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March  30

Another Tear Down In Bloomfield

On April 6, Bloomfield's zoning board will hear a developer’s plan to tear down the small two-story office building at 1246 Broad Street – next to Brookdale School and Provident Bank – and replace it with a three-story 28-unit apartment building.

The potential over-crowding, traffic congestion, increased taxes, and death of 14 trees are just some of the reasons neighbors are protesting. Residents are meeting tonight to discuss: March 30, at 7pm at the VFW Building, 369 Broughton Avenue, Bloomfield.

March 30, 2006 in Civic Virtue | Permalink


"The potential over-crowding, traffic congestion, increased taxes, and death of 14 trees are just some of the reasons neighbors are protesting."

Who says? Annette?

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Mar 30, 2006 3:31:10 PM

I have seen these plans, and this development is a blivet: a 20-lb object trying to be crammed in a 10-lb. bag. The only residential use allowed in a B-2 (Neighborhood Business) zone is for "mom-and-pop" apartments over the business. This building is a 3-story "high rise" and, as such, is forbidden in a B-2 zone. And if that itsn't arrogant enough they also want a variance to make the building 50% taller than what would be allowed. This building will have 25 2-BR and 3 1-BR apartments with 60 parking places and only one outlet to Broad Street, right next to the entrance to Brookdale school. There is an R-1 Residential zone of one-family homes directly behind it that will be dwarfed by this complex.

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Mar 30, 2006 3:37:18 PM

I understand your stand of free use of property. But there are limitations and they are usually specified in a town's zoning laws and its Master Plan. This project violates the letter and the spirt of both. It has already been shot down once by the Planning Commission because of its clear violation of the zoning ordinances. So the developer is trying to circumvent the law get "variances" that totally redefine what is in the ordinances and the plan. And we are talking major variances: residences where no residences are allowed; extending the height not by a foot or two, but by 50% to tack on a third-story. Go down to the hall and look at the plans yourself -- I am sure you will recognize a blivet when you see one.

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Mar 30, 2006 3:44:14 PM

I've got some info on this as well over at The Bloomfielder (www.bloomfielder.com), including the flyer that has been given out in the neighborhood by some of those opposed to the project.

Posted by: ccl | Mar 30, 2006 3:45:01 PM

well ccl, that's something, thanks.

(Annette, you'll never put the NY Times out of business this way...)

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Mar 30, 2006 3:50:32 PM

whoa...Conan! I haven't said a thing about this one. Conclusion jumping, eh?

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Mar 30, 2006 3:54:21 PM

I just wanted to read more about the "story" than (I guess) Annette's "summary".

Usually "reports" include "so-and-so said, death of trees" or "according to this flyer" etc. etc.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Mar 30, 2006 3:56:26 PM

Just a little premptive offense, sport! :) I have seen your other posts on this subject and I pretty much (gasp!) agree with you that what people want to build on their own property or buy for themselves is up to them, within the guidelines that it does no harm nor breaks the law. I also will be out front and state that in this case, NIMBY is, literally, MBY; My house would be in this building's shadow for most of the morning.

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Mar 30, 2006 4:01:18 PM

Everyone in Bloomfield should unite against these developers who try to redefine our town with their buildings, then leave and the residents are expected to live with the results. If developers are so hot to build new buildings, why not go to Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, and other cities, knock down the buildings falling apart and build there? Don't turn Bloomfield into a city. That's why residents moved to the 'burbs - supposedly more space and breathing room.

Posted by: mrso | Mar 30, 2006 4:03:51 PM

Well said, MRSO.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Mar 30, 2006 4:05:11 PM

The opportunity to unite and speak out on this issue is available at tonight's meeting and also at the Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing for this proposal, currently scheduled for April 6th. Please come join us.

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Mar 30, 2006 4:09:59 PM

Thank you. I live in the area and see the vast amount of congestion already on Broad Street from the school - and with cars backed around the corner continuing on Broad Street - and even going on over into West Passaic Avenue. It's a real pain trying to get anywhere and just imagine apartment residents trying to pull out into traffic in an area where kids are walking and getting dropped off to school.

Posted by: mrso | Mar 30, 2006 4:13:17 PM

I've noticed the same thing about Montclair in the past 3-4 years.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Mar 30, 2006 4:16:29 PM

I think the whole idea of juxtaposing single-family residential areas with neighborhood business zones is great. You have your house, yard, trees, some semblance of privacy, and there are low-rise businesses like banks, cleaners, barber shops, nail places, etc., within walking distance from your home. It is a symbiotic relationship because most of the businesses shut down when people come home from work in the evening. Not so if you plunk an apartment complex into the middle of this zoning mix; that is like doubling the residential population with no additional infrastructure to support it.

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Mar 30, 2006 4:21:27 PM

Conan, I assure you, I would much endorse an exemption for your property re new building in your "backyard.". (Not for too many others but definitely for thee.) You deserve to have the sun shining in on you, yours and your domicile.

Posted by: cathar | Mar 30, 2006 4:23:13 PM

I think we need to remind the powers that be in Bloomfield that there are just some things we're not going to back down on, such as the 11 townhomes on Church St. or this.

Posted by: mrso | Mar 30, 2006 4:27:21 PM

The tactic seems pretty transparent: ask for something twice as big as allowed, so that people end up feeling grateful when it's cut back to only slightly larger than allowed.

Posted by: appletony | Mar 30, 2006 4:35:13 PM

What a traffic nightmare this will cause if allowed to go through. I don't understand how they're going to fit 60 cars in the parking lot if the building extends all the way back in the lot.

We'll need a crossing guard just for the parking lot ingress/egress.

Posted by: badd_patti | Mar 30, 2006 4:37:31 PM

Well said, all. We need to draw a line in the sand against these developments. They are outsized and inappropriate.

Posted by: mauigirl52 | Mar 30, 2006 4:37:55 PM

The only developers I want to see in Baristaville are software developers!

Posted by: Miss Martta | Mar 30, 2006 4:39:26 PM

Barista--Thanks for posting. However meeting time at the VFW is 7:30, not 7

Posted by: Mary Shaughnessy | Mar 30, 2006 4:55:37 PM

Barista--Thanks for posting. However meeting time at the VFW is 7:30, not 7

Posted by: Mary Shaughnessy | Mar 30, 2006 4:56:17 PM

This is ridiculous. Enough is enough. Bloomfield is being over developed and it has to stop.

Posted by: lasermike026 | Mar 30, 2006 5:35:05 PM

I just read this today - and obviously missed the meeting. Anyone who attended - can you fill me in on the results? What a nightmare. Thanks.

Posted by: jackdan | Mar 31, 2006 7:09:52 AM

Why are you all so opposed to development? Why is everyone so negative about this.

Without growth our communities and town fall into disrepair. Given the outrageous cost of housing in this area, projects like this just make sense economically.

Higher density housing is going to be a fact of life, get used to it.

Rapidly increasing property values are a double edged sword. As those property values increase, the only viable development becomes high density housing... Or 2 million dollar McMansions...

I reckon you'd have an easier time renting out 28 units than selling one of those McMansions.

If you oppose the development, buy the property yourselves and turn it into a park. If you can't afford it, push the town to buy the property and pay for it in your taxes.


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