Sustainable Jersey Certification Report

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This is the Sustainable Jersey Certification Report of Jersey City, a Sustainable Jersey bronze certified applicant.

Jersey City was certified on October 13, 2014 with 225 points. Listed below is information regarding Jersey City’s Sustainable Jersey efforts and materials associated with the applicant’s certified actions.

Contact Information

The designated Sustainable Jersey contact for Jersey City is:

Name:Kate Lawrence
Title/Position:Director, Office of Sustainability / Business Administration
Address:City Hall, 280 Grove Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Jersey City, NJ 07302

Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Jersey City was approved for in 2014 appears below. Note: Standards for the actions below may have changed and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action.

  • Animals in the Community

    Pledge Supporting NJ Wildlife Action Plan

    10 Points

    Program Summary: Wildlife Action Plan Introduction Because this is a task undertaken as a direct result of Jersey City's SJ Application, this resolution was included as an attachment to the Sustainable Jersey Distribution memorandum. The cover memo including the distribution list is attached. In addition, the distribution is always undertaken by the City Clerk after every council meeting. A copy of the City Clerk Certification is attached.

  • Community Partnership & Outreach

    Create Green Team

    10 Points
    Bronze Required Silver Required

    Program Summary: The Green Committee was originally formed July 27, 2009 by Executive Order of the Mayor, and then that Executive Order was replaced January 13, 2011. Therefore, the Green Committee has been in existence for two years, with revisions made to the membership structure and their responsibilities that reflect the progress of group’s actions. The current membership consists of the Business Administrator/or their designee, the Corporation Counsel/or their designee, the Director of Housing and Economic Development Corporation/or their designee, Director of City Planning/or their designee, and a representative of the Mayor’s Office. In 2009, the Green Committee’s responsibilities were to create and analyze a green fleet, a green building incentives ordinance, a green purchasing ordinance, and a green municipal buildings ordinance. Additionally, the Committee was tasked with conducting an energy audit of all municipally owned buildings. In 2011, the Green Committee was restructured to focus more on Jersey City’s Sustainable Jersey certification, and one of their first acts was to form the Green Task Force that would focus specifically on the actions related to the City’s certification. In July 2010, a representative of the City Planning Department took part of a public forum focused on Urban Agriculture in Jersey City, and from that forum the Jersey City Green Team formed having the City Planner as an ancillary member filling a supportive role serving as the liaison between the City’s Green Task Force and community Green Team. Finally, in October 2010, the City reorganized the Environmental Commission, and their first meeting was held on May 23, 2011. The City Planner, and more so the Environmental Commission now serve as the connection between the municipal Green Committee/Task Force and the community lead and driven Jersey City Green Team.

  • Energy

    Purchase Alternative Fuel Vehicles

    10 Points

    Program Summary: Jersey City took an asset based inventory of its fleet for Sustainable Jersey purposes, with Vehicle Type, *Vehicle Identification Number, *Year, *Make, *Model, Date of last maintenance. The total fleet is 954 vehicles. The resources required to track all of the measures required by SJ for a fleet of this size would be considerable, as it would be to undertake the evaluation process as delineated by SJ, although we are continuing to explore how to achieve a comparable tracking system. Meanwhile, Jersey City implemented an alternate methodology wherein a baseline inventory was established, along with goals to purchase hybrids and reduce the total number of vehicles by 20%. Jersey City has been purchasing hybrid vehicles and increasing the fuel efficiency of its fleet. We hope we can gain credit and recognition for this priority item. In May of 2009 a resolution of the City Council was passed to purchase 5 hybrid vehicles for the Department of Public Works and the Automotive Division. It was recommended in the Action Report based on the fleet inventory that these Departments would most benefit from alternative fuel cars since they required multiple and daily car trips to perform their work duties. So far, (5) Hybrid Vehicles were purchased.

    Municipal On-Site Solar System

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Jersey City Incinerator Authority in partnership with the Jersey City Department of Public Works applied for grant funding to install 100 solar operated Big Belly Trash Compactors throughout all of Jersey City. The installations are currently underway, and should be fully complete by the end of August. See the attached inventory for a fuller description.

