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WEEHAWKEN PLANNING BOARD HEARING
DECEMBER 16, 1999
FULL TRANSCRIPT
PAGES 151 TO 170
(end)

Below is the transcript from the Weehawken Planning Board Hearing on December 16, 1999.  This html document follows the format of the official transcript. The transcript format has 25 lines per page. Each page is numbered. Because the transcript is so long, the file has been broken down into 4 different web pages.

Jump to 12/16/99 pages 1  to 53
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1 I said they are new uses, aren't they?
2 A Yes, they are.
3 Q Now, do you know where Block 6401,
4 Lot 1.01 is?
5 I can help you. That's where the existing
6 parking is for the ferry.
7 Do you know where that is?
8 A I do now, yes.
9 Q What do you plan to do? You plan to
10 keep parking there for the ferry?
11 A Over a period of time, during the
12 phased construction of the planned development,
13 that parking will be relocated to be proximate to
14 the relocated ferry terminal.
15 Q What's going to happen on Lot 64.01,
16 Lot 1.01, what's going to be built there?
17 A That's planned for a variety of
18 mixed uses, a combination of residential, retail
19 and office use.
20 Q And is that lot zoned partially B2
21 and partially B3?
22 A The underlying zone, I would have to
23 refer to the zoning map, but I believe B2 and B3
24 are in that vicinity. Correct.
25 Q Now, does the applicant seek any
Staines - Direct - Segreto
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1 variances here?
2 A There is a variance for the
3 dimensional width of the waterfront walkway in
4 front of the existing edge of the banana building.
5 The waterfront walkway is anticipated or planned
6 to be less than the required 30 feet because of
7 the intrusion of the existing structure.
8 Q So in connection with this banana
9 building, in addition to wanting to change its
10 use, you also want a variance from the walkway
11 requirements. Is that right?
12 A Yes.
13 Q But you haven't asked for a variance
14 for a change of the use. Right?
15 A That's correct.
16 Q Is there any other part of this
17 development which doesn't comply with the 30-foot
18 walkway requirements?
19 A No.
20 Q What?
21 A No. All other areas will comply
22 with the 30-foot walkway with the exception of the
23 banana building.
24 Q Not even at the brownstones?
25 A That's correct.
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1 Q You think at the brownstones there
2 is a 30-foot all the way?
3 A Yes, it is -- there is.
4 Q So the only variance you seek is for
5 the banana building and the walkway. Right?
6 A The walkway and the banana building.
7 Correct.
8 Q Now, you make reference to the
9 master plan.
10 Do you remember that on your direct
11 testimony?
12 A Yes.
13 Q I think you even opined this
14 application is in furtherance of the objectives of
15 the master plan.
16 Do you remember when you said that?
17 A Yes.
18 Q Do you have copies of the master
19 plan documents that you relied upon?
20 A I believe I do.
21 Q Which are the ones you relied upon?
22 A There is one that I happen to have
23 in this recent file, Master Plan Amendment for
24 Waterfront Land Use Element, Township of
25 Weehawken, dated May 1, 1984.
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154
1 Q Are there any other master plan
2 documents that you looked at?
3 A Oh, yes.
4 Q What?
5 A Go back as far as 1976.
6 Q How about since 1984, has this town
7 adopted a master plan since then?
8 A I don't believe there is an
9 amendment pertaining to the waterfront development
10 zoning.
11 Q There is one in 1998 that dealt with
12 upper Weehawken, isn't there?
13 A Perhaps. I don't recall. There is
14 a number of documents that I reviewed.
15 Q Did you ever see such a thing?
16 A I may have, Mr. Segreto. I don't
17 recall.
18 Q The only one you seem to have in
19 your file is the 1984 one.
20 Is that the one you were talking about that
21 it complied with?
22 A Yes.
23 Q Were you aware that in the land use
24 plan element for upper Weehawken, adopted May 12,
25 1998, the first paragraph in the introduction
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155
1 says, "A periodic" -- no -- it says, "Periodic
2 reexamination of reports have been prepared with
3 the last reexamination report prepared and
4 approved in 1991."
5 Are you aware of that?
6 A I don't recall, Mr. Segreto.
7 Q Well, did you look at it?
8 A I may have, Mr. Segreto. I have
9 many documents. I don't recall the dates.
