
Editor’s Note: See Ch. 410, Zoning.
C. 
Redevelopment plan goals and objectives. The specific goals and objectives of the redevelopment plan are as follows:
(1) 
To provide for appropriate land uses that will eliminate blight, promote economic development and growth opportunities and serve the needs of the community.
(2) 
To provide for an increase in the economic base of the redevelopment area and entire Borough by redeveloping underutilized and nonproductive properties.
(3) 
To minimize the negative impact of existing dilapidated commercial and residential uses in the redevelopment area on the surrounding neighborhood.
(4) 
To encourage the revitalization of the redevelopment area in a manner that is compatible with the character of adjacent properties and land uses.
(5) 
To capitalize on the existing strengths of the redevelopment area, including the presence of adjacent office and retail development and the proximity to major highways and the George Washington Bridge.
(6) 
To promote new office development and other commercial uses in the redevelopment area in a manner that will benefit the community while minimizing traffic congestion within the Borough.
D. 
Relocation. Provisions for the temporary and permanent relocation of businesses and persons, if any, located within the redevelopment area shall be made in accordance with the New Jersey Relocation Assistance Law (N.J.S.A. 52:31B-1 et seq.) and the regulations adopted thereunder (N.J.A.C. 5:11-1.1 et seq.) The Borough of Fort Lee shall provide a workable relocation assistance plan for residents and businesses displaced as a result of the redevelopment plan. To the extent required by law, such workable relocation assistance plan shall include efforts to identify the persons and businesses displaced, determining the needs of relocation, providing assistance in relocating new places of residence and business within the Borough of Fort Lee and vicinity, provisions for the temporary and permanent relocation of persons living in the redevelopment area by arranging for decent, safe and sanitary dwelling units at rents within the means of persons displaced from said area, and financial assistance for relocation and moving expenses. However, any expenditures far such relocation shall be borne by the redeveloper. At the time of property acquisition, the actual extent of displacement will be determined and a workable relocation assistance plan (WRAP) will be prepared and submitted to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs for approval. The Borough will comply with the requirements of the New Jersey State relocation statutes and regulations as applicable and will provide all benefits and assistance required under the statute.
E. 
Significant relationship with other master plans.
(1) 
The redevelopment plan either has no significant relationship or is compatible with the master plans of contiguous municipalities, the Bergen County Master Plan and the State Development and Redevelopment Plan.
(2) 
The redevelopment project is located in the heart of an existing C-3 District and is not located in the vicinity of the borders of any contiguous municipalities.
Subject to the approval of the Mayor and Council, the Borough of Fort Lee may proceed with the acquisition, clearance, rehabilitation, planning, reconstruction, renewal and redevelopment of the Bridge Plaza/Hudson Street Redevelopment Plan, and in order to carry out and effectuate said purposes, the Borough of Fort Lee may:
A. 
Acquire or contract to acquire from any person, firm or corporation, public or private, by contribution, gift, grant, bequest devise, purchase or otherwise, real or personal property or any interest therein, including such property as it may deem necessary or proper, although temporarily not required for such purposes, in a redevelopment area and in any area designated by the governing body as necessary for carrying out the relocation of the residents, industry and commerce displaced from a redevelopment zone.
B. 
Acquire, by condemnation, any land or building which is necessary for the redevelopment project, pursuant to the provisions of the Eminent Domain Act of 1971, P.L 1981, c. 361 (N.J.S.A. 20:3-1 et seq.) as amended. All privately owned lots within the redevelopment area are subject to acquisition by the Borough as part of the redevelopment effort. These lots include Block 6101, Lots 13, 14, 15 and 20; Block 6102, Lots 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21.
C. 
Other actions. In addition to the acquisitions described above, other actions may be undertaken to further the goals of the proposed redevelopment plan. These may include, but shall not be limited to:
(1) 
Clearance of dilapidated, deteriorated, obsolete or underutilized structures or uses where necessary.
(2) 
Construction of new structures or other improvements.
(3) 
Provisions for public infrastructure necessary to service and support new development.
(4) 
Environmental remediation.
(5) 
Vacation of public utility easements as may be necessary for redevelopment.
D. 
Lease, exchange or convey properly or improvements to any such party pursuant to this section, without public bidding and at such prices and upon such terms as it deems reasonable, provided that the lease, exchange or conveyance Is made in conjunction with the redevelopment plan, notwithstanding the provisions of any law, rule or regulation to the contrary.
E. 
Dispose of land so acquired at its fair value for the uses specified in the redevelopment plan as determined by it to any person, firm or corporation or to any public agency by sale, lease or exchange.
F. 
To publish and disseminate information.
G. 
To prepare or arrange by contract for the provisions of professional service and the preparation of plans by registered architects or licensed professional engineers or planners or other consultants for the carrying out of the redevelopment project.
H. 
To arrange or contract with public agencies or redevelopers for the planning, replanning, construction or undertaking of any project or development work, or any part thereof, to provide as part of any such arrangement or contract for extension of credit or making of loans to redevelopers to finance any project or redevelopment work, and to arrange or contract with public agencies for the opening, grading or closing of streets, roads, roadways, alleys or other places or for the furnishing of facilities or for the acquisition by such agency of property options or property rights or for the furnishing of property or services in connection with a redevelopment area.
I. 
To enter upon any building or property in any redevelopment area in order to conduct investigations or make surveys, soundings, or test borings necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter.
J. 
To arrange or contract with a public agency for the relocation of residents, industry or commerce displaced from a redevelopment area, if necessary.
