Real Estate

Westfield Historic Preservation Commission Votes to Deny Subdivision of 667 4th Ave.

361010f5699c1af7ddab_ef84fce4538145d32bde_IMG_0153.jpg
Members of the Westfield Historic Preservation Commission discuss an application to subdivide the historically designated property at 667 4th Ave. Credits: Kate Brochu
9723147a006402900a23_2d34496fabc37cb8e27d_IMG_0152.jpg
Home owners Heather and Andrew Stillufsen listen to the Westfield Historic Preservation Commission as they discuss the application for subdivision at their historically designated property. Credits: Kate Brochu
cecf7aa038f10bf4ef3a_89c64278cee584606f74_ff4e3c3d5808e2021e20_IMG_0162.jpg
667 4th Ave Credits: Kate Brochu
6c7ded2f311580efc777_IMG_0164.jpg
Brief history of 667 4th Ave provided by Neal Acito and Robert Wendel of the Westfield Historic Preservation Commission. Credits: Neal Acito
91953302785631b20180_9be41034e729273a7f2b_IMG_0156.jpg
Home owner Andrew Stillufsen says that he is passionate about his house as he addresses the commission at Monday's meeting. Credits: Kate Brochu
60f6664696596b71aa32_Screen_Shot_2018-01-30_at_5.11.26_PM.jpg
Artist rendering of what the property at 667 4th Ave may have looked like in the 1760s when it served as a farmhouse on 55 acres. Credits: Neal Acito
361010f5699c1af7ddab_ef84fce4538145d32bde_IMG_0153.jpg

WESTFIELD, NJ — The Historic Preservation Commission voted to recommend that the Planning Board deny the application for a subdivision of the historically designated property at 667 4th Ave at Monday night’s HPC meeting.

After nearly three hours of discussion, public contributions and comments from the property owners, Andrew and Heather Stillufsen, and their attorney, Steve Hehl, the commission reached a majority agreement on the following motion:

At this time, the Westfield Historic Preservation Commission recommends that the application for subdivision of the historic site at 667 Fourth Ave, Block 3303, Lot 6, as presented, be denied for the reasons set forth through the discussions of the HPC and the testimony of the applicant and the public and further in accordance with Historic Preservation Ordinance Subsection 6A (Actions requiring a certificate of appropriateness) and Subsection 8D (Subdivisions, Site Plans, Variances).

Sign Up for E-News

Commission members James Corcoran and Michael Fisher (who voted as an alternate in the absence of two commission members) voted against the motion, preferring further clarification as to their reasons for denying the existing application.

After a lengthy discussion and extensive rewording the commission agreed to vote on two motions, with the first motion (shared above) gaining the majority vote and therefore eliminating the need to vote on a second motion with additional details on the recommendation.

“The planning board referred this to us for our recommendation and they want our recommendation of how it will affect a historic site,” said HPC chair Kelly Kessler, who acknowledged that some of the discussed conditions were not items that could be considered at the time of the meeting. “I’m not sure that they want us to start talking about the economic implications or alternative ways of subdividing the property.”

Commission member Joe Biren attempted to streamline consideration of the application.

“From what I’ve heard from most of the members is that, yes, this site will be affected by this subdivision. Secondly, with consideration that was offered as to why this should be permitted is outside our mandate, ie whether or not there is sufficient funds to maintain the existing property,” he said. “The way I understand it, this matter of cost and financial involvement is going to be left to the planning board for their decision, it’s not our decision.”

Homeowner Andrew Stillufsen spoke during the public comment part of the meeting.

“I am passionate about this house. I’m passionate about history,” said Sillufsen. He went on to explain that the house was in need of repair work that he hopes to complete with the funds made available after selling the subdivision to a developer. 

Commission member Neal Acito questioned Stillufsen’s plans for the funds, suggesting that they may be used to pay off a mortgage before paying for repairs needed for the home.

“Sorry, I’m not going to talk about my mortgage,” Stillufsen said.

While many members of the commission expressed a level of discomfort at prying into the property owner’s mortgage, Town Attorney Tom Jardim said that it could be relevant to the commission’s decision.

“Let me just stress this again. The applicant has come forward and is attempting to make a case of economic hardship. So to be perfectly candid, it is a relevant question,” Jardim said. “If the applicant has an undo economic hardship, the applicant has to make that case. Period.”

