NUTLEY, NJ - The August 28 meeting of the Nutley Board of Commissioners held a very short public session before going into a lengthy executive session.
The public portion of the meeting included a citizen’s request for a ‘restriction on number of occupants per apartment’ and an explanation of density requirements by Township attorney Alan Genitempo.
Executive Session items were announced as 'Potential Property Acquisition,' 'Potential Litigation' and "Contract Negotiations."
The Nutley Board of Commissions started the meeting in the main chambers instead of the conference room as is usually protocol for public meetings. Commissioner Evans and Petracco were not present at the start of the meeting.
The first order of the public meeting was announced by Mayor Scarpelli ‘We will be going into Executive Session shortly. There are no agenda items for the meeting today; however we will have public comment.’
Nutley homeowner, Tammy Rossi expressed her concern for the number of new mixed-use developments being built in the township. Rossi stated it was her concern as well as her neighbors and others throughout town.
Rossi: “There is a burden on our town with regards to our schools, traffic congestion. Is there going to be a way to implement some type of restriction on the number of occupants per apartment?”
Mayor Scarpelli: “I think there are some legal issues with that kind of ordinance. I’ll turn it over to Mr. Genitempo.”
Alan Genitempo: “Under our current code, we don’t have a restriction other than they have to go through Zoning Board approval or a site plan approval. Zoning and Planning boards are charged with the responsibility to make sure the development is a sized property; to grant variances when they are entitled to variances. “
Genitempo continued: “We don’t have a specific what’s called a ‘density ordinance’ that limits by square foot per acre a certain number of units which can be exceeded if the Zoning Board of Adjustment allows it. Development is not black and white in terms of numbers. It never is in any town. The commissioners understand the concern; the debate is what effect it actually has on our schools.
There are a lot of issues. Hoffman LaRoche being a developers’ agreement makes it different. It’s hard to answer because it’s a general question. You and I could sit down and debate what’s right and what’s wrong. But in terms of mandating it, the town has set down guidelines. That’s my answer and it’s the best one I have.”
Mayor Scarpelli: “I thought she was talking about the number of occupants in single apartments.”
Rossi: “Yes. For example, for a one bedroom if someone were to bring in a child with them.”
Genitempo: “There are state laws on occupancy and our Zoning Board is aware of them.”
The Town Clerk advised of the reasons for transition from public to closed session as ‘contract negotiations and litigation’. Genitempo added “there may be some discussion about property acquisition also.”
Nutley Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Julie Glazer, District Business Administrator Karen Yeamans, BOE President Danny Carnicella and Board of Education members Sal Ferraro, Brenda Sherman, and Charlie Kucinski entered the conference room with the Board of Commissioners for closed session. Commissioner Petracco arrived shortly thereafter.
The published agenda listed ‘Discussion: Board of Education Finance Committee’ however it was not clear that the discussion would take place in Executive Session.
TAPinto contacted attorney Genitempo for clarification as to which of the items where part of the ‘discussion with the Board of Education Finance Committee. He stated he was only able to disclose that there were the three aforementioned items discussed in the two hour closed session.
According to Township Clerk, Eleni Pettas, the meeting concluded at 9:08 p.m.
Meeting videos here:
The next public meeting of the Board of Commissioners is Tuesday Sept 5 at 7:00 p.m. A ‘Special Meeting’ of the BOC has been publicized for Monday Sept 11tat 7:00 p.m.
The next public meeting of the Board of Education is Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. The board also has a meeting on Monday, September 11, 2017 - 6:30 p.m.