PRICE RIGGING – ZONING MANUPULATION, Hoboken begins the process of Eminent Domain to acquire private land for a park.

PRICE RIGGING – ZONING MANUPULATION:  Hoboken begins the process of Eminent Domain to acquire private land for a park.

March 10, 2012 - Ed Mecka -

The City of Hoboken moved one step closer to using Eminent Domain as a “tool” to force the sale of privately owned property to the government for use as a park.

In a unanimous vote, Hoboken City Council members passed two Resolutions that are necessary to initiate the eminent domain process.   The Resolutions approve the November 21, 2011 property value appraisals and authorizes the issuance of an “OFFER LETTER” based on fair market value to the record title owners of the properties. 


Not everyone in the audience was happy with the Council’s actions as two public speakers made their feelings know, one stating that Hoboken officials engaged in “price-rigging and zoning manipulation.




In his opening statement VIC ZARISH, manager of Neuman Leather, contended that members of the planning board and the administration purposely depressed the values of the proposed parkland properties that the City is looking to purchase by maintaining the low level I-2 industrial zoning as opposed to (IT) Transitional zoning which is reflective of the area.  Here are some of ZARISH’s comments;

ZARISH: “I know for quite a while that you have working on trying to acquire land for park purposes.   Last week at the Planning Board for the South West Redevelopment area, I pointed out that there was at least one Planning Board member and I heard later one high level Administration member that said that the reason, I have been questioning for awhile why the zoning hasn’t been changed in the South West to adopt the (IT) Transitional zone and I was told that the one member on the planning board, at least one, and at least one member of the Administration outwardly said that the reason that the Zoning in the area was not changed was so that the parkland could be purchased at a reduced price.” 

ZARISH: “When you contemplate zoning you have to really think about the effects of the zoning itself an ulterior motive such as maintaining the dinosaur zone [I-2 INDUSTRIAL] so that the park land can be bought at a cheaper price is illegal and is price rigging.  The city controls zoning so if they are the buyer of the property and they control the zoning at a very low level of use, then that’s certainly price rigging.” 

ZARISH:  Requests that the appraiser Mr. McGuire of McGuire Associates, LLC answer the question “Does Zoning affect property values” McGuire responds “YES, IT DOES”.



Official Misconduct charges against public officials is a serious crime.  Councilman Russo expressed his concern that the allegations were made against specific individual by job title, a Planning Board Member and a member of the Administration.  Russo requested an investigation.  

COUNCILMAN RUSSO:  Council president thank you, first off, first and foremost I am not going to let this just be glazed over.   When two members of the public come up here and make very serious statements about members of the planning board or this administration artificially keeping these zones what they are for intent of purchasing property I think we as a council need to act immediately and start at least an internal investigation thru the corporation council’s office to make sure that did not happen and if it did  we do exactly as we need to do as a city and report that to either the county Prosecutor’s Office or State Attorney General.  I think it is very import that we do this because statements like that are very disconcerting.




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