Blog: Save Upper Montclair From Master Plan

BY  |  Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 5:30pm  |  COMMENTS (59)

Save Upper MontclairCurrently the 2013 Montclair Master Plan Draft approves re-zoning of Upper Montclair village and train station parking lots for condo buildings up to 7 stories. A potential new version reduces zoning to 3-5 but loop holes can allow higher development. (Update: The Upper Montclair Master Plan, as well as other 1 ward topics,will be discussed at the 1st Ward meeting on Thursday, November 14 at 7:30 pm at the Bellevue Branch Library.)

The amended Plan is expected out in December on www.montclairnjusa.org. Public questions and comments will be allowed in 2 planning board meetings after.

UPPER MONTCLAIR CURRENT MASTER PLAN REZONING WILL ALLOW:

Baristanet-Blog-disclaimer

  • 5-7 story buildings in village business core along Valley Road
  • 5-7 story buildings in Bellevue Ave train station parking lots on both sides of tracks with 100% coverage
    • * an amendment for 3-5 stories is proposed but not finalized yet.

SAVE UPPER MONTCLAIR* (SUM) wants:

  • 3 story zoning only maintained in Upper Montclair Village
  • No development in the 3 major parking lots efected in the Plan: Bellevue Ave lots on both sides of train tracks and the lot at side of the Bellevue Cinema.

Zoning loop holes are being used by town officials to enable development to go higher than zoning: one loop hole is the designation of land “ in need of  redevelopment” means zoning can be ignored. This designation for use of  blighted or deserted property but it being used improperly in Montclair to avoid  zoning.

Another loop hole is a TDR ( Transfer Development Rights), attempted with CentroVerde where a developer buys development rights from one town property  for the right to develop another property beyond current zoning for that property. The town also loses control of use of property when development rights are sold.

We live in Montclair for a village atmosphere and small businesses.

Upper Montclair businesses will not survive a major construction project in those parking lots. Chain stores or banks replace most failed private businesses. Two businesses closed in 2012 summer during 6 week parking lot repaving next to Charley Browns.

What you can do to help:

  • Contact SUM if you want to help fight rezoning via lindacrans@gmail.com.
  • Attend PB meetings and Council meetings and speak against overdevelopment during public session.
  • Write a letter to officials below or to planning board director, Janice Talley at jtalley@montclairnjusa.org for distribution to planning board members:

Mayor Robert Jackson: rjackson@montclairnjusa.org is for the high rises.
Deputy Mayor Robert J. Russo: rrusso@montclairnjusa.org
At-Large Rich McMahon: rmcmahon@montclairnjusa.org is for high rises.
1st Ward Cllr. Bill Hurlock: whurlock@montclairnjusa.org..
2nd Ward Cllr. Robin Schlager: robinschlager@montclairnjusa.org

59 Comments

  1. POSTED BY arnie  |  November 06, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

    When developing a vision statement with respect Montclair’s new Master Plan who better to refer to than Frederick Law Olmsted (1822 – 1903). Olmsted was a champion of the City Beautiful movement and is the founder of American landscape architecture.

    Olmsted’s philosophy is best summarized as:

    ” ‘Will it be beautiful?’ should be asked as to any proposition for improvement, but it is not by any means the first question to be asked.

    ‘Is it in purpose and tendency aiming in the direction we have deliberately chosen?’ ‘Is it appropriate to that particular kind of common, park, street, dooryard, or township, which we can reasonably look forward to having during the period in which the improvement will be effective?’

    These are the first questions to ask in such a case. They are often hard to answer, but real improvements are not made easily and thoughtlessly.

    Time, effort, and money expended on embellishments, without painstaking thought as to their ultimate result, are apt to be worse than wasted; while wise forethought as to purpose and tendencies may so shape the simplest utilitarian necessities of a village as to give it the beauty of consistency, harmony and truth.”

    (NOTE: The Olmsted quote was taking from a book written by John Nolen (1909) entitled “Montclair, the preservation of its natural beauty and its improvement as a resident town.”

  2. POSTED BY zidarich  |  November 06, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

    Let’s not forget our residential neighborhoods are still at risk also. Ask the people on Lansing Place, who just had a turn of the century, single family home torn down on their block to make way for new condos/apartments, plummeting their property values and destroying their block’s charm.

    It’s ridiculous that in a town with our history, the Upper Montclair section has ZERO protection for residential neighborhoods with historic designations to protect homeowners (a handful of individual homes do have it, but not many). It’s almost unfathomable. Towns with similar histories, like Glen Ridge and South Orange have big chunks of their town protected – in Glen Ridge almost the entire town. In Montclair, developers are welcome to bash and build as they please, and seem to be doing so with ease.

