MONTCLAIR, NJ - Residents will gather at Montclair Brewery on November 16 to discuss the Lackawanna Development Plan. All are welcome to attend.
The citizen group, A Better Lackawanna, is holding a day-long fundraiser in support of their ongoing legal appeal against the Montclair Planning Board’s approval of Lackawanna Plaza development. Called Local-Motion, the fundraiser is designed to engage the community as well as nearby businesses.
The event will take place at Montclair Brewery from 10:30 am – 3:00 pm and will be serving Lackawanna Ale to benefit the legal fund.
A Better Lackawanna, LLC is composed of 201 individuals who have signed on as plaintiffs in the appeal. Originally the appeal was filed June 21 with 11 individuals; and subsequently a motion to amend added an additional 190 plaintiffs.
The defendants (the Montclair Planning Board and now The Pinnacle Companies and The Hampshire Companies), motioned to dismiss the additional 190 plaintiffs.
Judge Keith E. Lynott ruled in favor of A Better Lackawanna LLC citing, “As the case has only recently begun,
there is no prejudice to the Defendants arising from the amendment.” The defendants have appealed that decision. Oral arguments for and against allowing the additional 190 plaintiffs will be heard in Essex County Superior Court on Friday, November 15.
Priscilla Eshelman of A Better Lackawanna says, “It’s unfortunate the defendants are continuing their pattern of marginalizing citizen input. We would much rather be working our way through the court based on the legal grounds for our appeal, which we continue to believe are very solid. We contend the Planning Board acted arbitrarily and capriciously in granting this application.”
Some of the participating eateries are creating special Lackawanna-themed items for the day to benefit the legal fund. Others are donating a portion of all sales whether dine-in or take-out. A map and signage will list all offers for the fundraiser. In addition, Layers of Flavors will make a donation for every Thanksgiving pie ordered during Local-
Motion on November 16.
Caroline Kane Levy, of A Better Lackawanna, says, “We’re particularly excited to showcase the students’ creative concepts for this large project. The developer’s lack of will and creativity stands in stark contrast. The student concepts all include a supermarket, adequate parking, and adaptive reuse of a historic structure. All of the student designs include at least as much – if not more – affordable housing as the approved plan. Several concepts open Toney’s Brook for flood control and the incorporation of a park-like setting.”
Earlier that day, an information table will be set up at the Montclair Farmers’ Market, located at Walnut Street from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. Residents will be able to learn about the appeal, make a donation and pick up an updated map of supporting businesses. A portion of the day’s proceeds will go to A Better Lackawanna.
“Even if our opponents won’t acknowledge all 201 of our plaintiffs, we want to. We have created a button which reads ‘A Better Lackawanna Plaintiff’ and we’re asking all plaintiffs to stop by our table at the Farmers’ Market or the Brewery on November 16 th to get theirs and wear it proudly.”
Plaintiff buttons will be handed out at Farmers’ Market and Brewery
Guests will be entertained by live music from the following:
o Meg Beattie Patrick and Michael Alan Williams
o The Michael Reitman Band
o The Black Lace Blues Band
o A group jam with Rostafa
Montclair High School students will also present alternative concepts for Lackawanna Plaza.
A $25 supporter’s package includes a beer and special perks
A $50 VIP package includes the above, a commemorative poster, and a tour and Q&A with Brewmaster and Brewery co-owner Leo Sawadogo.
All ages welcome, kids fre.
Tickets are available online and at the door; details on ABetterLackawanna.org
Supporting Businesses are as follows:
Layers of Flavors
Mezoco Food Truck
Red Eye Cafe
Address: 101 Walnut Street
Venue: The Montclair Brewery + participating restaurants + farmers' market
Zip Code: 07042
Contact Person: A Better Lackawanna Citizens Group