News in brief


He is still seeking approvals to expand his residential project at Bergen and Schuyler Aves. in Kearny but in the meantime, the town’s governing body has taken the first step to grant Ed Russo a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxation) for 311-337 Bergen Ave., which is designated as part of an area in need of redevelopment.

Under the proposed 30-year PILOT agreement, Russo would pay the town an annual “service charge” starting at $179,375 (of which the town would receive $170,406 and the county the rest) and escalating over the 30 years, provide a one-time only affordable housing trust fund contribution of $125,000 and repave a section of Bergen, from Schuyler to the railroad trestle.

Town officials listed the current real estate taxes on the properties, now occupied by commercial tenants, as $57,476, of which the town’s share is $20,116.

A public hearing on an ordinance proposing the PILOT, that was introduced Feb. 10, was up for adoption Feb. 24 and the town Planning Board will continue hearing testimony on the proposed expansion project on March 4.


Canine advocates have pressed for lights and municipal staff to clean the grounds and monitor dogs’ behavior for the soon-to-come Kearny dog park in Riverbank Park but they’ll be disappointed.

But Councilwoman Carol Jean Doyle said the town can’t afford to hire any additional staff, nor does it want to illuminate the facility since municipal parks close at dusk.

These and other recommendations were made at a recent meeting called by Doyle to give the public one final chance for input on the design for the facility. Neglia Engineering is finalizing bid specifications for the project for which the town has been awarded $175,000 from the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund.

“People want the fence [around the area where unleashed dogs can run] to be higher than four feet and it will be,” Doyle said, “but we don’t want it to look like cages.”

Other park features will include two pooper scooper stations “with individual plastic bag dispensers,” one for the area to enclose smaller dogs up to 35 pounds and another for the area reserved for dogs heavier than 35 pounds, plus trash cans, Doyle said.

“There will be a concrete path to accommodate wheelchairs and two parking spaces dedicated to impaired drivers,” she said. “There are also plans to plant about six more trees.”

“Shovels should be in the ground by the spring,” Doyle predicted.


After six days of hearings spread over five months, the Nutley Zoning Board of Adjustment has finally approved plans for a mixed-use development at the intersection of Passaic and Kingsland Aves. and Kingsland St. where a 7-Eleven was to be built before plans fell through.

Last month, after the applicant twice scaled back his design, the board issued approvals for North American Eagle Construction to tear down a fire-damaged 3-family house, an old gas station and a one-family home in disrepair and build a 3-story structure with 600 square feet of ground-level office space and 25 rental apartments above.

Final plans call for three one-bedroom apartments on the ground/plaza level, 14 one-bedroom units on the second floor and eight one-bedrooms on the third floor. No more than three school-age children are projected to be among the residents. Apartments will range from 660 to 1,130 square feet each. A total of 41 parking spaces – one more than required by code – will be provided.

Existing multiple driveways to and from the project site will be consolidated into one to be located more than 100 feet from the intersection and at least 16 evergreen trees and/or shrubs will be planted to cover the entire west side of the site.

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