As I continue knocking on doors in Ward 1, a common concern keeps coming up: How do we preserve Westfield’s character in the face of teardowns?

My wife and I moved to Westfield for the historic charm and have since restored one of the oldest houses in town. One of the primary reasons people move here is for our charming neighborhoods and the architecture that reminds us of our 300 year history. 

Preserving Westfield’s charm has many benefits: 

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Economically, buyers are seeking homes with unique character and mature trees in Westfield. And by keeping our housing sizes diverse, we create options for seniors, first-time home buyers, and for our current neighbors downsizing after the kids move out. 

Culturally, preservation highlights the heritage of our community and preserves the legacy of important figures — like Charles Addams — and our proudest stories. By stewarding this “sense of place,” residents are inspired and community pride is strengthened. 

Environmentally, the impact of unnecessarily tearing down homes is unsustainable. By repurposing or restoring our existing structures, we reduce the amount of construction waste in our landfills, and abstain from using the natural resources required for new builds. Additionally, repurposing a building can create opportunities for ‘destination spots’ that drive economic growth and revenue opportunities. 

The preliminary findings of the Master Plan survey show that many residents are concerned about teardowns and subdivisions reinforcing Mayor’s Shelley Brindle’s emphasis on historic preservation. As your Ward 1 Councilman, I will support a pro-growth vision for Westfield’s future that preserves the best of our past. 

I look forward to earning your vote on Election Day November 5. Or, Early In Person at the Union County Clerk’s Office on 300 North Avenue East in Westfield which is now open! 

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