Our Council continues to ignore requests from our Planning Board and from residents to protect the town from overdevelopment and high density in our downtown. Outcry from residents about bulky oversized buildings has been consistent since 2013 when a newly proposed master plan became public with business district heights raised all over town including from 6 to10 stories on Bloomfield Ave and from 3 to 7 stories in the Upper Montclair. After public outrage was expressed for over 2 years the planning board reduced these proposed heights in the plan. Soon after 18 properties were designated "areas in need of redevelopment" to allow for building outside of zoning restrictions. Many of our current Councilors were representing us at that time as well: Sean Spiller, Robin Schlager, Bill Hurlock and Robert Russo.
This current Council now has rejected the most recent planning board proposal to lower heights of Bloomfield Ave from 6 to 4 stories since Montclair's master plan calls for 4 stories. This last April the Council approved a proposal to designate 3 story zoned business property on Label Street in the Walnut Street neighborhood to be designated "area in need of redevelopment " allowing again for larger scale development.
Well planned respectful development is welcome when it enhances the town, neighborhoods and town finances. However unlike past simply written master plans, our current one was funded by NJ Department of Transportation (primarily NJ Transit) and written for NJ towns with train stations to proposing dense high rise development around train stations. Most NJ towns rejected those plans but the Mayor and Council at that time insisted the planning board work with and adopt this 200 page confusing and complex document as our master plan.
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Attend this Tuesday's July 26 Council meeting at 205 Claremont Ave to oppose oversized development during the public comments or email your Councilor. Since the agenda may change, verify this meeting agenda on Tuesday on the town site. See Council page here.
Below is the link to the Montclair Local article about the recent request to lower Bloomfield Ave heights here...
Details of Redevelopment Area Proposals
Council Email addresses, Meeting Agendas and Minutes
HPC Meeting Agendas
Planning Board Agendas