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Developer Wants Zoning Change for Duplexes

Local housing developer Joe Polaco's initial plans for single family homes have been scrapped due to the borough reassessment. He is now looking to build a pair of duplexes on Park Avenue

Several months ago, Joe Polaco had intended to build a pair of 2500-square-foot houses along Park Avenue but following the borough's reassessment, those plans changed and this week has requested a conditional zoning change for that property to allow duplexes on site.

"We're asking the council to entertain an ordinance making duplex homes a conditional use in the zone," Polaco's attorney Thomas Barrett said. "The railroad is the rear boundary of the property and most of the neighboring lots are two family homes."

Polaco has proposed utiliting the 7500-square-foot property, comprised of two lots, to feature a pair of two-and-a-half story duplexes with each side of the duplex including a one car garages.

"Due to the revaluation and assessment shifting from the land to improvements, the estimated taxes for a single family home are near $20,000 per home," Barrett said. "Mr. Polaco believes he could market the duplexes at $400,000 which would generate $14,000 in taxes per home, $28,000 per lot."

"The units would be individually owned and cared for," Polaco added. "And regarding drainage, it would be put into place for a single family home should be overly adequate but would be reviewed and additional seepage pits can be added."

Necessary drainage would be a concern for the area because the property backs up a steep downgraded slope to the railroad tracks. Also any construction may have to include the installation of a retaining wall or leveling the area. The duplexes would most likely have three bedrooms and storage space behind the garage. Preliminary plans also call for a rear deck.

Cereste is expected to present a draft ordinance for the zoning change at a future council meeting. If approved, the ordinance would still require approval from the Planning Board before Polaco could begin any construction work on the site.

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TomW September 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Sign of the crazy times...$14000 in taxes for a unit with no land?! Just sloping common grounds next to the train tracks. Good luck selling this one.
RE Jumbo Jim September 27, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Guess you haven't seen the "condos/duplexes" on River Edge Road? No land either. Some people don't want any land, too much maintenance. That area beats living on Kinderkamack Rd any day. At least the trains pass by infrequently on a schedule as opposed to a constant stream of buses and cars day and night.
Chris Love September 27, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I live on that Road and let me just tell you that there are all Single Family homes except for 3 Apartment Buildings with 5 apartments each......the lot that you see is 70x110 and that is no way near a double lot.....A majority of lot sizes in River Edge are 50X100. If this builder purchased the green house next door then he will have a little extra room to maneuver, but it is Definitely not a Road that has mostly 2 family homes.....He bought the property above for next to nothing....$127,500, because the Original owners moved to Kentucky and lived in the home over 45 years....Let him do what he wants, because he is going to drop a little extra cash to someone on the Board and win the Zoning Change anyway......It is all good though, because it is forcing all the Long Time Residents of the Town to move out.....Taxes are already out of control...The Glorified School System is not that grand and after being the 3rd Generation to live in my home....It is time for me to go.......
GGT September 27, 2012 at 07:41 PM
The guy is smoking crack if he thinks he will get 400K for those duplexes on that run down block with 14K in taxes!!! I guess he did not get the memo, the housing market has crashed, and River Edge is not the be all and end all that some people once thought it was. In fact that attitude has ironically contributed to the towns decline.
Matthew Everett September 30, 2012 at 08:34 PM
They will sell, anything in Riverdell will sell. Don't kid yourself. 400K is a good number, and will likely be sold prior to completion.
Matthew Everett September 30, 2012 at 08:41 PM
True; it's called Hackensack creep, and is moving north bit by bit. I now live in FL but I do miss my hometown of River Edge, it was a great place to grow-up. But be grateful that you have such easy access to NYC. You have great food and shopping, not to mention the culture of "The City". Taxes are too high for what you receive though.

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