Go Home

daily dish

January  26

Montclair Co-Op Throws In The Towel

Llewellyn_2The Montclair Co-Op School is looking for new digs after abandoning plans to relocate to a residential estate (pictured) on Llewellyn Road.

The school’s decision followed hours of heated debate a public hearing Tuesday, over the Montclair Co-Op school’s proposed move, reports today’s Star Ledger.

A proposed ordinance including new restrictions for schools located in residential zones was “enough to stop us dead in out tracks” said school headmaster, Bruce Kanze.

The decision to sell the Llewellyn estate  - which the Co-Op bought a year ago for $1.8 million -- was revealed during the packed public hearing.

Yesterday, Kanze said the co-op, now housed on Chestnut Street, is in serious discussions to purchase another Montclair property, and he expected the Llewellyn Road estate to be listed for sale by week's end.
"We want to make sure we cover the expenses," he said when asked about an asking price.

Kanze said the buyer could “conceivably” be another school…
"Or, God forbid, a developer…It will be interesting to see if the buyer is a private family."

Any guesses where the Co-Op is headed next?

January 26, 2006 in Controversy | Permalink


The 4.5 acre property on Bradford Ave. that is now being subdivided leaving 1.5 acres with the house and 3 acres as a vacant lot might be the one. There are not many properties large enough in town to fit the school. This property is in both Montclair and Cedar Grove. And on the market. Anyone else have any ideas?

Posted by: Denis Orloff | Jan 26, 2006 9:10:43 AM

They wanted to put and elementary school in a residential neighborhood?

Thank goodness this fiendish plot has been thwarted.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Jan 26, 2006 9:18:20 AM

after years of dropping off and picking up my children from school, i'd say one of the main considerations for everyone has to be traffic patterns. if there isn't broad, easy, safe access in all directions, that cheerful neighborhood school can turn a three block area into a nightmare of congestion and despair. i guess it is just difficult in an older town like montclair to find areas which are suitable. but i wish the co-op folks good luck in finding the right area to build. it's definitely a challenge.

Posted by: i'm fran, dammit | Jan 26, 2006 9:24:18 AM

Nattering Nabobs of NIMBYISM win.

Posted by: Rick | Jan 26, 2006 9:30:34 AM

"nightmare of congestion and despair."

For at least 44 minutes a day. Can you imagine! And for what?

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Jan 26, 2006 9:37:03 AM

"congestion and despair"

Maybe Steve Plofker will buy the lot and pack a dozen McMansions on it.

Posted by: walleroo | Jan 26, 2006 10:18:36 AM

Good to hear that the residential intrigrity of the street has been maintained.

Thius is another example of the power of citizens when they are determined and united.

Houses are for PEOPLE to live in not to houose a private or public school.

Posted by: Franklin | Jan 26, 2006 12:57:17 PM

Have y'all not noticed that most of the public elementary schools are in "residential" neighborhoods. And pretty much all of the private pre-schools. That's kind of the point, schools close to where children live. There is nothing "commercial" about a school. Traffic and parking are always issues, but by and large, I don't think a school is a terrible neighbor. There is a flurry of activity in the morning, peace and quiet until the early afternoon, another flurry of activity and then you are basically done. Peace reigns on the weekends. They don't have large barking dogs and don't blast music during 8 hour barbeques in the summer, oh right, I forgot that its largely vacant during the summer months. Geesh. What's not to love?

Posted by: cheaplazymom | Jan 26, 2006 1:34:22 PM

Cheaplazymom is right - schools are good neighbors. I have never understood what all the Llewellyn hand-wringing is about. In the interest of full disclosure, I have two kids at the co-op. From 8:45-9:00 and again from 3:00 to 3:20, the parking spaces on the 3 blocks adjacant to the Chestnut street school are pretty full. Is this annoying to neighbors - absolutely. But this is pretty much the extent of the "nightmare of congestion and despair." The school pays a crossing guard who also helps resident kids cross to their bus stop. Like most Co-op parents, I don't know where the new site will be - but I am worried about a town who wants to make it illegal or close to impossible to put schools in neighborhoods and if you live in Montclair you might be too. Is it really so precious here that we don't want cars legally parked on residential streets? The new laws will require any school that does dare to expand to create parking lots the size of Walmarts- and in the mean time a beautiful mansion that would have been restored and put to good use, its green space left more or less intact, is now again on the auction block for every developer. All because about 10 houses would have had to look at parked cars out their windows for less than 40 minutes a day and not at all in summer.

