A group of Hillcrest neighborhood residents have filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court to stop a proposed slaughterhouse from opening on Union Avenue.
“A slaughter house is a public nuisance where not allowed by municipal ordinance,” says Michael Rubin, attorney for the five neighbors — Francisco Rivera, Adelaida Mojica, John Chowdhury, Maria Arnau, and Mohammad Ahmed — in the lawsuit.
Rubin argues slaughterhouses are not permitted in a “B-2 Community Business District” like Union Avenue. The lawsuit says the Board of Adjustment’s approval of the application allowing a slaughterhouse at 234-236 Union Avenue was “arbitrary and capricious.”
According to the application submitted to the Board of Adjustment, the building’s first floor will allow for the sale of poultry, fish, and groceries. It also includes a butcher shop, and slaughterhouse for live poultry. The proposal was approved by the Board of Adjustment on Jun. 13, 2019.
The application was submitted by the Zahan Family Business. Municipal records show the building is owned by Abu Zahan and Abu Khaled. The lawsuit names the family and the Board of Adjustment.
Residents want a judge to reverse approval of the slaughterhouse.
“We have concerns about quality of life with this type of business,” said Tony Vancheri, a longtime resident of the Hillcrest neighborhood, at the June meeting. He said these sorts of businesses come with odor and rodents that will diminish the value of homes in the area. “We’re asking the council to sit down with us and hear our concerns. We want to make it right for the whole area.”