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Letters to the Editor

Synopsis of a Westfield Board of Education Meeting

April 16, 2015

VIOLENCE, VANDALISM, SUBSTANCE ABUSE & HIB REPORT The State requires school districts to report on Violence, Vandalism, and Substance Abuse and Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HI...

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Today's Events

Police Blotter

In Westfield, Several Claims Of Fraud And Identity Theft Reported

April 22, 2015

April 21, 2015 4:20 p.m. Elizabeth Tedeschi, age 47, of Westfield responded to Westfield police department to satisfy an active traffic warrant issued by Westfield municipal court. The subje...

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Columns

Connecting Commerce and Community

GWACC Spring Fling

It’s that time of year again! Spring has sprung, and it is time for the 21st Annual Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s Spring Fling. The event will be held on the streets o...

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ViaNutrition

The 11 Commandments of Nutrition

Focus on eating nutrient dense food, not counting calories. This sounds counterintuitive but most nutrient-dense foods are not high in calories. Get your nutrients from foods, not supp...

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Evalyn Dunn Gallery

Get the Perfect Mother’s Day Gift at Evalyn Dunn Gallery

You must stop into Evalyn Dunn Gallery to see their great new gifts that have arrived just in time for Mother's Day. The gallery has expanded their jewelry department to include four new lin...

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Monday with Millicent

Mark Your Calendars for Girls’ Night Out in Westfield, April 23!

No matter what, Thursday, April 23, 2015 is the date you are due in Downtown Westfield for their grand and glorious Girls’ Night Out. From 5 to 9 p.m., you’re welcome to come and enj...

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Westfield Area Y

New 'Move it and Lose it' Coaching Program Launches at the Westfield Area Y

The Westfield Area Y is pleased to announce “Move It and Lose It,” an 8-week coaching program designed to motivate participants to success through teamwork. Participants will pic...

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In the Schools

Westfield High School Earns 6 Award Nominations for Fall Drama

The cast and crew of Westfield High School’s fall drama, "The Laramie Project," has been notified that the production received six Montclair State University "Theatre Night ...

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Westfield Town Council Votes on Liquor Laws, Marijuana Dispensary Restrictions and More

By JACKIE LIEBERMAN

May 20, 2014 at 10:56 PM

WESTFIELD, NJ — Only Councilwoman Vicki Kimmins voted no Tuesday night to an ordinance changing Westfield's liquor license laws to allow restaurants with conditional liquor licenses to serve food and alcohol at a bar and serve patrons alcohol without necessarily seating them at a table or serving them food. Restaurants with these licenses would still be required to make at least 50 percent of their money from food sales.

A public hearing on the ordinance, number 2017, will take place June 3 before a final vote is held, after which the ordiance could take effect.

Kimmins told TAP earlier this month that she was totally opposed to the change in the law.

“I believe it will change the fabric of our downtown,” she said. “As lovely as Summit and Cranford are, I am not looking for Westfield to become Summit or Cranford. Westfield has the reputation it has for a reason. I enjoy that our town is not full of ‘bars.’ Our downtown sidewalk cafe tables are currently enjoyed by families, and I would like to keep it that way.”

To read that earlier story, click here.

Before the vote, several Westfield residents told the council that they were in favor of changing the law. But one resident, John Blake, argued against it, as he did at the last meeting. Among his arguments, he said that the availability of alcohol would increase by 150 percent.

Councilman James Foerst, chair of the code review and town property committee, responded that the ordinance would not increase the number of liquor licenses from 10.

Later, Foerst argued that people who wish to go out for a drink but not necessarily for dinner are going to other towns to do so. Councilwoman Jo Ann Neylan, Councilman Frank Arena and Councilman Sam Della Fera echoed that.

“We want our downtown to be as successful as possible and in my mind we’re hindering that success,” said Della Fera of the existing law.

The ordinance would also change the limitation on the number of musicians who can entertain at these establishments any given time from one to five and would raise the town’s annual liquor license fees, per state guidelines.

The ordinance was one of several that passed on first reading at Tuesday's town council meeting as part of the code review and town property committee’s efforts to update an antiquated town code.

Ordinance 2022 would restrict any medical marijuana dispensary opening in Westfield to one approved zone, and would limit hours and manner of operation.

Foerst told the council at a conference meeting earlier that evening that the town would not be able to completely restrict medical marijuana dispensaries from opening in Westfield.

Ordinance 2021 would require anyone filming in Westfield to pay a fee. (Filming for educational purposes would be exempt, and students would pay a reduced fee.) Currently, the law only requires a fee for filming on public property.

“The burden upon the town is the same whether on public or private land,” said Foerst.

Other ordinances pertained to exterior property maintenance, streets and sidewalks and trees, shrubs, weeds and other plant growth.

Councilman Keith Loughlin was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.