There are more developments planned on Valley all the way down to Roland. The newest proposed project at 320 Valley calls for 22 units with one retail spot available. Proposal sketch above and current photo far above. All this on a plot that currently only has ONE two-family home – the blue home pictured above.
There are many trees and shrubs (pictured) which give the area respite from the bustle of Valley St. It would appear that the developers will build all the way down to Valley St. for the retail spot which would eliminate the greenery. Ora Manor is immediately to the south (not pictured) and extends to the street., so current zoning shows that the proposal is ‘conforming’, but just because it’s conforming doesn’t mean 22 units are good for the residents of the area. There are still vacancies in retail on South Orange Ave. and Valley and I believe that an organic style of retail/restaurant resurgence that residents crave will occur where rents are (were) low (Walnut St., Montclair) not where developers will be charging high rents which will most likely only attract boring chain, franchise type retail instead of more appealing, original or mom & pop style shops.
This development will probably be discussed in much more detail at the next planning board meeting in October. Perhaps the developers can scale down the project to 12 units and leave some of the greenery there.
David Kraiker of Nextdoor Academy Heights made me aware of this particular development and is involved in many Academy Heights area issues. If you live between Prospect and Valley and between South Orange Ave and Parker, join Academy Heights on Nextdoor.com.