Just in time for the overlapping holiday festivals of peace and light, the Town Council gave preliminary approval to a megaplex development at Lackawanna Plaza, sending it on to the Planning Board.

What’s wrong with the new plan? Let me put it in terms even a council member can understand. It’s. Just. Too. Big.

How big is it? It is the maximum size allowable under town code – 375 units big. Five buildings, at least three of which, though nominally six stories, will be the equivalent of eight stories. Big enough that to adequately describe it, you’d need one of those German multipart adjectives, something like: ultramaximegamacrogrossenbiggen. That big.

It’s not just the height of the buildings, but the entire scale of this swollen Steroidopolis that makes it Just Too Big. Those 375 apartments translate into anywhere from 500 to 750 to nobody knows how many new residents. It almost certainly means at least 375 new cars, all trying to get through the intersection of Grove and Bloomfield Avenue every day. Plus, the people going to the 75,000 sq. feet of office space. Plus, the supermarket. This amounts to a completely new community, five ziggurats of excess plopped down in the center of Montclair.

This Gigantorville, if built, would radically, drastically and permanently change the character of downtown Montclair and the township as a whole. Remember, over the past few years, thanks to previous ultramaximegamacrogrossenbiggen developments, we have already added approximately 1,000 new apartments to Bloomfield Avenue. So, really, what’s a measly 375 more?

It’s. Just. Too. Big.

The proposed Humongous Village is the brainchild of our very own Town Council. Yes, that’s right, it’s the council’s plan! Well, kinda, sorta. The plan was commissioned by the council and paid for with your taxpayer dollars, drafted by outside firms and drawn up in consultation with developer David Placek of BDP Holdings.

Somewhere in that process, the council arrived at two magic numbers, numbers that are set in stone. The first is 375, the maximum number of units allowable on the property. Why must the property be maxed out? The council won’t say. We’re told we can’t reduce the height of the buildings because then we’d have to give up the public space. Because we must have 375 units. Why? The council won’t say.

The second magic number is 20 percent, the percentage of affordable housing units that will be included. We’re told if we reduce the number of units, then we must give up affordable housing because we can only get 20 percent. But 20 percent isn’t the maximum allowable under the law, merely the minimum requirement! The town could ask for more. Imagine this – the council unveils a plan with 275 units and 50 percent affordable housing! Can’t be done? Why not? The council won’t say.

Apparently, in one of those private meetings between the council and the developer it was agreed that the only economically feasible plan was to max out the lots and set aside 20 percent for affordable housing. Now, of course the developer wants to max out their return on investment. But it’s not the job of the Council to help the developer maximize profits. It’s their job to get the township the best possible deal, while ensuring responsible development in keeping with the master plan.

If this is the best deal they could get, let them prove it. Show us the numbers. What are the profit margins that our council members think are necessary before BDP will grant us our supermarket or open space?

BDP Holdings is not doing us a great favor by building a supermarket space and then renting it out for, you know, money. The exact opposite is the case – granting permission to a private company to develop that land – and profit from it – places them in our debt.

Twenty percent affordable units leaves 80 percent market rate apartments renting for $3,000, $4,000, nobody knows how much a month. So, as it stands, the planned Engorgemento Towers are not a victory for affordable housing but a lopsided win for gentrification. (Am I the only one who can do this math?) You simply cannot solve the affordable housing crisis with an 80-20 split. Are there other solutions? Undoubtedly. Has the Town Council investigated them? Doesn’t seem like it. In any case, building Kaiju City isn’t the solution.

After keeping their plan under wraps for months, the council released it in early November. On December 6, they voted to send it to the Planning Board with 60 days to consider it and no public comment allowed at those meetings. That means in February the plan goes back to the council to be voted on. Whatever their intentions, this schedule certainly feels like a high-handed attempt by the council to limit public input and rush through their vision of Manhattan in Montclair.

An air of resignation hung over that December 6 council meeting. After years of delay, the feelings of frustration are real and understandable. The sentiment of some speakers seemed to be, let’s just approve something, anything, so we can move on.

At the same time, it was easy to pick up a strong whiff of intimidation. The council is, in effect, presenting the town with an ultimatum. You want a supermarket? Approve this plan. You want affordable housing? Greenspace? Montclair must accept Titanic Acres or we’ll never have anything. People are desperate for something on that property, and that desperation provides the justification for pushing on with Megasaurus Manor.

