Public Hearing Set for Amendments Encouraging Art and Business in JC Heights

The public will get a chance to voice their opinion on proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance for the Riverview Arts District tomorrow at City Hall.

Tomorrow, Feb. 27, two amendments that could enhance both small business and art in the Jersey City Heights neighborhood will be discussed in a public hearing before the City Council at their weekly meeting. Under the proposed amendment, the Riverview Arts District (RAD) — a portion of the Heights designated as an arts district in 1984 by a municipal ordinance which was never codified — would be expanded to include a good portion of the eastern Heights, as shown in the map seen at right.

Under the amendment, artists would be able to have studios or work/live units within the RAD. Also, sit-down and takeout restaurants would be able to occupy ground floor on Palisade Avenue in areas currently only designated for multi-family attached housing under four stories under the amendment. Both amendments were recommended by the Planning Board earlier this month.

The Riverview Neighborhood Association has been vocal in endorsing both amendments and is encouraging residents to voice their opinion at the meeting. In a recent newsletter, they tell residents that while the meeting starts at 6 pm, there are other items on the agenda before the RAD amendments and recommend coming at 7 pm — they even offer to give email or text notifications when the topic is close to being addressed.

RNA president Becky Hoffman says these proposed changes could have a major impact on the area.

“Once it’s in place, it would make it more attractive for artists who want to set up shop here. From the RNA’s point of view, we want to promote the area and the wonderful artists who live here,” she says.

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Map courtesy of Becky Hoffman

Summer Dawn Hortillosa

is a freelance arts and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in the Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal, the International and other publications. She is also a creative writer and theatrical director.