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West Caldwell Gets Tough on Property Maintenance

Both residential and commercial businesses addressed in amended ordinance.

West Caldwell’s amended property maintenance ordinance has more “teeth,” Councilman Thomas O'Hern said at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

According to the ordinance, the township can now take action on a property at the owner’s expense if the owner does not address violations within 10-days of being notified.

While “99 percent” of property owners address concerns brought up by the township, Councilman O’Hern, Chairman of the Public Works Committee, said the revised ordinance is for the remaining one percent.

If a property owner does not "cut, remove or otherwise abate brush, weeds, or other plant life, obnoxious growth, filth, garbage, trash, refuse, or debris" within a 10-day period from the time of notification, the ordinance states, West Caldwell will order the clean up by either the Department of Public Works (DPW) or a private contractor at the owner's expense.

During a public hearing on the amended ordinance, West Caldwell resident Peter Stricker said he was pleased to have the revised ordinance.

Stricker, a resident of Johnson Avenue, said one of his neighbors has turned his front yard into a "junkyard" complete with rundown equipment and gasoline containers, creating what he called a safety hazard.

Deserted Business Along Bloomfield Avenue

The amended property maintenance ordinance covers residential as well as commercial properties.

West Caldwell resident Ann Adams called the area around the deserted Executive Car site on Bloomfield Ave "a mess".

Adams made her remarks during a public hearing on an in West Caldwell's business districts. 

West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta and members of the council acknowledged Adams' concerns, noting the town is hoping to have that area zoned for new business.

Tempesta also said it is "no secret" the owner of the ShopRite on Passaic Avenue has purchased property on Bloomfield Avenue, including the Justus Buick site and the former Chevron gas station.

While no plans for construction of a new have been submitted yet, Tempesta is "confident [ShopRite owner Ned] Gladstein will pursue this."

Last year, Gladstein requested the town declare this strip of Bloomfield Avenue an "".  

Tempesta also reported several businesses have expressed interest in the former , according to the building's owner. 

Memorial Park Renovations Update

In response to residents' concerns about the planned installation of lights at , Councilman Dominick Aiello, Chairman of the Recreation Committee, reported the contractor will present the design features at the Tuesday, Sept. 18 council meeting. Lights will be installed for both the baseball fields and the tennis courts at .

Tom DePrenda August 10, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Great news if it is enforced. Does anyone know if Caldwell has an ordinance like this? There are a few two-families rentals on my street that I would love the town to enforce an ordinance like this.
Alex August 12, 2012 at 02:28 AM
More freedom taken away by NJ's increasingly authoritarian busybody local governments. I think it's time for me to take my tax dollars somewhere else, where the government has its priorities straight.

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