10 Q We are talking about this particular
11 application.
12 Just a minute ago you said it complies with
13 the master plan, and you don't even know if there
14 was a periodic review in 1991?
15 A I don't recall.
16 Q And you don't even know if the 1991
17 periodic review, periodic examination report, even
18 deals with this part of town. Right?
19 A I don't recall. I would have to
20 review the document.
21 Q You don't know if the periodic
22 reexamination report affirmed the conclusions of
23 the 1984 report or not?
24 A I don't recall.
25 Q You don't know if it changed
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156
1 anything, do you?
2 A I don't recall.
3 Q And did the 1984 report recommend
4 mix-use development on the waterfront?
5 A Yes, it did.
6 Q And did the master plan make special
7 note of the spectacular views of the New York
8 skyline, both from the top of the Palisades and
9 from the water's edge? Do you remember that?
10 A I believe I recall reading something
11 along those lines.
12 Q Doesn't the master plan even talk
13 about the importance, not only of the waterfront
14 view from the Palisades, but from the waterfront
15 there are complimentary views of the Palisades
16 backdrop?
17 A Yes. That's correct.
18 Q And the master plan was interested
19 in preserving both of those views, one from the
20 river side looking up to the Palisades and the
21 other from the Palisades looking down to the
22 water. Right?
23 A There was consideration for
24 preservation.
25 Q You haven't done anything, have you,
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157
1 in all of your view corridor studies, and so
2 forth, to consider what's happening to the view
3 corridor from the waterfront looking up at the
4 Palisades, have you?
5 A Yes, we have.
6 Q Have you?
7 Show me one document which talks about the
8 view corridor with the point of observation being
9 on the waterfront looking up towards the
10 Palisades?
11 A I am not certain there is a written
12 document of that kind.
13 Q Well, if you had studied it you
14 would have a document?
15 A No.
16 MR. KIENZ: Mr. Chairman, she is
17 trying to answer the questions. That's
18 uncalled for.
19 MR. SEGRETO: What do you mean it's
20 "uncalled for"?
21 It's called cross-examination.
22 MR. KIENZ: It's called badgering
23 the witness.
24 MR. DUNN: Let's not -- you are
25 all getting edgy.
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158
1 Let's keep it on the record.
2 Q And doesn't the master plan in '84
3 dealing with the -- with a planned development
4 option? Doesn't it say that "The PD zoning will
5 prescribe a series of innovative zoning techniques
6 to control water development"? It says that,
7 doesn't it?
8 A I believe it does.
9 Q And doesn't the master plan say that
10 "It is desirable that the planning board assess
11 the total development which is contemplated to
12 assess the benefits for Weehawken and to evaluate
13 the impact on the town"? Isn't that what it says?
14 A Mr. Segreto, perhaps you should
15 refer to the page, so I might read along with you.
16 Q I am sorry?
17 A So that I read along with you.
18 Q May you do what?
19 A Read along with you.
20 Q Don't you have the '84 right there?
21 A Yes. Would you please refer to the
22 page.
23 Q Well, that one was on page -- about
24 control water development, that's Page 11.
25 A Thank you.
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1 Will you read the paragraph to which you
2 referred.
3 Q By the way --
4 MR. DUNN: Is there a question
5 pending?
6 MR. SEGRETO: There is going to be
7 one now.
8 MR. DUNN: I thought she was
9 referring to something.
10 MR. SEGRETO: She asked me what
11 page.
12 I showed her the page.
13 MR. DUNN: I thought she was
14 asking so that she could answer a pending
15 question.
16 I am sorry if I am mistaken.
17 MR. SEGRETO: I don't think so.
18 She just asked me when I state it I give
19 her the page.
20 MR. DUNN: Then go to another
21 question.
22 Q Now, do you see what he did? He
23 distracted me and I actually forgot the question
24 that I was going to ask.
25 Now, does the master plan say anything
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1 about the view corridors?
2 A I believe there are references, yes.
3 Q Why don't we both go to Page 23.
4 Do you see in Paragraph 7 where it says,
5 "It is also proposed that view corridors be
6 established so that there will be an opportunity
7 for people at the top of the Palisades to view the
8 water's edge"? Do you see that?
