WEST CALDWELL, NJ — On a first reading earlier this week, members of the West Caldwell Township Council unanimously approved an ordinance to amend and supplement the township zoning code by adding a new subsection entitled “Steep Slopes.”

According to the governing body, the purpose of the section is to provide definition to “steep slope,” which means 15 percent or greater than the horizontal plane and to establish a requirement for all site-plan and subdivision applications to be accompanied by a steep-slope analysis. 

The intent of the amendment is to “regulate the construction of buildings, roads and other impervious surfaces, the removal of vegetative cover, the disturbance of soil and the intensity of use in the areas.” A second reading will be held during the next township council meeting.

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In other news, Council President Joseph Cecere announced that the library board has determined that the area devoted to DVDs is underutilized. There are now plans to remove the current set up and create a lounge area with seating, he said.

Councilman Stephen Wolsky reported that the annual Wrensch Park clean up will take place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. All residents are invited to attend. Wolsky thanked James Haas for his commitment to the project.

Wolsky also offered congratulations to the West Caldwell Police Department for their “quick apprehension” following a recent attempted break-in. He noted that newer cars have the ability to pre-program an autolock and urged residents to utilize this function.

Mayor Joseph Tempesta also spoke on this subject, urging residents to keep their cars locked and not to leave key-fobs in an unopened car.  The mayor also suggested that a social media “blast” be directed to the community, stating that the township “can appeal to residents to lock their doors.”

“The amount of police manpower for investigations can be curtailed by residents keeping their automobiles locked,” he said.   

Councilman Michael Doctoroff stated that the Department of Public Works (DPW) had a slight slow down on the water main project on Ravine Avenue, but that it should be completed shortly. The DPW is working with the recreation department to install a new playground set at Francisco Park, he added.

Councilwoman Kathy Canale reminded residents that the 18th Annual Halloween Parade will take place at Grover Cleveland Park on Pond House Field on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., and the parade begins at 10:15 a.m. There will be a haunted house, train ride, crafts, games, a toddler maze and a Dragon Egg Hunt.

Acting Police Chief Dennis Capriglione invited the public to participate as the West Caldwell Police Department hosts a “Trunk or Treat” at Cedar Street Pool on October 30th from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.  Admission is free and there will be candy, games and music.  If you are interested in entering your vehicle, please contact the West Caldwell Police Department at 973-226-4114.

Township Clerk Mary Donovan informed the public that the process of early voting for the upcoming election on Nov. 5 has begun. Those who have not requested or received an absentee ballot but are unable to vote at the polls on Election Day are able to vote early at the South Mountain Recreation Center’s Education Building, located at 560 Northfield Avenue in West Orange. Call 973-621-4920 for more information and the schedule.

The next township council meeting will be held on Nov. 12.