(Note to BDP Holdings: these names are all trademarked, but if and when Overgrown Abbey TM is built, let’s talk.)

There are many other questions left unanswered. What demands will all these new residents put on town services? We’ve been told in the past not to worry, these young people won’t be having children. Really? Will the council be putting birth control in their drinking water?

The council spent the past year blithely ignoring obvious municipal neglect and sexual harassment in their own building. Now we know why – they were too absorbed with working out the details of (insert name of big thing and type of municipality). They insist this is not a done deal, they will listen to feedback, are open to changing the plans for Ginormatown. But their actions so far do not inspire confidence that this is so.

And let there be no confusion on this point – the council developed the plan and they voted 6-0 in favor of advancing it. They like it – because it is their plan!

Also: It’s. Just. Too. Big.

Those who want a more reasonable, appropriately scaled development, you know, Mediumville, or Just Right Acres, have to move fast. Public comment is possible at any Town Council meeting. So is calling or emailing your council members or the mayor. So is writing a letter to the editor. Some people are attending planning board meetings and silently holding up signs in protest.

Make it clear to those on the council with further political ambitions that just as Metro Bloatville will be a permanent scar on our townscape, it will also be a permanent part of their political biographies. They will own it. Maybe they should put their names on it.

Meanwhile, the march of overdevelopment and gentrification will continue its seemingly unstoppable progress down Bloomfield, turning left down one-way Glenridge and arriving at Lackawanna Plaza, then turn left again up Grove to Walnut Street where there has already been an abortive attempt to designate another “redevelopment area” ripe for six story buildings.

But don’t worry, if you live above Chestnut Street, outside the Fourth Ward, in suburban (and overwhelmingly white) Upper Montclair, you don’t have to worry. No one is suggesting that the corner of Valley and Bellevue (one block from a train station!) be condemned, uh, designated as a redevelopment area. I mean, the Bellevue Theater has been shut for years – why not a six-story building there, you know, with 20 percent affordable housing? No? Well, not yet, anyway.

No, Upper Montclair will continue to be a suburb – of downtown Montclair.

It’s. Just. Too. Big.

Richie Chevat is a writer, activist and Montclair resident for 30+ years.

All opinion pieces are strictly those of the writer and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

27 replies on “Opinion: Happy Holidays Montclair, I Got You Massive Overdevelopment!”

  1. What a completely useless rant so emblematic of today’s woke internet warriors, offering no well thought out or researched alternatives and void of thoughtfulness. Like Frank said, lazy. I’m not a big fan of this council but at least some of the things I’ve seen them say have been thoughtful and intentional and come with explanation and a rationale. It would be great if someone would look at other places like Montclair around the country and look at developments and look at before and after reports on impacts and bring that kind of information to the table. Most of opposition I’m seeing are from people with their own crystal balls predicting doom and not actually data-driven. Lazy.

  2. As we are assessing laziness of folks (while lounging on our respective couches), can we possibly spare some time/attention on the issue of affordable housing? From my reading of it, ALL affordable units should go to Montclair residents because there’s a roughly 2-year wait list. Am I wrong?

  3. e.dell, I am sitting at my desk not lounging a couch. Proof positive that there is no correlation between laziness and posture when it comes to typing. The development is too big? I say uninspiring. Affordable housing is a totally ridiculous concept. What become more affordable for one party make the other units less affordable to others and lowers tax revenue. Who should benefit from a subsidized apartment? And for how long? A lottery? A sob story essay? Affordable housing was an idea cooked up by developers so they could get zoning approval to build bigger projects. Benevolence? Poppycock! Politicians were bought off in Trenton to force towns into requiring affordable housing projects. For the greater good??… of the developers wallets, maybe. My opinion is build a small community on the site like I have seen in S. Carolina. Stores, restaurants, offices, with apartments above with some townhouses thrown in. A miniature Disney World right here in Montclair. Go spectacular or go home!

  4. would it still be “just too big” if we didn’t mandate it come with 1100 places to put cars…each one at 170 sq feet and costing 20,000 a piece? 1100 parking spots.

  5. parkour,
    I have always respected your point of view. I would ask both you and the PB to expand your aperture and evaluate this site as to how it fits into our long range strategy for Montclair Center. Specifically, in our stated desire for it to become a regional urban center and having strategically placed nodes of concentrated dense forms and uses versus an ‘evenly’ distributed scale of development. Furthermore, would it serve us better to have incentivize structured parking that, while possibly over allocated in the near term, would grow into the most efficient placement of parking capacity serving our future needs (as a regional destination) while our population also gains downtown? After all, our Master Plan’s primary purpose is as a rolling vision how Montclair Center grows over the next 30 years.

