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Old 10-17-2016, 01:09 PM
 
Location: cranford, NJ
77 posts, read 52,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyGirl415 View Post
There are signs seen around that say "Keep Cranford Quaint" and more than anything at the moment there's actually pushback from people on the north side about the finally recently approved Birchwood apartment complex that the town tried to fight in the courts for years, and finally recently lost on. The building is going up and people living in that immediate area are very unhappy. People are also angry because they just put in a 7/11 on the south side and want to put another in on the south side again, less than 2 miles from the first. A lot of residents are unhappy with the changes and depending on where new residents are coming in to live there may be some latent bitterness. Right or wrong, a lot of residents currently aren't happy with what the town is doing. There is already a strain on traffic, parking, and schools without all the new building.
They approved the birchwood apartments? I'm not happy about that.... maybe, I need more info before I can decide. I don't get it because who would want to live next to a senior citizen facility and the recycling center? they would need to be priced very inexpensively compared to the apartments that were put up near the train station to compensate for the disastrous location. How many apartments are going up... can Bloomingdale school handle it?
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:42 PM
 
9 posts, read 16,932 times
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Thanks, everyone, for your candid opinions and great info. I'm immensely grateful. I hope you'll keep it coming!

Qrysdonnell: We're not coming straight from Park Slope, but from Baltimore, where we moved for work a few years ago. We've had some great meals in Montclair, but we worry that on the whole the main part of town (on Bloomfield) is a bit...grittier? anyway, more urban than we'd like. Where we lived in Baltimore, the density and quality of food wasn't on a par with what we'd been used to, so we got used to having fewer options close by and traveling for others. But we are looking for a lower-key existence, and I'm not sure Montclair is the place for that, if for no other reason than we'd have to work our butts off (or forgo vacations) to pay those gut-wrenching taxes every year.

Janxo: Super-helpful insight for me. I lived in Hoboken for a while, years ago, and we considered Jersey City a couple years back, before we realized we needed more space, more green, and more fresh air.

Jaymoney: Don't offer if you don't mean it!

JerseyGirl415: I'd read about the Birchwood apartments and know there's concern among residents that it will worsen flooding in that area. Do you know if there's talk about other construction projects having a negative impact with respect to flooding? I know some of the houses near the water, e.g., on Mohawk Drive in Indian Village, have been tear-down affairs. Any concern about their rebuilding affecting nearby homes?
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:41 PM
 
3,304 posts, read 2,749,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyGirl415 View Post
People are also angry because they just put in a 7/11 on the south side and want to put another in on the south side again, less than 2 miles from the first.
The second 7-11 is nuts. I'm not thrilled about the empty lot there now, but a second 7-11 literally down the same road from the other is just ridiculous. I just don't see there being a market for it. That said, I'm not sure the petition is on solid ground about light pollution and traffic being issues with the Walgreen's literally across the street open until midnight...
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:09 PM
 
3,216 posts, read 3,239,372 times
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Cranford still have a lot of of house priced below 500k. If you have no kids, it would be more than enough space for both of you and a dog. Cranford is a family town, so there will be a lot of kids. We have a lot of parks and playgrounds for them (pet use them too). Almost everyone has dog here. My block is dominated by young kids and dogs.

The town is expanding and have a lot of new business in downtown. It has a train station and also bus to port authority.
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Old 10-17-2016, 05:22 PM
 
12,909 posts, read 11,530,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janxo View Post
They approved the birchwood apartments? I'm not happy about that.... maybe, I need more info before I can decide. I don't get it because who would want to live next to a senior citizen facility and the recycling center? they would need to be priced very inexpensively compared to the apartments that were put up near the train station to compensate for the disastrous location. How many apartments are going up... can Bloomingdale school handle it?
Yes the court ruled in the developer's favor. Cranford has dragged it on for YEARS.

