Lack Plaza developer continues to ignore Planning Board, Discredits historic status to justify demolition.
This Monday, July 23 the developer's most recent proposal for Lackawanna Plaza will continue its review by the planning board in the town hall, 205 Claremont Ave at 7:30 PM.
The Lackawanna Plaza property owner and developer, although requested by the Planning Board to work with the PB architect and Historic Preservation Commission architects on a supermarket plan leaving most of the sheds intact , so far has refused to do so. A national supermarket design firm and several architects propose how it can be can be done. Architects also say its commonplace to be required to design projects within site stipulations such as these station shed stanchions. Past SaveMontclair emails have provided examples of this being done.
1.This meeting may demonstrate if Montclair Planning Board members expect developers who wish to benefit from Montclair tax payers and visitors by building in Montclair are required to respect why Montclair is a valuable community to do so.
2.This meeting may set a strong precedence whether a developer may ignore Planning Board requests as well as buy historically designated property in Montclair and then attempt to justify its demolition for ease of development.
3.A decision may show if planning board members support Montclair's policy guidelines in the Montclair Master Plan to protect our historic nature and heritage for current and future generations.
During this review the developer is expected to attempt to discredit our town's most valued iconic historic asset. Although local, state and national authorities have designated Lackawanna Station as a historic site, this developer sought out one historian willing to critique the legitimacy of past and current historian's reports and statements about the station and its elements.
The developer's historian asserts that the Lackawanna sheds are not the famous Bush sheds as previously noted in reports. BUT is this really the point??? Its Montclair's major historic landmark. This developer bought a historic landmark and property within a historic district.
In addition, our Planning Board's own preservation architect as well as other local architects and aspecialized supermarket design firm has provided proposals using the train sheds and examples of other markets designed using stanchions. However this developer claims no supermarket would want the sheds.
This is simply an attempt to justify demolition for ease of development.
This is the only major opportunity to enhance our downtown. We all want a successful supermarket and a few more weeks to get the right plan can give our downtown something much better. Its always the same, Montclair wants preservation and the right development...over and over. This is always the point.
Again its important to attend this meeting to show support for those planning board members trying to get the best for the town and to convince other PB members Montclair should have the design that enhances our downtown.
To review materials and reports on the town site for this meeting see here.
See Lackawanna train sheds illustrated below with supermarket design and other examples of current markets using train stanchions.
Details of Redevelopment Area Proposals
Council Email addresses, Meeting Agendas and Minutes
HPC Meeting Agendas
Planning Board Agendas