By LINDA MOSS
The Township Planning Board has had two hot potatoes — a pair of major, and controversial, redevelopment projects — on its agenda this year, putting its actions in the spotlight in recent months.
In July, the board told the Township Council that a proposed redevelopment plan for Lackawanna Plaza, the site of a historic train station, is inconsistent with the municipality’s master plan. The board then made nearly two dozen recommendations regarding the redevelopment, criticizing its mass and density and its failure to incorporate the landmark train terminal into its design.
And in August the board approved the site plan for the Seymour Street redevelopment, a mixed-use project adjacent to the Wellmont Theater that includes 200 residential units, retail, office and parking.
“This has been a very busy year for the planning board. … We had a lot of activity,” Township Planner Janice Talley said at the board’s meeting earlier this week.
The board’s power rests in its responsibilities, which Talley said include reviewing development applications for site plans and subdivisions, preparing and adopting a township master plan, and making recommendations to the council on zoning ordinances involving land use and on redevelopment plans.
At this time Montclair is bursting with commercial real estate projects, and there is an ongoing debate among residents over whether the municipality is being over-developed.
The Township Mayor, in this case Robert Jackson, either sits on the board or designates someone to take his place. On this board that appointee is Martin Schwartz. A council member, currently Deputy Mayor Robin Schlager, also has a seat on the board, as does a township staff member, currently Craig Brandon, the municipal supervisor of Solid Waste Services.
Any resident interested in serving on the board must first fill out a volunteer-interest form, which the council evaluates to choose new board members when positions are available, Talley said. Such new members begin their terms as alternates, in order to become familiar with the board’s workings, and they are required to attend a five-hour training session, according to Talley. Carmel Loughman is now a first alternate and Tim Barr is a second alternate. As alternates, they vote on an application when a full board member is not able to vote.
There is a vacancy now on the township board, because Vice Chair Jason DeSalvo stepped down earlier this year for personal reasons. At its meeting Monday night the board elected Keith Brodock as its new vice chair, replacing DeSalvo.
Here is the roster of board members.
Wynn, chair of the planning board, is senior counsel at LG Electronics USA Inc., the consumer electronics giant in Englewood Cliffs. As such, he is responsible for a full range of legal business issues including “contract preparation and negotiation, operational issues, collection and claim issues, regulatory matters and corporate policies and procedures,” according to his LinkedIn profile.
He has also been in private practice as a lawyer and spent 20 years at Pathmark Stores Inc., as associate general counsel. Wynn has mentioned that experience in discussions about the supermarket proposed as part of the redevelopment of Lackawanna Plaza. At Pathmark Wynn’s duties included handling discrimination issues; conducting and supervising investigations and responding to administrative charges before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Labor and other state and municipal agencies, concerning associate and customer claims; negotiated and reviewed contracts; and managed litigation.
Wynn graduated from Johns Hopkins University and then went to New York Law School.
Brodock, a professional engineer and project manager, this week was named vice chair of the board, where he serves as the Township Environmental Commission’s representative.
Brodock is a brownfield risk manager and a design and construction engineer at Integral Consulting Inc. A brownfield is an industrial or commercial site that may have environmental contamination. He is also president of Integral Engineering P.C., with responsibilities that include the investigation of areas in need of remediation and cost estimates for such projects.
Brodock, a graduate of Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, has overseen projects around the country, and consulted on the “regulatory climate, technical interpretations and risk mitigation measures for contaminated properties,” according to his LinkedIn profile.
Brandon is supervisor of solid waste services for Montclair, and has worked for the township for more than 37 years. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Barr is the second alternate planning board member. He is currently executive vice president at the Calvary Fund at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. Prior to that Barr was a vice president at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Paterson and director of development at Thirteen/WNET, as well as having stints at Pace University and Fordham Law School.
Barr is a former member and vice chair of the Township Board of Education, and ran for the Township Council in 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master of arts degree from Fordham University.
Ianuale is chief operating office and chief financial officer of Dresdner Robin, a land-use consultancy that provides engineering, planning, landscape architecture, survey and environmental services. Prior to joining Jersey City-based Dresdner Robin, Ianuale managed teams responsible for real estate development. He served as senior vice president of Apartment Investment and Management Co., where he ran development operations.
Prior to that Ianuale ran similar groups that sourced and developed investment-grade large-scale multifamily, office, retail, hotel and mixed-use projects in positions he held at AvalonBay Communities Inc., Lincoln Property Co., Druker Co. of Boston and Jones Lang LaSalle. Ianuale started his business career in finance at Exxon Corp.
He has a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia, an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and holds a chartered financial analyst designation. He is a third-generation Montclair resident, and has previously volunteered as a Montclair Parking Authority board member.
A first alternate member of the board, Loughman spent her career as a risk manager for such major corporations as the cosmetics giant L’Oreal USA, the pharmaceutical firms Merck and Schering-Plough, and the mining company Asarco Inc. She has expertise in corporate risk analysis, contract crafting, insurance procurement, litigation management, and risk funding. Loughman has an MBA in finance from New York University.
An experienced architect, Rooney is the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission’s representative on the planning board, and at one time chaired the commission. He works for Haider Engineering, and is currently the office engineer on a project in Brooklyn that is replacing 150-year-old water lines under Flatbush Avenue, sprucing up the landscape along that thoroughfare in Park Slope.
Rooney is a registered architect in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
During his career he has worked on projects including a mixed-used building in Hoboken, Maxwell Place; Amsterdam at Harborside, which is the largest continuing care retirement community on Long Island; several high-rises in midtown Manhattan; parks in Brooklyn and Manhattan; schools in the Bronx, Lakewood and Elizabeth; and Barney’s New York.
He is a past president of the Newark and suburban region for the American Institute of Architects New Jersey, both a region and a chapter of the AIA.
Rooney has a bachelor of environmental design degree and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Kansas.
Schlager, who recently took on the role of deputy mayor on the Township Council, is associate director of development for the Metropolitan YMCAs of the Oranges. That is the association of the East Orange, Wayne, West Essex, Maplewood/South Orange, Sussex County and Fairview Lake Camp YMCAs. Prior to that, Schlager was associate director of the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence, and before that she worked for John Scher/Metropolitan Entertainment.
Schwartz is Township Mayor Robert Jackson’s designee to the planning board. He owns Textured Home-Urbane Construction, a design/build restoration and contracting firm. Schwartz’s company undertakes renovations of single-family homes, condos/co-op apartments, vacation and commercial properties throughout the tri-state area. Textured Home also builds “new construction and additions that mirror the timeless quality of earlier architectural styles while updating to modern family living,” according to LinkedIn.
A former broadcast and print journalist, Fortune 100 corporate communications and political consultant, Schwartz is a summa cum laude graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo and attended New York University’s graduate film and television program.
Willis, a third-generation Montclair resident, is a retired Kean University education professor. She served three terms on the Township Board of Education, and is the former vice president of the New Jersey School Board Association. Willis is also a former member of the Township Zoning Board of Adjustment.
She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her Master’s degree and PhD from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.