K. 
To negotiate with redevelopers for the private sale of real property within the redevelopment area.
L. 
To do and perform all powers authorized by law to carry out the foregoing purposes not otherwise specifically delineated herein.
A. 
The Mayor is hereby designated to execute and the Borough Clerk to attest any and all documents necessary to carry out any of the purposes set forth in this chapter, all of a form approved by the Borough Attorney.
B. 
In connection with the implementation of the plan, the Borough Attorney and/or the Office of Economic Development is hereby authorized to negotiate contracts for purchase, institute condemnation proceedings, prepare contracts, pleadings and other documents and otherwise perform such other legal services as are necessary to carry out the foregoing purposes, where necessary and appropriate.
C. 
Easements. No building shall be constructed over a public easement in the redevelopment area without prior written approval of the Engineer of the Borough of Fort Lee.
D. 
Site plan and subdivision review.
(1) 
Prior to commencement of construction, site plans for the construction and/or rehabilitation of improvements within the redevelopment area, prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.), shall be submitted by the applicants for review and approval by the Planning Board of the Borough of Fort Lee so that compliance with the redevelopment plan can be determined.
(2) 
Any subdivision of lots and parcels of land within the redevelopment area shall be in accordance with the requirements of this redevelopment plan and the Subdivision Ordinance of the Borough of Fort Lee.[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: See Ch. 365, Subdivision of Land.
(3) 
No construction or alteration to existing or proposed construction shall take place until a site plan reflecting such additional or revised construction has been submitted to, and approved by, the Planning Board. This pertains to revisions or additions prior to, during and after completion of the improvements.
E. 
Adverse influences. No use or reuse shall be permitted which, when conducted under proper and adequate conditions and safeguards, will produce corrosive, toxic and noxious fumes, glare, electromagnetic disturbance, radiation, smoke, cinders, odors, dust or waste, undue noise or vibration or other objectionable features so as to be detrimental to the public health, safety or general welfare.
F. 
Nondiscrimination provisions. No covenant, lease, conveyance or other instrument shall be affected or executed by the Borough Council of the Borough of Fort Lee or by a developer or any of his successors or assignees whereby land within the redevelopment area is restricted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Fort Lee, or the developer, upon the basis of race, creed, color or national origin in the sale, lease, use or occupancy thereof. Appropriate covenants, running with the land forever, will prohibit such restrictions and shall be included in the disposition instruments. There shall be no restrictions of occupancy or use of any part of the redevelopment area on the basis of race, creed, color or national origin.
G. 
Duration of the plan. The provisions of this plan specifying the redevelopment of the redevelopment area and the requirements and restrictions with respect thereto shall be in effect for a period of 40 years from the date of approval of this plan by the Borough Council of the Borough of Fort Lee.
H. 
Deviation requests. The Planning Board may grant deviations from the regulations contained within this redevelopment plan where, by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness or shape of a specific piece of property, or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions, preexisting structures or physical features uniquely affecting a specific piece of property, the strict application of any area, yard, bulk or design objective or regulation adopted pursuant to this redevelopment plan would result in peculiar practical difficulties to, or exceptional and undue hardship upon, the developer of such property. The Planning Board may also grant such relief in an application relating to a specific piece of property where the purposes of this redevelopment plan would be advanced by a deviation from the strict requirements of this plan and the benefits of the deviation would outweigh any detriments. No relief may be granted under the terms of this section unless such deviation or relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantial impairment of the intent and purpose of the redevelopment plan. An application for a deviation from requirements of this redevelopment plan shall provide public notice of such application in accord with the requirements of public notice as set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-12a and b.
A. 
Redevelopment plan. It is the goal of the redevelopment plan to encourage redevelopment in a manner that is compatible with the character of adjacent areas and land uses and promote use of the redevelopment area for new office development, other commercial uses and off-street parking that will benefit the community while minimizing traffic congestion within the Borough. It is the intent of the redevelopment plan to promote new construction on underutilized properties and to reuse existing structures in the redevelopment area. The redevelopment plan specifically envisions uses that include general and professional office uses; retail uses of types that service the surrounding residential community and existing and proposed office development, including convenience and daily needs shopping and restaurants; and off-street parking.
B. 
Targeted redevelopment actions. Specific actions ore targeted by the redevelopment plan to address certain deficiencies within the redevelopment area as follows:
(1) 
Office development. Office development is proposed for the portion of the redevelopment area on Block 6101 (Lots 13, 14, 15 and 20) that is currently occupied by the uncompleted and abandoned six-story office building. Under the redevelopment plan, it is proposed that this structure be salvaged and completed for use as general or professional office space or some combination thereof. Redevelopment would include adequate off-street parking and accessory uses appropriate for inclusion in an office building (i.e., convenience retail services). It is anticipated that the reuse of the existing structure may entail reconfiguration of the building to meet the requirements of redevelopment area zoning and/or current market conditions.
(2) 
Commercial/retail development and accessory parking. Commercial/retail development and/or accessory parking is proposed for the portion of the redevelopment area on Block 6102 (Lots 17, 18, 1 9, 20 and 21). This property is currently occupied by two older homes and a small commercial building, as well as a small vacant lot. It is anticipated that under the redevelopment plan these properties will be redeveloped for either commercial retail uses related to adjacent development, including the Food Emporium shopping center and/or current and proposed office development, or to provide any ancillary parking that may be necessary to satisfy the off-street parking requirements of the proposed new office development across Hudson Street.