Residents unhappy about new Jersey City historic district

Jersey City's West Side neighborhood has become the first new historic district in the last 30 years, but not all residents are happy with the decision.

The designation means owners of the district's 600 properties on the city's West Side bordered by Bergen Avenue and Lincoln Park between Fairmount and Harrison cannot make exterior changes without approval to preserve the community's character. Some residents do not like the new designation.

Laraine Martin owns a brownstone on Bergen Avenue. "I don't want to be restricted. It's my home," she says. "I didn't buy this as a museum, and when I bought this property, it wasn't in a historic district."

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop says the historic district will prevent inconsistent development.

"What we've seen over the last couple of years is developers coming down because they're on larger lots and tearing down the houses despite the fact they've been hundreds of years old," he says.

Some who opposed the historic district feel it will drive up the cost of exterior renovations. However, the city is planning a grant program to help with those costs.

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