Developer Wins Court Battle Over Hoboken Riverfront Towers


New Jersey’s Supreme Court has sided with a developer in its nearly decade-long court battle with the city of Hoboken over a proposed residential development along the Hudson River.

The ruling held the city can’t use zoning ordinances retroactively to block the project by Shipyard Associates.

The developer has sought to build two, 11-story residential towers on the river on land it had initially earmarked for tennis courts. The city has fought the project since 2011.

Hoboken passed the ordinances in late 2013. Citing state law, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the ordinances can’t be used retroactively because they were passed less than two years after the project’s approval. A lower court had ruled that approval came in 2012 because the city had failed to act in time.

“This important decision concludes a series of lawsuits and affirms the principle that zoning requirements cannot be retroactively changed to undo final land use approvals,” attorney Kevin Coakley, who argued the case for Shipyard Associates, said in an email.

A city spokesman said Hoboken is continuing negotiations with the developer on a plan that would allow the city to take over the land for open space while allowing the developer to build on a different spot.