ONCE AGAIN IMPORTANT TO LOBBY THE TOWN COUNCIL ON LACKAWANNA PLAZA BEFORE MON, OCTOBER 23.
The Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment is the only remaining opportunity to enhance our downtown town center on such a large scale. There is no question it will add to congestion and density, creating more difficulty for current residents to maneuver and enjoy our downtown. For these reasons, our representatives need to assure voters that benefits will make it fully worthwhile.
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Since the Council did not allow the Planning Board more than one review session of the initial Redevelopment Plan draft in June, it is necessary now that the plan be fully reviewed again in full detail including the best practices for due diligence. The Town Council has referred the Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment plan draft back to their Economic Development Sub-Committee for review October 23rd, hopefully before it goes again to the Planning Board, likely sometime in November.
The EDC includes Renee Baskerville, Robin Schlager and Sean Spiller who is being asked to modify the Plan draft to reflect the Council’s decision to accept much of the Planning Board’s June recommendations from their first and only review session as required by the Council's time restriction.
However, this plan still does not reflect what residents have overwhelmingly asked for in vision workshops and in review meetings. It still provides for 280 residential units to be developed. This density issue and others require more time for consideration and review of all the Plan details, to better shape and make this very important project optimized for the town’s maximum benefit.
What justification is there to press our Planning Board to make quick decisions about such an important project when actual development is really 3-5 years out. This same developer has the Seymour Street project as its current priority which has received final approval, but is not yet underway.
Now is the time to remind officials again what voters and current residents want. Its important to take some time to do that before October 23.
Reach out to the Councilors once again asking them to listen to what voters want and let the Planning Board have what time is required to provide the best plan.
Successful growth requires the right kind of balanced development in order to both enhance neighborhoods and also improve the fiscal health of our town. Residents want a Redevelopment Plan here that reflects what was said in the Lackawanna Plaza visioning workshops and a town center they can be proud of.
That’s why we need to communicate to representatives:
1.Insist the developer hire a preservation architect with substantial experience designing plans for urban preservation and restoration projects so that the historic train station and other elements are the aesthetic focal point of this project, as was requested by our town’s Historic Preservation Commission.
2.Reduce the number of residential units to maximum of 200 to best achieve an attractive and moderate density development in our lower town center.
3.Support adding more open spaces and daylight Tony’s Brook where it makes sense to create park and gathering spaces, both to enhance the Plaza and the surrounding neighborhoods.
4.Design walkable connections to Crane Park and Glen Ridge Ave to encourage more foot and shopping traffic flowing throughout the entire downtown.
Mayor Robert Jackson: firstname.lastname@example.org
1st Ward Cllr. Hurlock: email@example.com
2nd Ward Cllr. Schlager: firstname.lastname@example.org
3rd Ward Cllr. Spiller: email@example.com
4th Ward Cllr. Baskerville: firstname.lastname@example.org
At-Large Robert J. Russo: email@example.com
At-Large Rich McMahon: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Details of Redevelopment Area Proposals
Council Email addresses, Meeting Agendas and Minutes
HPC Meeting Agendas
Planning Board Agendas