The State of New Jersey encourages development especially in northern parts of our state. Consequently some elected town officials seeking support for higher office may hope to obtain support by demonstrating their ability to get development done in their town.
Recently our Council has been promoting the current developer’s proposed plan for Lackawanna Plaza by organizing public meetings attended by the developer and Council members. Assets of the plan are described to gain support of residents; some questions answered while others are not. We all understand that local residents want a supermarket but no one wants massive problems to come with it.
Sign petition here.
Informed residents are not misled by these promotional meetings and are aware that the plan does have some nice features but the massive scale of the proposed buildings will tower over the adjacent residential neighborhoods. Every plan requires careful considerations. This 8 acre project is the biggest and most complex in the town’s history, requiring time for study to understand impact on neighborhoods and the whole town: car and pedestrian traffic, parking, schools, public services, town finances etc, etc. Ignoring Montclair's Master Plan for land use and rushing this process is only supporting the developer’s interests and maybe interests of some Councilors but clearly not supporting the town.
Traffic and parking are always priority issues but during a late December Council meeting, the Mayor and Councilors Yacobellis, Schlager and Abrams voted 4 to 3 to not provide time they had previously committed to for the Planning Board to review the new traffic study before their report reviewing the project was due to the Council.
Support their efforts by signing the petition in the link above and ask the Council to scale back this massive project and allow for time to get it right. Decisions are permanent.
See article here by former planning board member about Lackawanna plan
See link to Baristanet opinion piece about Lackawanna plan.
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