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A New Jersey developer is attempting to leverage the legal system and an affordable housing provision to override a borough’s opposition to a project.CPC Aquista filed a builder’s remedy suit late last month against the borough of Leonia and its planning board, NorthJersey.com reported; in minutes from another township, CPC Aquista is...
A New Jersey developer is attempting to leverage the legal system and an affordable housing provision to override a borough’s opposition to a project.
CPC Aquista filed a builder’s remedy suit late last month against the borough of Leonia and its planning board, NorthJersey.com reported; in minutes from another township, CPC Aquista is identified as an affiliate of Linden-based Capodagli Property Company.
The lawsuit alleges Leonia hasn’t met its affordable housing obligations and the developer should therefore be able to build its multifamily project with an affordable housing component. The 120-unit project calls for the redevelopment of two homes at 256 and 266 Grand Avenue, which CPC is in contract to purchase. Fifteen percent of the units would be affordable.
Leonia is formulating its own plan to redevelop Grand Avenue and its surrounding area. The two properties in question are in Leonia’s plan, which was prepared by H2M. The plan calls for the sites to have age-restricted multifamily housing, but caps the height of buildings at three stories.
The properties in the redevelopment zone have not been condemned and therefore can’t be acquired by the borough through eminent domain.
In a joint statement, Leonia’s mayor and planning board chair said the developer was using the lawsuit as a way to force through its proposal. They added that CPC’s proposal was “an exponential overdevelopment and not at all in keeping with the character of the community.”
Going back to the 1970s, court decisions in the state have mandated municipalities to create a “fair share” of affordable housing and get approval from the government on an affordable housing plan. Following a ruling in 2015, towns have negotiated these plans with the Fair Share Housing Center before the state Supreme Court.
CPC’s lawsuit claims Leonia’s laws and master plan fail to create enough affordable housing units. The borough’s officials rebutted the claim, saying it has adopted affordable housing plans and that the borough has been certified twice “as having satisfied its affordable housing obligations.”
That point of contention is a key part of the lawsuit. Builder’s remedy is a legal provision that allows developers to bypass local zoning to boost a state’s affordable housing production. While it has existed in New Jersey for decades, it has become more prominent in the fight between developers and municipalities in California.
— Holden Walter-Warner
Shumi in Ridgewood has been regarded as one of, if not the best, sushi restaurants in New Jersey and is now coming to Leonia. The award-winning experience opens on February 2, 2023, at 354 Broad Avenue. It will include an incredible exclusive private Omakase Room that can seat eight VIP guests.New Jerseyans have enjoyed Shumi’s omakase sushi eating experience since opening its Ridgewood doors in 2017. With owner David Seo ...
Shumi in Ridgewood has been regarded as one of, if not the best, sushi restaurants in New Jersey and is now coming to Leonia. The award-winning experience opens on February 2, 2023, at 354 Broad Avenue. It will include an incredible exclusive private Omakase Room that can seat eight VIP guests.
New Jerseyans have enjoyed Shumi’s omakase sushi eating experience since opening its Ridgewood doors in 2017. With owner David Seo featured on all the Best Sushi in NJ lists and voted NJ’s Number One Best Sushi, it is no doubt that the success will carry on in the thriving food-scene city of Leonia. Alongside David Seo is Master Chef Kunihiko Aikasa, former owner of Shumi Somerville, a true master of all things Japanese cuisine and is now in his 46th year cooking as a professional chef. Together they cut and serve the finest fish available while also creating an amiable and welcoming atmosphere where everyone feels like luxury.
“Aikasa and I are looking forward to opening in Leonia. We are excited to bring our Omakase to the thriving neighborhood and especially thrilled to offer the private room omakase dining experience in New Jersey,” says David Seo, the seasoned veteran with 21 years of Japanese cuisine under his culinary belt.
The Omakase experience is derived from the Japanese word pronounced oh-MAH-kah-say directly translates to “I’ll leave it up to you.” When you dine in this fashion, the menu is left entirely to the Chef’s choice. You will be able to enjoy a piece-by-piece multi-course meal. The private omakase room is situated at the back of the dining room and it holds a maximum of 9 people but 8 is the ideal number.
The menu in the omakase room will be totally different from the rest of the restaurant and from Ridgewood. It will include a few hot appetizers throughout the meal interspersed with the most magnificent sushi and sashimi—items like the best Hokkaido uni, Otoro, salmon belly, seared wagyu beef, monkfish liver, eel, and yellow clam just to name a few. The meal will begin with soup and Japanese custard and end with homemade ramen.
Aside from the VIP dining, the restaurant will have an open space that includes the 18-seat sushi bar, banquettes, and seating for 42, with the ability to add a few more tables as needed, making the new restaurant much larger than the Ridgewood location. The menu in the main dining room is more similar to the original location.
