The current Township Council is always newsworthy because of the township manager situation and other reasons, so what did you think of its meeting last night, April 12?
April is the Duelist Month
My column deadline was a few hours before that meeting, so there’s nothing I can say except the Council should spend less on legal expenses and more on turning leaf blowers into time machines.
Would those reconfigured blowers even have seats?
Sonny and Chair
Hard to say with the Hampton House furniture store gone.
The old Edgemont Park bridge is also gone, and a replacement span FINALLY arrived. (As of Tuesday, April 11, yellow caution tape prevented people from crossing.) What “stopped the steel” for so ridiculously long?
I assume you’re referring to the new bridge being made of “weathered steel,” which involved placing it inside Montclair Music Studio for months while students played Lena Horne’s “Stormy Weather.”
Huh? Speaking of things damp, Glen Ridge will FINALLY pay our town a fair price for water transmission partly thanks to Montclair resident Eileen Birmingham’s great effort to bring long-time underpayments to light. Only fair?
Pay the Piper
Yes, especially given that the affluent borough is severely underpaying the got-itself-fleeced Montclair for fire services. And Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush” album has now been renamed “After the Glen Ridge.”
Was not. Meanwhile, there’s talk that the too-big proposed Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment might be downsized somewhat. A good thing?
A Touch of Shrink
Yes. Hopefully it would be shrunk enough to no longer overwhelm the neighborhood. If the names of Grove Street and Bloomfield Avenue also get downsized to Gro and Blo, so be it.
With a concurrent change of Cloverhill Place’s name to Clo, “Gro Blo Clo” would join the ranks of rock trio legends such as Rush, Green Day, Nirvana, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Crock and Roll
Don’t forget The Police, even though their Montclair headquarters are at the corner of Blo and Valley.
This Sunday, April 16, the proposed Lackawanna redo will be discussed at a community meeting hosted by Montclair Residents for Responsible Development. What subjects might come up?
Gist of the List
The redo’s impact on traffic, flooding, gentrification, historic preservation, etc. This meeting is more welcome than any held by Montclair Bigwigs for Irresponsible Development.
A bit west of Lackawanna, on Church Street, the owner of the Bar Franco restaurant that’s scheduled to open next month says he’ll offer a THOUSAND DOLLAR dessert. Appalling?
Beyond appalling. We live in a grossly unequal society that’s very sick in certain ways, and Montclair is not immune from that. I suppose there’s always the Hostess Twinkie alternative for $995.
Actually, one can purchase a whole package of Twinkies for just a few bucks.
Art A. Fishull-Flavorz
That leaves some money for municipal time machines! As the saying goes, “all’s H.G. Wells that ends H.G. Wells.”
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.
The Edgemont Bridge is open, but the uneven brick surface is really a hazard for those with walkers or balance issues, i.e. the exact population using it to access the Park House for LifeLong Montclair’s Senior Activities (until an actual “Senior Center” is built, ha ha.)
Another genius design decision — along with the curved driveway, which no bus can maneuver without jumping the curb (or hitting parked vehicles).
Thanks again, Councilwoman Schlager, for your “support” of Montclair’s seniors! 🤬
Thank you, Jussi! That’s a GREAT, important point about the bridge surface. Potentially unsafe for some seniors (and for some non-seniors). I wondered about the surface when I took a look at the bridge this past Tuesday, thinking that perhaps somehow the surface wasn’t finalized and that the yellow caution tape was there for that not-finalized reason. But my theory seemed unlikely. And you’re also right that the design of the area in front of the “temporary” senior center is far from ideal.
Per Lackawanna and also the Council passing the Minimum Lot Size ordinance for new subdivisions, someone sent me the piece in the NYT by Peter Coy on zoning. Specifically, it was using a Yale professor’s book, “America’s Frozen Neighborhoods: The Abuse of Zoning.” to make a point about perpetuating inequality. He mentions the author & authority, Jane Jacobs. If you can access it, or the book, I would be interested in your take how it may or may not apply to zoning issues in Montclair…and also if I am being used by the sender as a foil character.
Thank you, Frank, for the comment and the mention of “America’s Frozen Neighborhoods: The Abuse of Zoning.” I just read a summary of that book online that mentioned the author argues that “many localities have created barriers to the development of less costly forms of housing.” Montclair officials have done some things to make housing a little less expensive (rent control, a modest number of more-affordable units in new projects, the Accessory Dwelling Units measure, etc.). But the fact remains that most new rental units in Montclair are really pricey, and the cost to buy single family-homes in our town continues to soar. Not much Montclair officials can do about the latter, but there’s something they could do about the former: be tougher with developers when approval time comes around.
The summary you read didn’t do the book’s target, single family zoning, justice. H/e, I haven’t read the book. Anyway, the Planning Board will take the next year or so to write an update report to Land Use & Circulation Element of the Master Plan. I think the biggest recommendation will be to limit building heights to 4 stories. But, moving on….
to the Edgemont Park bridge!
I commented here on ADA compliance, I saw the bridge during installation, but before the deck and ramp installation. I need to go back some day because….wait for it…there are ADA compliance complaints. e.g. brick or brick-like deck. I know the Friends of Edgemont would never allow what happened to the Midtown Parking Deck happen with their little bridge…but, we don’t get to give input. So, to the Seniors, if true, just suck it up and hold the hand rail.
Yes, Frank, that brick or brick-like surface seems to be a real fail given how close the bridge is to the town’s de facto senior center.
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