    Inventory and Upgrade All Buildings

    50 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: Inventory & Energy Audit of 26 City Owned Buildings In early 2011, the City utilized a competitive process to hire EMG, of Hunt Valley, MD, to perform an investment grade energy audit of 26 City owned buildings. This project was grant funded through a portion of a $2.3M EECBG grant awarded to the City for the energy audit, solar powered trash compactors, a revolving green loan fund, Creation of a City wide Green Guide and street lighting improvements. The final reports (PDF) were completed in June and presented to the City by the consultant at the end of June 2011. The accompanying up-loaded documents include: a Summary of Conservation Measures; further steps to achieve recommendation Implementation: Building Inventory Appendices, and the complete City Hall Audit Document (1 of 26) as an example of the product. (If you require all 26 docs they can be provided upon request)

    High Performance Building

    10 Points

    Program Summary: High Energy Performance Jersey City is very proud of the success of the new Public Safety Communication Center. Our design architect, who is also an Energy Star Certifying Professional, has completed the Energy Star Statement of Energy Performance from Energy Star Portfolio Manager for a 12 month period ending June 30, 2011. It reveals that this building achieves a score of 94, (A copy of the statement is provided). The Communication Center is a 24 hour required public safety facility whose design, with a score of 94, has saved a significant amount of resources for its operation. The City is currently in the process of funding and finalizing the submittal and certification of this designation. We hope that that does not preclude us from receiving acknowledgement and credit for this successful green building.

  • Green Design

    Site Plan Green Design Standards

    20 Points

    Program Summary: Application&Checklists were provided. JC is attacking the challenge of implementing green building requirements on several fronts: 1) Through incremental changes in traditional Zoning Ordinance Requirements; 2) Through adoption of progressive redevelopment plans; 3) Through adoption of innovative zoning tools. 1) Zoning Ordinance amendment insuring agricultural uses, gardens, farmers-markets & greenhouses are permitted was adopted. A Zoning Ordinance Amendment requiring Green Roof Designs was adopted. 2) JC through the JerseyCity redevelopment Agency-JCRA issued an RDQ for the creation of a GreenGuide for JC Development and an expanded Green Resources WEB site. At the meeting of August 16, 2011, a contract was authorized with Clarke-Caton-Hinz, the Land-Use-Law-Center-for-Sustainable-Development, and Vertices-LLC. The contract is in the amount not to exceed $110,000.00 and will be funded through the Energy-Efficiency-Community-Block-Grant. A copy of the resolution and project scope is attached as an up-loaded document. 3) Sustainable New-Urbanist redevelopment plans have been adopted. The best most recent example is the Canal Crossing Redevelopment Plan Area. It is a 140 acre industrial area designed for transit oriented development with higher densities around the two light rail stations, required LEED Certified buildings, and pedestrian friendly streets. HUD and DOT awarded the JCRA $2.3 Million to implement a new sustainable community in JC. Studies have begun to design sustainable infrastructure. 4) JC was awarded a Smart Growth Grant and Agricultural Bank Grant totaling $130,000 to implement Transfer of Development Rights within the City. JC will be the first Urban area to implement this tool. Multiple Charrettes, city wide have taken place over the past year. The final ordinance is expected to be adopted in December 2011.

    Green Building Policy/Resolution

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Green Building Policy We have provided Certification from our City Clerk that all Ordinances and Resolutions are sent to department heads after every City Council meeting. We have also provided a link to the WEB page and a Screen shot. This ordinance is posted on the Cover Page of the City of Jersey City HOME page in the NEWS SECTION, in the paragraph entitled “ 365 Days of Green Initiatives All Across Jersey City”, along with other Sustainable Ordinances. A PDF of the web page containing it is attached. You can also access the site on the WEB at: Attached are our Green Buildings Policy Ordinances submitted as a pre-requisite to further Green Design Actions. At the present time, Jersey City has incentivized voluntary Green Initiatives and required Sustainable Green Building Standards for City owned buildings and municipal projects. A further expanded policy that is expressed in the Sustainable Land Use Pledge is also submitted for your consideration and review. That more recent action elevates these 2009 Resolution steps into more binding Zoning initiatives.

    New Construction

    20 Points

    Program Summary: Green Design Municipal Buildings The Mayor and Council of Jersey City have embraced these standards and held to them. There have been two new construction municipal buildings proposed, both meeting LEED requirements. One, referred to as the Jersey City Public Safety communications Center, (AKA the Bishop Street Facility), is completed and has been awarded LEED Silver. The certificate is attached. The second is a New Municipal Public Works Complex that will house the , Engineering & Traffic Divisions, Department of Public Works, municipal garage, and the City Police K-9 Unit. The application for receipt of certification is pending.