  6. Or, a shorter version of what I just said would be to challenge the Planning Board to contemplate this project’s consistency to a future Master Plan, say in 2038, when the approved Lackawanna Redevelopment Plan is halfway into its 30-year lifespan.

  7. Frank has hit this point before and I will agree with him on it. The open space might be nice, but it’s in the wrong spot. We’re trading density for the community benefit of open space but then we’re putting that open space right on Bloomfield Ave. In urban planning this is often referred to as “missing teeth”. We have an egregious example of this phenomenon on the same block as a portion of this development. The developer was allowed to build townhouses set back from Bloomfield Ave with surface parking in between. The effect is to kill the streetscape on both sides of Bloomfield Ave. The retail across the street has never been as vibrant as the rest of Bloomfield Ave, due in part to this previous development. Approving this would be making the same mistake again. We can call it a park I guess but it doesn’t change it’s effect on the urban fabric. I have seen renderings with food trucks, markets, and even a skating rink, but most of the time it will be a paved open lot. I don’t have a problem with the heights or density really. We often beat the drum for transit oriented development and this is the best spot in Montclair for it. Concentrating density at mass transit is smart development. Much more efficient, environmentally, than all of the houses on Upper Mountain. I do question the need for the Airbnb units. I assume he’ll come back to the board in a few years and say they are unworkable and he needs a variance to convert them to long term housing. The affordable housing talk in Montclair is mostly misinformed. We’ve seen exactly one project get built with a full 20% affordable housing, as required. This isn’t developer greed, it’s math. Every affordable unit costs more to build than it’s worth (sale or lease) when completed. The only way to make more affordable is to subsidize their costs with more market rate units, tax breaks, etc. You can’t just wave a wand and say “more affordable”. I think people got basically what they asked for here. A real supermarket, lots of parking, maximum affordable housing, and a “community asset”. That’s what the ask was. We can debate if that’s really what should have been asked for, but I don’t think you can blame Placek for giving people what they thought they wanted.

  8. I didn’t appreciate the existing residential density of the neighborhood and therefore didn’t understand the impact of the LP project on the neighborhood’s residential density.

    The Planning Department’s FAQ publication states 17,000 of Montclair’s 41,000 residents live within ½ mile of the site. I’ll call this ½ mile radius the LP Focus Area. This translates into almost 34 residents per acre.

    The FAQ statistics indicate this 375 dwelling units would add 800 residents in total. If my math is right, that would yield 1.5 more residents on a per acre basis – a 5% increase in density. The added density is concentrated in 15% of the LP Focus Area’s acreage. Even less if all the dwelling units are on the 4 acre East parcel.

    The spread between the actual density impact versus the hyperbole over the density is something the PB should address in their recommendations to the Council and future Master Plan revisions.

    PS: I’ve set the over/under for the supermarket gross floor area at 42,000 sf. I’m taking the over.

  9. Yada…Yada…Yada… details spinning and spinning.

    Too tall, too big…out of character for the neighborhood and the township. Inconsistent with the Master Plan in multiple ways..which are the land use rules we agree to operate under. Which is why the Planning Board is responding with serious questioning and pushback. People move and come here to visit and spend money partially because of the town’s feeling and quality of life. Make another Valley and Bloom and hotel aka downtown White Plains as is now proposed….we lose that. Shoot ourselves in the foot.

    It’s a landmarked, historically protected site. That had a restoration once in the 80’s but the interior was not done very well. So it can be redone. Like other train stations with retail malls that have been redone more recently. Adaptively reusing those landmark sites.

    We need a supermarket. We want it to succeed and we want the retail space to succeed. No one said the Council also had to dangle the potential economics there to allow massive new housing? Had the last council said just protect the landmark….redo a supermarket…fix up the retail…that would have been the parameters and the site economics. Instead, everyone is chomping at the bit to maximize every square inch now.

    Some homeowners would do this too if they could…split up their lots tiny…maximize multiple builds…that’s why we have codes and limitations. We/the town/community stop that. With zoning and codes.

    The failure here is at the policy and Council governmental level. Montclair just does not need to go hog wild here. Redevelopment can mean less build or more…..how about somewhat less. So all buildings are in scale…more open space and air around…protect and see the landmark from Bloomfield fully as is required of a historic site really.

