MontClairVoyant: This Column’s ‘S-ence’ Includes Signs, Streets, and Spinelessness


In last week’s column, why didn’t you discuss what happened at August 13’s Planning Board meeting?

Omission Manigault Newman

That column contained a fake history of Montclair, and I couldn’t get a variance to also include the PB meeting. I didn’t apply for a variance, but still…

Whatever. Anyway, were you as disgusted as I was that the PB allowed Valley & Bloom more signage?

Later Cater to Developers

Yes. If V&B isn’t getting enough tenants, it’s its own fault — the rents are too high, the place is ugly and oversized, and the construction quality is…”interesting.” The only variance I’d support is for a big dunce cap on top of V&B.

That would be quite the addition to downtown’s skyline. The PB also approved the subdivision of Samuel Debnam’s Washington Avenue property for a second house. Your reaction?

Divisible, Not Indivisible

I’m usually against subdividing properties in maxed-developed Montclair, but Mr. Debnam is 97, needs the money to stay in his home, and has been an admirable town resident during his long life. Plus a web search tells me the house was built in 1912 — the year Fenway Park opened within walking distance of Montclair (if you walk 230 miles).

Is August 23 “Non Sequitur Day”? Also last week, I was mailed the self-described “final newsletter” from U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen — the Trump-supporting Republican whose district includes Upper Montclair. Thoughts about its content?

Make Newsletters Grate Again

The usual pablum, with mild disapproval of a few Trump policies conveniently offered only after Rodney decided not to run for reelection. In short, he provided his 11th District constituents with some TLC: Too Late Criticism.

Thank you, brilliant and hard-working NJ 11th for Change, for helping push Frelinghuysen out! Where might the rich Rodney (known for being too scared to hold in-person town halls) live during his retirement?

Asking for an Enemy

Given his opportunistic turn from GOP “moderate” to right-winger, and given that most rich right-wingers are cozy with Wall Street, a move to the Left Bank would involve lots of mixed feelings. (And lots of couscous.)

Work is currently being done on a number of Montclair roads. Is it true that “every time a street is repaved, a Jersey Jackal player gets waived”?

Milling’s Not Thrilling

First I’ve heard of that connection. But I do know that “every time a variance is granted, overdevelopment foes are disenchanted.”

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

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