Montclair Planning Board and EDC Have Different Ideas About Supermarket For Lackawanna Plaza

BY  |  Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017 6:45am  |  COMMENTS (3)

An early-twentieth-century picture of the old Lackawanna railway terminal.

The Montclair Planning Board spent its September 11 meeting finalizing one application and foregoing another, but before all that, they heard from the Montclair Township Council’s Economic Development Committee (EDC)  – which includes the Planning Board’s council liaison, Deputy Mayor / Second Ward Councilor Robin Schlager – about the feedback the committee received on the board’s critique of the Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment plan.  Despite the extensive briefing, the Planning Board did not engage in a public tête-à-tête with the committee members, but Chairman John Wynn appreciated the EDC’s input.

Deputy Mayor Schlager, Third Ward Councilor Sean Spiller, and Fourth Ward Councilor Renée Baskerville went through 19 comments the Planning Board offered up in its rebuttal to the town council, and the EDC members agreed with the board on all the major points.  They agreed with the board that any plan should identify the historic elements of the Lackawanna railway terminal building, and that the main plaza between Bloomfield Avenue and the train sheds should be made into a green space.  The EDC also concurred that the bricked-up walls of the train shed facing Bloomfield Avenue should be opened up and turned into storefronts, rather than the current arrangement in which the entrances to the stores are from the inside of the mini-mall that was built in the train sheds’ space.  Even more importantly, the EDC agreed that the number of apartments should be scaled back.  The Pinnacle and Hampshire development companies wanted 350 units; the EDC said that 280 units would be enough.

The Montclair Township Council’s Economic Development Committee presented its input on the Lackawanna Pala redevelopment plan. Fourth Ward Councilor Renée Baskerville (at the podium) led off the presentation.

However, the EDC disagreed with the Planning Board on how to include a supermarket in the plan.  Deputy Mayor Schlager, speaking as a councilor and not as a planning board member, said that a supermarket on the parcel of land east of Grove Street would have a negative impact on nearby neighborhoods by increasing noise and truck traffic, which put the EDC at odds with the Planning Board’s desire to see a supermarket built on the east parcel.  Furthermore, Deputy Mayor Schlager said the EDC disagreed with limiting the maximum square footage of the supermarket, saying it would discourage more supermarket chains from opening a store in Lackawanna Plaza due to lack of sufficient space.  The EDC, though, was on the same page as the Planning Board in preserving historic elements of the railway terminal building and restoring some of the building’s historic elements, such as the water basin between the west-parcel parking lot and Grove Street. Continue Reading

Scenes From Dance On The Lawn 2017

Monday, Sep 11, 2017 3:55pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair was treated to an amazing live dance performance this weekend with Dance on the Lawn 2017. Check out the amazing performers with photos by Tony Turner Photography:

Continue Reading

Montclair Library to Hold Community Meetings on Future Programs and Services

BY  |  Monday, Sep 11, 2017 12:41pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Public Library will be holding two community forums for residents to share their thoughts about the programs and services offered by the Library. The forums will be held Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 7 pm in the Auditorium of the Main Library (50 S. Fullerton) and Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 7 pm on the main floor of the Bellevue Avenue Branch (185 Bellevue Avenue).

“These meetings will give Library users a chance to share what they like about our programs and what they want to see in the future,” said Library Director Peter Coyl. “As we look to forward we want to offer the classes and services the community wants and needs. We welcome the feedback and involvement of our customers.” Continue Reading

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Glow After Dark at YMCA Montclair!

BY  |  Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Looking for a great night out with friends, or want to make new friends? Get your ticket to Glow After Dark, where the Y will help you Get Your Glow ON while you do your best Standing Climb, Downward Dog (yes it’s Yoga Glow!) or Merengue. Mocktails, munchies, raffles. Don’t miss it! *must be 18+


Forget Tiny Houses – Colectivo Workshop Has A Tiny, But Mighty Montclair Mobile Office

BY  |  Friday, Sep 08, 2017 10:15am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Lately, the streets of Montclair have been visited by a big open box truck equipped with desk space, a projector, television, lights, internet access and windows that’s parked in different spots around Montclair throughout the day.

That’s the Colectivo Workshop, designed and owned by local resident Alex Nunez, to be a collective workshop space for any artists to come by and use free of charge.