9 A Yes, I do.
10 Q Does it say, "for people on public
11 property on the top of the Palisades to view the
12 water's edge"?
13 A No, it doesn't.
14 Q Now, what you have done is the
15 viewpoint of origination is on a particular piece
16 of public property. Isn't that so?
17 A There are various locations on
18 public and private property.
19 Q Well, I thought your colleague said
20 that it relates to public property.
21 Don't you remember that?
22 A I believe there was previous
23 testimony that the areas to the south, perhaps,
24 related to private property, but that would be the
25 subject of review by the engineer, who has more
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161
1 knowledge of the exact ownership.
2 Q Have you done any analysis, for
3 example, of whether or not the view corridor
4 criteria is met for somebody who may have their
5 residence, private property, up on the Palisades
6 and whether or not their view is going to be --
7 MR. GOULD: Hold on, please.
8 Q -- their --
9 MR. GOULD: Okay. Please
10 continue.
11 Q -- and whether their view is going
12 to be impeded when they are standing in their
13 backyard?
14 A Mr. Segreto, I am not sure of the
15 specific location, but the viewpoints are taken at
16 prescribed locations and identified as the
17 western-most point of a plane development zone.
18 It doesn't distinguish public or private
19 property.
20 Q Well, I must confess that I
21 sometimes don't hear well, but I thought Mr.
22 Giardino in response to -- to questions said
23 explicitly is that the origination point of the
24 view is on public property.
25 Did he say that?
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162
1 A And I believe he corrected that a
2 portion of that western-most point of the planned
3 development district, there may be private
4 property.
5 It's not our determination to make.
6 Q Have you made any attempt to go to
7 private property on the Palisades to determine
8 whether or not the criteria of the ordinance would
9 be met with regard to view corridors for the owner
10 of that property who is standing on his own
11 private property? Have you done that?
12 A No.
13 Q All right. Now, is the view of the
14 Palisades from the water's edge going to be
15 obliterated by the construction of these
16 buildings?
17 A Repeat the question one more time.
18 Q Yes.
19 Is the view of the Palisades from the
20 water's edge going to be obliterated by any of
21 your proposed buildings?
22 A Are you referring to the corridors
23 themselves or any of the water's edge?
24 Q I will refer your attention to what
25 the master plan says on Page 26.
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1 They speak about view planes and view
2 corridors, and then they say, "However, the board
3 also recognizes an obligation to see that to the
4 greatest extent possible the views of the
5 Palisades from the water's edge and from New York
6 are not obliterated. The view planes and view
7 corridors achieve this to some degree. However,
8 the board believes that an additional measure is
9 necessary; namely, a prohibition of building
10 within a corridor immediately adjacent to the
11 Palisades."
12 Now, what have you done here to minimize
13 the obliteration of the views of the Palisades
14 from the water's edge?
15 A The provision of the view corridors
16 --
17 Q I am not talking about that.
18 MR. DUNN: Please let the
19 witness answer the question.
20 A The provision of the view corridors
21 allows individuals standing on the westerly shore
22 of the Hudson River at the point of those view
23 corridors to have an uninterrupted view of the
24 Palisades in a western direction.
25 Q Now, in some cases you are going to
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1 put a 14-story building about 30 feet away from
2 the water's edge, aren't you?
3 A Are you referring to our plan, Mr.
4 Segreto?
5 Q Yes, your plan.
6 A I don't believe that's correct.
7 Q You don't have any 14-story
8 buildings?
9 A I don't recall proposing any
10 14-story buildings.
11 Q What's the highest building you are
12 proposing?
13 A I would have to refer to the chart
14 for the specific height, Mr. Segreto. We refer to
15 them by feet above sea level.
16 Q Don't you have schematics which show
17 the height and the number of stories?
18 A We have conceptual plans that will
19 illustrate the alternative.
20 Q What's the highest-story building
21 you plan to put up?
22 A I believe the tallest building we
23 are currently reviewing, the tallest building
24 under consideration is 12 stories in height.
25 Q Is there a height limitation in the
Staines - Direct - Segreto
165
1 ordinance for a building?
2 A Yes, there is.
3 Q What is it?
4 A The height is not only limited to, I
5 believe, a maximum of 140 feet above grade, it's
6 also limited by the imposition of both the
7 Palisades plane and the North Weehawken view
8 plane.
