WESTFIELD, NJ — Health Department regulations and other local laws — including those pertaining to felines — are now accessible through a searchable system on the municipal website, the town has announced.

The Westfield Health Department’s regulations are among those which have been transferred to the electronic code system, known as eCode, according to the town website. They can be found here. Under the code, a “cattery” is defined as follows: “Any room or group of rooms, cage or exhibition pen, not part of a kennel, where cats for sale are kept or displayed.”

The regulations do not require felines held in a cattery to be vaccinated.

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 In addition, pet shops in Westfield can only sell dogs and cats obtained from animal shelters or rescue organizations. That provision follows the Town Council's decision last year to ban the sale of pets from puppy and kitten mills.

Local regulations also require pet owners to pick up their pooches’ poop and allows the municipality to fine any person who fails to pick up his or her canine’s feces plopped in the wrong spot. It's a $100 fine.

What else is in the Westfield town code?

Recently updated regulations allow for the establishment of microbreweries in parts of the town. The code contains details on fines for contractors who violate municipal land use laws.

The local laws prohibit dancing at restaurants. Dancing shall be done in a “dance hall,” the code states. And while there is no alcohol allowed in dance halls, there must be water — cold water. The law requires it. “The licensee shall provide, throughout the whole period of dancing, an adequate supply of pure cold water in an accessible place,” the code states.

While the town code was previously accessible on the municipality’s website, it was not before easily searchable as it is with the implementation of the eCode, officials have said. While new to Westfield, searchable online codes are not new to New Jersey. Union, Clark and Springfield are among the nearby municipalities that use eCode.

Tax Talk

Town officials learned of the searchable town code during a talk on the municipal budget held in March. Funding for eCode and other improvements to the town website comprise one portion of the municipality’s $49.33 million spending plan introduced last month.

Read more about the budget here, here and here. The spending plan keeps municipal taxes flat, officials said.

The municipality will hold a public hearing on the spending plan Tuesday, April 23, at 8 p.m. at the Town Hall, 425 East Broad St. The council is anticipated to vote on the budget’s final approval then.

Under the spending plan, the owner of a home assessed at the new town average of $795,159 would pay $2,695.58 in municipal taxes on a proposed municipal tax rate of $0.339 per $100 of assessed valuation, the town administrator said previously.

A copy of the budget presentation is posted here on the municipal website. A copy of the introduced budget is posted here on the town website.

Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh

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Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh