Category Archives: Rules for Development

“Newark’s River” Plan & Riverfront Park win 2014 Smart Growth Award

For Immediate Release

NEWARK RIVERFRONT REDEVELOPMENT AND PUBLIC ACCESS PLAN AND NEWARK RIVERFRONT PARK EARN NEW JERSEY FUTURE 2014 SMART GROWTH AWARD

Award honors the community’s work in transforming its waterfront into an urban asset

 Newark, NJ –Mayor Luis A. Quintana, the Newark Municipal Council, Planning Director Damon Rich, Newark Riverfront Revival, Essex County, Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC), and The Trust for Public Land announced today that New Jersey Future has selected Newark’s River: Redevelopment & Public Access Plan and Newark Riverfront Park as one of its 2014 Smart Growth Award winners.

The City of Newark was one of eight communities to receive the coveted award. The construction of Newark & Essex County Riverfront Park and the adoption of the Newark’s River: Redevelopment & Public Access Plan were both recognized for demonstrating and advancing smart growth principles. These achievements, the culmination of 20 years of advocacy and planning, grew from sustained partnerships between public and private stakeholders. These partners came together to connect Newark with its river, to grow the city and its neighborhoods to the water’s edge, and to bring the life of the city to the amazing natural attraction at the heart of the region’s most populated place.

“We are honored that our longstanding efforts to re-connect our residents with our historic Passaic River and to improve the environment and quality of life there are being recognized by New Jersey Future,” said Mayor Quintana. “I commend everyone involved with this important project on gaining well-deserved statewide recognition.”

On August 3, 2013, Newark’s second segment of riverfront park opened to the public, featuring a bright orange boardwalk fabricated of recycled plastic lumber. Bringing Newark’s riverfront park area to a total of 15 acres, this opening occurred 20 years after the lower 17 miles of the adjacent Passaic River were declared a Superfund site. As accompaniment to the development and adoption of the Newark’s River: Redevelopment & Public Access Plan a few days later,these parks gave material evidence of Newark’s riverfront revival and also demonstrated strong application of smart growth principles.

The announcement of the award comes just in time for the launch of the 2014 Newark Riverfront program calendar next month. Organized programs include free and low-cost activities like concerts, boat tours, kayaking,  environmental workshops, movie nights, public art, youth day camp, and public exercise that are set to draw Newarkers and visitors to the City’s riverfront. Learn more at www.newarksriver.wordpress.com.

“Newarkers have long known that growing our neighborhoods and downtown to the river is smart growth and sustainable development in action, and it is heartening and rewarding that others in our region and beyond recognize the same,” said Damon Rich, the City’s Planning Director and Chief Urban Designer and the principal author of Newark’s River: Redevelopment & Public Access Plan. “The Newark Planning Office and Newark Riverfront Revival aim to connect every Newarker to their river, so please join us this summer for a boat tour, a gospel festival, or a Zumba class, and join the movement back to the water.”

New Jersey Future is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that brings together concerned citizens and leaders to promote responsible land-use policies. The organization employs original research, analysis and advocacy to build coalitions and drive land-use policies that help revitalize cities and towns, protect natural lands and farms, provide more transportation choices beyond cars, expand access to safe and affordable neighborhoods and fuel a prosperous economy.

Newark Riverfront Revival (NRR) aims to revive Newark’s riverfront to bring concrete benefits to the City of Newark and its residents. Since 2008, NRR has built support for Newark’s riverfront by taking hundreds of people on boat and walking tours, hosting dozens of outreach events, organizing design education programs for youth, and staging a City Hall exhibition. Since 2012, NRR has worked with Essex County, the City of Newark, The Trust for Public Land, Ironbound Community Corporation, and other partners to build and program over 15 acres of riverfront parks, including a walking and biking trail, sports fields and courts, floating boat dock, riverfront boardwalk, playground and other settings for relaxation, picnics, exercise, and environmental education.

 

Advertisements

Newark’s Riverfront in Urban Omnibus

Newark-Riverfront-Park-Plan-650x178

“Last summer, the second segment of Newark’s Riverfront Park opened to the public. Transforming deindustrialized, often polluted waterfronts into public space is a common strategy in contemporary urban revitalization, worldwide. But rarely has this tactic reflected such a long history of community-based activism for environmental justice and public access to the river.”

Walking to the Water: Environmental Justice and Newark’s Riverfront Park, Urban Omnibus, 1/29/14

Newark Riverfront Zoning Approved by Municipal Council

We are happy to announce that the Newark Municipal Council adopted Newark’s River: Public Access & Redevelopment Plan (20 mb)  by unanimous vote on August 7, 2013, and the new development regulations become effective September 19, 2013. This plan updates Newark’s municipal development regulations along five miles of the city’s Passaic Riverfront. It replaces fifty-year-old zoning regulations primarily planned for industrial uses and lacking specific riverfront provisions with a legal framework that allows new uses and mixes of uses, consolidates design standards to create valuable urban places, and provides for public access as required by federal and state law. Following the release of the public draft on February 27, 2012, a public information session was held at Newark City Hall on March 13, and public comments were collected until March 26. The following draft, released on June 4, 2012,  included many small changes made in response to these comments. A public hearing on this plan was held by the Newark Central Planning Board on Monday, June 11, 2012. The following revision, dated April 20, 2013, including minor textual and graphic clarifications, was submitted for consideration by the Municipal Council.

