Letter to the Editor: Significant Concerns About Lackawanna Plaza Development

BY  |  Monday, May 22, 2017 11:30am

The developer’s plan for Lackawanna Plaza will be presented to the Council for review this Tuesday, May 23 at 7 p.m. in the town hall, 205 Claremont St. Here is the proposed development massing perspective at Grove and Bloomfield Avenues. An second view from above is here. It is important for Council members to be reminded what residents have said they wanted in this project.

A proposed plan for Lackawanna Plaza, viewed from the southwest corner of Bloomfield Avenue and Gates Avenue

Lackawanna Plaza is one of several areas in town which were designated “redevelopment areas” while the master plan was being reviewed between 2013 and 2015. The most controversial part of the original 2013 master plan draft was raising zoning heights in all business districts and eventually heights were reduced. However “redevelopment areas” and “ areas in need to development” were designated which allow for deviations from local zoning restrictions.

Many residents expressed concern about these designations. At that time, Mayor Jackson and other officials explained that this designation would allow the town to have more control. Since this is the case, it is the time to remind elected officials what has been already asked for by the public for Lackawanna Plaza during public outreach sessions.

Lackawanna Plaza can be a crown jewel to be proud of. Lackawanna Plaza can be an exciting and beautiful destination as well as attractive gateway to our downtown. Continue Reading

Blog: Say NO to Rooftop Addition on the Montclair Police Building

BY  |  Monday, Sep 28, 2015 7:00am  |  COMMENTS (18)

policeLinda Cranston is co-founder of the Save Upper Montclair Facebook group:

Say NO to Rooftop Addition on the Police Building Again! Residents have to ask officials and our town planner to do the right thing for our town.

The Gateway 2 Redevelopment Plan seeks to place a two story addition on the roof of the historically designated Police Station/1st Municipal Building, even though it is protected and a key building in our downtown historic district and therefore the exterior cannot be altered.

Even though, The Secretary of the Interior Standards for Historic Preservation Brief #14 States:

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Blog: Montclair Historic Preservation Protections Dismantled

BY  |  Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (46)

Baristanet-BlogsLinda Cranston is co-founder of the Save Upper Montclair Facebook group:




Montclair’s historic preservation protections dismantled ….protection process has been eliminated, undermined or ignored by this administration…and NJ Transit starts effort to eliminate protection for the one Montclair train station.

The Montclair Historic Preservation Commission meets tonight, Thursday, January 22 at 7:30 pm, and this NJ Transit request has been requested to be on the agenda. The public is encouraged to attend and comment if possible.

Bill Hurlock, 1st ward councilor received letter from the State of NJ, as per a request from NJ Transit requesting the removal of the Upper Montclair RR station from both the NJ and National Registry of Historic Places. This would leave the station with no protection from demolition in the future. Bill is organizing a working group to oppose this. Contact Bill here.

In 2006, a fire took most of this Bellevue Ave station. Great pains were taken to rebuild it, replicating the original 1892 station, incorporating the only piece salvaged from the fire, the station’s covered carriage-way. A restaurant currently resides in the station on the tracks and adjacent to a parking lot, still zoned for 3 stories in the new master plan.

Historic towns attract visitors, higher income residents and consequent businesses all over the world. Visitors come and support Montclair’s local businesses now only because of Montclair’s small town historic ambiance. Common sense historic preservation is an economic no brainer.
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BLOG: Walnut St. Village and Grove Pharmacy Plaza Neighbors in Montclair… Do You Know ?

BY  |  Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (29)

Baristanet-BlogsLinda Cranston is co-founder of the Save Upper Montclair Facebook group:

The Montclair Master Plan is re-zoning Walnut Street for “highest intensity retail, commercial, and mixed-use corridors “ with up to 4 story condominium development throughout that village and around corner onto Grove Street.

It includes all of Walnut Street business district including the RR station park, RR parking lot used for farmers market, Deron school block and the park behind it used for outdoor events, Ball field on corner, 4 Story zoning goes around the corner onto Grove Street both ways to include the whole Grove Pharmacy plaza block and south on Grove St to the RR tracks.

Voting to approve may be Monday December 8 at next planning board meeting unless major objections arise from local residents.


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BLOG: Master Plan Not Developed For The Good of Montclair

BY  |  Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (40)

BLOG: Master Plan Not Developed For The Good of MontclairLinda Cranston is co-founder of the Save Upper Montclair Facebook group

I have been following deliberations for the new Montclair master plan since the the March 2013 version was made public and one thing is clear. This master plan has NOT been developed for the good of Montclair. Throughout meetings, concerns about the lack of financial and infrastructure analysis has been expressed and ignored by town leadership. Taxes revenue from current property owners and renters will pay the bills for new infrastructure required for the high rises and for town and school services needed by new residents. In return we will get more population density and congestion. There is not much time left to stop this plan. The planning board vote on approval could be in August or September.

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BLOG: Montclair Master Plan — We Need To Speak Louder

BY  |  Thursday, May 15, 2014 4:00pm  |  COMMENTS (34)

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Linda Cranston is co-founder of the Save Upper Montclair Facebook group

An opportunity to publicly comment on the Revised Master Plan is Monday, May 19, 7 pm at the George Innes High School Annex on Park St. Speak louder Montclair. They did not hear you. Bring a sign stating what you want. Tell your elected councilman too.

Montclair Master plan (also called Unified Land Use and Circulation). Who are our elected officials and planning board listening to? It must not be the residents. We need to speak louder.

Last year the the planning board and town council heard public outcry against the master plan’s re-zoning for high rises up to 10 stories in Montclair business districts and in highly used parking lots. We are glad to see some decreases but want to see more.

They heard that residents did not want high rises, built higher than current heights. According the the revised plan’s color coded zoning areas:
Bloomfield Ave still has up to 7 stories and 10 at Lackawanna Plaza, now is mostly 2-4 stories.
Walnut St up to 3-5 stories; now is mostly 2-3 stories.
Watchung Plaza up to 2-3 stories but suggested 3-5; now is 1-2 stories.
Upper Montclair up to 3-5; now is mostly 1-2 stories.
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Blog: Save Upper Montclair From Master Plan

BY  |  Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 5:30pm  |  COMMENTS (59)

Save Upper MontclairCurrently 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.


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Blog: Master Plan Will Radically Alter Montclair “Village Life”

BY  |  Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (149)

182346_353759101424495_135364634_nLinda Cranston, co-founder of the Save Upper Montclair Facebook group, shares her views below on the Montclair Master Plan.

This post first appeared over the weekend on the new Save Montclair Facebook page.

As a 25 year Montclair resident and business owner, I have lived in both the south and north ends of town. I would like to help inform Montclair residents of key points in the 2013 Montclair Master Plan to re-zone for high rise condos all over town.


1. up to 10 story buildings in center of Bloomfield Ave and Bay Street station area; a SuperStop bus center at Bloomfield and Park

2. up to 7 stories on 100 % coverage on both sides of Upper Montclair Bellevue Ave train station parking lots and in the Valley Rd business core.

3. up to 6 stories at Walnut station.

4.up to 5 stories at Watchung Ave station and along the tracks on both sides. Continue Reading

Featured Comment

I'm struck by how much attention is being paid to the details of a parking lot, as opposed to the attention paid to the future impact of the monstrous projects being planned.

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