Carmen Perez, a Newkirk Avenue resident, is hoping her neighborhood gets some peace and quiet now that the township is helping her in a battle against a nearby trucking company called Lorenzo Food.
Perez said that the company, which moved to the area in 2003, has been operating its loading dock at all hours of the day and night, in alleged violation of an agreement the company made with the local Zoning Board in 2009.
“The noise is so loud that you have to keep your windows down,” she said recently, “and with the windows down still you are listening to it.”
Perez hired a lawyer, John Haig Anlian, to help in her battle with the company. Anlian sent a letter to the municipal zoning code officer, municipal Building Department, and to Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners.
And now North Bergen officials have begun to deal with the problem, according to Township Administrator Chris Pianese and Township Attorney Herbert Klitzner.
“Please be advised that the Township has received numerous complaints concerning your [alleged] violations of the terms and conditions of the Board of Adjustment approval of certain variances to you dated July 1, 2009,” said a certified letter recently written to Lorenzo Foods by Herbert Klitzner North Bergen Attorney.
“After this experience, the board is going to be very sensitive to disruption in the neighborhood.” – Herbert Klitzner, North Bergen attorney
“Please be advised that if these violations continue,” he wrote, “the Township will move immediately to see that your approval to do business is revoked.”
The issue has been ongoing, Perez claims, since 2003, when Lorenzo Foods moved to an address on Kennedy Boulevard that placed their rear loading dock adjacent to Perez’s home.
“Over the years we have suffered pollution, noises, you name it. The trucks, you can hear them a mile away,” said Perez during a 2009 Board of Adjustment meeting, according to a transcript. “We have the trucks next to the house, 24 hours, idling. I always have the consideration that he was running a business and he had a lot of people and everything, but it has gone out of control.”
When the Reporter called the company, John Lorenzo, the son of the owner, declined to comment.
Meanwhile, township officials said that the company, which has been expanding, plans to move in September anyway.
Representation and letters lead to progress
Anlian said that the 2009 zoning approval stipulated that no truck deliveries nor truck traffic would occur between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Anlian and Perez both said that Perez has had trouble keeping tenants in her two-family building because of the noise.
Anlian said that he was pleased with the response that North Bergen Township has taken in the matter.
“North Bergen has recognized what Lorenzo is doing is detrimental to the neighbors and the whole neighborhood,” he said.
“They said their business is growing and they outgrew the location and that’s why you have the trucks going in violation,” said Klitzner. “That’s not a justification for it but that’s their business reason for it. They know that no board is going to let them expand at that site in North Bergen.”
According to Pianese and Klitzner, the company has signed a new lease in Englewood for September.
“That didn’t stop us [from saying] that these violations get shut down, not in September but now,” said Klitzner. “After the experience with Lorenzos, the board is going to be very sensitive to disruption in the neighborhood. They’re not going to permit it.”
But Perez finds it hard to believe that Lorenzo will move. She said they made those same promises to her about a year ago.
Vanessa Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org