Posted by: cheaplazywannabe | Jan 26, 2006 1:54:03 PM

Wrong! We live across from MKA and the weekends and summers are anything but peaceful, not to mention the nights. MKA rents out the school all of the time. And instead of MKA people who at least show some respect to the neighbors (because they have to be here day in and out), you have a bunch of people who are using the property only once and show no respect. And thier are no MKA personnel on site at these times to help. Whether it be noise, litter, parking directly in front of driveways, etc.

Drop off and pick up is NOT 44 min. a day, but is more along the lines of 1 hr. in the morning, 1 hr. at nomal pickup and then again for late pickup. And try getting out of your driveway when cars are nose to tail all the way down the street and have no desire to let a car through.

In addition, the school is a hangout for kids at night when it is warm out, so you get the screaming and bottle smashing at 2 in the morning with frequent police visits.

I would much rather have houses on the property.

And as far as impact, ask the neighbors that had a 30 ft. high concrete wall put up 10 ft. behind thier property (and 20 ft. from thier house) what that has done for thier property values.

While it is possible to put a school in a residential neighborhood with minimal impact, I was told by a member of the town council that saw the plans it was anything but low impact.

I believe the Co-op is now looking at a property across from thier current location...possibly now condos/apartments. And reportedly one of the offers on the property is from Mr. Plofker.

Posted by: tm07042 | Jan 26, 2006 2:00:36 PM

elementary school - the new menace™.

(the trees ain't got nottin' on those elementary school kids)

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Jan 26, 2006 2:02:59 PM

Strangely enough, not all the would-be Miss Grundys are clustered today on the thread about Project Graduation. Some are here as well. Which means that I, gulp, stand with cheaplazymom on this one (and that wonders thus truly never cease). That people in residential neighborhoods would moan about the presence of schools in these neighborhoods is truly amazing, something that would have been inconceivable 20 or more years ago.

As for that 30 ft. high concrete wall, really? Come now, this isn't a Vietnamese, Cuban or Chinese re-education camp, are you even sure it's 30 feet? The walls at Rahway State aren't that high. They aren't even that high at Edinburgh Castle, come to think of it.

Posted by: cathar (8T) | Jan 26, 2006 2:28:31 PM

If the Llewellyn neighbors get lucky, maybe a family buys the house and moves in. I saw it at the open house last year and it's very solid and has tons of potential.

It would indeed be sad if a developer buys it....those guys are willing to litigate and steamroll the neighbors (unlike the Coop). Could be another couple years of drama here.......like Marlboro Inn.

This town needs to pass a McMansion law before its too late!

Posted by: Topoff | Jan 26, 2006 2:54:18 PM

Topoff- I saw it at the open house too - it is a beautiful home - but every single surface needs attention and that is before you even address the mechanicals, not to mention the pipe organ that extends through multiple floors! I also really really hope a nice single family buys it but they will need exceptionally deep pockets. My understanding is that there was not one offer from a single family last time around.

Posted by: cheaplazywannabe | Jan 26, 2006 3:10:14 PM

Hmm, Remsen and his friends voted against the Coop?

And the rumor is that Plofker is interested in purchasing it?

Very interesting...

Posted by: latebloomer | Jan 26, 2006 3:15:51 PM

A pipeorgan? Now I picture Plofkie himself at it nightly, playing "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" or some genuine Bach in his skull mask while Bobbi Brown adoringly touches up his makeup. Cheaplazywannabe, you have sent me off into pleasant fantasies. Thanks much!

