WEST ORANGE, NJ — Issues concerning where to define Essex Green and Executive Drive as an “area in need of redevelopment” and the process in general continue to stir passions amongst West Orange residents and members of the township council.

During Tuesday’s council meeting, resident Robert Daniel questioned why no minutes were taken during seven meetings that took place between township officials and the new owners of Essex Green during the summer of 2017.

Councilman Joe Krakoviak expressed his dismay that township attorney Richard Trenk prevented Paul Grygiel, the study author for the Essex Green report, to appear before the council at his request. Krakoviak pointed out that in October of 2016, Trenk had agreed to have the author of the redevelopment plan for the Central Valley appear before the council.

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“I believe we should consider voiding the resolution calling Essex Green and Executive Drive an area in need of redevelopment if we didn’t get proper legal advice,” said Krakoviak.

Casalino said that Grygiel defended his position for many hours at the West Orange Planning Board meeting, and his testimony there should suffice.

Resident Sharon Feinsold said that there are other creative ways to develop Essex Green.

“Do we want a decayed shopping mall bringing us down?” she said. “We have to make this a win-win for both the town and the developer.”

The next town council meeting will be held on Feb. 6.

To read more about this meeting, click on the headlines below:

West Orange Council Renews Forester Contract Despite Pushback from Residents

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