Shumi’s Omakase room will elevate the sushi game in New Jersey, creating a higher level of experience that is rare in the state. The new addition to Leonia will make every customer feel special and lavish. This delicious tasting experience is the perfect spot for sushi lovers and will be the icing on the cake for Japanese cuisine in New Jersey.
One popular sushi spot that carved its place in downtown Ridgewood's bustling restaurant scene is bringing its well-known omakase experience to a new Bergen County location, so get ready to take your palate on an adventure.Shumi Japanese Cuisine is expanding its unique, fresh fish offerings and opening new doors in Leonia on February 2. While guests can expect much of the same sushi and entree offerings from the Ridgewood location, Shumi Leonia is adding some ...
One popular sushi spot that carved its place in downtown Ridgewood's bustling restaurant scene is bringing its well-known omakase experience to a new Bergen County location, so get ready to take your palate on an adventure.
Shumi Japanese Cuisine is expanding its unique, fresh fish offerings and opening new doors in Leonia on February 2. While guests can expect much of the same sushi and entree offerings from the Ridgewood location, Shumi Leonia is adding some unique suprises and exclusive dining opportunities.
To begin, the award-winning restaurant is sharing its general menu reflective of Ridgewood's. Appetizers include go-tos like shumai and tempura, along with unique items like Otoro Salad (grilled blue fin tuna belly) and salmon mozzarella. Entreés feature standard — yet delicious — teriyaki choices, while rolls like the lobster roll and Shumi roll (think: spicy tuna, caramelized spicy mayo, eel sauce, ebi, and crunch) are beautifully wrapped and served. Noodle lovers will enjoy their flavorful Ramen options including Miso and Soy Sauce.
The magic and mystery, however, lie in Shumi Leonia's new private omakase room that can seat up to nine people. The menu will be a departure from its sister spot, while serving chef's choice of the freshes fish and ingredients. Hot appetizers like seared wagu beef will be enjoyed throughout, along with sushi and sashimi including Hokkaido uni, Otoro salmon belly, monkfish liver, and yellow clam. The omakase experience is sandwiched between a starter course of soup and Japanese custard, and the final course of ramen. This VIP experience perfected by owner David Seo and Master Chef Kunihiko Aikasa aims to make every guest feel special while tickling your taste buds.
The sleek, modern design of the upscale open dining room includes an 18-person sushi bar, plus tables to seat about 42 (with the ability to accommodate a few more tables if the need arises). You'll be surrounded by a bright yet simplistic design that offers plenty of room — much more than the current Ridgewood space — without feeling cramped or crowded.
As the opening date for Shumi in Leonia quickly approaches, snag your reservation as they're sure to fill up quickly.
354 Broad Ave., Leonia
2-minute readLEONIA — Nearly four months after Bergen County pledged to form a committee to discuss revising a controversial plan for a great lawn on an undeveloped section of Overpeck Park, borough officials have heard nothing further, so they've asked for a meeting to give their input on the project.A letter sent to Leonia Mayor Judah Zeigler from Thomas Duch, the county administrator, in late October outlined the ...
LEONIA — Nearly four months after Bergen County pledged to form a committee to discuss revising a controversial plan for a great lawn on an undeveloped section of Overpeck Park, borough officials have heard nothing further, so they've asked for a meeting to give their input on the project.
A letter sent to Leonia Mayor Judah Zeigler from Thomas Duch, the county administrator, in late October outlined the county’s plan to form a committee to “determine the ultimate course of park development,” at the section of the park known as Area Four.
But since that letter, Leonia officials said, they have not received an update on when the committee will be formed or who would be on it. With spring a month away, they say they are eager to work with the county on a plan.
“The county executive did make the commitment publicly, and I have no doubt he will honor his commitment,” Zeigler said. “This has been a longstanding concern of Leonia and I think all the municipalities in this area. The county has not really involved us in its planning.”
Leonia and four neighboring municipalities gave the county the land to form Overpeck Park decades ago. The land had been used for years as a landfill. Area Four is one of the last undeveloped parts of the park, and until recently it was filled with trees and wildlife.
But last spring, workers took down more than 100 trees there as part of the work to cap and remediate the land. The felling of the trees during the height of nesting season for many birds — and a plan to develop the area with a great lawn and walking paths — sparked criticism from residents and environmental groups, who urged the county to preserve the area as natural open space.
County officials had defended the plan, which they said was conceptual, and said it would provide the public access to what was an underused part of the park.
Leonia NJ to Bergen County: 'Hit the pause button' on controversial Overpeck Park project
The county’s letter in October promising to form a committee was in response to a resolution adopted by the Leonia Borough Council, as public anger over the project grew. The measure called for the county to suspend work on the project until a meeting could be held to present plans and hear public opinion on the future of the site.
Last month Zeigler sent a letter to County Executive Jim Tedesco asking for the committee to convene before the end of March and then meet regularly to assist “representatives from Bergen County by providing design input, in order to arrive at the best possible holistic plan for Overpeck Park.”
