Monthly Archives: March 2022

Wait! They’re postponing it AGAIN?!

For details and links, tap here: https://www.chathamborough.org/meetings/meeting-documents/mayor-council-meeting/2022-mayor-council-agendas/2022-mayor-council-agendas-1/1923-03-30-2022-final-agenda/file

The postcard above appeared in Chatham mailboxes on Monday 3/28 and Tuesday 3/29. That night – on the eve of the Wednesday 3/30 Town Hall – the Mayor & Council suddenly announced that they were POSTPONING the 3/30 Town Hall AGAIN, this time claiming that “very recent developments involving POP require further review and analysis.”

Two choices

You want to spruce up Post Office Plaza and meet our affordable housing requirements?

There are essentially two ways to do it:

1) sacrifice our convenient, surface, public parking lot and let a developer build a commercial project that will turn downtown Chatham into a crowded, traffic nightmare, or else

2) satisfy the affordable housing quota by subsidizing 15 existing apartments, and pretty up POP as WE see fit, while preserving our popular surface public parking,

Which option sounds better to you? Not sure? You need to see them? Here’s what we’ve seen so far:

The developer-driven option would look something like this:

That’s best we can tell from what little has been revealed about the most recent known proposal. (Think it’s off in any way? E-mail brigidmcmenamin@msn.com.) Details at: Www.chathamchoice.org/2022/01/is-this-what-you-want-for-chatham/

The second, far more moderate option would look something like this:

Above shows a great proposal by longtime Chatham community leader Fran Drew, to make Post Office Plaza more attractive and useful without sacrificing our convenient public parking or clogging our streets with additional traffic.

Fran Drew’s proposal is a far better fit for Chatham Borough, and it complements the sensible, moderate, kind way to provide affordable housing. More information: http://chathamchoice.org/2021/07/

Is the Council even considering the sensible, moderate, kind approach to POP? The Mayor won’t say!

Will we get stuck with the developer’s choice anyway? We’ll know on April 18, when the Council votes on it!

To see the five proposals under consideration, come to a special Town Hall meeting:

Wednesday, March 30, 7:30 pm, Chatham Middle School auditorium, 480 Main Street

A step in the right direction

The Mayor has agreed to postpone the first Town Hall meeting to March 30, 7:30 pm in the Middle School auditorium. For details, tap this link:

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/chatham/sections/real-estate/articles/chatham-borough-postpones-monday-town-hall-on-post-office-plaza-sets-two-new-dates-of-wednesday-march-30-monday-april-4?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Chatham+News+Alert%3A+Chatham+Borough+Postpones+Monday+Town+Hall+on+Post+Office+Plaza%3B+Sets+Two+New+Dates+of+Wednesday%2C+March+30+%26+Monday%2C+April+4&utm_campaign=Chatham+News+Alert%3A+Chatham+Borough+Postpones+Monday+Town+Hall+on+Post+Office+Plaza%3B+Sets+Two+New+Dates+of+Wednesday%2C+March+30+++Monday%2C+April+4

That’s a good start.

Now it’s time for the Mayor to reveal the five options under consideration, so we can prepare for that Town Hall meeting. If his lawyer said it was ok to do that for the Monday 3/21 meeting, there’s no reason he can’t release the information on Monday 3/21.

The Mayor would be wise to include at least one good option – this one:

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/chatham/articles/let-s-do-the-right-thing-ce1dc053-a5c7-4cbf-805b-5f4f405864d1

That’s the perfect compliment to Fran Drew’s popular proposal:

Chatham residents are excited about this fresh idea for Post Office Plaza, conceived in 2020 by Fran Drew and Kristy Chmura and drawn by landscape architect Dimitry Levetsky, as a welcome alternative to the schemes proposed by the big Kushner developers in their bid for corporate welfare tax breaks at the expense of our little town.

http://chathamchoice.org/2021/07/

Unless we support it, we’re liable to wind up with something like this:

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/chatham/articles/it-s-time-for-smart-downtown-development-to-move-forward-in-chatham-borough-developers-post-office-plaza-design-update

Is this what you want to see in the middle of Chatham Borough?

It’s no wonder the redevelopers have proposed such horribly tin-eared designs for Chatham’s Post Office Plaza.

They’re taking their cues from an unreliable source that would sacrifice quaint Chatham to crippling overdevelopment.

Just look at the models shown at page 51 of our POP Redevelopment Plan:

https://chathamborough.org/government/documents/redevelopment-projects-documents/post-office-plaza-redevelopment-documents/1345-post-office-plaza-redevelopment-plan-04-09-2019/file

Imagine the traffic! Is that what you want for Chatham?

Tell our Mayor and Borough Council right now! https://chathamborough.org/government/mayor

Tell them you prefer something like this:

The clock is ticking. Why are we still in the dark?

What do our Mayor and Council have in mind for the Post Office Plaza overhaul that will change our town forever? Nobody knows.

They haven’t even revealed the options under consideration, and yet they expect us to discuss the five final options at a high stakes, mass public Town Hall meeting to be held in the next few weeks!

That’s something not even a professional town planner could do well.

The Mayor ought to reveal the options at this Monday’s Council meeting, so we can be prepared to discuss them at the Town Hall meeting he’s promised to hold before the end of March!

Instead, he’s planning to go into yet another back room session regarding mysterious negotiations with unknown parties.

Check out the agenda: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/chathamborough/d2d94dd7-6822-11ec-85e3-0050569183fa-913d29f1-6f3f-49bb-ae95-b01c193418d6-1647030868.pdf

Please tell the Mayor and Council that it’s time for transparency: (Contact info at: https://chathamborough.org/government/mayor)

Come to the Council meeting this Monday, March 14, 7:30 pm:

Too little, too late!

Our Mayor promises he’ll soon hold a special public meeting to lay out five options for Post Office Plaza – which the Council will then vote on at one of its regular Monday night meetings. (Start at minute 6:24.) https://chathamborough.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=75

That isn’t good enough. Now is the time to fix it.

Go to https://chathamborough.org/government/mayor.

E-mail the Mayor and Council:

  1. We need to see those five options well before that special public meeting, so we’ll have a chance to evaluate them.
  2. We need to know that among the options presented will be the one that’s best for Chatham: Satisfy our POP affordable housing quota by subsidizing 15 existing apartments. Make POP more attractive by landscaping and resurfacing the parking lot, and NOT selling, gifting, leasing, or otherwise disposing of any Borough land; or reducing the amount of free, open air, surface public parking; or building any kind of parking garage; or granting a PILOT tax break – or any other kind of corporate welfare. Why? http://chathamchoice.org/2022/02/our-little-town/
  3. With the future of Chatham at stake, we need more than one such special public meeting, something our Mayor explicitly promised on 27 January 2020. (Start at minute 13:00.) https://vimeo.com/387823706?embedded=true&source=video_title&owner=40797229