EAST HANOVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey homeowners are furious over a proposal to build an industrial warehouse in their neighborhood.

The property is on the border of where homes meet businesses in East Hanover and the owner wants to push his land from residential zoning to industrial. The owner must argue that his case would benefit the community, but right now it has the neighborhood divided, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.

Where six-figure homes meet the train tracks is 8 Merry Lane; 2.5 acres that currently store its owners construction gear on the grass. But Michael Zecca wants to build a 20,000-square-foot warehouse where small contractors like himself can store equipment.

“It’s a private road. There’s nothing but tension towers, railroad tracks, all industrial — it certainly does not look like a residential area,” Zecca said.

But it is a residential area, or at least that’s how it’s zoned. Zecca has to apply for industrial zoning in order to build it. Neighbors said a warehouse in their backyard is a nightmare.

“Quality of life, resale value … we got a pool, we wanna have parties. We gotta worry about truck fumes, noise, whoever is coming in and out of that property. You just don’t know,” concerned resident Will Kubofcik said.

“If I had known that was going to happen I wouldn’t have bought a house here,” another resident said.

Zecca said neighbors will not feel a difference. He insists there will be no fumes and that tractor trailers would not even fit in his proposed lot.

“I would never propose that. If I lived here I wouldn’t want chemicals either, I’d fight that also,” he said.

On Tuesday evening, the land use board will hear testimonial from Zecca and the accusations of his neighbors.

“They’re talking about tractor trailers, 24-hour operation, seven days a week manufacturing toxic chemicals being stored there. I don’t think that’s gonna be the case, but we’ll find out tonight,” William Salemme, East Hanover Land Use Planning Board chairman, said.

The land use board said they will be hearing testimonial from architects and designers and weigh all the information before they vote but the chairman predicts there will be so much information to take into account that a vote could be postponed.


Leave a Reply