  • Innovation Projects

    Innovative Community Project 1

    10 Points

    Program Summary: This was a monumental project for Jersey City in our efforts to become an Urban Agriculture leader in the state - if this program cannot be used for this action, please use it for the innovative demonstration project section. The Jersey City community gardening program, the Adopt A Lot program, was recently amended in February 2011. This program was revised as the result of a community forum that focused on the future of Urban Agriculture in Jersey City. So far, Jersey City has received much praise, notority because of the expansion and revision to their community gardening program - including being one of the head speakers for the Ag in the City Conference that was recently held at Rutgers EcoComplex. The revisions include an extended lease, from 1-year to 2-years, and expands the potential for gardening by allowing residents or nonprofits to garden not only on vacant city owned land, but also parkland that is in need of improvements and that the City will not be able to find funding to improve in the next 2 years. Additionally, the City contracted with City Green to provide a mandatory educational session on basic gardening to all community garden groups, required that every garden have 10-20 public hours every week and that the hours would be posted and the garden accessible, and required that all garden participate in an annual \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Green Your Block\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" event. Prior to the revisions, the majority of Jersey City residents were not aware of the Adopt A Lot program, nor could they name where the community gardens were located. A Kick-Off event was held in May celebrating and educating the revisions to the program. The revisions have given the program and the gardens more of a public presence and made the gardens accessible to everyone - the number of gardens have increased from 3 to 9. In October the City will host the closing of the gardening season that will include tours of all the gardens as well as announcing the winners for the first annual garden competions. One of the new Adopt A Lot is on the front lawn of City Hall, and it is a partnership between the City, City Green, and the Jersey City Moms Association. It is a butterfly rain garden were the children are able to walk through and learn about the life cycle of butterflies - moreover, the garden is maintained by the Jersey City Moms group on a daily basis, and the City continues to provide water and mulch to the garden.


    10 Points

    Program Summary: The City's role in this project was to write and submit the grant to the Dodge Foundation on behalf of Washington Park. The City Planning Department along with the Washington Park Association and Green Collar Futures sat down to plan the project, and then the City offered it's grant writers at no cost to the Washington Park Association or Green Collar Futures. Additionally, the City has provided follow up support through staff meetings in regards to garden implementation and outreach to coordinate with the Mayor's office for promotion of the garden and the community activities.**** The City of Jersey City submitted a Dodge Grant on behalf of the Washington Park Association in partnership with Green Collar Futures to construct a Permaculture Learning Garden in Washington Park, a Hudson County Park. The Learning Garden was constructed by Green Collar Futures and a youth apprenticeship job and skill training program with the NJCU Youth Corps was incorporated into the construction and on going maintenance. The Learning Garden is the first permaculture garden in New Jersey, located in a dense and extremely accessible urban park in Jersey City. It also captures stormwater runoff from a paved gazebo area and a place of severe soil erosion, and there is no longer erosion nor a waterfall on the stairs during rain events. The permaculture garden has created a system of passive irrigation for all planting.

    Innovative Community Project 2

    10 Points

    Program Summary: This was a monumental project for Jersey City in our efforts to become an Urban Agriculture leader in the state - if this program cannot be used for this action, please use it for the innovative demonstration project section.Jersey City took two different actions to encourage food production. The first was to enable State Legislation, S1964 and A2859, which permits urban farms on municipal lands under 5 acres to sell their food. Jersey City enabled this legislation by making it one of the provisions of our newly revised Adopt A Lot, community gardening, program. All community gardeners and urban farmers on municipal lands can sell their produce at designated farmers markets in Jersey City. Secondly, the City passed an Ordinance in April 2011 defining, permitting, and zoning for agricultural uses. The ordinance permits community gardening, commercial agriculture, rooftop gardens/raised planters, and green roofs. Mainly, it exempts all the uses from site plan review and provides minimal standards in regards to setbacks for greenhouses and farm stands. The Jersey City Land Development Ordinance requires that uses be defined with standards or they are not permitted.

  • Land Use & Transportation

    Complete Streets Program

    20 Points

    Program Summary: The City Council adopted a resolution implementing a Complete Streets policy in May 2011, which serves as a blueprint for moving forward. Its adoption reflects the political and community will to formally embrace a complete streets policy. This change in opinion came about gradually with a lot of effort and community outreach. With the help of the NJDOT and NJTPA, the City has organized several walkability workshops over the past few years, including one in the Lafayette neighborhood in 2006, one at Berry Gardens Senior Center on Ocean Avenue in 2009, and one in the Harsimus Cove historic district targeted to the seniors at Grace Church in 2010. The purpose of these workshops is to bring together local decision-makers to identify recommendations that improve the pedestrian experience. It is an on-going program, and the next one, scheduled for September 2011, will be sponsored by Bergen Communities United, a community group, with the assistance of NJTPA and JC. Additional events and educational outreach is provided by Bike JC. It is a citizen-based advocacy organization that aims to make Jersey City streets safe and welcoming for bicyclists, by promoting traffic law-enforcement, bicycle lane creation, bicycle rack placement, education, and group rides. The Annual Ward Bike Tour is coordinated with City officials and has been instrumental in advancing knowledge and acceptance of a complete street policy. At least one City Council member participated by riding the tour. Every transportation study JC has completed in the past 6-years identifies recommendations consistent with Complete Streets Policies and includes public outreach. Some of these studies are as follows: Regional Waterfront Access and Downtown Circulation Study(2007), the Jersey City/Hoboken Connectivity Study (2011), and the Route 440/Routes 1&9T Multi-Use Urban Boulevard/Through Truck Diversion Concept Development Study(2011). They are all accessible on the City of Jersey City website.

