Council Mulls Sign Ordinance Overhaul Amid Historic Landmark Concerns

In a recent Oradell Borough Council meeting, presided over by Mayor Dianne C. Didio, the council discussed a series of community matters, including an appeal to amend the existing signage ordinance for public and quasi-public buildings, the establishment of a “little library” near the train station, and a prospective change in the farmer’s market operating hours.

The conversation initiated with a detailed discussion about possibly revising the existing signage ordinance. A request had been received to install a sign with a maximum length exceeding the current 6.5 feet limitation and utilizing backlit technology, traditionally disfavored by the council. The building in question is owned by the town and leased to another entity. After considering the specifics, the council decided to further examine this case with inputs from the borough attorney, aiming to address it in the follow-up meeting on the 26th.

The council then entertained a proposition presented by Tom Kelly through the Oradell Rotary to set up a “little library” near the train station to foster reading among commuters. Although unanimously appreciated, council members deliberated on finding the most suitable spot for the library, considering factors like the historic significance of the potential site and its ownership status. The council agreed to revisit the issue in their next session, with detailed plans from Kelly in hand.

Another central topic was the appeal from a resident farmer to change the closing time of the farmer’s market from 3 PM to 2 PM. Kathy Drury, the chair of the environmental committee, highlighted vendors’ consensus on this change, citing low footfall in the last hour. The council exhibited a readiness to trial the new timings before making a final decision.

Addressing logistical aspects of the forthcoming combined holiday lighting event, the council deliberated on the feasible locations and setups to successfully foster interfaith community bonding. This involved discussions on traffic management and audio setups for the ceremonies. However, the topic will be discussed further in subsequent meetings, including potential collaborations with various stakeholders to ensure a ceremony respectful of religious sensitivities.

A mention was made regarding potential changes in the recreation fees introduced by the nearby borough of River Edge, raising concerns among some Oradell residents. The council members encouraged affected individuals to voice their concerns at the River Edge meetings.

The council also touched upon the major gas line pressure increase project in collaboration with PSE&G, involving substantial roadwork across 49 roads spanning four years. Despite anticipated disruptions, the council emphasized the prospective benefits of the project, including enhanced infrastructure and improved road conditions. The necessity for proactive communication to residents was underlined, recognizing PSE&G’s substantial financial commitment towards the project.

Later stages of the meeting addressed various administrative matters including job vacancies at DPW, potential shared service agreements, and updates on the upcoming family day event scheduled for September 23. The council stressed the importance of clarity and effectiveness in communication regarding borough projects and initiatives, contemplating improved notification systems for residents.

In the public comment session that followed, a local resident urged the council to restrict sports activities during Sunday school and church hours to foster religious education among the young populace. The council listened to the plea without immediate remarks. Moreover, another resident called for transparency regarding an upcoming trial on a contested affordable housing development and suggested live-streaming the event, to which the council responded affirmatively, noting the necessity to secure court permission.

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