    Get a reasonable economic and tax return. Not max out every single sq. foot…which clearly helps the developers and investors much more…not as much the township.

    Some not all here is better….

  10. Frank, please tell me why I’m wrong to think that the shared parking figures in the current redevelopment plan—which come from a 16 year-old document posted on an obscure NJ government website—underestimate parking needs at the Lackawanna site. We’re talking about 375 residential units, a large supermarket, and plenty of other retail. Do you disagree with me that the residential tenants are going to want their parking spaces during weekdays, so we can’t count on 60% of them vacating their spots for use by daytime visitors? Do you disagree with me that most of the supermarket patrons will be drivers and that most of the retail customers and office dwellers and visitors will be drivers, too, so we’ll need spots for them, and saying “go park in the Midtown Deck won’t cut it)? If you agree with me on this, how many years do you think will pass before this dependency on cars changes?

    I mean these questions seriously. I thought Jacob Neiman’s statements at yesterday’s Planning Board meeting about building fewer parking spaces were intelligent and provocative, but I also thought he was aspiring to a goal we’re nowhere near achieving. If we build a development and deliberately under-park it in the hope that this causes people to change their attitude toward cars, what are the odds it will work, and what are the consequences if we’re wrong?

    We facilitated the building of a hotel in the town center. Is anyone staying there? Is it economically successful? Will it still be a hotel ten years from now? Beats me. Sometimes you can create demand for something that people didn’t know they needed until you built it. Sometimes you can’t.

  11. Jeff,
    First, I have little problem with the required parking standards and occupancy in the draft plan. Your PB discussion had several oblique references to a parking study and parking spaces that I’m not privy to. If the project requires 1,100 spaces, he needs a Shared Parking Plan that can park a peak hour demand of around 750-800 at a minimum and 825-875 to have the warm fuzzies. But, this is site plan stuff. Now is not the time or place to challenge the parking matters gospel your Board has lived by for over a decade.

    Second, it is not the PB’s role to ensure the success of any use. Further, your body is ill-suited and ill-equipped. Think Bellevue Theatre debacle. In a RP, it is part of the Council’s role and their primary tool is the financial agreement.

    Third, the supermarket MOU? I was disappointed none asked directly what the GFA in the MOU says. Or what the supermarket’s minimum parking space requirement was. The purpose of the BDP attorney’s letter was to limit the PB’s scope of influence on the Council. The Board let her have her way with you… and she did it by mail. Gold star for her. A demerit for each PB member.

    Fourth, I almost got sucked up with the whole, too long bicycle speech. Aspirational is a kind characterization. Did anyone notice there was no bike lane on Grove? Pretty funny. We’re redoing the street, putting in a $1MM intersection for Glenridge bike traffic, but the intersecting Grove St will ignore bikes. You didn’t need a circulation diagram to see bikes are not an important part of the Township’s plan. I just love our bike advocates and their short attention span.

  12. I don’t think the township funds should support bike lanes without a helmet law. It is ignorant and irresponsible to spend taxpayer dollars and and dedicate public Rights-of Way to an unsafe behavior. I laugh and laugh, and laugh some more when our bike advocates bang on about designing bicycle safety into our roadways and they won’t support a helmet ordinance.

  13. As a lifelong resident of the township, I have become increasingly disturbed about the overdevelopment of our once beautiful suburban town. Too many restaurants, crowded streets, too many parking decks not suitable for senior citizens and handicapped folks, and the list goes on. And yes, Lakawanna Plaza needs a supermarket, but to build a small city within a suburban town is a horrible idea. And yes, Watchung Avenue which divides Montclair from Upper Montclair continues to resemble “old Montclair” and I for one like it that way. I might also add that I have lived in every ward of this town, I am a stakeholder with deep roots in the town, but no longer have a voice in a place taken over by ?????

  14. Thank you, blue_white62. Succinctly and straightforwardly said, without the satire! My sentiments exactly.

  15. This is our social contract here in suburbia. I’m always curious of those who are disturbed by their increasing social invisibility in the latter years of the contract.

  16. Flipside: (to your comment posted at 8:06AM on 12/20)

    I can’t speak cogently to the validity of the concept of affordable housing in general as I don’t have enough relevant knowledge. (F. Rubacky: PLEASE, this is addressed to flipside, not to you.) What you wrote actually made me curious about the subject matter and its history. I would welcome more information.