    Sustainable Land Use Pledge

    10 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: Sustainable Land Use Pledge Our Mayor and the Council, Chief of Staff, Green Committee, Planning and Zoning, and Environmental Commission members all worked together with the Division of City Planning to compile the sustainable practices of the City and craft a Sustainable Land Use Pledge. It incorporates all the SJ proclamation elements and specific initiatives unique to Jersey City. This extensive resolution was adopted by the City council on March 23, 2011. Discussion on the initiatives within the resolution and its goal to continue the implementation of Smart Growth Practices was discussed with City Council members and aired via the Local Cable Station for wider visibility. The Pledge will also be made available on our Making Jersey City Greener 365 Days a Year WEB site. As per the requirements of SJ, this and other resolutions associated with Conservation and sustainable practices were distributed to all Development Board members, Department and Division Directors and other key staff members for implementation. Many of these individuals were consulted on the drafting of the resolution, but were provided with a memorandum containing a collection of all the most recent resolutions and ordinances advancing the goals of sustainability and environmental balance. The memorandum was distributed on April 10, 2011. The memorandum accompanying this distribution and the distribution list of recipients has been up-loaded for your reference.

  • Natural Resources

    Open Space Plans

    10 Points

    Program Summary: we are providing the exact text link to the document entitled: JC Recreation & Open Space Master Plan. The City WEB location is provided below: The accomplishment of Jersey City successfully completing and adopting the OpenSpace and Recreation Plan, dated April 2008 was no small task. The JC OSRP is a comprehensive document that guides municipal openspace protection and preservation and tracks and coordinates with county and regional openspace Plans. It is extensive and thorough and encompasses all of the SJ openspace segment requirements. It tells how and why open space will be protected, includes cost estimates and provides a framework for implementation. It also examines open space and recreation needs and other resources that are vital to a healthy community. It is for Jersey City an active tool that lays out a plan of action to protect and maintain these valuable places. Jersey City initiated the planning process in 2006. The process a program of public hearings to solicit the input. Over 70 existing or potential parks & natural openspaces were evaluated, photographed, and mapped to identify condition and needs. Recommendations were formulated for renovations and new facilities in the existing parks, with associated construction cost estimates for the needed improvements. Park improvements were prioritized by year, over a 10yr. period. Sources to help fund the construction of improvements and acquire open space in the City were identified. The need for public recreation and open space resource protection was analyzed, based on land area and population. Deficiencies in amount and type of recreational facilities were highlighted. Opportunities for acquisition of new open space by the City were compiled. Discussions were initiated with the County and State park systems for shares use and coordination of existing and new recreational facilities.

  • Operations & Maintenance

    Adopt a Green Purchasing Policy by Ordinance

    10 Points

    Program Summary: Green Purchasing Policy The best documentation is to show the action, which is what we have chosen to do. We are now applying for the Recycled Paper sub-action based upon information received from the Office o f the Business Administrator. As certified by our City Clerk, the Green Purchasing ordinance was distributed to all department heads. The certification letter of distribution is attached. Adopted ordinances are also posted on the City Clerk section of the WEB site, and in addition, this ordinance is posted on the Cover Page of the City of Jersey City HOME page in the NEWS SECTION, in the paragraph entitled “ 365 Days of Green Initiatives All Across Jersey City”, along with other Green Policy Ordinances. A PDF of the web page containing it is attached. You can also access the site on the WEB at: Green Purchasing Policy In your initial comments you questioned why we did not apply for sub-action credit if we had a Green Purchasing program. We got the message. The best documentation is to show the action, which is what we have chosen to do. We are now applying for the Recycled Paper sub-action based upon information received from the Office o f the Business Administrator. As certified by our City Clerk, the Green Purchasing ordinance was distributed to all department heads. The certification letter of distribution is attached. Adopted ordinances are also posted on the City Clerk section of the WEB site, and in addition, this ordinance is posted on the Cover Page of the City of Jersey City HOME page in the NEWS SECTION, in the paragraph entitled “ 365 Days of Green Initiatives All Across Jersey City”, along with other Green Policy Ordinances. A PDF of the web page containing it is attached. You can also access the site on the WEB at: