MAPLEWOOD, NJ – Property owners who want to put up a temporary sign such as a “for rent” sign cannot put it on the strip of land between the sidewalk and the curb under new regulations proposed by the Township Committee.

The committee voted, 5-0, to introduce an ordinance to keep signs out of the public right-of-way, which is legally defined as 10 feet from the curb to the adjacent property. A public hearing on the rule is set for March 17.

The exception to the rule is “open house” signs, which can be put up between the curb and the sidewalk or within 3 feet of the curb if there is no sidewalk. “Open house” signs can be left up between sunrise and sunset on the day of the open house. In addition, up to three directional signs can be placed at separate intersections.

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In the ordinance, the township contends that signs too close to the street create a safety hazard because “the signs tend to distract drivers and obstruct the vision of drivers.”

The ordinance was introduced without discussion. The committee also introduced the following ordinances:

  • An ordinance exempting newly constructed apartment buildings with more than four units from inspection until after two state licensing periods, since inspections also are conducted by the state. After that, rental properties are subject to inspection once every two years.
  • Two ordinances that would correct errors in the language of the regulations. One would correct discrepancies on parking rules for Jacoby Street and the other would correct discrepancies on left-hand turns from Boyden Avenue and Jacoby Street.

In other action, the committee:

  • Approved contracts for the following: purchase of diesel fuel, tires, and public safety video camera equipment and software; services including tree removal, preparation of amendments to a redevelopment plan for Maplewood Commons; and mowing of large turf areas.
  • Approved Thomas McNulty as deputy chief of the fire department and authorized hiring of Steven Cassiello and Robert M. Tretola as probationary firefighters/EMTs.
  • Appointed Dennis S. Cleary as a public defender for the township.
  • Acting as the Alcohol and Beverage Control board, approved transfer of a liquor license from Kukreja Corp., for the Boyden Pantry property, to Atul Gupta for Wine Barrel Maplewood. Gupta is looking for a location for his business.
  • Acting as the Board of Health, heard a report from health Officer Robert Roe. He noted that Associated Humane took in no stray cats or dogs during February and dealt with one dead cat.

    He said that the Furry Hearts organization has been asked to be notified when stray cats are found. “They’ve expanded into cat rescue,” he said. Furry Hearts reported placing approximately 20 cats for adoption. The organization is authorized to operate a trap-neuter-return program in Maplewood, and Roe said four feral cat colonies have been approved.