Archive for February, 2015

Orange Lawn Tennis Property


The South Orange Planning Board is considering an ordinance to change the zoning code to allow the Orange Lawn Tennis Club at 305 Ridgewood Road to subdivide its property and develop a portion as townhomes.

BNE Real Estate Group is the suitor interested in purchasing a portion of the property and developing it as 27 town homes. The development would take up about one third of the current 16-plus acre site.

A Representative of the club, Peter Shapiro said, “Without the sale, the club cannot survive. The sale will allow the club to extinguish its debt, and put it on a secure financial footing going forward. Without the sale, the club will be forced to close, and to sell off its entire property for development. The choice comes down to this: develop a portion of the property and allow the club to continue as a historic South Orange institution, or close the club and develop the entire property. We would overwhelmingly prefer the first alternative. The interests of the club and of its neighbors are fully aligned in wanting to limit the impact of the development. We are committed to working with the community to do so.”

An online petition against the idea has gathered more than 260 signatures.  Why not invite a builder to construct a few homes that would be more in character with the neighborhood, and retain more nature than a high-density project such as the one proposed?  The area supports homes that regularly fetch between 700k and over a million.



PILOTs – Board of Ed wants (deserves) a share

somsd-logo-b-rAs part of the 2015/16 school district budget process, South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education members discussed requesting that the local municipal governments of South Orange and Maplewood make contributions from housing development PILOTs.

Towns negotiate PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) with developers to encourage development. Often after 5, 10 or 20 years, the PILOTs ramp to a full property tax rate.  Municipalities receive annual payments in such arrangements, but school districts don’t.

Members of the Board of Ed say that increasing enrollment from the developments puts pressure on expenses, particularly staffing, and makes it difficult to budget under the state-mandated 2% cap.

Board member, Beth Daugherty said that she wanted the district administration to prepare a report that shows the number of students per residential development in South Orange and Maplewood and whether those properties are paying a PILOT vs. being on the tax rolls. Many Board members have stated that they really have to look at all potential revenue sources and not just keep cutting expenses to balance their budgets.

Summit Restaurant Week

















YUM, Check out the wide selection of quality food in Summit from February 20 – March 8th

Click to access Participant%20Listing%20Flyer.pdf



Birds of Prey

I’d like to attend, but this time slot usually competes with my open houses.

In my next life, I’d like to be an eagle.  I often dreamed of flying as a child, but haven’t had one of those dreams in awhile.







Maplewood Annual Chocolate Walk

chocolate | Format | Maplewood Village

Chocolate! Need I say more.


participating shops

Salvage Style
No. 165
Perch Home
The Tenth Muse
Madeline Moss
Village Trattoria serving Nutella Pizza
Matters Magazine
Maplewood Deli and Grille
Alchemy Hour
Words Bookstore
Mona Lisa Framing
The Able Baker
Arturo’s Osteria & Pizzeria
St. James’s Gate
Shenanigan’s Toys