He suggested the committee include himself, a council member, members of the borough’s environmental and shade tree commissions, and representatives from the other municipalities that donated land.
“We gave them the land decades ago for use as parkland, and we want to make sure the planning is consistent with what we want for our municipality,” he said. “We want to raise concerns before they happen. There’s not much you can do after 100 trees are cut down.”
Signs opposing the project still decorate borough yards, and a petition calling for the county to restore the area as a wooded habitat for birds and other wildlife continues to gain signatures, said Bill Ziegler, a borough councilman.
"I think it’s very important the county respond to the borough’s letter and that we address the concerns of the more than 1,700 people who signed the petition. The sooner the better,” he said.
Representatives from the county did not respond to requests for comment.
Christoph Hesterbrink, who was the chair of the Leonia Environmental Commission until he joined the council last month, said while he understands that the environmental work will take some time, there needs to be more transparency as the project moves forward.
“This is not adversarial. We just want to collaborate,” he said. “We just don’t want to be presented with a plan and have no input.”
(LEONIA, NJ) -- Sculpture for Leonia had a busy year installing interesting outdoor sculptures throughout Leonia, enriching life in the artsy town. New installations included Thunderhoof by Dave Channon, Springtime by Brian Wohrman, and Steel Saguoro by Joe Chirchirillo. Two existing sculptures were moved to the Borough Hall area to enhance a delightful eatery in the alleyway. The arts organization ended 2022 with the m...
(LEONIA, NJ) -- Sculpture for Leonia had a busy year installing interesting outdoor sculptures throughout Leonia, enriching life in the artsy town. New installations included Thunderhoof by Dave Channon, Springtime by Brian Wohrman, and Steel Saguoro by Joe Chirchirillo. Two existing sculptures were moved to the Borough Hall area to enhance a delightful eatery in the alleyway. The arts organization ended 2022 with the major addition of Peace, Love and Happiness, a trio of giant emojis, by Scott Gerber.
Peace, Love and Happiness is prominently displayed at Station Parkway off Fort Lee Road, an area that is frequently viewed by both residents and non-residents. The sculpture was originally designed for and exhibited at the Seaport in New York City. Scott Gerber created the piece to bring people together to heal through art. The emojis remind us to be hopeful and charitable. The “Peace Sign” encourages viewers to instill calm in themselves; the “Heart” asks them to spread kindness and love to those in need; and the “Smiley Face” shows them the happiness and optimism they should share with others.
Dave Channon’s Thunderhoof was placed adjacent to a municipal parking lot on Elm Place. This horse figure is made of upcycled materials. The artist calls the piece “scrapture,” which he describes as “an ecstatic non-static sculpture fashioned from scrap metal. Satirical. Dynamically imbalanced engineering applied to antique steel implements with shapes that inspire visions. Recycled, repurposed, welded and bolted together. They move with the wind.”
Thunderhoof by Dave Channon
Springtime by Brian Wohrman was installed at The Erika & David Boyd Sculpture Garden, which is the center of the sculpture collection, located at Broad Avenue and Beechwood Place. Wohrman explains Springtime represents a “koi fish emerging from hibernation in the spring and symbolizes renewal in the everchanging circle of life. It is made from upcycled horseshoes which have left their own impressions throughout their lifespan.”
Springtime by Brian Wohrman
Steel Saguoro by Joe Chirchirillo, featured along a retail area of Broad Avenue, is an abstract piece inspired by nature. Chirchirillo tells us, “Over the course of my career I have been concerned with creating work that is drawn from elements found in nature and the mechanical world. My hope is to highlight the similarities and differences of our experiences in the world by creating a “false nature” or nature re-created. I am interested in finding architectural order emerging from nature and translating that into sculpture.”
Steel Saguoro by Joe Chirchirillo
A pleasant new outdoor public dining area next to Borough Hall – called “SoLeil Alleyway Eatery” – was recently created by the town. To add visual interest to the spot, Sculpture for Leonia relocated two sculptures there – Abstract Sophisti Cat by Herrat Sommerhoff and Corn Fields by Susan Buroker. The colorful fiberglass Abstract Sophisti Cat stands in front of Borough Hall, welcoming visitors. Corn Fields is part of the dining area, which is fitting since the sculpture was inspired by the evolution of corn, a major food staple. Inside the Borough Hall building is Ulla Novina’s Ancient Vessel, which was generously donated to the town. Novina writes of her work, “My sculptures are expressions of my love of and my identification with the stone.”
Sculpture for Leonia is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization established in 2006 with the purpose of enhancing the historically rich art and cultural environment in Leonia through the display of outdoor sculpture. The exhibition is centered in The Erika & David Boyd Sculpture Garden, located at Broad Avenue and Beechwood Place in Leonia, New Jersey, with other locations throughout the town and showcases more than 50 sculptures by artists who provide their pieces on loan for the enrichment of the community.