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Anti Mall Group Plans Update Meeting Tuesday

Group will share status of lawsuit against township and ask for volunteer support

The anti-mall group that filed a suit against the township of Mahwah last month is holding a meeting Tuesday night to update the community about its fight to stop a retail center from being built off Route 17N near the Sheraton Hotel.

The main purposes of the meeting, according to one of the group’s leaders and founding members, resident Michael Richards, is to update current supporters and corral new ones in the effort to stop the “Crossroads Town Center.”

The Committee to Stop Mahwah Mall filed a lawsuit after the Mahwah Town Council that allow for retail space to be developed on the so-called Crossroads land. The is a 750,000 sq. foot project that would include office space, one or two box stores, a hotel, a movie theater, and a pedestrian walking area.

Proponents of the project have argued that it will be a “town center” and bring in revenue, while opponents have expressed concerns about traffic, the environmental impact, and changing the character of Mahwah.

The Stop Mahwah Mall group, which has been garnering support through an online campaign, is passionate about the cause. In an e-vite sent to about 2,000 residents of Mahwah and surrounding communities, the group said “Our joint efforts this summer can shape Mahwah’s future for the next 20, 30 years, and it’s now or never - they won’t be disassembling the mall once it’s up.”

According to Richards, Tuesday night’s agenda will include:

  • Angelo Zappala will open with an introduction and review of what happened at the March 31st meeting.
  • A representative from the law firm hired to handle our complaint will provide an update on the suit..
  • Joey Bourgholtzer will discuss the issues the mall will bring to our township, review the referendum and the feedback we've received at the Suffern Street Fair.
  • Michael Richards will provide an outline on "Our plans for the future" and "How we going to achieve our goals".
  • Susan Chin will review volunteer positions needed and request volunteer help.
  • We will ask the townspeople for pledges towards our cause.  The pledges will go primarily towards legal expenses and to hire professionals to represent the interests of the community.

The meeting will be held this Tuesday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel on Route 17S in Mahwah.

Andy Schmidt June 13, 2011 at 01:02 PM
That drawing certainly doesn't look any different than any big other shopping center / mall. After reading the verbal description of "lifestyle center", movie theatres, "walkways", etc. I naively had envisioned something with a pedestrian-only center main street, with shops, outdoor cafes/restaurants on either side... Something that might might "upgrade" Mahwah with something resembling a town center, which the town's planners have neglected to pursue in tens of years. Looking at this plan, however, the layout is your classic, "big box stores surrounding a huge central paging lot" layout. I'm sure that there are "walkways" - but only as a matter of necessity - to feed people from the parking lot to the store. I'm willing to keep an open mind - but thus far I'm not impressed.
JoeRobertson June 13, 2011 at 01:22 PM
Andy, that's how the developers have tried to sugar coat it. They call it a "lifestyle center" but it's actually a mega-mall that will deliver crime and traffic snarls on Rt. 17. It will turn Mahwah into "Paramus North."
Joey Bourgholtzer June 14, 2011 at 02:54 AM
And that "passive recreation area" in the plan? Sounds nice (more sugar coating), but in reality that's the flood plain. SEVENTY PER CENT of this 100-acre project will be paved over. Add that to the existing impervious area that the Sheraton and its parking lots occupy (another 40 acres), then take another look at the plan to see how close the river is. NO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY HAS BEEN DONE.

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