Lawsuits filed over planned mega-mall

May 17, 2011 3:24:13 PM PDT
Two lawsuits in two states have been filed to stop the building of a mall at the International Crossroads in Mahwah.

The plan is ambitious: surround the Sheraton Crossroads Hotel in Mahwah with retail shops including two big box stores, a movie theatre and a second hotel.

The plan is also controversial. A mile away, across the state line in Suffern, small businesses fear the worst. In a lawsuit filed on Friday, the village claims that Mahwah did not consider the economic, environmental and traffic impacts the development would have on the New York state community.

No comment from officials in Mahwah, but the proposed crossroads town center cleared a big hurdle in March when council members voted to re-zone the area. Developers say the project would create jobs and millions in tax revenue.

Suffern Mayor Dagan LeCorte claims Mahwah's environmental study didn't take into account the impact on traffic in his village of 11-thousand residents. Flooding is also a major concern. Opponents of the plan say paving over 140 acres would worsen conditions in what is already a flood-prone area.

And there's opposition on the other side of the border. A group of Mahwah residents filed another lawsuit aimed at killing the project, which needs final approval from the planning council.

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