Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Vote Possible on 225 Belleville Plans at Tonight's PB Meeting

From Save Bloomfield Now: The Township of Bloomfield is considering a massive 5 story 332 rental unit at 225 Belleville Avenue (aka Oakes Pond) leaving taxpayers with a 30 year bill of $2.46 million. Approved by Bloomfield’s town council with the developer, Garden Commercial Properties--headed by Minnesota Vikings billionaire owner Zygi Wilf—it is not only a financial negative for the town, it will worsen traffic jams, and stretch a school system already using trailers to house its ballooning school population.

The project is a precedent setting development, and with over 1600 rental units in other proposals across town, Bloomfield faces choices that will impact more than its fiscal health for years to come. It is a picture of poor planning.
Residents have been against the project and their concerns have largely been ignored, except for a demand to generate a fiscal impact study.

The report will be reviewed at the next Planning Board meeting on Tuesday September 18 at 7pm in council chambers at 1 Muncipal Plaza, Bloomfield. The study has galvanized the town’s Board of Education who will appear at (tonight's) meeting to plead its case. Schools near the project are at capacity and the estimated 33 more students that would live in the development create the need for more costly trailers and buses. Also, with 653 more parking spaces, the anticipation for extreme traffic jams at peak hours has been met with heated discussions and no solutions.

The environmental non-remediation aspect to the project is another issue. The developer was grandfathered in to clean the site to 1999 non-residential standards per DEP, instead of more strict residential standards enacted in 2008. With 150 years of industry and toxic waste on the site, the health of future residents could be at risk.
 Save Bloomfield Now is nonpartisan group of Bloomfield residents committed to keeping Bloomfield an affordable town, with a high quality of life and good schools.

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