    I’ve never seen a town more hellbent on allowing the destruction of the very reason most of us move here. We’re recent home buyers in the town, and we’re already wondering if we made a mistake. I hope we start to see some changes from those in charge to prove us wrong.

  3. POSTED BY unmitigated gall  |  November 06, 2013 @ 7:05 pm

    Good luck 1st Ward.

  4. POSTED BY dogmom  |  November 06, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

    Before everyone gets in a tizzy, has anyone who is about to post about how Montclair is going down the tubes with the master plan actually attended the planning board meetings every two weeks since they started making revisions to the draft master plan now being considered?

    Basically, the thing is getting rewritten page by page and the planning board members are listening to the input from residents. There is another planning board meeting a week from this Monday night, and the master plan will be discussed.

  5. POSTED BY idratherbeat63  |  November 06, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

    @arnie Excellent post. Olmsted was a great American. Read “The Cotton Kingdom.”

    “Developing out of debt” is not an option for Montclair.

    “The continuation of the present policy would be fatal. The Montclair of tomorrow should witness the preservation and, in some cases, the restoration of the natural attractiveness of the place, and should provide in many ways a new and more appropriate type of town development, one that will be worth more than its cost and add immeasurably to the daily satisfaction of everybody living in Montclair. The banding of the townspeople together to achieve these results will do even more-it will nourish a better town spirit.” (John Nolan, March 6, 1909) Appreciation to Frank GG for this quotation.

    Still true today. Scrap this Master Plan of “Development” and replace it with Preservation and Restoration.

    Keep the spirit of Olmsted alive in Montclair and in our country.

    Linda Cranston, you could go further. Be bold. What you say is not just for the Upper Montclair or the 1st Ward.

  6. POSTED BY nick danger  |  November 06, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

    Destroy the neighborhoods; destroy the school system. Just burn it all down. Happy with your council now?

  7. POSTED BY algb  |  November 06, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

    Hey Dog The planning board won’t even allow residents to talk at the mettings. What are you smoking?

  8. POSTED BY neighborofmsu  |  November 06, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

    Thank you Linda Cranston for keeping up the conversation. Dogmom brings up a point too that little by little the MP is having revisions made. algb- the Planning Board had public comment from April through July, I believe, at their meetings- hours and hours of it- and then on top of that sub-committees were created to go through comments from letters and emails too. This is how the MP is getting edited. The Planning Board should be commended as well as the Town Planner for listening and putting so much effort into trying to revise a bungled plan that consultants based on deficient and inaccurate population forecasts and values that don’t match what the residents considered important. Write to your Council people letting them know what you hope they vote for!

  9. POSTED BY sohobound  |  November 06, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

    Thank you Linda for highlighting important aspects of the Master Plan. Upper Montclair is a huge draw because of its small town, gentle suburban feel, at least that is why I moved here and many of the people I know.

    idratherbeat, “The continuation of the present policy would be fatal. The Montclair of tomorrow should witness the preservation and, in some cases, the restoration of the natural attractiveness of the place, and should provide in many ways a new and more appropriate type of town development, one that will be worth more than its cost and add immeasurably to the daily satisfaction of everybody living in Montclair. The banding of the townspeople together to achieve these results will do even more-it will nourish a better town spirit.” (John Nolan, March 6, 1909).

    I completely agree!

  10. POSTED BY stayhyphy  |  November 06, 2013 @ 9:59 pm

    “Destroy the neighborhoods; destroy the school system. Just burn it all down. Happy with your council now?”

    I think this is right. The problem is the lack of qualified people in public service. There is no incentive to serve. Forget about republican or democrat, conservative or liberal, socialist, libertarian, etc etc etc.

    The problem is the quality of people that choose to serve or attempt to serve. No good options, no leaders, etc. It kind of makese sense. No reward at all for being a public servant, no reason for qualified people to step up. Why be a public servant when you can be a doctor, lawyer, innovator, entrepreneur? You get the point.

    I wonder if there is a way to make these positions from local the level to the white house more attractive such that real leaders and visionaries get involved.

  11. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  November 07, 2013 @ 7:19 am

    “SAVE THE CLOCK TOWER!!”

    I’m reminded of how the town square of Hill Valley- with it’s Clock Tower- in “Back to the Future,” got turned into Biff Tannen Casino & Hotel in “Back to the Future II.”

    But remember, there were two possible outcomes of Hill Valley’s future: Biff’s dark and scary, or the joyous, progressive community with and those hover-boards.

