Judge Denies TCI’s Appeal In Bid To Expand


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It’s been five years since The Children’s Institute, a school for special needs children on Sunset Avenue, filed its application with the Verona Zoning Board to expand its building and enrollment. And it’s been almost two years since the town board voted unanimously against that expansion and TCI filed an appeal in Essex County Superior Court.

On May 20, Newark Superior Court Judge Claude Coleman finally put the matter to rest, after hearing the appeal filed by the school, and the supporting brief filed by Caldwell attorney Michael Rubin on behalf of the neighborhood group, The Afterglow Association. The ruling: TCI’s appeal is denied.

Judge Coleman’s ruling supported the decision of the Zoning Board, which spent two years conducting 21 hearings on the school’s application. The board’s 2008 ruling expressed concerns about the safety of the proposed expansion, which would have doubled the size of the school. The biggest worry was the effect that increased bus traffic would have on an already dangerous intersection, the corner of Sunset and Bloomfield. There were also issues with fire safety and egress due to the longer bus queues that would form in the school’s driveway.

The Afterglow Association released this statement: “We have so much respect for the work that TCI does. However…(s)ignificantly adding to the current traffic during rush hours would create more serious safety issues and accidents.”

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Julia Martin Langan
Julia Martin Langanhttps://myveronanj.com
Julia Martin Langan moved to Verona in 1989. A long-time journalist, she has been on the staff of Money, Sports Illustrated, Bride’s and Redbook magazines. Her articles on health and parenting appear in a variety of national publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Parents, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Self and Family Circle. She and her husband Greg have three school-aged children, and are members of Our Lady of the Lake Church. You can reach Julia at [email protected].


  1. This is a shame. There is a great need for services for older children and adolescents with autism. An expansion would have helped many children, especially those in the Verona area, who must be bussed to schools that are farther away. I hope TCI looks for real estate in the area and continues their expansion.


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