The final recommendation will be presented to the Planning Board on Feb. 5.

When asked about her reaction to the outcome of the meeting, Heather Stillufsen said they were disappointed.

“We believe in our house,” added Andrew Stillufsen.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Union County Democratic Committee Elects New Chair

February 22, 2018

CLARK, NJ – The vote for the Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC) chairmanship came to a conclusion Wednesday night when 748 committee members from the county’s 21 municipalities descended on the Gran Centurions in Clark to vote for their new party leader.

State Senator Nick Scutari won with a 412-341 victory over Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr in a battle that had become ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update

February 15, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

I first want to congratulate Nick Calello and David Went for their promotions to patrol officers in the Westfield Police Department. I’d also like to welcome and congratulate new Patrol Officer Fortunato Riga, who joins the police department this week upon his ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_fadfd1c21bc636c673db_schmidt_john_01_pp

Thu, February 22, 8:30 AM

Hilton Garden Inn, Hamilton , Hamilton

Defending Your Independent Contractor & Wage & ...

Business & Finance Education Law & Justice

Carousel_image_8e821e02ba44390d688c_olympics_oh_feb_2018

Thu, February 22, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Wacky Winter Olympics Open House

Other

Carousel_image_97368eb92d0feb35caf6_img_0082

Thu, February 22, 5:00 PM

Barnes & Noble, Clark

Purim Story & Crafts Hour at Barnes & Noble

Education

Westfield Police Blotter: Man Steals 60 Pairs of Pants from Downtown Store & More

February 21, 2018

February 14, 2018 10:53 p.m.

Officers Gill and Weiss arrested Luis Murillo, age 30, of Rahway, NJ, for two outstanding warrants out of Westfield Municipal Court ($500) and Woodbridge Municipal Court ($500) pursuant to a motor vehicle stop in Scotch Plans Township. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released after posting requisite bail.

 

February 15, 2018 5:24 ...

Giving Back: Learn How to Help Victims of Sexual Violence

February 22, 2018

Every year since 1984, trained volunteers with the Union County Rape Crisis Center have helped victims of sexual violence through the emotional, medical and legal aftermath of trauma. New volunteers are welcome to join the next series of training classes beginning on Thursday, March 22.

No previous experience in crisis counseling is necessary.

“Over the years our Rape Crisis Center ...

‘Month of Hope’ at Wilson School

Inspired by the HOPE Week Initiative introduced in 2009 by the New York Yankees, Mr. Joseph Malanga, principal of Wilson School and a fan of the American League professional ballclub, declared January the “Month of Hope” at Wilson.

Malanga called on the school’s faculty Acts of Kindness Committee to choose the charitable organizations to be recipients of the weekly donation ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Would the Stock Market Affect Your Home Purchase?

"Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy night." ("All About Eve.") While most people misquote this as "It's going to be a bumpy ride," the actual quote works better for the movie. Bette Davis delivers this with the classic style that made her one of the most loved actresses of her generation.

Well for the stock market it’s been a wild bumpy ...

Good News in NJ for Veterans

Beginning in the 2017 tax year, New Jersey will give an additional $3,000 exemption for military veterans. You are eligible to claim this exemption NJ state income tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or before the last day of the tax year.

 

The ...

Sinai or Sanctuary?

 

 

And in the beginning, G‑d was homeless, and so G‑d asked His people to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G‑d instructed Moses to tell the people, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Now the question is, was G‑d really homeless? ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 13, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Love Craft Beer But Hate the Tour? State Assembly Moves to Make it Easier for You to Belly Up to the Bar

Good news is a brew for New Jersey craft beer advocates. In February 2018, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee paved the way for the introduction of Bill A2196, which would remove a current licensing rule requiring breweries and distilleries to provide a tour of their facilities before serving alcoholic beverages to consumers. Currently, breweries holding a ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Is FAANG Long in the Tooth?

Investors love to rally around a stock story. Today it’s all about the FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) are a major reason why the S&P 500 rallied so much in 2017. Mr. Market is convinced the FAANGs are impervious to a sell-off. “Its different this time” is ringing loud and clear, but will the outcome really be that ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...

Obituaries

Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Cops Called for Two People Shouting Racial Slurs During ‘Black Panther’ in Sparta

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night after a drunken woman and her boyfriend interrupted a screening of the movie “Black Panther” by shouting racial slurs, according to a witness and police.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including ...