    I choose hover-boards.

  12. POSTED BY redrum  |  November 07, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    This whole “Save Upper Montclair” movement is highly narcissistic. The attitude that only Upper Montclair is worthy of more restrictive zoning regulations is degrading. Especially, considering the already over-developed and proposed-to-be-developed sections of town have historically been Upper Montclair’s dumping ground for undesirables. As if 07043 is “too good” for condo dwellers.

  13. POSTED BY kyle41181  |  November 07, 2013 @ 9:57 am

    As a 32 year old who has owned a SFR on south end of Anderson Park for over 6 years I want to offer an observation; the composition of mine and other neighborhoods are changing. Radically younger, in the past 2 years 15-20 homes have sold within .25 miles of me(10 within .1 of a mile)have turned over. All young(late twenties-mid 30′s)coming from NYC. These individuals do not see what others who have been in town longer, like historic value.

    Prior to me coming to Upper Montclair I lived in manhattan, I left as a commercial revolution had started in 07. The areas around gramercy, murray hill, flatiron, meat packing, financial district were seeing serious revitalization. This included Brooklyn: Dumbo, Carrol Gardens, Flatbush Ave, etc. and don’t forget Long Island City.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/04/new-york-city-in-20-years_0_n_4182025.html

    My point is that people my age, might move out of the direct urban environment for the comforts of suburbia but, are not as consumed with preservation after watching revitalization happen in NYC in the past 10 years. Some may see growth/expansion as important to the lifestyle they want going forward.

    Change is hard to except, but it inevitably happens. The winds of change are at the backs of the city planners. TOD is where the money is for development is flowing into. If you havent seen, please take a look at Patersons plans. Upp. Montclair will change, for better, for worse, depends on your point of view!

    http://togethernorthjersey.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/City-of-Paterson-TOD-Plan-2012-Low-res.pdf

  14. POSTED BY njjenva  |  November 07, 2013 @ 10:16 am

    As a small business owner in the area, we did see a decrease in business even with the smallest construction work completed recently on the train tracks on Bellevue. For two weeks, street access was closed and business was negatively impacted. This blog is correct, with this construction, I am not too sure our business would survive.

  15. POSTED BY idratherbeat63  |  November 07, 2013 @ 10:45 am

    @kyle41181 The mantra “any change is good, we will see what it brings, good or bad” is neither convincing or intelligent. Preservation and restaurateur is also change; it is change appropriate to this town. No one is saying that this should be the only change in the town, but that it should be the starting point: not ugly brick highrises cheaply fabricated.

    If you want the kind of change in Montclair that has and is taking place in NYC, Brooklyn and Paterson, then maybe your “SFR on [the] south end of Anderson Park” is perhaps not what you really wanted. Maybe what you want is a “SFR on the south end of a Centro Verde.”

    What you did not see six years ago when you bought your “SFR on [the] south end of Anderson Park” is the graffiti message gutting the home: “Montclair debt for sale. This could be your share for just $489,000.”

    By the way, if you read the Master Plan and do not see the watermark “DEBT” on every page of it, you have missed entirely what this discussion is about.

    Well considered, appropriate and intelligent change is never hard to accept. It is welcomed and embraced. Stupid change is indeed hard to accept, and intelligent people do not accept it.

  16. POSTED BY frankgg  |  November 07, 2013 @ 10:56 am

    There is really no need to re develop on a speculation of an increase in population since there is no guarantee of a real increase in population. They’ve speculated this before and its never happened. If there is an increase of local population, these tall massive buildings should be built elsewhere, not here…. we have a valuable and unique town to protec.

  17. POSTED BY frankgg  |  November 07, 2013 @ 10:59 am

    t

  18. POSTED BY kyle41181  |  November 07, 2013 @ 11:11 am

    idratherbeat63,

    You twist words, and are the non- intelligent one!

    You quoted me as saying “any change is good, we will see what it brings, good or bad”

    I never said that. Your a liar.

    The quote read ” Upp. Montclair will change, for better, for worse, depends on your point of view!”

    Also, how the hell do you know what “I” really want? And because what I want is not what you want doesn’t make it wrong! You bleed intolerance…

    “DEBT”, this town is all debt, if you think that commercial/residential expansion is the driver of the DEBT you are INSANE. Most of the DEBT comes from your “precious schools” capital budgets, PRE McCormack, your sworn enemy. 100+ Million of the $220 Mil the town owes in debt came from the BOE Capital budgets, possibly more. The town also pays 15+ Million in debt service a year for those payments, instead of more school teachers, aides, foreign language teachers, etc.

    Your points are laughable. You must not understand Montclair as a whole at all. This town has all the tools in place with respect to Fire and Public Safety to unleash commercial/residential property growth. We are in the most densely packed county in NJ, with more points of access to Mass Transit than an other town in the area. We have infrastructure that dominates most suburbia towns with our same level of income per household, but we have a population 2X most other towns(ridgewood, summit, westfield, etc.)

    Growth is coming, this Mayor, his running mates(not Ms. Baskerville) were elected on that platform, and from what i have seen since they started they are going to push forward.

    I was and am against the ALF at Centro Verde, should have been and MSU Dorm in the Fried era. As for the Sienna, its got its internal problems, but aesthetically its not hideous as others have said. I am just used to it seeing construction like at Fulton Strret in BKLYN, Downtown Westfield NJ, etc.

  19. POSTED BY kyle41181  |  November 07, 2013 @ 11:19 am

    frankgg,

    The idea that population increase is not going to happen in Montclair is also speculative. Population in town can only rise if there is housing for people to live. Currently there is little to no available land for new construction of SFR in Montclair.

    Though, if mid rises and other condos are built, there is demand. The housing market in Montclair is at its strongest since 06, rentals move in less than a week. Homes are selling in under a month(mine included, 11 days), and over asking.

  20. POSTED BY idratherbeat63  |  November 07, 2013 @ 11:43 am

    @kyle41181 My apologies. I was not suggesting that I quoted you directly. Your post suggests that those against the Master Plan are against change. This is not true.

    More importantly, whether a specific change is better or worse is not always just a point of view. If the objective of the change is, as Mayor Jackson and the Town Council have repeatedly stated, to reduce the town debt, then the change they are proposing is worse than the current situation. If the purpose of the change is improve the quality of life in Montclair regarding traffic congestion, pollution, crime, classroom sizes, then the change they are proposing is worse. If the purpose is to beautify the town to look like Sienna, then I agree it is a matter of point of view. In this case, however, I think most people in Montclair would have a different sense of aesthetics than you.

    I agree with your concerns about the debt. I agree that the past was unacceptable. Note too that in the one year since Superintendent MacCormack has been here, the BoE has made it necessary to write out more debt. I completely agree with you that this needs to stop. I also agree with you fully regarding the need for “more school teachers, aides, foreign language teachers, etc[.]” which the debt hinders. It is also Superintendent MacCormack’s policy to spend hugely on bureaucracy and consultants and corporations while spending next to nothing on classrooms. She can require the whole school system to change everything to meet assessment tests, but she will not even provide the materials needed to teach to the tests. Foreign language instruction was promised by her at the beginning of this school year and all the schools got was a complete sham.

    I also agree that the fire and police departments are far too bloated for what is needed in a town this size. I do not agree the town should be developed to meet the needs of employment and shiny equipment in the fire and police departments.

    You seem to consider that because the county is so “densely packed” and because “we have a population 2X most other towns(ridgewood, summit, westfield, etc.)[sic]” that people in Montclair want to live like those in Newark or Brooklyn with 2X becoming 3X or 4X. I think (a) most people in this town do not want to see increased density (and increased traffic and larger classroom sizes). And (b) there is absolutely no evidence of masses of people in the Upper Montclair income brackets clamoring to come and live in Montclair. Creating a solution for a problem that does not exist usually results in creating unforeseen problems.

    Sorry, but you now live in a “SFR on [the] south end of Anderson Park,” not on Fulton Street in Brooklyn. Again, you may have bought into something you really do not want.

  21. POSTED BY idratherbeat63  |  November 07, 2013 @ 11:53 am

    @kyle41181 It is rather unintelligent to call someone “non- intelligent [sic],” would you not agree?

  22. POSTED BY mistercranetown  |  November 07, 2013 @ 11:54 am

    How about we save *all* of Montclair from this Master Plan nonsense?

    (Barista, can you please start a contest to put a snarky nickname to this whole scheme? My entry is “Jackson’s Folly.”)

  23. POSTED BY zidarich  |  November 07, 2013 @ 11:56 am

    Kyle, I couldn’t disagree more. I’m about your age and moved to Montclair because it retained its quaint charm and old home stock. Same reason everyone else we know moved here for that exact reason as well. Otherwise you could have paid a lot less and moved, well, really, anywhere else. Montclair has had the same appeal to New York families since the town was first built: its pretty and has beautiful homes. That hasn’t changed since the late 1800′s one bit.

    This idea of “progress” instead of preservation is what caused Montclair from the 40′s-60′s to lose countless numbers of some of its most grand and beautiful homes to make way for new commercial buildings and apartment buildings. Many of those neighborhoods still haven’t recovered. Compare Park St between Watchung and Chestnut, largely untouched by development, to Park St between Bloomfield and Chestnut – where “progress” was made and insanely beautiful homes were torn down in mass. Or Union Street west of South Fullerton, one of the nicest stretches of street in town, to the side east of South Fullerton, where “progress” was made. The Development has only hurt those once beautiful residential neighborhoods. Erwin Park is one of the most sought after sections in town because its so well preserved, not because its developed. The undeveloped sections of town are the ones most sought after.

    I don’t understand how we’re even still having this debate in 2013. Do we really not realize how special what we have left is?

  24. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  November 07, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

    There are many other towns with better schools and better commutes and plenty of new construction in safe neighborhoods. We should strive to keep what differentiates us from the others. So, large scale development with large buildings covered in cheap foam and artificial beige and pink stucco with some architectural ornamentation like the Sienna, or the hotels and strip malls on Route 3 or Route 46 will do nothing to enhance the physical attributes of our town.

  25. POSTED BY kyle41181  |  November 07, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

    “I was not suggesting that I quoted you directly”

    When you put something in quotes it usually signifies you are quoting directly. My use of “non intelligent” was a joke! sorry for not being funny!

  26. POSTED BY kyle41181  |  November 07, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

    zidarch:

    “Montclair has had the same appeal to New York families since the town was first built: its pretty and has beautiful homes”

    This will not change, they will not be tearing down SFR’s for high/mid rises.

    “. Compare Park St between Watchung and Chestnut, largely untouched by development, to Park St between Bloomfield and Chestnut ”

    You comparing a County thorughfare area “bloomfield Ave” with watchung plaza, poor comparison.

    “The Development has only hurt those once beautiful residential neighborhoods.”

    Not everyone wants to live in SFR’s, and mainly only the well off can afford them. The medium home sale in Mtc is 550K. Yo would need $110K for DP and $160K in HH Income to get a mortgage and pay taxes/insurance. Plus living expenses. Doesnt sound like the progressive dream, it sounds like Glen Ridge!

  27. POSTED BY zidarich  |  November 07, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

    Kyle, the idea that historic preservation has some elitist, racist undertones is nonsense (I wasn’t aware you couldn’t rent in houses!). Look at South Orange – about the same racial makeup as Montclair AND without any of the segregation that plagues this town. And they do it all while preserving their beautiful home stock, neighborhood character, and socio-economic diversity. So save that wanting to turn Montclair into Glen Ridge garbage for somewhere else.

    I know you like to pick fights about everything on this site (shall we talk about global warming next?), so forgive me if I have a hard time taking you seriously. Even if you are serious, and not just looking to provoke reaction, you’re in the heavy minority in wanting to see development in this town.

  28. POSTED BY whippersnapper  |  November 07, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

    A Master plan does not green light a shovel in the ground. It green lights submissions, thoughts, ideas, discourse. You all act like Hudson yards is going in next to the train station. It wont. Granted I think the plan still needs a lot of work but wow. Some people are just going nuts.

  29. POSTED BY Linda Cranston  |  November 07, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

    FYI. This 1st Ward meeting will also cover other Ward 1 topics besides the master plan.
    I also want to make it clear that Bill Hurlock has consistently said he is against buildings higher than 3 stories in Upper Montclair as well as no development in parking lots. Bill has encouraged and helped groups of residents interested in fighting the high rises. We are asking for Councilmen to commit to not voting for any plan that does not accomplish this.

  30. POSTED BY kyle41181  |  November 07, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

    zidarich,

    I dont pick fights, I express opinion. I am currently under the opinion that me being “in the heavy minority in wanting to see development in this town.” is not possible. Fried & Co brought us Centro Verde & ALF and other asset sales. Those same voters, heavily progressive block, voted for current council. Maybe that is the case, maybe not!

    Charges of racism, where?, unfounded and ludicrous!

    The areas in Upper Montclair, as this is the topic, are ripe for redevelopment. No one is going into Erwin Park or anywhere that’s not Commercial centered. The buildings on West side of Valley between BOA and A&P could easily be devolped to 4,5,6 stories mixed use properties. Same goes LukOil or its neighboring buildings(Bank, Le Parc Building).

  31. POSTED BY Christine  |  November 07, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

    Please correct me if I am wrong but isn’t the Bellaire House a condo building that’s more than 5 stories tall and part of the Upper Montclair village?

  32. POSTED BY willjames  |  November 07, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

    The vast majority of the single-family housing stock that everyone invokes when they talk about why they moved here is in no way threatened by the master plan. Not in the least. The preservation of the character of our R1 neighborhoods is an explicitly-stated core principle of the master plan. And in fact, form-based codes (a core innovation of the master plan) are proposed specifically with an eye to giving municipalities more concrete tools for preserving the look and feel that they believe makes their community unique.

  33. POSTED BY whippersnapper  |  November 07, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

    ^This. It will also alleviate a ton of time an money that this town spends on hearing variances and so forth since our current master plan is ridiculously outdated.

  34. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  November 07, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

    Christine,
    The Bellaire House is actually about 8 stories.
    It is actually NOT part of Planning Board’s Master Plan “Upper Montclair Village” designation. (They probably need to lose this label anyway. It is an affectation as the Township recognizes it as Uptown.)

    It is also not part of the UM Historic District.

    Lastly, the MP Draft actually did not foresee any high-rise development in this part of what they call the UM Southern Gateway. Hope this helps.

  35. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  November 07, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

    Actually, it won’t.

  36. POSTED BY stayhyphy  |  November 07, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

    ” we have a valuable and unique town to protec”

    I hope this is not the logic or basis for your argument. How many times do I have to set the record straight? This is simply not true of Montclair anymore.

    Montclair finds itself in a much different situation than even 15 or 20 years ago. People need to get with the program.

  37. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  November 07, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

    “How many times do I have to set the record straight?”

    I guess until someone thinks that you know what you’re talking about.

    That could be awhile.

  38. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  November 07, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

    willjames,
    The import of Master Plans are as much about what they omit.

    Looking at that core principle of protecting R-1s, I think people should go back and read the 2006 MP. What did the PB carry over and what didn’t it?

  39. POSTED BY idratherbeat63  |  November 07, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

    @kyle41181 Deep apologies. It was not so easily apparent that all of your grammatical errors were intended as jokes. Now it is clear that your posts were rolling on the floor laughter. (We should assume that every time you call someone an “idiot,” you expect that person to bend over double laughing.)

    You are the typical “SFR on [the] south end of Anderson Park” “progressive,” who is so terribly proud to advertise your income bracket and pretend that you are liberal to the teeth because your child goes to school with “poor people” and “people with a different skin color.” (No apologies now for the quotation marks. You must have attended one of those teach to the mandated tests schools as far as your understanding of written English goes.) You probably do realize that the majority of the people in Glen Ridge live closer than you do to “those poverty-stricken non-1st warders that make me (proud 160+ HH income group peep) so progressive.”

    Call me an “idiot.” Fine. But please stop embarrassing your neighbors.

    Montclair cannot develop itself out of debt. It will not happen. So stop dreaming. You bought into the debt. You pay for it. Or you do, as you seem to have done, move out. No one should be responsible for paying the debt someone else created. Even an “idiot” can see that.

    @stayhyphy “Montclair finds itself in a much different situation than even 15 or 20 years ago. People need to get with the program.” Agree. Just not this program. The town needs some sober thinking about development. Why are frankgg and Frank Rubacky not on the Town Council?

  40. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  November 07, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

    IRB63,
    Maybe because I don’t have strong people skills and would face an ethical dilemma as to any oath that says I really have to represent everyone.

  41. POSTED BY townie  |  November 08, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    Change and progress are not synonyms, but one hopes they do correlate.

    zidarich points to Park Street, where zoning on the blocks closer to Bloomfield Ave has promoted professional office development, whereas from Chestnut north, the zoning was changed at some point to prohibit professional offices, which had previously been allowed.

    To me it is just that closer to the main commercial districts there is a need for commercial uses. Yes it is less aesthetically pleasing to see an old house carved up into office spaces, outfitted with code-required exits and ramps and the yard turned into a parking lot, but this is a choice made with intent. Growth and the changing needs for uses, has to be accommodated.

    We can’t just “not grow” or “not change”. The USA is founded on freedom of movement and private property. Upper Montclair can absorb some well-designed larger buildings somewhere and since free speech is another founding characteristic, it’s also appropriate to weigh in, as Ms Cranston has, to argue the details.

  42. POSTED BY stayhyphy  |  November 08, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

    “@stayhyphy “Montclair finds itself in a much different situation than even 15 or 20 years ago. People need to get with the program.” Agree. Just not this program. The town needs some sober thinking about development. Why are frankgg and Frank Rubacky not on the Town Council?”

    I should have used “realities the town is face with” instead of the word “program”. The Franks have decent input but they are solving the wrong equation. Its a “forest for the trees” issue. I agree that the master plan even with some of the recent input is not a great solution but it is the situation that we find ourselves in. Moving out of Montclair is a pretty good option if you don’t understand why this is the right move.

  43. POSTED BY idratherbeat63  |  November 08, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

    @stayhyphy Which “realities” are you referring to that the Master Plan addresses?

    It does make sense to address the realities, but perhaps it would help to clarify the ones you have in mind. Thank you.

  44. POSTED BY kyle41181  |  November 08, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

    idratherbeat63,

    “You are the typical “SFR on [the] south end of Anderson Park” “progressive,” who is so terribly proud to advertise your income bracket and pretend that you are liberal to the teeth ”

    you make such drastically wrong assumptions about individuals. you writing the above about me puts that to rest.

    “Or you do, as you seem to have done, move out.”

    Bingo! I will be moving on soon, sadly, by choice. Nicest neighbors ever!
    Gardeners dream to live on Godfrey…

  45. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  November 08, 2013 @ 7:47 pm

    stayhyphy,

    You said “I agree that the master plan even with some of the recent input is not a great solution but it is the situation that we find ourselves in.” Then you suggest people need to move out of town if they can’t accept that.

    Two weeks ago Martin Schwartz of the Planning Board said of the Centro Verde project:
    “The Planning Board clearly made an error in its original approval by authorizing so much mass and bulk at this this site with minimal set-backs and building articulation. It appears that some members who approved the original plan are actually now beginning to recognize that.”
    He goes on to say he hopes this is a seminal moment for the PB because he thinks (my words) that they finally get it. Your comment would be very apropos on this project, but not the MP.

    (full context of quote can be found here – http://www.baristanet.com/2013/10/montclair-planning-board-eight-story-centroverde-building-public-park/ )

    This Township’s reality is that the Centro Verde has Final Site Plan Approval.
    The Master Plan’s reality is that is it not approved. We don’t even have the revised draft yet!!!
    Maybe we can get the PB to just approve the current MP with corrections to come.

    Nope. There is no outside deadline pressure for the PB to even approve this next Spring. It’s a vision/policy document looking out 25 years.

    So, why so defensive when the PB is significantly rewriting a document that they sunk $200,000 in? That it was hailed by many for recognizing and combing land use + Circulation. Adding Circulation was the number one feature and why we got the $200K. I can also honestly say the Circulation element was the biggest disappointment, far and away, of any feature of the MP. And since the PB doesn’t have the $ to fix it, they’ll just leave it as is with the Watchung Av/Park St renovation the crown jewel of their Circulation Element.

  46. POSTED BY deadeye  |  November 09, 2013 @ 10:08 am

    Just leave our town alone. Building high density housing in Upper Montclair village would absolutely ruin its character. Upper Monclair is aesthetically appealing, in stark contrast to hideous Bloomfield Avenue, and it’s environs. There is already a reasonable amount of rental housing along Valley Rd., and Bellevue has several multi-storey rental apartment buildings that blend in with the overall look and feel of the area. The old Charlie Brown’s could be re-developed into a multi-use building that adds to the overall appeal, and provides much needed eatables to the town.
    Parking in UPM is nightmarish already, and this plan calls for the elimination basically all of the parking at the train station and nearby by lots, if I understand correctly. One could only assume that this would make the train station practictically unviable to those of us that don’t live nearby in SFRs like Kyle, but more on that later. This plan is basically a social engineering canard, the net effect of which would add significant demand on our educational resources from renters that don’t support the schools through paying the outrageous property taxes that make our town a shining example of bad management and governance.
    Now Kyle. It took me quite a while to figure out what an “SFR” is, but I’m still scratching my head over how you could be the “owner” of a home that you presumably rent to live in, and don’t pay taxes on. If you own this SFR, and rent it out as an income property, then disregard my opinion that you are sucking off the resources of this town while not contributing in taxes, and therefore your opinions as to the development of the area are basically worthless. But then again I’m just an old school guy that owns his home, pays taxes, uses the train to get to work, doesn’t see the wisdom in this crackpot urbanization scheme. I don’t think I’m in the minority here.

  47. POSTED BY deadeye  |  November 09, 2013 @ 10:09 am

    Eatables=Ratables

  48. POSTED BY idratherbeat63  |  November 09, 2013 @ 10:36 am

    Is there a need for the Master Plan at all? If so, what needs is it addressing?

