Stop high-rise developers from destroying single-family Elmora neighborhood in Elizabeth

Stop high-rise developers from destroying single-family Elmora neighborhood in Elizabeth

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Save Elmora! started this petition to Eduard Rodriguez Elizabeth NJ Mayor Bollwage and the city board of zoning adjustment

The neighborhood of Elmora in Elizabeth, NJ, like the city itself, the fourth most populous in the state, is a diverse, livable, vibrant place, thanks primarily to its residential neighborhoods, the communities that are zoned R-1 for single family homes. We are teachers in this neighborhood—and firefighters and police officers and construction workers and municipal employees and cab drivers.  Now wealthy developers from the suburbs want to break open our R-1 neighborhoods and build apartment buildings. One developer is seeking a variance to build a multi-story 32-unit apartment building on land that is available only for three or four single-family homes.  He is seeking to change the zoning  for Wyoming and Elmora to R-3.  If the city gives in to developers, then the path is open to the transformation of the Elmora neighborhood into mixed use—apartment buildings, commercial establishments, the end to the single-family homes that have been the bedrock strength of the neighborhood.  Yes, our property values will plummet once apartment buildings tower over our homes, but there is much more at stake. We who live on Wyoming Avenue already have had a taste of the future because of parking and traffic problems created by multi-units built on Westfield Avenue just a few blocks away. Residents of these apartment buildings do not have adequate parking spaces so they move their cars to our streets. But parking is far from the most serious problem. Traffic has become much worse—and the streets have grown more dangerous for the children who walk across and along Elmora Avenue to the three schools now in the dead center of the developer’s plans—Elmora School 12, a public school; St. Genevieve’s, a Catholic parochial school, and the Jewish Educational Center. Every day, I see drivers peel off from Elmora Avenue to avoid the traffic lights and race down small residential streets—many of them one-way—like Baker Place and Livingston Road. Multi-unit apartment buildings will mean more traffic, more danger to children.  And with the high-rise development will come the tearing down of old-growth deciduous trees that beautify our neighborhood. With the development of  apartment building will come walls against the sunlight. 

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