FLOOD ORDINANCE THREATENS HOBOKEN'S HISTORIC BROWNSTONES
Jen Giattino -- A Real Estate Agent who Benefited from the Demolition of Historic Brownstones She Caused on the City Council
Council President Jen Giattino says she’s running for Mayor to give our city government a “fresh look” and to improve our quality of life -- but where has she been the last six years? As Council President, she’s the second most powerful politician in Hoboken and sets the agenda at Council meetings, deciding what legislation is voted on and what isn’t. How can someone with that much power credibly talk about poor infrastructure or park maintenance, when she’s already in a position to correct it? Giattino has been in a position of power in Hoboken for years, but is only now talking about fixing problems after she was denied an endorsement by her former ally Mayor Zimmer.
Our historic brownstone neighborhoods are some of the most charming and unique parts of Hoboken. Unfortunately, in recent years we’ve seen significant alterations forced on far too many of these homes, with some even being demolished. Primarily at fault are revisions made to the city’s flood ordinance in 2013, sponsored by Jen Giattino. (Ordinance Z-263 2nd reading 11-8-2013 sponsored by Giattino, seconded by Mello)
The ordinance expanded the flood zone into neighborhoods that have never flooded before, based on what’s known as the “100-year floodplain.” This forced homeowners who want to substantially renovate their building to convert garden-level dwellings to uninhabited basements, placing undue financial hardship on families looking to invest in their homes.
The scale of these renovations has escalated the destruction of original brownstone facades, and alters the 3-4 story heights of our most historic neighborhoods. With flood maps now dictating building codes, many home values have been negatively impacted while the income required to qualify for a federally backed mortgage has risen. As the primary sponsor, Council President Giattino played a key role in helping the mayor rush this ordinance to completion, yet as she campaigns for Mayor herself, addressing the damage it has caused is a major component of her platform.
Playing a role in demolishing historic brownstones is bad enough -- but Giattino actually profited from it as a realtor
Jen Giattino works as a realtor in Hoboken, creating potential conflicts of interest when city decisions affect the real estate market. That’s exactly what happened when she sold 725 Park Avenue, earning a commission over $30,000 on a property that was put on the market because of the same ill-conceived flood ordinance Giattino sponsored.