ROSELAND, NJ — One of several ordinances passed on first and second readings during Tuesday’s Roseland Borough Council meeting was an amendment to an existing Land Development ordinance that adds definitions to “electronic smoking device,” “liquid electronic smoking solution,” “liquid electronic smoking solution container” and “vapor products”—all of which are now banned from being sold with the municipality. 

According to the ordinance as adopted, any stores that currently sell vaping products are grandfathered in, while all others will not be permitted to have these products on their shelves. Both the planning and zoning boards, which are autonomous from the borough council, reviewed the proposed amendment prior to the council vote. 

“The science speaks for itself,” said Councilwoman Eileen Fishman.  “People are dying and linking it to vaping. The FDA made a big mistake and looked away, and that is a sad commentary. But we must do our due diligence and that is what we did.”

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The council also unanimously approved an amendment to a section of the “Police Regulations” ordinance entitled “Weapons and Firearms Awareness Zones.”

The new language determines that: “No person shall, at any time, hunt for, pursue, shoot at, kill, capture, injure or destroy any wild bird, animal or fowl...except in connection with a deer management program approved by the governing body.”

Introduced on first reading was an ordinance that defines and establishes certain requirements for short-term rentals. 

According to the ordinance, the intent is to “regulate the use of single-family detached houses and apartment complexes for short-term rentals so as to ensure that such rental use does not create adverse impacts to residential neighborhoods.”

According to the council, a license will be required in order to offer a short-term rental, which will be available through the borough clerk’s office for a non-refundable fee of $500. The license is good for one year only, and the borough reserves the right to accept or reject the application.

Furthermore, a fee of $60 will be required in order to offer a dwelling for short-term rental a Certificate of Habitability from the Housing and Property Maintenance Department that will be good for 30 days. If the owner wishes to continue to extend the short-term rental beyond the 30 days, a new certificate must be obtained, according to the ordinance. Short-term rentals shall be limited to a maximum of 60 days per year. 

In other news, Mayor James Spango informed the public that he has been communicating with Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, State Senator Richard Codey and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo once again regarding the delivery of mail by the United States Postal Service.

Noting that the problem was rectified for a brief period, Spango said the lack of delivery for days has once again become an issue. The mayor is seeking an immediate fix as well as an understanding of why the once-resolved problem reverted to the same poor quality before the apparent temporary fix was implemented.

Upcoming Events and Committee Reports

Council President Chris Bardi announced that on Oct. 5 at 9:00 a.m., the municipality will rededicate the Lynn DeBell Field on Fernwood Avenue to the Mayor Louis & Lynn DeBell Field to also honor and remember Mayor Louis DeBell, who had been mayor from 1987-2002. 

Bardi also reported that the first aid squad is celebrating its 40-year anniversary in 2020 and that the administration is hoping for greater community outreach through the upcoming new website and updated television station.

Fishman reported that the recreation department is hosting a field hockey clinic for girls in grades 1-6 working with the Fairfield recreation department. The program will run for four weeks beginning Oct. 5.

Councilman Roger Freda stated that the Department of Public Works is working on compliance issues as set forth by the EPA regarding the Water Accountability Act.

Roosevelt Street sewer main will be replaced during the first two weeks of October and then paved.  There is no start date yet for the water main replacement on Crestview Court, which is also on the list. 

Freda also reported that the DPW is conducting its final branch pickup in October and encouraged residents to have all branches put out by then, as leaf collection will be underway immediately afterwards.

Councilman David Jacobs cautioned residents to be mindful of children crossing the streets, particularly as they exit out of school buses. Noting that he recently witnessed motorists driving past school buses that have their lights flashing as students exit the buses, he said, “I hope everyone who does this loses their licenses.”

Councilwoman Michelle Tolli also noted some upcoming dates of interest:

  • From Sept. 20 to Sept. 22, the Roseland Greek Festival will be held at the Saints Nicholas, Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church on Laurel Avenue.
  • Essex County Senior Wellness Day will take place at the Codey Arena in West Orange on Sept. 24. Any seniors requiring transportation should make reservations in advance through the recreation department.
  • On Oct. 4, beginning at 6:15 p.m., a bonfire will take place with a “G” rated movie beginning at 7:15 p.m. at the Harrison Avenue complex’s field. The borough recommends that participants bring their own blankets and chairs.
  • On October 22, an Octoberfest for Seniors (55+) will be held at the Brownstone for $46 per person. Registration must be made by Oct. 16 through the recreation department.
  • A “Trunk or Treat” Halloween event will take place on Oct. 26 at Noecker Elementary School with setup beginning at 10 a.m. and trick-or-treating beginning at 10:30 a.m. The Roseland Junior Women’s club will be donating prizes, but attendees are urged to bring enough candy for 150 children.

Spango closed the meeting by reminding all that the town-wide Halloween House Decorating Contest will be taking place and more information will be out shortly.

The next town council meeting will be on Oct. 15.