Arts & Entertainment

Bye-Bye, Bowcraft; Planning Board Unanimously Approves Redevelopment Plan

67068166b3fb31eb6b5a_Bowcraft_outside.JPG
9eedc820db9bc011b5db_2faf93c826101107ecb8_Planning_Board_9-27-16.JPG
The Scotch Plains Planning Board approved a plan submitted by Bowcraft and ATA Developers giving them the go-ahead to redevelop the amusement park into apartments and townhouses. Credits: John Mooney
22930a9764db0c1d36bb_Planning_Board_Art.JPG
Art Bernard, licensed planner and former COAH executive Credits: John Mooney
72480999c112f913f6c5_Planning_Board_engineer.JPG
Lisa DiGerolamo, civil engineer Credits: John Mooney
c4a1699d06d0a61f6f46_Planning_Board_Stewart.JPG
Architect Stuart Johnson reviewed design elements. Credits: John Mooney
1d8a7189c3d39f151eb4_Planning_Board_Traffic.JPG
Gary Dean, consulting traffic engineer Credits: John Mooney
1409c9c2e6c31a0f574b_Planning_Board_Bernstein.JPG
Daniel Bernstein, attorney for ATA Developers/Bowcraft Credits: John Mooney
bb28bc10616e7fff21d4_Bowcraft_-_SP_map.JPG
bd6e32df5bd62a496a02_Bowcraft_ML.JPG
67068166b3fb31eb6b5a_Bowcraft_outside.JPG

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — After hearing nearly four hours of testimony, the Scotch Plains Planning Board on Monday evening unanimously approved a plan submitted by Bowcraft and ATA Developers giving them the go-ahead to redevelop the amusement park into a complex of 200 apartments and townhouses.

The 13-acre complex, located on Route 22 West in Scotch Plains, will consist of 190 apartments, 10 townhomes, a communal clubhouse, a pool and play area for children. The board and the developers agreed that 41 affordable units will be part of the development. These housing units will count toward the township's yet-to-be-determined number of Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) units mandated by New Jersey courts.

COAH is responsible for ensuring that municipalities in the state provide their fair share of affordable housing. The agency was created by the New Jersey Legislature following a series of State Supreme Court rulings known as the "Mount Laurel Decisions" that require municipalities to provide for the development of housing that low and moderate income individuals and families can afford. Comprised of 12 members appointed by the governor, COAH estimates needs for low/moderate income housing and then allocates "fair share" numbers for each of the state's 566 municipalities.

Sign Up for E-News

Bowcraft/ATA brought in heavy hitters to support their case, including Daniel S. Bernstein, a Scotch Plains-based attorney who specializes in land use, zoning, and real estate law, and licensed professional planner Art Bernard, the former executive director of COAH.

Bernard gave insights into affordable housing requirements in New Jersey and estimated that the housing project would accommodate 454 residents, including 51 additional school-age children who would likely enter the Scotch Plains-Fanwood school district.

Lisa DiGerolamo a vice president at the civil engineering firm Paulus, Sokolowski and Sartor (PS&S), described how water run-off will be handled, as well as other aspects of the project.

Gary Dean, consulting traffic engineer, reported that the peak hours for traffic in and out of the development will be 7:45 - 8:45 a.m. and 4:45 - 5:45 p.m.  He explained that the current five driveways will be replaced by one long driveway that will act almost as an access road, which would help eliminate the potential for congestion. 

Architect Stewart Johnson reviewed the design elements of the buildings. 

Later in the meeting, Bernard called on the board to vote affirmatively, saying that the project provides "very tangible benefits, affordable housing units that address its [Scotch Plains'] obligation" while reducing the five curb cuts on Route 22 and providing for fish and plant habitats within the entire proposal.

The planning board voters were comprised of Theresa Flood (Chair), John Thompson (Vice Chair), Joseph Doyle, James Checchio, Paulette Coronato, Councilman John Del Sordi, Mayor Kevin Glover, and Building and Zoning Official Bob LaCosta. Each praised the redevelopment plan. 

"This is a good, clean plan. The experts did a fine job. I have no objections with the conditions discussed," Doyle said.

Paulette Coronato, who was on the planning board in 1987 shortly before the Bowcraft property was zoned ML1, said that "this plan is better than what I imagined 29 years ago. I think it is fantastic."

Mayor Kevin Glover added, "This plan provides quality rentals. It is well thought out and community sensitive. This will be a welcome addition, given the alternatives. We didn't need another gas station or convenience store."