9 Q Don't you have a building that's 162
10 feet high?
11 A You may be referring to its height
12 above grade zero.
13 The height in the ordinance that I refer to
14 is the height above grade.
15 Q Do you have a 162-foot building?
16 A Measured from zero, actually, Mr.
17 Segreto, I would have to refer to the chart to be
18 confident of that.
19 Q As a matter of fact, isn't it true
20 you have five proposed buildings that have a
21 height greater than 140?
22 A Would I be allowed to consult the
23 chart?
24 Q Of course.
25 There is a chart in there somewhere that
Staines - Direct - Segreto
166
1 refers to the height of the building.
2 A Mr. Segreto, I don't see any
3 buildings that tall.
4 Q I am sorry?
5 A None that are proposed to be that
6 height.
7 Q You have a chart which shows all the
8 heights of the buildings?
9 A Yes.
10 Q Can you get it out?
11 MR. GOULD: Mr. Segreto, it's now
12 ten minutes to 11.
13 MR. SEGRETO: Oh, this is a whole
14 new ball to be unraveled.
15 MR. GOULD: I am just telling
16 you.
17 MR. SEGRETO: This would be a nice
18 place to stop. I said this will probably
19 be a good time to stop.
20 I am going to be for a while on the
21 height of buildings, I can assure you.
22 You want to continue. Is that the
23 point?
24 MR. GOULD: If he wants to end
25 his questioning now, we will continue at
167
1 the next meeting.
2 MR. SEGRETO: Yes, I have got a lot
3 of documents on height, and I have
4 schematics that are in the box and things
5 of that sort.
6 MR. GOULD: Okay.
7 MR. DUNN: Okay. I guess, in
8 that case, we will take a motion to
9 continue this meeting to the next meeting
10 on January 6th at seven PM without further
11 notice.
12 MR. KIENZ: One thing, Mr.
13 Chairman, Mr. Segreto marked exhibits O --
14 I think it was six through about O-21.
15 I would ask that he provide our
16 office with copies of all those documents
17 so that we also have the opportunity to
18 review them just as he asked to review the
19 documents -- I can't hear.
20 MR. GOULD: Will you please
21 settle down until we finish the proceeding,
22 please, everyone.
23 MR. KIENZ: I think we have
24 always tried to prepare extra copies so
25 everybody has them. I think we should get
168
1 the same courtesy.
2 MR. GOULD: Mr. Segreto, do you
3 have any extra copies of those documents
4 with you?
5 MR. SEGRETO: We will make them.
6 MR. GOULD: You will make them
7 available. You will be giving the
8 originals to us tonight, I assume.
9 MR. SEGRETO: I am sorry?
10 MR. GOULD: Do you have copies
11 for us tonight?
12 MR. SEGRETO: No.
13 MR. GOULD: You will need to
14 provide copies both to the board and to Mr.
15 Kienz.
16 MR. SEGRETO: One to the board and
17 one to him.
18 MR. GOULD: I am sorry.
19 MR. SEGRETO: One to each.
20 MR. GOULD: Yes, please.
21 Okay. Anything else?
22 Okay. Motion to continue.
23 MR. BARSA: I will move.
24 MR. KIENZ: January --
25 MR. GOULD: January 6th, seven
169
1 PM.
2 MR. KIENZ: The year 2000.
3 MR. GOULD: The year 2000.
4 A second?
5 MR. CABRERA: Right here.
6 MR. GOULD: Everybody have a nice
7 holiday and see you in the new millennium.
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1 C E R T I F I C A T E
2
3 I, PHILIP A. FISHMAN, a Notary Public and
4 Certified Shorthand Reporter for the State of New
5 Jersey, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a
6 true and accurate transcript of the hearing as
7 taken stenographically by and before me at the
8 time, place and on the date hereinbefore set
9 forth.
10 I DO FURTHER CERTIFY that I am neither a
11 relative nor employee nor attorney nor counsel of
12 any of the parties to this action and that I am
13 neither a relative nor employee of such attorney
14 or counsel, and that I am not financially
15 interested in the action.
16
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18 Dated _______________ ________________________
19 PHILIP A. FISHMAN, C.S.R.
A Notary Public of the
20 State of New Jersey
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