MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Montclair Planning Board, in accordance with a request from Township Council, will conduct a preliminary investigation of various properties along Bloomfield Avenue and Glenridge Avenue to determine if they meet the criteria for an area in need of redevelopment. (Resolutions R-14-037 and R-13-103). The areas to be studied include properties along Seymour Street, Glenridge Avenue and Lackawanna Plaza. All three areas have been identified by the Township as problem areas where new investment is desired. The Board will first discuss the above areas at its November 24 meeting, which will be held at 7:30 in Montclair Municipal Building Council Chambers, 205 Claremont Avenue. (See meeting agenda The meeting is open to the public.

The Glenridge Avenue area was designated an area in need of redevelopment in 2002. A redevelopment plan for this area, however, was never adopted. The study will determine if conditions still exist in the Glenridge Avenue area that continue to warrant designation of an area in need of redevelopment.

The Lackawanna Plaza area was designated as an Urban Renewal Area in the 1970’s. It was redeveloped in the 1980’s pursuant to the Lackawanna Plaza Urban Renewal Plan. The study will evaluate this area to see if conditions exist that meet the criteria for an area in need of redevelopment, despite the development of the shopping center in the 1980’s.

The Seymour Street area is the only area included in the redevelopment study that has not been previously designated for redevelopment or urban renewal. This area includes the vacant Social Security building and surrounding properties to see if they meet the criteria for an area in need of redevelopment.

The redevelopment study area investigation is the first phase of the redevelopment process. It is based on a factual analysis of existing conditions within the area to determine if they meet the criteria for redevelopment, which are established by State statute. The Planning Department issued a Request for Proposals to retain a planning firm to prepare the preliminary redevelopment area investigation. Eight proposals were submitted and the firm of Clark Caton Hintz was selected to perform the investigation because on their considerable experience, relatively quick timeframe for completing the project and reasonable price.

Planners from Clark Caton Hintz will present their findings to the Planning Board. The Board has met with the property owners, who are included in the study area, to discuss the process and has notified them of the public hearing. Property owners and residents will have an opportunity to address the Board about their concerns regarding the study and its recommendations. The Board is then required to forward their recommendation to the Council, recommending that the entire study area, or a portion of the study area, should or should not be designated as an area in need of redevelopment. The Council may then adopt a resolution determining that the delineated area, or any part thereof, is a redevelopment area.

The next step after a redevelopment area or a rehabilitation area has been designated is the preparation of a redevelopment plan. The redevelopment plan is the policy document that establishes the goals and objectives for the area, a plan for new development, and the regulatory language (i.e. bulk and design standards) for any new development.