Mayor Bhalla Opposes Council’s Parklet Moratorium, Advocates for Business Community

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In a significant move, Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla has vetoed Ordinance B-610, a measure that proposed a five-month moratorium on new parklet applications. The Mayor’s veto comes after careful consideration of the ordinance’s impact on the business community and the broader Hoboken community.

Background

Over the past several months, the Hoboken City Council, in partnership with Mayor Bhalla’s administration, has been working to mitigate rodent activity in Hoboken. This included a containerized garbage ordinance, increased funding for rodent extermination, and new extermination and sanitation requirements for parklets.

The Ordinance and Its Purpose

Ordinance B-610, sponsored by Councilmembers Phil Cohen and Mike DeFusco, aimed to issue a five-month moratorium on new parklet applications. The ordinance also sought to remove parklets as an option for outdoor dining moving forward, as outlined in the Hoboken City Code Chapter 138.

Reasons for Veto

Mayor Bhalla expressed his general support for the ordinance’s intent but ultimately vetoed it. He stated that the ordinance “does not effectively address the issue it aims to resolve and simultaneously hurts the business community.”

Hoboken Business Alliance’s Stance

The Hoboken Business Alliance (HBA) also expressed concerns about the ordinance. They argued that parklets have been crucial for businesses, especially during the pandemic, and should not be banned. The HBA also noted that there is no significant data linking parklets to an increase in rodent activity.

Licensing Requirements

The ordinance would have required any restaurant, bar, distillery, or brewery desiring to utilize outdoor space to file an application annually with the city zoning officer. This would have added another layer of bureaucracy for businesses.

Call for Collaboration

Both Mayor Bhalla and the HBA are open to working closely to implement a world-class outdoor dining program with best-in-class rodent mitigation strategies.

1 COMMENT

  1. It is not surprising that a Mayor who is also employed by a law firm that represents Hoboken Bars would veto a bill aimed at helping residents. Between the political donations, the fee revenue from clients and the direct ownership that his chief of staff John Allen has in numerous Hoboken bars makes it easy. He is putting his interests over the residents of Hoboken.

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