I'm not sure how many are going up but they've put TWO new developments on the south side, can Hillside handle it? The high school? Can Cranford as a whole handle all the development? I don't think so but the township doesn't seem to care. Traffic downtown and in and out down North and South is already a mess even not at rush hour. South by the new development downtown (Starbucks, River and Rail) is always crowded. There's not enough parking downtown or at the train. NJT and PATH are crowded. Highways are crowded. In general we don't have room for all these new complexes and all the people they will bring out of the cities and into the suburb areas. Towns needs to stop building. More are going up in Westfield and Garwood as well, at least in the planning stages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djtrav View Post
JerseyGirl415: I'd read about the Birchwood apartments and know there's concern among residents that it will worsen flooding in that area. Do you know if there's talk about other construction projects having a negative impact with respect to flooding? I know some of the houses near the water, e.g., on Mohawk Drive in Indian Village, have been tear-down affairs. Any concern about their rebuilding affecting nearby homes?
I always laugh at this excuse because the South Ave and High Street complex (Starbucks, River and Rail etc) was completely underwater during Irene in 2011. It was still a construction zone and was under feet of water. They built beside the river in a flood zone then try to use flooding as an excuse to not have Birchwood. The real reason no one wants Birchwood is because people don't want apartments built by their houses on the north side. Maybe it will make flooding worse, I don't know, but when people point that out to me, I remind them that if we had another Irene flood the entire newer complex at South and High would be underwater. High Street and that complex including the back parking lot/garage actually floods minorly every time we get bad rain. So I don't buy that flooding argument for Birchwood because nobody cares when they built a whole new complex with apartments and businesses in an actual flood zone. Birchwood is not even a flood zone. It's nowhere near the river.

Indian Village actually doesn't flood. People aren't tearing their houses down, they're building them up. All those homes were little cape cods and now people are building huge additions. If you walk the woods behind Mohawk Drive (there's a trail) you'll see the ground is up high and the river is a good 10 feet below. It's high ground and it's a drop to the water. Unlike across the river, the neighborhood behind HAS, where the river is ground level. The water back there during bad floods will flood into the street, none of it floods Indian Village.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymoney View Post
The second 7-11 is nuts. I'm not thrilled about the empty lot there now, but a second 7-11 literally down the same road from the other is just ridiculous. I just don't see there being a market for it. That said, I'm not sure the petition is on solid ground about light pollution and traffic being issues with the Walgreen's literally across the street open until midnight...
I know!! We totally don't need it. There's also one right down the road in RP and another down the road in Garwood, I think both on North (well Westfield in RP). I know we have a lot of DDs but Dunkin isn't a convenience store. Coffee donuts and bagels isn't a convenience store. My only personal issue with 7/11 is that we don't need it.
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:03 PM
 
9 posts, read 16,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janxo View Post
Hubby and I moved to Cranford about 2 years ago. We are in our early 30's, no kids, one very nutty dog. We used to live in Paulus Hook (Jersey city) and were looking for something suburban that would still have that feel. Our requirements were very similar - train line with nyc access; walk-able; downtown with great restaurants.
We absolutely do not feel left out even though we don't have kids, and if that changes this will still be a great town for them to grow up in. We LOVE this town and could not recommend it enough.
Off topic, but did you know Jessie, the owner of Le Petit Temptation, is from JC, too? Awesome desserts, if you haven't been!
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:09 PM
 
9 posts, read 16,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyGirl415 View Post
Indian Village actually doesn't flood. People aren't tearing their houses down, they're building them up. All those homes were little cape cods and now people are building huge additions. If you walk the woods behind Mohawk Drive (there's a trail) you'll see the ground is up high and the river is a good 10 feet below. It's high ground and it's a drop to the water. Unlike across the river, the neighborhood behind HAS, where the river is ground level. The water back there during bad floods will flood into the street, none of it floods Indian Village.
And this is why you ask people on the ground. I tried to figure out for at least an hour via online search if the backyards on the river-facing side of Mohawk flood during storms. I've been on that trail, but it's hard to tell in a dry period of that elevation's enough to hold the river. Glad to know it is.
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:20 PM
 
