By Jessica Vasquez
For some weeks now, there has been a group dedicated to spreading the word on talk of a new development in Mahwah, NJ. They call themselves "Stop Mahwah Mall" and the name says it all. While the idea may have teens and mall workers anxious, this plan is rubbing Mahwah residents the wrong way.
From afar, building a new mall in these times seems like an easy decision. More stores in the area means more money going back into the economy, right? Unfortunately, that is a very small point and not proven at all. Instead, the greatest concern is the negative effects such a building would bring to Mahwah.
The site for the plan is located at an intersection of Route 17 and Route 287. Other than a mall, the space would also be developed into office spaces. What does this mean for the area? More traffic, more pollution, and the speculation of more crime. Also, the site is flood prone; resident know this for certain as they have experienced it firsthand. Mahwah residents argue that this plan would decrease the value of their homes, as well. In these times, we can use all the value we can get.
The representative of Mahwah Council were voted by the people, but in this case, they are not giving the people what they want. At a council meeting on Thursday, March 31 over 400 concerned residents were in attendance. When the floor was open to comments and questions, a line wrapped around the already crowded room. Several reasons were given to vote against the building plan. Those at the deciding table were urge to "do the right thing."
Councilmen declare that the project will give back to the community down the road and it will take some patience and sacrifice in the meantime. Residents are not having it, though. They are looking into the instant, not the distant, possible future.
When it came down to it, the plan was approved 4-2. It's no surprise that this surprised the residents. They shouted their disgust, and questioned their representatives. There was mention of hiring a lawyer to file a lawsuit against the township.
This story can be followed on the protesting group's webpage which is updated periodically: