Do You Want A Mall In Mahwah?
A month before you will vote on the issue at the polls, vote on this week's Patch poll.
Four weeks from this Tuesday, township residents will vote in a non-binding referendum about their feelings on a 600,000 square-foot shopping plaza that a developer has plans to put at the intersection of Routes 17 and 287 in Mahwah.
According to a conversation with the Crossroads Developer earlier this year, the “Crossroads Town Center” will include an additional 175K sq.-feet of office space, and possibly a hotel. The developer said the size of the shopping center would be comparable to that of the Ikea in Paramus, will include one or two box stores and a movie theater, and would be pedestrian-friendly.
The town council approved zoning ordinances that re-zoned the land in question to allow for the development this March. After that, a citizen group, the Committee To Stop Mahwah Mall, created a petition to get the question of whether or not the people of Mahwah want the mall to be posed on the November ballot. The petition was signed by 2,020 residents, and as a result the Town Council in August voted to put the non-binding referendum on the November 8 ballot.
The council also repealed the ordinances passed in March, moving the space back to its original zoning, for offices. However, the Crossroads Developer, LLC, filed a site plan for the mall one day before the council switched the zoning back. The site plan is currently undergoing professional evaluations, part of what the township says is a long process before anything might actually be built.
There are currently two lawsuits filed against the township trying to stop the mall, one from the CSMM and one from the town of Suffern, NY.
Since the debate sparked about the mall seven months ago, people in town have expressed differing opinions as to why they may or may not want a mall in Mahwah. Those against the mall say it may lead to increased traffic problems, may increase crime, have negative environmental impacts, and turn Mahwah into “Paramus North.” Those in favor say it will bring in jobs, tax revenue, money to fix existing traffic problems in the area, and a “town center” to a place that is lacking a traditional “downtown.” Proponents also say retail is better than some of the other development options for the land, such as low-income housing.
So, for this week’s Patch poll, the question is, do you want a mall in Mahwah?