WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve two ordinances that turn more than a dozen of the near-term recommendations made by the Mayor’s Downtown Task Force into reality.
The Westfield Planning Board, after reviewing the proposed changes, wrote a letter Monday night recommending that the council approve them.
- Makes it easier for a new business to get a parking variance without going before the planning board.
- Removes parking requirements for a business with a short-term (two-month or less) lease.
- Streamlines the approval process for renovations so that business owners spend less time going before boards for approval.
- Allows more types of businesses, such as arcades (which were banned during the 1970s) and paint-and-sips, to move in.
- Removes the need to get a variance to use basement space for something other than storage, provided the space will be used for functions ancillary to a principal permitted use on the ground floor.
- Allows for more than one tenant to share space.
- Allows walk-up windows for businesses such as pizzerias or ice cream shops.
- Excludes stair towers and elevator bulk heads from maximum building height requirements.
- Excludes decorative architectural features from maximum building height requirements.
- Allows ground-floor office use on North and South Avenues.
Ordinance 2081 eases restrictions on signage. The ordinance legalizes A-frame/sandwich board sidewalk signs, which were not previously allowed downtown, though were nevertheless in wide use.
It also sets standards for the A-frame signs, including size, location and permitting.
The ordinance also allows for window signage for a certain percentage of the window area and awning signage.