Currently 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:
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 email@example.com for distribution to planning board members:
Mayor Robert Jackson: firstname.lastname@example.org is for the high rises.
Deputy Mayor Robert J. Russo: email@example.com
At-Large Rich McMahon: firstname.lastname@example.org is for high rises.
1st Ward Cllr. Bill Hurlock: email@example.com..
2nd Ward Cllr. Robin Schlager: firstname.lastname@example.org