Past Newsletters

Lackawanna Plaza next steps and other updates

Introducing a Revised Lackawanna Plaza Plan

I’ve always been proud of the Lackawanna Plaza project. I ran on a platform of responsive government and I’m consistently trying to understand where the broader community is on any issue by meeting with and listening to people. This weekend I have another 35 people gathering in a living room in Montclair to talk to me about things on their minds and offer their points of view. I do this just about every week. I have 41,000 constituents — enough to fill half of Metlife Stadium during a concert. My job is to figure out where that half stadium is on an issue — not just one section or a couple of rows in a section; the whole half stadium and then do the best I can to represent our values. So thank you to everyone who I have spoken to about Lackawanna Plaza over time and in particular, for the thoughtful and even the tough feedback given. Thank you to our land use bodies, Housing Commission and Montclair Center Business Improvement District for your recommendations. It has all been considered.

While the new plan doesn’t reflect everything I would have liked to have seen and certainly will never satisfy everyone, it’s a damn good plan that reflects the fact that as a government, we listened to you. We chopped off floors, we took in density, we reduced the number of dwelling units, we improved sight lines, we re-oriented layout to protect neighbor’s sunlight and more. And we did it all without having to sacrifice critical details that are paramount for me (listed below). I live 1,000 feet from Lackawanna Plaza and am the proud elected Democratic Party leader for the neighborhood. My neighbors and I along with all residents in the vicinity will be impacted by this and in addition to representing the whole town, I do take that fact seriously.

I hope you’ll take the time to watch our upcoming webinar, review the plan and participate in the next two Council Meetings. We’ll be introducing the new plan on August 15th and then voting to enact it or not on September 12th. There is no more delay. 

Key Changes:

  • 3 Buildings Reduced to Five Stories
  • 375 Units Reduced to 300 Units
  • Additional Stepbacks & Setbacks
  • Density pulled back from neighboring residential

Without Losing:

  • 20% Traditional & 10% Workforce Affordable Housing with preference for Montclair residents
  • Important Historic Preservation Elements
  • Three Open Space Public Plazas
  • Stormwater Retention Pools
  • Public Art & Native Vegetation
  • Bike Lanes & Enhanced Accessibility
  • Traffic & Circulation Infrastructure Improvements

Presentation on Revised Lackawanna Plaza Redevelopment Plan

The revised Lackawanna Plaza Redevelopment Plan will be presented in a Webinar on Monday, July 31 at 7:00 p.m. The Webinar will be televised live on TV34 and streamed on Montclair’s YouTube channel which will also be available for replay later.

Experts involved in the preparation of the Plan will explain the changes from the original plan as well as provide an overview and will be available to answer questions from the public digitally. The webinar will be hosted by Janice Talley, Montclair Township Director of Planning and Community Development. Panelists will include Redevelopment Architect Ira Smith from Smith Maran Architecture + Interiors; Professional Planner Keenan Hughes from Phillips Preiss; Traffic Engineer Joseph Fishinger from Brightview Engineering; Civil Engineers Peter Ten Kate and Selwyn Joy from Boswell Engineering; and Parking Expert Gerald Giosa from Level G Associates.

The revised Plan will be posted on the Township website this weekend and is expected to be reintroduced at the Township Council meeting on August 15, 2023. Please contact Janice Talley at or at 973-509-4954 if you have any questions.

Additional webinar details are provided here:

Join by meeting number

Meeting number (access code): 2345 023 4425

Meeting password: yjQ6KTF$@37

Join by phone: +1-408-418-9388 United States Toll

Tap to join from a mobile device (attendees only)

+1-408-418-9388,,23450234425## United States Toll

Join from a video system or application


You can also dial and enter your meeting number.

Adapt to a Gas Leaf Blower Free Montclair Before Fall

Last week, a super majority of the Council voted 5-2 to introduce a new complete ban on gas-powered leaf blowers in Montclair. It’s expected the ban will pass at the August 15th meeting and take effect by Labor Day. Please begin to take steps to transition. Please click the below “Available Equipment and Companies” button to see FAQs and those lists. I spoke with a company today who is ready to take on up to 50 new customers in Montclair and match your existing service provider’s fees. Ask for Amner when you reach out.

Be Familiar with New EZ-Ride Rules for Seniors


I continue to get more educated on this issue and what is possible. I’m planning to write an op-ed on this next week and looking to put together a panel discussion with various “experts” on this in the fall. Stay tuned.

Thanks, everyone. The next communication from me will be an update on Lackawanna Plaza including the modified Redevelopment Plan that we will be introducing on August 15th and information about a virtual presentation the Town will be doing on July 31st on the modified plan.

Have a great weekend!


Our mailing address is:
41 Watchung Plaza, Suite 318
Montclair, NJ 07042