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Residents Raise Concerns at Planning Board Meeting

Natalie Heard Hackett

Thursday, June 26, 2014 • 5:55am

MONTCLAIR, NJ – Almost three dozen residents filled the room at Monday night’s Planning Board meeting. Two topics of discussion were a presentation by an applicant to develop a property on 10 Pine St. and continued public comment on the master plan.

Pine street residents challenged the applicant with regard to parking concerns for the mixed use building being proposed on 10 Pine St. The applicant, Montclairion-Bloomfield Associates, LLC, presented a proposal to build a four-story mixed-use unit with 40 residential units. Six parking spaces were designated for commercial use on the 10 Pine St. proposal. Experts for the applicant cited that there is an easement on the adjacent lot and the Montclarion owners had agreed to give the developers 10 parking spaces, which were included in their proposal. 

During the public comment portion of the meeting, residents came forward to challenge the Montclarion-Bloomfield Associate's proposal citing parking and traffic concerns. Among the concerns with congestion, were the limited amount of parking spaces allocated for the mixed use building. Residents also called for a traffic study.

Pine Street residents also expressed concern about there being enough parking spaces for business customers and visitors. The proposal allocated six commercial parking spaces. Although there was one parking space per resident and one per business in the Montclarion-Bloomfield Associates’ proposal, experts hired by the applicant to testify agreed that there were no parking spaces allocated for visitors. 

Chairman Wynn responded, “We will give consideration to the request of a traffic study. The applicant is not volunteering to do a traffic study.”  “We need to think about this,” he continued.

When the Planning Board opened the meeting for public comment on the Master Plan proposal, Forest Street residents expressed their dissatisfaction with the proposal that affects Forest Street.  The public comment on the Master Plan was a continuation from the May 19th Planning Board meeting.

Residents in attendance, raised signs that read, “Forest Street is Not for Sale.”

Neal O'Shea was among the group of Forest Street residents who opposed the plan for Forest Street.  He said, “We are concerned that the proposal calls for rezoning of Forest Street from residential to commercial.  I would like redevelopment or adaptive reuse to repurpose the area, instead.” “The town wants to add more, but we don’t want anything to change.  There are some areas on other parts of Forest Street that could use some attention,” he added.

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