For additional background, see the following:

Download a synopsis of public comments & responses here (PDF, 150 kb)
Newark Riverfront Progress Report, August 2010
Draft Proposal: Newark Riverfront Development Framework, January 2010
Making the Rules for Riverfront Development: The Workbook, October 2009

Riverfront Zoning Advances

We are happy to release the latest revised draft of Newark’s River: Public Access & Redevelopment Plan (20 mb). This plan updates Newark’s municipal development regulations along five miles of the city’s Passaic Riverfront. It replaces fifty-year-old zoning regulations primarily planned for industrial uses and lacking specific riverfront provisions with a legal framework that allows new uses and mixes of uses, consolidates design standards to create valuable urban places, and provides for public access as required by federal and state law. Following the release of the public draft on February 27, 2012, a public information session was held at Newark City Hall on March 13, and public comments were collected until March 26. The following draft, released on June 4, 2012,  included many small changes made in response to these comments. A public hearing on this plan was held by the Newark Central Planning Board on Monday, June 11, 2012. This current revision, dated April 20, 2013, includes minor textual and graphic clarifications, has been submitted for consideration by the Municipal Council.

For additional background, see the following:

Download a synopsis of public comments & responses here (PDF, 150 kb).
Newark Riverfront Progress Report, August 2010
Draft Proposal: Newark Riverfront Development Framework, January 2010
Making the Rules for Riverfront Development: The Workbook, October 2009

Revised draft of Newark’s River: Public Access & Redevelopment Plan

We are happy to release the revised draft of Newark’s River: Public Access & Redevelopment Plan. This plan updates Newark’s municipal development regulations along five miles of the city’s Passaic Riverfront. It replaces fifty-year-old zoning regulations primarily planned for industrial uses and lacking specific riverfront provisions with a legal framework that allows new uses and mixes of uses, consolidates design standards to create valuable urban places, and provides for public access as required by federal and state law.

Following the release of the public draft on February 27, 2012, a public information session was held at Newark City Hall on March 13, and public comments were collected until March 26. The revised draft represents many small changes made in response to these comments. A hearing on this plan is scheduled before the Newark Central Planning Board on Monday, June 11, 2012, starting at 6:30 pm at Newark City Hall, 920 Broad Street, in the 2nd floor Council Chambers.

Download the revised plan here (PDF, 17 mb).
Download a synopsis of public comments & responses here (PDF, 150 kb).

For additional background, see the following:

Public Draft of Newark’s River Public Access & Redevelopment Plan

We are happy to release the public draft of Newark’s River: A Public Access & Redevelopment Plan.

This plan updates Newark’s municipal development regulations along five miles of the city’s Passaic Riverfront. It replaces fifty-year-old zoning regulations primarily planned for industrial uses and lacking specific riverfront provisions with a legal framework that allows new uses and mixes of uses, consolidates design standards to create valuable urban places, and provides for public access as required by federal and state law.

Download the draft plan here (PDF, 17 mb).

On Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 6 pm, there will be a public information session at Newark City Hall, 920 Broad Street, first floor rotunda. Please RSVP to (973) 733-3917 or newarkriverfront [at] gmail.com.

Questions and comments on the draft are requested by 5 pm on Tuesday, March 26, 2012 to the email or postal address below. For ease of communication, please reference the page number(s) your comment addresses.

Damon Rich, Chief Urban Designer
City of Newark
920 Broad Street Room 407
Newark, NJ 07102
richda [at] ci.newark.nj.us

After the comment period ends, a revised draft will be submitted for approval to the Newark Central Planning Board and the Newark Municipal Council.

For additional background, see the following:
Newark Riverfront Progress Report, August 2010
Draft Proposal: Newark Riverfront Development Framework, January 2010
Making the Rules for Riverfront Development: The Workbook, October 2009

Recent press clippings

“Helping Newarkers reach the waterfront is not a luxury.”

Star-Ledger: Take me to the river: On the Passaic

“What if the city had a riverfront park where kids could frolic on grass, families could picnic and one could even launch a kayak or canoe into the water? That’s the vision for the seven-acre Newark Riverfront Park that the city has spent years designing, with community involvement.”

Star-Ledger: New DEP rules prompt concern

“Preparations are underway to remove 40,000 cubic yards of the highly toxic sediment from the Passaic River near the former Diamond Alkali plant in Newark, the Environmental Protection Agency said today.”

Star-Ledger: Workers prepare to remove highly toxic sediment from Passaic River in Newark