July 25th, 1999
To: Friends of the Weehawken Waterfront
From: Susannah Shepherd
Re: COMMON OPEN SPACE
Any development project north of the Kings Bluff Dividing line (i.e., where the Palisades begin at the Lincoln Tunnel) must dedicate 30% of the total Development Area in the project as Common Open Space. Development Area is defined as the sum of all land, water and piers in the development. With regard to Port Imperial South, of the 92.4 developable acres, 27.7 acres must be reserved as common open space.
Common open space, as defined by the Town, is space designed and intended for the use and enjoyment of residents and patrons of the planned development as well as all Town residents. The regulations specifically state that any space restricted in its use to certain people may not be claimed as common open space.
Land under water can be claimed as common open space if it is west of the shoreline, therefore, no land underwater can be claimed as common open space in the Port Imperial South project.
COMMON OPEN SPACE PRIORITIES
The Town ranks the value of land to be set aside as common open space, in the following order:
Any land Areas on top of the Palisades which will be preserved and beautified;
The cliff face of the Palisades, which is to be preserved;
A waterfront park consisting of at least 5 contiguous acres;
One or more view plazas on top of the Palisades accessible from Boulevard. East;
Plazas and pedestrian areas interspersed throughout the planned development.
Because of these priorities, the developer is allowed to include the Palisades, which he owns, in the 30% common open space requirement, although the Palisades cannot be built upon.
ADDITIONAL OPEN SPACE REQUIREMENTS
At least 25 square feet of common open space must either be Developed Open Space or Quality Passive Open Space for every 200 square feet of floor area in the planned development.
Developed Open Space is "open space that is developed with physical facilities for recreation uses such as, but not limited to, tennis, swimming, running volleyball, basketball, football, soccer, rugby, baseball, childrens play, exercise, picnicking, bocce, horseshoes, shuffleboard or board games." (Page 2306 of the Township of Weehawkens Land Development Chapters.) "Land provided by the developer, as developed open space must be in contiguous parcels that are reasonably accessible both from the development as well as from the rest of the Town and must be open to every one."
Quality Passive Open Space is "open space that is contiguous to the required waterfront walkway and that is appropriately designed and developed in a manner that will provide significant opportunity for passive enjoyment of the openness of the waterfront environment. However, the provision of quality passive open space may not exceed 5 square feet for every 200 square feet of floor area in the development."
From the Weehawken Land use chapters 23-10.4 i
Of the 3.9 million square feet of proposed development for Port Imperial South, 11.2 acres of the required 27.7 acres of common open space must fit the above requirements, while the other 16.5 acres can be regular common open space and can include the Palisades.