    Are hundreds of developers being turned away annually because there is no master plan? Are thousands of people unable to find a home or a rental in Montclair?

    Or is this Master Plan not much more than a political stunt by someone in need of an award: “Rarely does an award recipient demonstrate the type of extraordinary leadership as that of Mayor Jackson.”

    What are the true needs in Montclair that underlie the expense and development of the master plan now being worked on?

  49. POSTED BY jcunningham  |  November 09, 2013 @ 10:45 am

    “Or is this Master Plan not much more than a political stunt by someone in need of an award”

    —mystery solved! your keen analytics and razor sharp insight serve you well yet again!

    what exactly did the poor mayor do to engender such hatred in you?

  50. POSTED BY deadeye  |  November 09, 2013 @ 10:56 am

    When can we stop calling them “progressives” and go back to calling them narcissistic buttholes again?

  51. POSTED BY idratherbeat63  |  November 09, 2013 @ 11:12 am

    @jcunningham Mayor Jackson is anything but poor. He has worked hard and deserves his wealth. You misunderstand criticism for hatred. And in this case the criticism was directed at the Master Plan (and the NAACP).

    So please answer the question: What are the needs addressed by the Master Plan?

    @deadeye People who want to be called progressive may very well deserve to be called progressive. Let’s not take everything away from them.

  52. POSTED BY deadeye  |  November 09, 2013 @ 11:53 am

    I stand corrected. Apparently I too am the owner of an SFR. Oddly, I refer to in in the old fashioned colloquial way….owning a house. I got confused with the more commonly used commercial real estate acronym “MFR,” multi-family rental. Live and learn.

  53. POSTED BY frankgg  |  November 09, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

    The current Master Plan does not take into consideration view corridors that would be blocked for the neighborhoods on the hill, that were expressively created because of this valuable feature. I have never seen traffic studies either, that would prove that our current road configurations could actually handle an increased volume of traffic, instead, I only see frequent lines of non moving traffic, up and down Bloomfield Avenue, and they lead me to believe that the creators of the master plan as well as the public have no clear information as to how these new big buildings would impact the existing road situation. There are no customary photoshop renderings that allow us to see how these buildings would impact our townscape. To me, there are pieces missing in the presentation that would allow for correct descisions.

  54. POSTED BY walleroo  |  November 09, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

    Building high density housing in Upper Montclair village would absolutely ruin its character.

    That’s it. If deadeye is against high density housing in Montclair, there must be something good in it. I’m for it!

  55. POSTED BY walleroo  |  November 09, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

    But remember, there were two possible outcomes of Hill Valley’s future: Biff’s dark and scary, or the joyous, progressive community with and those hover-boards.

    You know I love you like a brother, prof, but you sound a bit like some old guy in a nursing home who won’t give up the remote.

  56. POSTED BY deadeye  |  November 09, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

    Who sounds like the old guy in the nursing home???

  57. POSTED BY idratherbeat63  |  November 09, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

    looloo, you be nice to your big brother or he’s likely to run you out of town just as he did kyle41181.

    Public announcement: Pay it forward! Would all the good neighbors in the “SFR on [the] south end of Anderson Park” zone please come out in their dungarees next Saturday at 8 am to assist a 160,000+ income progressive move out of Montclair. Special attention is asked for packing the multicolored grade school photographs that prove SFR and income were not what these past years have been all about.

    @kyle41181 We hope you have found your dream Sienna for the exquisite mold gardening opportunities they offer. Those that love you would like to present you with your very own Town Council signed copy of the Montclair Master Plan and a profwilliams’ Diploma in English Usage as a token of our appreciation for your short stay in this exquisite town, what is anything but Glen Ridge.

    May the winds of change forever blow in the back of you expressed opinions. We will miss your humor.

  58. POSTED BY walleroo  |  November 10, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

    Who sounds like the old guy in the nursing home???

    deadeye, you sound like the old guy in an expensive nursing home.

  59. POSTED BY frankgg  |  November 11, 2013 @ 9:47 am

    Last night the NYC Skyline was crisp and spectacular! Magnificent. Drove around the hillside to observe what kind of impact the six storey buildings would have in Montclair Center. Anyone can do this…. use the rooflines of the 6 storey condos on Bell Street and the Leach Building as guidlines. My findings confirm my concerns for the properties along S Mountain, N Mountain and the beginings of Lloyd and Upper Mountain but higher up at Afterglow, Rockledge and the southern end of Lloyd and Undercliffe, the six floor blocks would not impact the view corridor. I am so glad.

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Interesting developments in the Afterglow story. It can see it as a special on the Bravo network.

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