The letters to the editor were written by a New Providence Planning Board member. As a planning board member he should not be bashing local businesses and misinforming the public via The Alternative Press. This is unprofessional. He should be asked to step down.
I was not in attendance at the meetings that went on over the course of a year, but I read the minutes. I was very disappointed when this project was turned down. LNR Properties renovations would have improved the community and increased the value of surrounding properties.
Emotions of the community should not be a determining factor in a board's decision. Boards should take the recommendation from the professionals that the town of New Providence hires and trusts, as LNR Properties was lead to do. The professionals know best when it pertains to traffic and safety. The blabbering from the mob crowd should not sway board members. There should be more control at these meetings, so the community and board members do not lose sight and focus of what the property is zoned for. If the board had kept focused and not have lost sight of the neighbors' concerns, there definitely could have been an agreement made. These concerns the neighborhood had should have been addressed directly through the board and not the applicant. Over a year and a half of meetings for a 600 sq ft. renovation, and to determine a use variance -- this is absurd to the applicant and should be an embarrassment to the town officials. Listening to mob crowd and losing site of moving forward, you would think the applicant was building the Taj Mahal.
To address the flooding concerns, maybe over development of Lavina Court is contributing to flooding of neighborhood properties. LNR Properties was not made aware of building additions, and flooding should have been addressed at the meeting. Also installation of fences of illegal height and fences installed 4ft onto LNR Property without their permission and without a permit should have been addressed, as well.
Also, LNR Property is not responsible for neighborhood drainage issues. Their responsibilities were addressed and fixed. LNR Properties is not responsible for the acts of Mother Nature, ex. Excessive water, running down from the top of Division Ave. If the neighborhood is concerned with flooding they should have taken note that they live on the bottom of two declining slopes, Old Springfield Ave and Division Ave.
The NJ Transit Pedestrian Tunnel is intended for use by NJ Transit Commuters, and not a thoroughfare for children to get to Salt Brook School, or Towne Deli. It is irresponsible for a parent or caregiver to allow their children to use the Pedestrian Tunnel, that starts at the site of the train station and leaves you out onto a car pickup site at the other end. This is a commercial zone and not a neighborhood. This area is not a thoroughfare to get to school. If there is such a concern, they should have not moved next to a commercial area or train station.
It is not LNR Properties' or NJ Transit's responsibility to police neighbors kids. LNR Properties and the NJ Transit area are not a playground for the neighborhood. It is Private Property.