Lackawanna Ale? Better Lackawanna To Hold Local-Motion Fundraiser; Enlists Local Businesses To Support Legal Appeal

“Plaintiff” button to be handed out at Farmers’ Market and Montclair Brewery

The citizen group A Better Lackawanna is holding a day-long fundraiser on Saturday, November 16th in support of their ongoing legal appeal against the Montclair Planning Board’s approval of Lackawanna Plaza development. Called Local-Motion, the event’s aim is engage the community as well as nearby businesses.

Caroline Kane Levy of A Better Lackawanna says, “We’re particularly excited to showcase the students’ creative concepts for this large project. The developer’s lack of will and creativity stands in stark contrast. The student concepts all include a supermarket, adequate parking, and adaptive reuse of a historic structure. All of the student designs include at least as much – if not more – affordable housing as the approved plan. Several concepts open Toney’s Brook for flood control and the incorporation of a park-like setting.”


The Montclair Farmers’ Market
Walnut Street
A Better Lackawanna Information Table
8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Learn about the appeal, make a donation and pick up an updated map of supporting businesses

Montclair Brewery
10:30 am – 3:00 pm

    Live music from:
    Meg Beattie Patrick & Michael Alan Williams
    The Michael Reitman Band
    The Black Lace Blues Band
    A group jam with Rostafa

A $25 supporter’s package includes a beer and special perks
A $50 VIP package includes the above, a commemorative poster, and a tour and Q&A with Brewmaster and Brewery co-owner Leo Sawadogo
All ages welcome, kids free
Tickets are available online and at the door; details on

The Brewery will be serving Lackawanna Ale which benefits the legal fund. Some of the participating eateries are creating special Lackawanna-themed items for the day to benefit the legal fund. Others are donating a portion of all sales whether dine-in or take-out. A map and signage will list all offers for the fundraiser. Layers of Flavors will make a donation for every Thanksgiving pie ordered during Local-Motion November 16.

Supporting Businesses
A portion of the day’s proceeds will go to A Better Lackawanna:
Cucina 98
Layers of Flavors
Le Salbuen
Panzano Pizzeria
Mezoco Food Truck
Ray’s Luncheonette
Red Eye Cafe
Ruthie’s B-B-Q
Sal’s Gastronomia


A Better Lackawanna LLC is composed of 201 individuals who have signed on as plaintiffs in the appeal. Originally the appeal was filed June 21 with 11 individuals; and subsequently a motion to amend added an additional 190 plaintiffs. The defendants (the Montclair Planning Board and now The Pinnacle Companies and The Hampshire Companies), motioned to dismiss the additional 190 plaintiffs.

The defendants have appealed that decision. Oral arguments for and against allowing the additional 190 plaintiffs will be heard in Essex County Superior Court on Friday, November 15th.

Priscilla Eshelman of A Better Lackawanna says, “It’s unfortunate the defendants are marginalizing citizen input. We would much rather be working our way through the court based on the legal grounds for our appeal, which we continue to believe are very solid. We contend the Planning Board acted arbitrarily and capriciously in granting this application.”

“Even if our opponents won’t acknowledge all 201 of our plaintiffs, we want to. We have created a button which reads ‘A Better Lackawanna Plaintiff’ and we’re asking all plaintiffs to stop by our table at the Farmers’ Market or the Brewery on November 16th to get theirs and wear it proudly.”

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  1. Friends and neighbors, it’s time we stood together and actively voiced our concern over poor quality “predatory development” in our town. Montclair deserves better development. Montclair deserves a Better Lackawanna.

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