Bob LaCosta supported the application the application, but the life-long Scotch Plains resident lamented that having gone to Bowcraft as a boy, as a father and as a grandfather, he will miss the amusement park.

Following comments from all the board members, Chair Theresa Floor asked for a motion to approve, which was granted unanimously.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Clark Police Charge Two in Armed Robbery of Quick Chek in December

February 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ – Two people have been charged in the Dec. 10, 2017 robbery of the Quick Chek on Westfield Avenue, according to Police Chief Pedro Matos.

Matos said that Detective Sergeant George Marmarou and Detective Alejandro Yanes performed a lengthy investigation that led to the charges.

Tione C. Davis, 35 of 23rd St. and Meshach Whagar, 29 of South 15th St. in ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update

February 15, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

I first want to congratulate Nick Calello and David Went for their promotions to patrol officers in the Westfield Police Department. I’d also like to welcome and congratulate new Patrol Officer Fortunato Riga, who joins the police department this week upon his ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_fadfd1c21bc636c673db_schmidt_john_01_pp

Thu, February 22, 8:30 AM

Hilton Garden Inn, Hamilton , Hamilton

Defending Your Independent Contractor & Wage & ...

Business & Finance Education Law & Justice

Carousel_image_8e821e02ba44390d688c_olympics_oh_feb_2018

Thu, February 22, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Wacky Winter Olympics Open House

Other

Carousel_image_97368eb92d0feb35caf6_img_0082

Thu, February 22, 5:00 PM

Barnes & Noble, Clark

Purim Story & Crafts Hour at Barnes & Noble

Education

Westfield Police Blotter: Man Steals 60 Pairs of Pants from Downtown Store & More

February 21, 2018

February 14, 2018 10:53 p.m.

Officers Gill and Weiss arrested Luis Murillo, age 30, of Rahway, NJ, for two outstanding warrants out of Westfield Municipal Court ($500) and Woodbridge Municipal Court ($500) pursuant to a motor vehicle stop in Scotch Plans Township. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released after posting requisite bail.

 

February 15, 2018 5:24 ...

Hamantash Bake at the Torah Center

February 21, 2018

The Union County Torah Center - Chabad will be hosting a Hamantash Bake at its center, 111 Laurel Place, Westfield NJ on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 11:30 a.m.

Participants will learn the techniques and skills for making hamantashen. They will be putting on aprons, preparing the dough, choosing from a variety of fillings and taking home their very own created delicious ...

‘Month of Hope’ at Wilson School

Inspired by the HOPE Week Initiative introduced in 2009 by the New York Yankees, Mr. Joseph Malanga, principal of Wilson School and a fan of the American League professional ballclub, declared January the “Month of Hope” at Wilson.

Malanga called on the school’s faculty Acts of Kindness Committee to choose the charitable organizations to be recipients of the weekly donation ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Would the Stock Market Affect Your Home Purchase?

"Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy night." ("All About Eve.") While most people misquote this as "It's going to be a bumpy ride," the actual quote works better for the movie. Bette Davis delivers this with the classic style that made her one of the most loved actresses of her generation.

Well for the stock market it’s been a wild bumpy ...

Good News in NJ for Veterans

Beginning in the 2017 tax year, New Jersey will give an additional $3,000 exemption for military veterans. You are eligible to claim this exemption NJ state income tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or before the last day of the tax year.

 

The ...

Sinai or Sanctuary?

 

 

And in the beginning, G‑d was homeless, and so G‑d asked His people to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G‑d instructed Moses to tell the people, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Now the question is, was G‑d really homeless? ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 13, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Love Craft Beer But Hate the Tour? State Assembly Moves to Make it Easier for You to Belly Up to the Bar

Good news is a brew for New Jersey craft beer advocates. In February 2018, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee paved the way for the introduction of Bill A2196, which would remove a current licensing rule requiring breweries and distilleries to provide a tour of their facilities before serving alcoholic beverages to consumers. Currently, breweries holding a ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Is FAANG Long in the Tooth?

Investors love to rally around a stock story. Today it’s all about the FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) are a major reason why the S&P 500 rallied so much in 2017. Mr. Market is convinced the FAANGs are impervious to a sell-off. “Its different this time” is ringing loud and clear, but will the outcome really be that ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...

Obituaries

Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Cops Called for Two People Shouting Racial Slurs During ‘Black Panther’ in Sparta

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night after a drunken woman and her boyfriend interrupted a screening of the movie “Black Panther” by shouting racial slurs, according to a witness and police.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including ...