Hartz plan delayed; Seabra add-on OK’d


For the second time in the last two months, the Kearny Planning Board on April 6 put on hold a proposal by Hartz Mountain Industries for a truck repair and training facility at 435 Bergen Ave., behind the J. Supor plant.

But the planning commissioners did approve a separate application by Seabra Bros. II to expand its Schuyler Ave. supermarket by adding on a 4,524 square foot extension to the rear of the building for food storage.

Mayor Alberto Santos, a member of the board, said the commissioners were still waiting for Hartz to submit a final detailed site plan for traffic and drainage at the site, about 750 feet north of Harrison Ave.

Hartz, the designated redeveloper of a 26-acre meadows tract next to the Keegan landfill, wants to build a 51,871 square-foot industrial building on the site and lease it to Cummins Power Systems to fix diesel-powered trucks and train employees.

At a prior planning board meeting, Cummins regional manager Donald Longyhore testified that the company currently operates a similar facility on a five-acre site on Doremus Ave. in Newark but the cramped location, flooding and “heavy chemical smells” wafting over the property contribute to making it “not a great environment for our employees.”

Of some 35 potential locations checked out by Cummins, the Kearny property appears to be the best option, Lonyhore told the board.

Hartz has proposed installing a traffic signal at what would be the long driveway entrance to the new facility on Bergen to be equipped with a motion sensor that would activate a 15-second green signal for traffic heading out, thereby minimizing interruption of the normal traffic flow along Bergen.

“We want to make sure that traffic moving on to Bergen does not get in the way of the workable flow,” Santos said. Additionally, he said, for traffic enroute to the facility, turning left from Schuyler Ave. on to Harrison Ave., and then turning right from Harrison into Bergen, “we want to make sure the turning radius is adequate so it does not impact on oncoming traffic.”

Hartz is projecting the need for about 40 on-site parking spaces to accommodate employees who would be split between two shifts, one working from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and another, from 3 to 11 p.m.

Santos said the board is also expecting, at its May meeting, more information on how the applicant plans to deal with “water retention on site.”

As for the Seabra project, the board approved site plan application, including variance approvals for minimum front, side and rear yard setbacks, maximum impervious coverage, parking and size of parking stalls, conditional on revision of a design for a 4-foot-tall retaining wall along the parking lot perimeter.

With the addition to the building – which, Seabra said, will provide more storage room and will cut down delivery traffic – the owners say the store will be converting an interior food storage area to provide additional retail space and expand width of shopping aisles.

Outside, Seabra will be repaving and landscaping the existing parking lot and providing new lighting that, it says, will not intrude on nearby residences. The landscaping improvements will trim the number of spaces from 89 to 87.

As an interim measure, during the construction, Seabra customers will be permitted to use the parking lot at the adjacent Hindu Community Center.

Meanwhile, one of the Seabra brothers is reportedly looking to open what officials described as a more upscale version of the supermarket in Harrison at the site of the now-vacated Advance Auto Parts on Bergen St.

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