NUTLEY, NJ - Resident requests a township ordinance to be passed to forbid any type of marijuana stores in Nutley during the public comment portion of the Board of Commissioners public meeting Tuesday, July 17.

Ordinances

Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco introduced Ordinance No. 3388 to allow for handicap parking on Vine Street on the north side, beginning at a point 200 feet east of Bloomfield Avenue, east for a distance of 20 feet. A public hearing will be held during the Aug. 21 public meeting.

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A public hearing was held for Ordinance No. 3391, which was introduced by Mayor and Public Works Commissioner Joseph P. Scarpelli during the June 19 public meeting to provide reconstruction of the roadway on Harrison Street (Section 4). Grant monies appropriating $346,605 were received from the New Jersey Department of Transportation for the cost. The ordinance was passed unanimously.

Resolutions

A resolution  to approve submission of a strategic plan to apply for funding for the Nutley Municipal Alliance grant for the fiscal year 2019 in the amount of $21,780 for Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction, $5,445 in Cash Match and $16,335 for In-Kind. Funding is through the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse was passed.

Public Comment

Carol Tangorra, chairperson of the planning board, and Tammy Rossi of Nutley both questioned when the planning board’s proposal of the definition of mixed use and density would be on the Board of Commissioners public meeting agenda. Mayor Scarpelli said it should be on the agenda within the next two meetings.

Amy Celento of Nutley inquired about the cellphone/smart phone equipment use for the road and recycling department for on sight real-time reporting. Scarpelli said the department would be having training on that on July 18.

Celento furthermore inquired about the status of the litigation of the developer which she questioned during both the June 19 and July 3 meetings. She also asked for the name of the developer, which was not provided.

Township attorney Alan Genitempo clarified that there is no litigation yet with any developer in town. He could not discuss the details of the investigation of the developer since it may go through litigation. “We are trying to avoid litigation; we are still in discussions with the developer. We are still performing investigations; we have not completed it yet. ...We are acting on violations and we will act on the violations…we just haven’t completed the investigation,” he said.

Evans further clarified that the discussion is with legal counsel and could lead to litigation. “As far as filing a law suit or ligation pending, it has not progressed to that point,” he said.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci added, “I also have serious concerns of what occurred and more importantly what did not occur. …We all will weigh in what the proper remedy would be and what the proper action is to take to ensure that something like this never happens again.”

Celento likewise questioned if the construction that began on the Corner of Centre Street and Bloomfield Avenue is on hold due to a similar issue. “Buildings were demolished and now there is construction fencing with black plastic and now nothing has happened within the past two weeks. …Are we all going to have to look at what now is an eye sore,” she said.

Evans said there is a photo up by the area to show what it will look like. According to Evans the site is awaiting foundation and footing approvals from the code enforcement office.

Joan Rubino of Nutley voiced her concern about marijuana stores asking if the board has passed an ordinance yet to prohibit all types of marijuana stores in the township. 

Public Affairs Commissioner Steven L. Rogers said the board needs to make a decision about the sale of marijuana within the distance of a school. “When it comes to medical marijuana, I don’t know how much leverage we have. …Frankly I don’t like idea of it being sold anywhere, my years of law enforcement tells me that access to recreational marijuana causes a lot of problems. Young people will be able to get this stuff. We have a responsibility to at least have some control over it,” he said. “I believe in marijuana use for medical purposes,” he added.

Genitempo said once the State passes the law there will be rules on what the municipality can do within their jurisdiction. Scarpelli added, “As they move forward with the legislation there will be more clarity in what they are proposing. …It’s hard to outlaw something that [doesn’t exist yet].”

The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7.

Related story: Resident Questions Franklin Avenue Developer fines at Nutley Board of Commissioners Meeting

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