The withdrawal of an appeal that sought to block the construction of the 20-apartment, five-retail unit mixed-use development in Maplewood Village is official.
The Township of Maplewood and Planning Board Chair Thomas Carlson are in receipt of a letter from Richard Schkolnick of Brown Moskowitz & Kallen, the firm representing the non-profit group Village Keepers, Inc., stating, “This letter shall serve as notice that Village Keepers hereby withdraws all appeals in this matter.”
Village Keepers announced the withdrawal in a press release yesterday. Despite the notice of withdrawal, the press release took a defiant tone accusing township leaders of “steamrolling” the process and using “backroom maneuvers” and called for improvements to the approval process. The accusations were countered by Planning Board Chair Thomas Carlson who “strenuously” disagreed that the review process was “in any way improper or manipulated.”
The appeal sought to have the Township show significant financial hardship in order to demolish the existing structure of the now-vacant Maplewood Post Office in Maplewood Village. Village Keepers contended that a pre-existing ordinance required this proof, while proponents of the Post House project contended that the redevelopment plan for the site superceded such ordinances.
The Post House site plan received preliminary approval by the Planning Board at its October 13 meeting.
Read Schkolnick’s letter below: