Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bloomfield Neighborhood Association meeting

Spent this morning at a very productive meeting of Bloomfield Neighborhood Association today. Most of the meeting was spent updating our brochure and redefining the goals of the group. The BNA was established in 1997 to provide a forum for neighborhood groups to meet with Bloomfield's Mayor and to discuss issues affecting group as well as townwide concerns. It has usually met in the Mayor's Conference room, but as it has grown, moved most of its bi-monthly meetings to the larger Bloomfield College Library on Liberty Street.
 No one could remember a time when the current Mayor participated, but we've met with most other ton leaders, including, the Police Chief, Fire Chief, assessor and town manger. As a non-partison forum, he BNA was able to host Candidate's Nights at Bloomfield College's Van Fossen Hall before most local elections.
The newest issue to come up this morning was word of a planned methadone clinic for Watsessing St. The location seems problamatic to most attendees because of it's proximity to Watsessing RR station and the Lawrence Ave. condo redevelopment project. So far, here seems to have been little public notice of their plan. One more issue to bring up during the public comment section of Monday's Conference meeting of the council. Last week saw public comments taking up about 90% of the meeting.
Must see TV.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bloomfield is Passing Montclair -- in the Tax Sweepstakes

I make it a habit to save my observations on Real Estate issues to my EcoRealty blog. But last Thursday I previewed one of two new listings in Bloomfield and Montclair that reflect a new reality that can't be overlooked. Both were listed at 399k. Both were 4 Bedroom homes built at about the same time with taxes of 11,.7k.The Montclair listing on James had taxes of 10.1K. Both were in excellent condition. The bottom line is that Bloomfield is passing Montclair for the dubious distinction of above average tax rankings in the highest taxed state in the U.S. From a look at current listings, you can see that this is becoming the rule rather than the exception when Bloomfield is compared to nearby towns such as Montclair, Cedar Grove and Nutley. This may make the "affordability" of Bloomfield a tougher sell as the housing market improves. On the bright side, we're still far behind Glen Ridge, Milburn, and the Oranges.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cell Tower Opponents Speak Out at Zoning Board Meeting

The monthly meetings of Bloomfield's Zoning Board rarely see more than a handfull of residents in attendance. On March 10, About 180 residents of Bloomfield and Glen Ridge braved the biggest rainstorm of the winter to voice their opposition to T-Mobile's application to install a 120ft cell tower at the intersection of Broad And Bay Streets. Since this was the first board meeting for most attendees, ZB President Ed Michalski and the Board attorney spent much of the 3 hour meeting explaining the process and answering questions from residents.

In center photo is Dr. Michael Basista who owns the Immedicenter medical facility next door -- and brought his own attorney. Lower photo shows flier passed out by a group called A dedicated Facebook page has also been set up to share updates on the issue. the It is now anticipated that at least 3 monthly meetings will be required to allow residents to question T-Mobile's experts and voice their concerns. The next meeting will be on April 14th.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Cell Tower Meeting Now Scheduled for Thursday, March 10

Based on the nearest existing cell tower at Watchung Ave at the Garden State Parkway, I've imagined the future appearance on Bay and Broad St. from two vantage points in Brookside Park. Because of the lower location, the proposed 120 ft. tower will be about twice as high. (Click on photos to enlarge) More comments can be found on Baristanet.
Application of T-Mobile Northeast, LLC. as Applicant and O’Boyle Realty as Owner for a use variance, minor site plan approval and any such other relief that may be required from the Zoning Ordinance of the Township of Bloomfield to construct a new monopole for wireless telecommunications, in a Neighborhood Business B-2 zone on premises known as Map 29,Block 792, Lot 27 better known as 551 Broad Street.