Illegal Expansion to Front of Building

Complaint - Additional photos and surveys can be seen and downloaded at the bottom of page


Mr. Christopher Hartwyk, Business Administrator. -

Mr. Marty Mayes, Director, P&D, DPW. -

Mr. Richard Wolff, Zoning Officer. -

29 North Day Street

Orange, NJ 07050



RE: Salvatore Granata, Bella Italia Restaurant

COMPLAINT SUMMARY: Remove dangerous and illegal building addition blocking the view of traffic.

Salvatore Granata made multiple fraudulent applications for zoning and building permits for building additions to the front of his bar and restaurant to be built on property he did not own or control which appears to be fraud and theft of public property.  Public property and right of way (ROW) is required for the entire length of Central Avenue and is most important at this corner because it now dangerously obstructs the view of traffic. 

Zoning and building permits were erroneously issued by the zoning and building departments probably based on the fraudulent information on the applications.

Even if he did own the property it would have been (WAS) reckless and irresponsible to allow it to be constructed blocking the view of traffic at a dangerous intersection. 

The building additions also lacked the required site plan and does not conform to the front yard setback requirement. 

The restaurant and bar building recent additions were erected in small steps several feet over the property boundaries onto public property, dangerously obstructing motorists’ views from the stop sign on South Jefferson Street at an already dangerous intersection (which is of urgent nature as it places the public in a dangerous and life-threatening situation) and if not addressed now may possibly become permanent as per time and land use laws. No site plan approval exists for the parking lots or the multiple building expansions and especially to the restaurant built over property lines in violation of multiple municipal and state requirements and site plan approval. Violations may include N.J.S.A. 40:55D-37a and 38 and others.

**Obscuring the view of traffic** Most important as multiple injury or deaths may occur.

Fraudulent application

Does not own land

Does not conform to front yard setback

No site plan or site plan approval as required by NJ, Essex County (because it is on an Essex  county road) and The City of Orange

This is a most urgent violation to remediate and demonstrates a blatant disregard of public safety and human life on this property due to the potential for and likelihood of injury and loss of life the longer the building addition remains obscuring the view of pedestrians and traffic and is not removed from public property restoring the view of motorists and pedestrians entering the intersection.

According to documents (attached) received through Open Public Records Act (OPRA) from the City of Orange Building Department, the property owner has knowingly erected a building addition in several parts to the front of the restaurant and bar over the property boundaries. The attached zoning permit clearly shows Mr. Granata knew the addition was being built several feet into the public right-of-way. The danger to all who may have been or may be injured or killed because of his irresponsibility, as well as the liability and responsibility of The City of Orange Township Zoning, Building and Law departments and Essex County Planning Board to protect the public, and to whom I have made multiple visits, phone calls and complaints and who have not responded to me or taken any action, could be immense. It is most important to consider the irreversible pain and suffering to anyone injured or killed as well as their families because of this reckless and illegal behavior. 

The entire building front of the Bella Italia Ristorante located at 535 Central Avenue at the corner of South Jefferson Street and Central Avenue has been expanded illegally several feet over the property boundaries. The latest illegal addition (Photos #7006, 7539) has been expanded several feet past the stop sign and now further blocks the view of Central Avenue traffic from motorists heading south on South Jefferson Street entering the intersection. Since this addition was built, motorists cannot see intersecting traffic without driving past the stop sign, through the crosswalk and actually entering the intersection and west bound lane of traffic of Central Avenue, (Photos# 7534, 7537). This illegal addition can easily lead to accidents and death to motorists and pedestrians by substantially obscuring their view of traffic. It also has removed the large setback that was existing and is required at this intersection to provide motorists and pedestrians a safe and unobstructed view of traffic. This setback is required for the full length of Central Avenue but most importantly at this intersection.

I spoke to and visited Mr. David Antonio, the Essex County Planning Board secretary, and together we viewed and copied county maps and went through the county permit books of the corner in question and he confirmed this boundary violation and the lack of ANY of the required Essex County permits for ANY of the building additions to the restaurant (except for a cement sidewalk in front). I also reviewed the property owners survey and zoning application (attached), which clearly shows the building was already over the property boundaries when the permits were applied for and the addition was going to be on the public sidewalk.

It would appear that improper application was made by the property owner by knowing this was not his property as per the permit application survey submitted in the first place. There has been continuing issues with the zoning officer improperly issuing permits, as well as the property owner providing false information.

I believe it is in the best interest of our community to notify anyone that has been involved in a pedestrian incident or motor vehicle accident related to this intersection in the likely event that this illegal expansion could have been a contributing if not the factor in their accident. Mr. Granata may have liability for his disregard for public safety and obscuring the view at this intersection. Victims that may have been affected by this have a right to be notified accordingly.

Thank you four assistance in this matter.

Best Regards,

David Rossi, CPP

Adjacent property owner.


Commissioner, Orange Housing Authority.

Vice Chairman, Orange Housing and Development Corp.




SurveyClean (pdf)


Survey Close (pdf)


Essex County Survey (pdf)


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