Government

Ordinances Tighten Codes in Woodland Park For Housing, Yard Maintenance, Trash Cans

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Ordinance 17-18 notes that "vegetation along the public right-of-way shall be kept form becoming a hazard to pedestrians and motorists."
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WOODLAND PARK, NJ - The Woodland Park Mayor and Council introduced four ordinances at its July 19 meeting aimed at putting forth more stringent regulations on local code.

“We’ve tried to tighten it up before,” said Mayor Keith Kazmark. “This is another step forward.”

The ordinances committee along with Allan Burghardt, code enforcement officer, looked at what needed to be done to maintain the properties in town, Kazmark said.

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“In driving around, I have noticed a little bit of a decline in the residential maintenance of properties,” he noted, adding that unkempt properties have an effect on aesthetics and property values.

Following the retirement of long-time code enforcement officer Felix Esposito earlier this year, a shared service agreement was made with the Borough of Totowa to share Burghardt's services with Woodland Park.

The following ordinances were introduced and will be up for final adoption at the council’s Aug. 16 meeting.

  • Ordinance 17-14 will amend the illegal dwellings code within the borough, in an effort to further get rid of illegal dwellings in town.
    “Family” is added and defined as “a married couple, their children (natural or adopted) and the mother and/or father of the married couple; a single person, his or her children (natural or adopted) and his or her mother and/or father/ or two individuals whose relationship is of a permanent and domestic character, their children (natural or adopted) and the mother and/or father of either or both individuals.”
    The definition of “kitchen” is replaced with: “any space containing any of the following: plumbing fixtures such as sinks and wet bars, any counter tops, cabinets, microwave oven, stove or hot plates.”
    And a new section, ”Room Usage” states: “(1) Basements in all zones shall be open and undivided except for utility rooms, laundry rooms and incidental storage rooms. 2) Kitchen, wet bars or cooking facilities shall not be permitted in any basement which contains bathroom facilities, separate rooms or entrances from the exterior. 3) Bathroom facilities shall not be permitted in any basement which also contains cooking facilities, entrances form the exterior or separate rooms.”
    Finally, “Metering Devices” is added and states that "1) Only one electric and/or gas service including metering devices shall be allowed for each permitted dwelling unit. 2) A house meter or service shall be allowed for common areas of two family and multiple family dwellings, with the service shall not exceed 30 amps.”
  • Ordinance 17-18 will amend “Maintenance, Exterior of Premises, Landscaping” code to provide more specific requirements for front lawns and patios.
    Landscape features other than lawn shall not exceed 50% of the front yard area. The lawn shall be located adjacent to the public right of way. Fifty percent of all required pervious area within a lot shall be lawn. 
    Patios are not permitted within the front yard or side yard of any interior lot. Patios may be permitted within the side yard of a corner lot when properly fenced or screened.
    Premises shall be kept from becoming overgrown and/or unsightly. Vegetation along the public right-of-way shall be kept form becoming a hazard to pedestrians and motorists.
     
  • Ordinance 17-20 amends the “Certificate of Occupancy" ordinance to include certain proofs of identity required to purchase or rent residential properties in the borough.
    Sec. 2.3 is amended as follows: “All adult occupants shall present photo identifications in person to the code enforcement officer to be photocopied and kept on file. A birth certificate or similar type of identification shall be required for all children or minors showing proof of relationship.”
     
  • Ordinance 17-21 sets forth additional requirements for trash containers.
    (a) All (trash) containers must be kept in a shed, garage or stored in the side yard or rear yard of the property. No container shall be kept within the front yard setback of any home or business unless in an enclosure approved by the Planning Board or Code Enforcement Officer.
    (b) All containers shall be kept behind the front setbacks of the home.
    (c) All commercial properties shall keep their trash in approved containers and enclosures as approved by the Planning Board, the Enforcement Office or Health Inspector.”

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“Customer safety is our number one priority,” said Joe Forline, vice president of gas operations for PSE&G. “It’s important for us to conduct safety inspections like ...