Dear friends and neighbors:
This is one of those times where not only do I want your input, but I need it.  This year is the beginning of a big, long awaited effort to make zoning updates and upgrades in Hoboken.  I will send out a more detailed description of what this means and how it works at a later date. 
But first up:  re-zoning of the Steven’s campus. 
There are a number changes being proposed that I have summarized below, but they mainly involve bringing more of their students onto campus and allowing for future growth in their enrollment.  Both of which are great causes, but also require increased density on campus (and collateral effect in town), and moreover increased height which is always a sensitive topic in our town.  
Tomorrow night I will be potentially voting on the second reading (so final vote) for the ordinance that will codify (make legal) all of the proposed changes.  This ordinance already reflects input and approval of Mayor Bhalla.  My choices in voting will be:
The reason Stevens is up first is because the City (Mayor, Administration and Council) are trying to work closely together with Stevens on its 10 year operating plan which kicks off this fall with construction of a new, two-tower student center and housing complex.  But Stevens can only move forward with this plan if this ordinance gets approved in time.  If Stevens cannot start this fall, their plan gets pushed an entire school year.  It is slightly dated, but you can read an earlier version of their 10 yr plan HERE (most of the assumptions still apply) which gives some good information about Stevens and their vision. 
So I would like your thoughts on whether you support the proposed changes, or not.   
High level summary of the proposed zoning changes (boundary, bulk and uses):
Current zoning (I am focusing only on major items).
Proposed zoning (reflecting changes in red)
The ordinance also has considerable, additional requirements pertaining to use and approvals necessary for any material changes in existing foot print – effectively giving the city a seat at the table in many future development discussions. 
Thoughts on what this achieves for Hoboken:
Consolidates Students on Campus
Allows Stevens to Grow
Taller Buildings 
Waterfront Plans Not Included
For what it is worth, I am a HUGE fan of Stevens.  Under the leadership of their current President, Nariman Farvardin Stevens has achieved many recent successes including a significantly improved relationship with the City of Hoboken.  You can read in their 10 yr. plan beginning on page 14 the myriad connections they have with Hoboken and I just hope we will see these expand.  They are recognized as a top institution within the Academic world and in March of this year the American Council on Education gave Stevens its “Award for Institutional Transformation”, which recognizes institutions that have responded to higher education challenges in innovative and creative ways and achieved dramatic changes in a relatively brief period.  These successes have translated into increased applications, high post college placement north of 95%, and some of the highest starting salaries for graduates in the country. 
That being said, I am an even bigger fan of Hoboken.   I personally fall into the height sensitive camp.  I am concerned about the height of the buildings in the Edge Zone, the additional density this will bring to Hoboken and whether or not Hoboken is getting enough back for these accommodations to Stevens.  But I represent the residents of the 2nd Ward and Hoboken when I vote, and sometimes my views are not consistent with yours. 
So on this one I would like your help to make sure I am representing our community best. 
Thank you in advance for your feedback.
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”