"12 Stories High and Developing Fast": MX3 and a Developing Ironbound

In October of 2017, the Newark City Council adopted an ordinance amending the Newark Zoning and Land Use Regulations, establishing a new type of zone within the City’s Master Plan known as MX-3. This new area, located right outside of Penn Station in the Ironbound, would not allow for buildings of up to 20 stories in height, up from the previous restriction of 8 stories. The change was not without controversy. Many people and groups showed up to the council meetings to protest and make their opposition to the change known. One group of residents went so far as to file a lawsuit against the City Council, saying that it violated the City’s Master Plan rules as well as notice requirements under state law. A state judge ruled in favor of the residents on the lack of notice. A few weeks ago on January 9, 2019, the City Council revisited the issue and voted in favor of creating the zone with higher height restrictions.


Lillian Ribeiro—Lillian is an activist, artist, and community organizer. Born and raised in Ironbound Newark, with a long history of fighting for social justice with local national grassroots and community organizations. She has been fighting MX3 for over a year with residents of her neighborhood and the Ironbound Community Corporation and was the lead organizer of “Newark at the Intersections: Who is the Renaissance for?,” a curated art exhibition including film documentaries and performances throughout the Newark community, summer and fall of 2017 at LIPS with co-curate Daniel Joseph and other Newark artists.

Lisa Scorsolini—Lisa is a founding member of PLANewark and currently serves as its Treasurer. She is a practicing municipal attorney and has been a resident of the Ironbound since 2004.

Drew Curtis—Drew is with the Ironbound Community Corporation, which a 50-year old, community-based organization delivering early childhood education and youth development programs, family services, and workforce development programs, as well as environmental justice and community development initiatives, in line with its stated principles of justice and equality.

Articles & Background:

  • A video article from NJTV documenting the January 9, 2019 City Council Vote: click here

  • Two stark videos by Myles Zhang of what the Ironbound would like under the proposed height restrictions: click here & click here

  • An article from TapIntoNewark describing the litigation between the residents and the City over MX3: click here

  • An article from BrickCityLive describing the lead up to the December 11, 2018 City Council meeting: click here

  • A city generated map outlining the current zoning restrictions: click here

  • The complaint and the summary judgment order from the PLANewark v. Newark Municipal Council litigation: click here for complaint & click here for summary judgment

End Quote:

“A man in himself is a city, beginning, seeking, achieving and concluding his life in ways which the various aspects of a city may embody.” William Carlos Williams, Paterson

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