Government

Residents Raise Concerns about Mixed Use Definition, Lighting at Nutley Commission Meeting

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NUTLEY, NJ - Franklin Avenue’s lighting and Green Acres policy were among the questions raised during the public comment portion of the Nutley Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, May 1.

Nutley resident Glenn Wallace said Franklin Avenue between Centre and Chestnut streets there are 31 light poles with one or two light bulbs. According to Wallace 41 are out; about 70 percent he said.

Mayor and Public Works Commissioner Joseph P. Scarpelli said that PSE&G handles the light bulbs. He said he would send a township employee to check them and contact PSE&G.

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Joan Rubino of Nutley questioned the hour and half wait before the public portion of the commission meeting started. The board of commissioners meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the conference room, which is open to the public, then they often go directly into executive session. Executive sessions are closed to the public and press.

Rubino suggested the commissioners begin their meeting at 5 p.m. Rubino said some people left due to the long wait time. She said people believe it’s because the commissioners don’t want them at the meetings.

Resident Rory Moore agreed with Rubino and suggested they hold their executive session the day before the meeting.

Scarpelli said sometimes they have to have a discussion before they can start the business they have in front of them.

Carmine Alessio of Nutley expressed his feelings about the gate being closed at Monsignor Owens Park entrance from the parks department that leads up to the back parking lot. He said he followed the Green Acres development and he claims in order to be approved for the state funding the gate is to remain open.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci corrected him. Township attorney Alan Genitempo clarified that initially Green Acres wanted the gate open. Genitempo said, “We explained to them about the vandalism in the park and need to secure the park and the illegal dumping that was going on and they ended up agreeing with us and we can close the gate.”

Tucci provided documentation from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection that the township was ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance with Green Acres. Tucci said if someone needs access to the lot at the park they can make a call and someone could help them.

Alessio said he is upset with this roadway closure because, instead of people parking there for the softball games and other activities, they park across the way on East Centre Street where he lives, causing congestion.

Tucci said he would speak to Frank DeMaio, director of recreation to see if there is anything they can do to try to alleviate some of the parking issues on East Centre Street. According to Tucci, there are no compliance issues.

Alessio insisted the gate to the public park has to remain open. Tucci said he has support from the state keep the gate to the park’s lot closed. “The state came and they visited several times […] and the state is in agreement with us and they allow us to keep that gate closed. Because it is in fact a problem and does in fact cost the town money when people dump up there and leave abandoned cars up there, tires and everything else. It’s not only manpower but it’s also a disposable cost,” said Tucci.

Tammy Rossi of Nutley questioned when the board of commissioners would hold a hearing regarding the recommendations from the planning board on the definition of mixed use and density. Scarpelli said there is no date set and they had just received the letter a few days before the meeting.

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