HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - What can property owners do on their property and a question of town borders became a topic of discussion at the Hasbrouck Heights Borough Council meeting last Tuesday evening.
A resident of MacArthur Avenue, Dorean Rutt, brought up an issue concerning of track of land between MacArthur Avenue in Hasbrouck Heights and West Pleasantview Avenue in Hackensack. The property, 47 feet wide by 750 feet deep, used to serve as a wooded buffer between the town streets.
However, the property was sold in March of 2017, and the ownership group, 599 Boulevard LLC, began cutting down all the trees, ruining the aesthetics of the neighborhood, and eliminating the buffer. Rutt stated that during the tree removal process, one of her trees was cut down by the owners, and she wound up filing a police report over workers climbing on the roof of her shed to clean up debris.
Initially, the owners of the property stated they were just cleaning up the property.
Rutt stated her concern that the owners of the property were planning on using the property as a parking lot/driveway for the trucking business that they ran. She stated that the stumps from the trees cut had been removed, and that paving had been done on the property. She stated that when this started last year year, she called the town, as well as Hackensack, to find out what was going on. Neither town, she stated, had permits or plans for any project.
She also noted that since neither town has a tree ordinance, the owner was able to cut the trees down without needing approval. Now the project has advanced, and paving of the cleared area has begun.
Rutt asked if this is legal, and if not, what can be done to stop it.
According to Borough Attorney Ralph Chandless, there are restrictions on what he can do for the part of the land that is in Hasbrouck Heights. The issue would be what is being done on Hasbrouck Heights property and what is being done Hackensack property. According to Chandless, there are Hasbrouck Heights regulations concerning paving setbacks, as well as the length and width of a driveway can be, specifically behind the house.
Borough Administrator Michael Kronyak stated that the town has sent inspectors there “twenty” times, but was not familiar with all the findings.
Councilman Ron Kistner requested that the Borough send over an inspector for the “21st” time and requested a written report from Chandless detailing what was being done, where it was being done, in regards to the Hasbrouck Heights and Hackensack border, and what the next steps should be. He also asked that the owner of the property be put on notice of the findings.
Rutt asked if paving had taken place improperly, what would happen. Chandless stated that the town would require him to tear up any paving done improperly that fell within Hasbrouck Heights.
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