Nunez uses the truck as his personal office and welcomes anyone to use the space for their freelance projects in a collective setting where the different artists can collaborate amongst each other, trade ideas and network. Continue Reading

R.I.P. Allen Scott Feldman, Known to Decamp Riders As “Big Al”

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 07, 2017 3:45pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

“Big Al” Allen Scott Feldman, 57, of Montclair, passed away in Los Angeles, CA suddenly on August 10, 2017. Al was born on June 23, 1960 in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from Brooklyn Automotive High School in 1978. He is survived by his wife Briena, and daughter Bardot, who currently reside in Los Angeles. He is also survived by his brother Norman of Poughkeepsie and sister Cynthia and brother-in-law Steven, his niece Katherine and nephew Samuel of Metuchen. Al was a dedicated and much loved Bus Driver at DeCamp Bus Lines in Montclair for 24 years before moving to Los Angeles in 2015. Those he was close with knew he loved spending time with his family, riding motorcycles and fixing cars. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends. Donations in Al’s name to the American Red Cross are kindly appreciated.

Local Collective Formed to Support Independent Arts in Montclair

Thursday, Sep 07, 2017 2:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

In an effort to provide support to independent and DIY arts in Montclair, a new collective has been formed by local artists, musicians, and community activists.

Indie Arts Montclair, aka I AM, aims to increase visibility to local alternative arts through networking and collaborations.

This Sunday, 9/10, at The Creativity Caravan (28 S. Fullerton Ave., Montclair), Indie Arts Montclair is holding an informative reception and free screening of “We Jam Econo”, a great documentary on the legendary DIY/Punk band “The Minutemen”. Seating is limited and snacks will be served at this all-ages, inclusive event. Doors open at 5pm and the movie starts at 5:30.

Future I AM projects include more film screenings, podcasts, music performances, art installations, skillshares, a directory of DIY and community focused arts spaces, and much more!

Bloomfield Police Welcome Students and Families Back to School

Thursday, Sep 07, 2017 2:08pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

On Wednesday, Bloomfield Police officers participated in welcoming back students for the first day of school. Officers were stationed at all elementary schools in town including Saint Thomas the Apostle School to welcome students and parents, as well as assist with traffic. Officers were present from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m.

“I would like to thank the Bloomfield Police Department for prioritizing community outreach efforts and really being a part of the community,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “The goal of community policing is for residents to think of our dedicated Police Officers as their neighbors, and vice versa. Having our officers welcome students and parents back to school is a core value of this initiative.” Continue Reading

Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center To Host 2nd Annual Pediatric Cancer Awareness Walk

BY  |  Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 3:56pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, and Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center is joining the battle in raising awareness and funds for cutting-edge, life-saving research through Cycle for Survival. Many have been affected by Pediatric Cancer – a family member, friend or neighbor. What better way to bring the community together than by uniting as one passionate force to celebrate the survivors, support the fighters and honor the taken?

On Sunday, September 24, 2017, Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center will host the 2nd Annual Pediatric Cancer Awareness Walk. This will be a 3-mile walk beginning and ending at Oakeside, and 100% of the net profit from this event will be donated to a participating Cycle for Survival team named Megan’s Miracle Makers. This group of family and friends has had teams riding throughout the country since 2013 in memory of Megan Macaluso, a Bloomfield native who lost her battle to a rare pediatric cancer at 19 years old.

The walk is on Sunday September 24,from 9 am-noon beginning at Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center 240 Belleville Ave. Bloomfield. Online registration for participants and sponsors at

Montclair Township Council Reviews Temporary Alcohol Permits and Abandoned Properties

BY  |  Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Township Council

The Montclair Township Council breezed through yet another 20-minute meeting on September 5 in a conference meeting that dealt with a pending ordinance, three resolutions, and one comment from the member of the public.

The pending ordinance was an amendment to allow alcoholic beverages to be consumed on public property through a temporary permit for what Township Attorney Ira Karasick referred to as “narrow circumstances” such as social events like the food and wine festival, or if a license holder wants to extend his or her permit for such an event.  The amendment allows the township to give such permission, although it would not necessarily have to.

Deputy Mayor / Second Ward Councilor Robin Schlager said she was very pleased with the amendment to the ordinance because it had always been a gray area for people who wanted to plan a public event using Montclair parks or parking lots at which serving alcohol would be expected.  She noted that the council had listened to residents asking for clarification in the ordinance.  “I’m pleased we did this,” she said.

One member of the council who was not pleased was First Ward Councilor William Hurlock.  He first asked Karasick if he had discussed this with the police in terms of enforcement and in terms of patrolling.  Karasick replied that he’s discussed it with deputy chiefs, and Acting Township Attorney Tim Stafford interjected that any such application for a temporary permit of alcohol consumption on public property would have to be reviewed and approved by Police Chief Todd Conforti before the township would even look at the request.   Despite that assurance, Councilor Hurlock pressed further, asking about responsibility for liabilities.  Karasick explained that there would still be a requirement for insurance.  Then Councilor Hurlock asked about his biggest concern – the township’s liability under the “Dram Shop” rule, the rule that holds a bar liable for serving alcohol to an individual who later cause a car accident. Continue Reading

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