9 posts, read 16,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyGirl415 View Post
Birchwood is not even a flood zone. It's nowhere near the river.
Maybe part of Birchwood's low elevation? It's on the post-Irene FEMA map, according to Cranford Pundit: http://www.cranford.com/uploads/poli...tion_Map_1.pdf
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:39 PM
 
12,909 posts, read 11,530,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djtrav View Post
And this is why you ask people on the ground. I tried to figure out for at least an hour via online search if the backyards on the river-facing side of Mohawk flood during storms. I've been on that trail, but it's hard to tell in a dry period of that elevation's enough to hold the river. Glad to know it is.
Haha yes Indian Village AFAIK has never flooded and any construction you see is just people wanting bigger houses. It's like a domino effect back there - one person did it and everyone followed. You have neighbors expanding their houses one after the other. Quite funny but the houses look great. I really like the look of that area now. But yes the area that floods is across the river - Crane Pkwy. Some houses on Crane flooded during Irene and the water came halfway down the street because if you look at the map, the river loops around that neighborhood so water came in from two different directions onto Crane, and since the Indian Village side sees decent elevation along the river bank - and it is decent - it has nowhere to go but towards the HAS neighborhood. Homes toward Hillside Avenue on Crane flooded. Crane was impassible about halfway down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djtrav View Post
Maybe part of Birchwood's low elevation? It's on the post-Irene FEMA map, according to Cranford Pundit: http://www.cranford.com/uploads/poli...tion_Map_1.pdf
I live in the same flood zone on the other side of town and my home has never flooded. I'm also in the little red line area. This updated Irene map is Cranford/the government being extra cautious due to the unprecedented flooding we saw during Irene. Birchwood is nowhere near the river - if it floods I doubt it is river water and maybe just standing water that has nowhere to go. That's a problem but when you hear "Cranford flooding" you think of the river coming up and flooding your house, not rainwater in a lower lying area and maybe poor drainage with nowhere to go - flooding from that sucks too but it's not the typical "Cranford flooding" people tell you to worry about.

Again though, I don't buy the flooding argument with Birchwood considering the South/High complex would be ruined if we had another Irene. They actually built that right beside the river with no problem then people have the nerve to complain about Birchwood because of flooding. The last thing we want is an entire row of businesses ruined by a flood and access to apartments compromised, and a flooded out parking area and definitely some flooded cars.

I'm not an engineer. Maybe Birchwood will somehow actually make flooding worse but don't think that's the only reason residents oppose it when there was no issue building right next to the river in a site that while under early stages of construction was completely underwater. The flood downtown during Irene reached Walnut Ave. Not sure how familiar you are with downtown but the popular Kilkenny House pub was destroyed. Barry the owner used to have the water line marked in the back room, I'm sure it's still there - if I recall correctly water was up the backs of the chairs - this is almost 2 blocks from the river and a block in from the South and High complex. That's a true flooding concern, a direct river flooding concern. I'm more worried about this than Birchwood in the event of another bad hurricane or noreaster.

Last edited by JerseyGirl415; 10-17-2016 at 07:49 PM..
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Old 10-18-2016, 09:51 AM
 
29 posts, read 40,730 times
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My wife and I live in Cranford with our kids and dog and we really enjoy it. The downtown is pretty decent and there are good food options with a lot going on. People in general are friendly and it's certainly a hot real estate area. Definitely a better feel than many other suburbs for people coming from a city (like we did). Our only complaint is the huge emphasis on sports that seems to be prevalent throughout the schools - but that's likely not going to affect you.

Having said that, if we didn't have kids we would prefer Maplewood/SO because there's definitely more of an arts/culture and liberal vibe than Cranford. I think as a couple with no kids you may have an easier time meeting people and making friends. Also, I'd throw in the rub that Maplewood is more worth it the closer you are to the downtown area. If you live further east in Maplewood you could find yourself as much as 2 miles from the downtown and very close to the Irvington border.
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