Proposed Administration Parking Lot Sparks Debate Among Livingston Residents

Architect Anthony Gianforcaro, owner of Gianforcaro Architects, Engineers & Planners Credits: Carolyn Moses

LIVINGSTON, NJ – One component of the Livingston Board of Education (LBOE) $1.2 million budget, approved this April, continues to draw vocal Livingston residents who stand in communal opposition to the proposed project, to the LBOE meetings. 

In response to the recommendations of two safety studies conducted by the Department of Education and an unnamed but independent third party contractor, the LBOE has been searching for an optimal site that can be used for parking Livingston school buses in one location, as opposed to the three locations where they currently reside. After extensive research, the LBOE proposal on the table suggests that a $300,000 parking structure, adjacent to the current Administrative Building at 11 Foxcroft Drive, be erected. 

According to the LBOE, the proposed parking lot offers the added benefit of bringing the administrative offices into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as the structure would include both a new entranceway and handicapped parking. 

Sign Up for E-News

Responding to complaints previously lodged by residents in the neighboring area, Steven Robinson, school business administrator and board secretary, opened the discussion by addressing these concerns at Monday’s LBOE meeting. Although the LBOE has been working with the Township of Livingston to arrive at a new parking solution for several years, the LBOE was recently informed that no township land is available for the schools to build upon. 

Robinson and his team have explored the feasibility of other options suggested by residents, such as utilizing the land on Northfield Avenue on which the annual Kiwanis Carnival is held (which, at a minimum, would involve zoning and complex traffic issues) or existing parking space at the Livingston Mall (which would require the space to be fenced, security cameras and electric charging stations for buses to be added, and snow-removal responsibilities to be assumed, all of which would heighten the cost for the project).

Robinson assured residents that essential tree removal needed to clear space for the project would primarily affect dead trees and would only carve into two of the fifteen acres in question, leaving plenty of land accessible to area wildlife.

Architect Anthony Gianforcaro, owner of Gianforcaro Architects, Engineers & Planners, who is designing the project, was also on hand to answer more specific questions regarding the plans. According to Gianforcaro, an extensive analysis was run through Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) software that showed, across several-hundred different scenarios used, that additional pollution that might be caused due to increased bus traffic in the area was non-hazardous and well within EPA guidelines. 

Lights from the parking lot are not expected to cause issues for local residents, he said, as they will point down towards the blacktop. Additionally, residents who cited anticipated flooding from water run-off as a potential issue were told that all water run-off will flow directly into a detention basin.

Those fearing that the proposed lot would provide a place for teens to congregate and potentially do damage to buses or property were assured that strategically placed security cameras should act as a sufficient deterrent.

Opening the floor to further comment from residents of Wynwood Drive, where bus traffic would be routed through, over to Foxcroft and back onto Hillside Avenue, were cautioned by LBOE President Ronnie Konner, that the board was “not [there] to have a debate.”

“We’re here to hear you,” she said. “We will not be taking any action tonight.”

Concerns voiced by Heritage Middle School neighbors included: an increase in an already significant school-time traffic flow, making it more difficult for residents to exit their driveways; an increase in speeding buses; an increase in emissions from idling buses; and a potential decrease in property values. An addition concern was providing a potential breeding ground for vandalism and littering.

Residents asked the LBOE to continue exploring alternatives to the addition at 11 Foxcroft.

“On Friday, we opened bids,” said Robinson. “I made it clear that we have a budget of $1.2 million and, while the bids came in under that number, they didn’t come in far enough under—so I will be asking the board at the next meeting to reject the bids so that we can scale down the project a little bit and do it at a budget I feel more comfortable with.  And then we will go out shortly after that for re-bids.”

The LBOE resolved to move forward by requesting a set of new bids that reflects the existing project, a partial project focused only on the ADA compliance issues, and a version of the project that includes the construction of the smaller parking lot with infrastructure built in so that, should expansion become feasible at a later date, the infrastructure already exists to support that expansion. 

The LBOE will continue to cover this topic at future meetings.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Evolve Cycle And Fitness Presale Happening Now!

May 18, 2018

CALDWELL, NJ - Evolve Cycle and Fitness is now offering 10 classes for only $90. That’s only $9 a class when you purchase before its official Grand Opening on Friday, June 1, 2018. 

Only two weeks left to take advantage of this limited time offer! Call Martha at 973-979-5919 or click here to sign up.

Evolve Cycle and Fitness is a Premier Fitness Boutique ...

Save Up To 20% at CNP Treasures

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Are you still looking for the perfect gift for your mom or that special someone in your life for Mother's Day? Then CNP Treasures has you covered! Save up to 20% at CNP Treasures located at 14 Northfield Ave in West Orange.

Come by this weekend so we can help you find the perfect gift! Offer expires Sunday, May ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, May 23, 7:00 PM

Livingston Community Center (lower level), Livingston

NJ-11 Congressional Candidates Debate, hosted by ...

Education Government Law & Justice


Thu, May 24, 6:30 PM

Heritage Middle School , Livingston

Livingston Public Schools Presents: 6th to 7th ...



Thu, May 24, 7:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Understanding Hearing Loss

Health & Wellness

Montclair HS Student Reported Sexual Assault in All-Gender Bathroom, Officials Say

May 17, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - According to published reports on Wednesday, Montclair Police officials are investigating allegations of sexual assault reported to have occurred in a bathroom at Montclair High School.

Montclair police officials state that officers received a report about an incident at the high school of a sexual nature that occurred around 3:18 p.m. on Monday. The ...

Still Time to Register for Livingston's Fall Intown Soccer

May 14, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Although a late fee may be applied as of May 13, registration is still open for the Fall 2018 Intown Soccer season in Livingston, including the high school co-ed program.

Livingston Soccer Club's (LSC) Intown program is all about sportsmanship, making friends, getting some exercise and learning a bit about soccer along the way. LSC provides the following ...

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...