    With that, the point I was making earlier was quite narrow, namely it wasn’t about viability/rationality of affordable housing in general, but rather about particularities of the ‘destination’ of the 70+ affordable units that would be built under this specific redevelopment plan.

    I’m not a lawyer but, from my reading of the township code, it seems like ALL of those units should go to existing Montclair residents given Montclair’s compliance with the state affordable units mandates and our existing 2-year waitlist. Can someone with more familiarity confirm/disprove my point? I’ll try to figure out how to add a link to that specific section of the code for those on the forum who are curious about it.

    I think this particular provision is important in that, if the law is followed, those new affordable units would be going strictly to existing Montclair residents/families and thus would not be affecting school enrollment. (there, I said it – gasp!) To illustrate, imagine a young Montclair couple with a baby/toddler/preschooler/2nd grader living hitherto with the in-laws who are now moving into one of the affordable units at Lackawanna. Their kid(s) is/are ALREADY in the town school system.

    If this particular law is not adhered to, affordable units at Lackawanna are bound to add students to our classrooms. Are our schools system ready for it? If so, to what extent. Has anyone checked with the Superintendent?

    My mind works in simple ways: if we are going to be ‘helping’ people, do we not have an obligation to help existing town residents BEFORE we overextend ourselves to out-of-towners? One can apply this ‘primitive’ logic on a macro or micro scale. For instance, I will sure as hell provide for my own kid before I take care of yours. Depending on my earning power, I may have the wherewithal to do both. However, if my own kid suffers as a result of my whim to overextend myself to yours, I’m a shitty parent. And it doesn’t matter if I get off on “helping others”. If I’m not fulfilling my obligation – be it as a parent or an elected official – I’m a failure.

  17. That is just damn considerate of you to let me know I shouldn’t respond. And other posters should take a lesson from this. If you want me to stay out of your agenda, a thoughtful note like e. dellisanti’s would be much appreciated. A simple courtesy goes a long way. The ‘Sent from my iPhone’ influencer types could, in that spirit of giving back, paste a ‘F Rubacky, you are excused from this discussion’ note at the bottom of their posts. It would save me a considerable amount of time and mental effort.

  18. e. dell, Montclair voted overwhelmingly for open borders. Should we not apply that ideal to our town?
    Montclair, with all its diversity of opinions, is a place where you will never make everyone happy. Why try? My feeling is just let it rip and ask for forgiveness after the fact. I have made my opinion clear. Build something spectacular with no regard to any social justice grandstanding. Montclair turns over residents so fast it doesn’t matter who gets their feathers ruffled. The goal is to make the town attractive to the next group of homebuyers and maximize tax revenue. I would like someone to grab the bull by the horns and build something great. After it is built everyone will move on to next thing to complain about. Time and people march on. The town has one shot at doing this. Make it a good one.

  19. flipside:

    At the risk of getting excommunicated, I will say the unprintable: I am not a fan of open borders (in conformity with my earlier post, i.e. take care of your own before you take care of strangers). Gasp! I hope this doesn’t get me barred for life from this and all other fora, lol!

    I can’t eloquently speak to the details of it, but I understand that our neighbor up north doesn’t have the problem of illegal immigration. Do you ever wonder why?

    I would imagine that Canada’s demand for roofers, landscapers, nannies, and restaurant kitchen-hands is on a par with what we have in the US. What gives? Perhaps Canadians solve it differently somehow. I have a hypothesis but I would welcome more specific comments from those who have actual relevant knowledge.

    Circling back to Lackawanna, I kinda like flipesdie’s “go for the splendid” approach. I grew up in the city so tall buildings don’t bother me one bit. Still and all, where I grew up schools were not founded by property taxes which makes it a completely different scenario. Being that our schools ARE funded by property taxes, I’d say we ought to be mindful of what incoming development means in terms of new students.

    To reiterate, like it or not, the way the ordinance reads, only existing Montclair residents should be getting affordable units. If you don’t like the law, tough shit; go lobby your legistlator to change it. Breaking the law is not a solution.

  20. Frank Rubacky kicked off this thread with an uncharacteristically pithy sentence about Richie Chevat’s op-ed: “An increasingly lazy and stupid piece.”

    Not exactly the holiday spirit, but refreshing if only because it’s the first time I’ve read a Frank Rubacky comment and actually understood all of it. And Jean O., good for you…I say you both get the gold: “What a completely useless rant” gets right to it.