Posted by: cathar (8T) | Jan 26, 2006 3:20:49 PM

OOOOh, I would love a home with a pipe organ, some gothic furnishings, low lights with candles everywhere...I would feel right at home.

BF & I actually looked at a place like that (yes, it had an organ!) but he thought it was too Adams Family-ish. It creeped him out. Too bad...:-(

Posted by: Miss Martta (8T) | Jan 26, 2006 3:27:07 PM

"This town needs to pass a McMansion law before its too late!"

Ah, yes, of course! Pass a law!

How about a law that nobody gets to buy a house in Montclair unless they have a modicum of sense. Now that's a law I would support.

Posted by: walleroo | Jan 26, 2006 3:29:24 PM

Cathar, I have to say that's a great image!! Nightmarish rather than a "pleasant fantasy", but still...

Posted by: latebloomer | Jan 26, 2006 3:30:07 PM

cheaplazywannabe - actually, there were definitely very aggressive offers from families last time around. Any buyer will end up putting more $ in, but there are lots of homes in Montclair over $2MM now, and they don't have a 2+ acre yard.

What do you think the Marlboro Inn homes will go for...figure $1.5MM+ and you have no yard and real serious traffic all around.

Posted by: Topoff | Jan 26, 2006 4:01:06 PM


What a pathetic post. You must have majored in conspiracy theory.

Posted by: Ed Remsen | Jan 26, 2006 4:01:54 PM

did someone just get outed?

Posted by: State Street Pete | Jan 26, 2006 4:07:20 PM

{{{{{{Miss Martta goes and gets popcorn (air-popped of course)}}}}}}}}}}}

Posted by: Miss Martta | Jan 26, 2006 4:08:37 PM

I can always count on getting a rise out of our developer-friendly mayor.

Posted by: latebloomer | Jan 26, 2006 5:37:13 PM

It's actually kind of fun to see His Honor wade into the mud. Oh Mayor Ed, when will you learn? Where's your dignity? You should always remember to don your mayoral robes before hitting "post". That will help you with your gravitas problem.

Posted by: walleroo | Jan 26, 2006 5:43:36 PM

Click & Jump to our INSIDE PAGES:

· In Case You Don't Look at Our Announcement Box
· Window Painting
· Flatulent Friar
· Ballyowen -- The Best $140 a NJ Golfer Can Spend
· Corzine Budget Gets MSU Calling For Action
· Open Space Call For Action
· Closed For Renovations?
· Thrill Seekers
· Heroic Dudes
· Making Montclair's History Demo-Proof

May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004

A Friend Writes
April Fool's!
Bada Bing
Barista Does the Math
Barista's Sunday Poll
Betty Says
Brand New
Civic Virtue
Comings and Goings
Culture Club
Current Affairs
Cute as Hell
Don't Ask: Dating in Baristaville
Flu Shot Central
Food and Drink
From the Crazy Mixed-Up Files of Raymmmondo
Funniest Home Videos
Good Reads by Neil Baldwin
Growing pains
Help Your Barista!
In Your Dreams
Intersections We Hate
Karma Violation
Lights! Camera! Craft service!
Lights, Camera..... Roll Tape
Major Dudes
Marlboro Inn
Movie Mojo
Only in Montclair
Our Favorite Diversions
Paranoia Beat
Parties We Crashed
Party With Baristanet
Photo of the Week
Pop Culture
Postcards from the EB
Really Freaking Weird
Scooped by Phil Read, Again
Scot's Photo Journal
Seasonal Decorating Violation
Seen around town
Seen in Cyberspace
Shopping With Barista
Songs We Can't Get Out of Our Head
Suburban Archeologist
The Daily Chat
The Sunday Barista Poll
The View from Her Pickup
Those Crazy Kids
Time Capsule
We All Bow to Java
We Ask Random Strangers
Where For Art Thou?
Win Stuff
Yard Sale Treasure Map