The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City welcomes artists. In addition to its public art, the Heights now has the “Riverview Arts District” (RAD) attracting the attention of many New York City Artists looking for accommodating housing alternatives. Combined with its close proximity to NYC, many mass transit options, affordability, great parks, and 240 storefront main street, the family friendly Heights neighborhood is a great place for artists to live.
First proposed in the early 1980s by then-Councilman Tom Hart, the RAD was forgotten for almost three decades. On February 27, 2013, a city zoning amendment was approved to create an Artist Overlay Zone covering a large portion of the eastern Heights (see map) and allows artists to have studios or work/ live units within the District.
In the amendment, an “artist” is defined as “a person regularly engaged in the fine arts as a career and not as a hobby. This does not mean that the art the artist creates generates the artist’s main source of income, nor does it require that the creation of art occupies the greatest portion of the artist’s day…as used herein, the “fine arts” shall include, but not be limited to, painting, sculpture, choreography and the composition of music.”
Within the RAD, artists can have an “artist studio workspace” to make their art or sell it as an accessory use to the studio; they can also have a work/live artist studio defined as “a single, enclosed, private space of 900 sq. ft or more, where at least one-half of the total space is devoted to workspace for the creation, display, and sale of art, and the remainder is used for living purposes…”