Sharing is something children are taught to do with toys and candy, but land use planners want urban dwellers to think about sharing another coveted item - parking.
In a redevelopment plan presentation Thursday for a 25-acre swath of North Avenue, planner Veena Sawant of the Nishuane Group said parking requirements can be reduced when they are shared. The concept relies on agreements between property owners and is based on the notion that specific parking spaces are not full all the time. Traditionally, each building's parking need is assessed separately, but by sharing, Jersey City reduced requirements by 60 percent.
"We propose 20 percent reduction," Sawant said.
To learn more, scroll down in this New Jersey state transportation article to a section entitled "Efficiency: Encourage shared parking ...
Sawant was describing "new design standards and guidelines" for the tract bordered by North Avenue, Berckman Street, Leland Avenue and the Raritan Valley Line tracks. Currently it contains vacant, abandoned and under-utilized structures not conducive to transit-oriented development, she said. The goal is to create a "24/7 living district" with new mixed-use buildings, commercial at the ground floor and residential above. Thirteen-foot sidewalks would have three zones, one for fire hydrants and bus stops, one for walking and five feet in front of storefronts for outdoor dining and the like.
Sawant suggested a maximum of 90 units per acre and one car per 1- or 2-bedroom unit and no street parking, though a board member said street parking is necessary for a football field in the tract.
One tricky issue is that the entire area is in a Flood Hazard Zone, although developers could seek an NJDEP hardship exemption from having to build four feet above ground level.
As for the old buildings in the tract, someone mentioned they could be recycled and used for fill. The rationale is explained in a Rutgers manual on Green Building.
The Planning Board approved the North Avenue redevelopment plan and it will go next to the City Council for adoption.
The board also held a public hearing on an "In Need of Redevelopment" study of 28 properties on Block 645, and had a lengthy discussion on satellite dishes. Issues included who owns abandoned dishes and who can be held responsible for their removal. Board attorney Janine Bauer guided the discussion with reminders of federal regulations on the devices and intricacies of landlord/tenant law. The board's work on the issue will continue next month.