    Oddly, I agree with you on hating woke online warriors. They are lazy, entitled and posting anonymously. I, too, am guilty as charged, currently in pajamas and sipping a latte and insisting that my wife call me “Moose” because that’s what I call myself here. But we might hate them for different reasons. In this single case, I fall into Chevat’s camp, fearful his opinion will be the one this town is remembered for.

    It’s strange, at this stage of the debate not a word about aesthetics, except Martin Schwartz’s White Plains reference, which does indeed appear to have been the model for the physical design. Everything now is about the merits of social engineering tweeks: density, parking, affordable units, demographics, school funding (always, always, school funding, while the College Board faces extinction because all that school funding produces college applicants who excel at nothing but mediocrity and whining) all a giant Rorschach in the making that a generation from now people will stumble upon and ask, “what the hell were they thinking?”

    For all of the money and creativity in this town, all the input and handwringing, there is not a thing memorable about this whole space. Don’t blame the developers. You wouldn’t get a thing without them. But somehow as blight turns to buildings, as its girth becomes apparent, so too does the “incredibly shrinking vision” that Montclair will be left with. Social engineering never works; humans don’t fit into the packaging for it, no matter what jargon is applied. This will cheese off folks like Frank Rubacky to no end, but the tinkering being done now is pointless.

    This town will get something. It won’t be what Flipside and e. dellisanti might want, but we shouldn’t pay attention to heretics anyway (just kidding, e. delli, it was satire…someone give Silverleaf a heads-up, time to get him to the safety room).

    Maybe it won’t include a supermarket, as I think is becoming increasingly obvious. Parking will guarantee disappointment, asphalt tends to do that and after a few Teslas get broken into there’ll be a security fence anyway. Maybe a few more EV charging stations will placate some of those greenies pissed off that cars are still allowed in Montclair. A bike lane here and there, and fancy bike parking contraptions designed in San Francisco and ubiquitous in all those new apartment complexes built solely for the tech population that Google and Yelp and Salesforce have brought in and made what was once our coolest and quirkiest city increasingly a model of conformity…be careful what you wish for when you think you’re creating a youth movement.

    Maybe Frank will finally get the bike helmet law he desires and move on to improving playground safety rules for our precious families: restraining belts and protective headgear for swings… don’t laugh, if they can imagine it, they can enforce it.

    But many of us moved out to Montclair, often skeptically, sometimes dreading going back to a “suburb” but falling in love with Montclair because it felt different. This, Lackawanna Plaza, does not feel different. White Plains. Crystal City, Virginia. You name it, they disappointment. Twenty years later they all get a cosmetic makeover. And no one remembers who the architects were. Or what “Lackawanna” meant; that little historical plaque near the leasing office, off to the side? About three years after Governor Spiller gives his urban vibrancy speech on the grand opening, that plaque will be behind the overgrown shrubbery that never showed up in the artist renderings. You won’t hear anything about an RVL Lounge that once stood down the street; that entire block will soon be transformed into, well, into an extension of White Plains south into Bloomfield. But there will be another bike shop, and a Gap. OMG, Not a Gap! A Goop.

    Well intentioned, bland, forgettable, consumerist. But don’t fret, Montclair. Next time we’ll get it right. Progressive impulses never quit.

    Someone on this thread mentioned the Bellevue Theatre site. “Nice little block of stores you got there, Upper Montclair. Location. Transit. Density. Fairness. Can anyone say 600 new units?”

  21. Mote stupid NIMBY bull****

    You people are absolutely determined to ensure that nobody who grows up in Montclair can ever afford to come back. Let alone any actual immigrants or working class people. This town was like 90% for Joe Biden? Lol.

    Suddenly when even the possibility of someone moving to Montclair comes up, it becomes a town of George Wallace supporters at the drop of a hat. Give me a break.

  22. These comments are some of the most sickening I’ve ever seen. And in Montclair housing politics, that’s a tough bar to top. I’m incredibly disappointed in Baristanet continuing to publish such a steady stream of NIMBY nonsense. Sadly, I suspect it reflects the views of the activist wing of the town.

    Folks, it’s housing and a freaking grocery store. Grow the hell up. The world will not end because more people get to live in Montclair. Your life will be no worse in any material, tangible way.

    Go outside. Touch some grass. Close the computer and go call a friend. I promise you, it will be ok.

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