From the Record:
Oakland studies a new look for downtown
By MATTHEW VAN DUSEN
Mayor John Szabo hopes the journey to a better downtown, where people leave their condos to stroll into boutiques and sip coffee at outdoor cafes, officially starts today.
That’s when the Planning Board will vote on adding the Central Business District Study and Plan to the borough’s Master Plan.
The downtown plan proposes turning 50 acres around Ramapo Valley Road between Oak Street to Franklin Avenue into a pedestrian-friendly shopping area, with consistent architecture and 154 condominiums that would satisfy affordable housing requirements and thus save rural or sensitive areas from development.
The plan also calls for buildings with shops at street level and condos above, decorative streetlights and a road extension that redirects traffic on Oakland Avenue through Terhune Street to Ramapo Valley Road.
“People are looking for that hometown feel,” said Szabo, the planning director for the township of Wayne. “They want to shop close to home. They don’t want to go to Macy’s or Wal-Mart.”