Thank you everyone who participated in last night's sudden meeting. Please refer to the linked files if you missed the meeting or would like a recap. We apologize but there is no transcript or closed captioning available yet - we were unaware that the Google Meet recording would not include the captions even if they were turned on. If anyone requires a transcript or captions please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Meeting Timestamps and summaries:
Meeting Chat Transcript:
4:48 - Meeting Agenda
Note: We tabled discussion of the screen house and environmental testing (listed on the original agenda) as those are not the immediate plans being voted upon and ran short of time.
5:55 - Communications & project management
Where to find Open Data resource: https://data.jerseycitynj.gov/explore/dataset/reservoir-draft/information/
Note: This link has changed as of 9/9 from the original link used during the meeting.
Feedback: There is tremendous concern from participating community members about the lack of transparency with regards to confirmed plans. While there is a pandemic limiting in-person meetings, presentations could have occurred online. A public presentation from architects has been requested. Wish for these designs to have also been presented to the Historic Commission, Environmental Commission, and Hudson County Office of Disability Services, etc. Typically mockups are created for both the public and designers.
Note: Sarah Burroughs mistakenly said that Brian Weller was present at the first meeting, he was not (Sarah double checked her notes and apologizes for the confusion).
29:40 - Perimeter Fence Plans
Concern that making something look like it had been there creates a false historicism (why were different design options not discussed with the JCRPA). Note that the fence will not be drilled into perimeter wall.
Feedback: The material of the fence is not clear- it is hard to find in SHPO document if there. General summaries of each project should be included on Open Data so as to be more transparent to public. The space between the fence and the wall will need to be managed, either by having gates built into the fence for access to outside the fence, or by trimming through the fence.
38:36 - Perimeter Trail Plans
Public plans are generic- do not detail exact width in each space, exact substrate to be utilized, etc. Concern that only ADA and not also ABA requirements as well as Universal Design best practices are also being referenced. Concern that no Certified Inclusivity Assessor or Trails & Land Management specialists have been consulted (JCRPA has offered contacts).
Feedback: Wish to retain access to rock scramble on Jefferson for nature play and more challenging alternative trails (e.g. A, B, or C trails). The design should be more detailed including plantings (species, locations, etc). Wish for curved trails where possible to foster a secluded atmosphere. There is also concern with the fact that the lower trails have not been designed to ensure that work done during this phase will not require changes and additional cost to connect to next phase.
Concern regarding trail substrate and construction- differing materials do not appear to have been explored (fine crushed stone, compact earth with outsloping, gravel, etc.). The specific stone or gravel should be detailed in public access documents, and natural products only used, as dye from stone will create runoff and certain color stones will negatively impact the historic and natural atmosphere of the site. The original material used Scrimshaw’s concrete (a mix of coal, tar, and sand) and would not be environmentally friendly but a using a material that mimicked or providing a small isolated section for historic education is preferable. A sample of material should be presented to the public. Concern that there may be too many lights and the lights too obtrusive for preserving the historic and natural atmosphere.
Some community members do not wish for lights at all due to the fact that night events are extremely unlikely (if nighttime events happen on-site solar lights can be brought in temporarily). At minimum there is interest in exploring other light designs due to the coloration standing out and the height increasing the chance of vandalism and maintenance. Suggestion for recessed lights in the ground (added after meeting: concern about maintenance to keep lights from being buried by debris). Concern that a temporary generator is increasing risk of noise, pollution, obtrusion, and need for constant maintenance.
Note: A request for bathrooms was brought up. Another concern that bathrooms should not be included in final plans as their size would be intrusive-- proposal to consider renovating and expanding Pershing Field bathrooms instead.
1:18:08 - Renaming of Jersey City Reservoir #3
There has been discussion from the City regarding naming the site after Councilman Michael Yun. There was not discussion with the JCRPA or with community members. It was also brought to our attention that Central Avenue was also proposed for renaming. We are unsure if the plan is still on the table. Concern from JCRPA that this puts at risk of damaging the historic nature of the site and overshadows his much bigger legacy of creating the Central Avenue SID.
Feedback: There is a clause that requires 3 years wait to rename locations in Jersey City. (Note that there is also concern from SID that this would negatively impact businesses due to costs). Suggestion to compromise by renaming a structure within the Reservoir after it is rehabilitated- e.g. if the Screen House is repurposed into an observation tower, it would be most appropriate to name that for Michael Yun as you would be able to view his Ward from it. The Reservoir has been a grassroots community effort and renaming the site for one person is antithetical to the history of the site and JCRPA.
Note: Additional feedback from community members that were not able to participate tonight includes a request that the project does not drag on for another several years, and that costs are reevaluated to prioritize covid-19 related emergencies such as public housing. (Costs that are pre-allocated as matching funds to the grants awarded in fall of 2019 cannot be re-allocated, and we feel it is high priority to make the site safe and usable by students for outdoor activities during covid-19
Moving Forward: We ask that community members send their thoughts directly to City. We will be creating a public statement based on community feedback and will be sharing the statement on our website, in email, and on social media. We encourage community members to share this information in whatever is their preferred method of communication.
1:32:36 - Call for Board Members.
The JCRPA is looking for more Board Members and will be electing at the virtual public Board Meeting on September 28. If you would like to apply, please contact us to send us a brief bio and to receive the contact information in order to participate in the meeting. The board is a working board doing the work of staff- we have been requested to put details of the work involved on our website and will try to get them up ASAP.