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Board Approves Gas Station, Westwood Changes Outdoor Dining, Police Win Award

Here's a look at the past week in Westwood and Washington Township.

Members of the Washington Township Zoning Board approved all the variances requested for a plan to replace with a new gas station and 1,206-square-foot convenience store Tuesday, though they did set some conditions with which the applicant, Sky Trading, will have to comply.

The variances included two use variances to add the convenience store and expand the gas station in a residential zone. The expansion of the gas station was only approved after the applicant's experts made some impromptu changes to the plan, reducing the size of the planned canopy and lowering the number of proposed pumps from eight to six.

Outdoor diners in Westwood will be able to enjoy a glass of wine with their meals and some restaurants will be allowed to seat a larger number of customers outside than in the past, due to a change in the borough's outdoor dining regulations.

The Westwood Mayor and Council approved three ordinances Tuesday which update the borough's zoning code. The changes were made at the recommendation of the new Master Plan re-examination, which the Planning Board finished last year

The 200 Club of Bergen County awarded their Valor Award to Washington Township Police Corporal Michael Glock and Police Officer Jason Gugger at a ceremony held May 9.

High school officials are arming students with basic self-defense moves and strategies to deter bullying as part of a program that uses a black belt in karate to show students how not to be victims.

Martial arts instructor Phil Ross worked with about 800 students in his "Building Esteem Today" program, in which he shows students how to use their posture and voice to deter bullies, as well as some basic "block and rock" self-defense moves to use in a worst-case scenario.

A flock of new businesses has been snatching up vacant space in downtown Westwood, starkly reversing a five year trend of "For Rent" signs appearing with more frequency in shuttered shop windows.

Ted Foundopoulos doesn't know what is going to happen to his business, the at 615 Washington Avenue which has not had a shipment of fuel for about two weeks.

Raymond Herr, who has been Westwood's CFO since 1998, will start as the chief financial officer of Paramus on June 18.

Westwood Borough Administrator Robert Hoffmann credited Herr with helping keep Westwood's taxes to a 1 percent increase each year for the past four years and for helping improve the borough's bond rating.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Leggate at JMLeggate@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Edward J Rodriguez May 21, 2012 at 12:31 AM
what a disgrace our township is. You don't care about our quality of life. Its all about your scoring points for other future business you can get special favors. Including CVS and other businesses that will open under your control. So, no matter what the contamination or oil spills and drop in our properity values diminish. Its surely not by the people for the people. You the board and the suppose mayor should be ashamed. Again, it continues to prove that we the people cannot trust these political agendas. Do begin be say no to any more taxes. Do not approve any money for any so called necessities. You will see it used for other purposes that were intended. In other words chanel moneys under false pretences.
Eda-Marie Carmilani May 21, 2012 at 02:11 PM
What a disgrace is right, but not for what what stated above. More like for people not caring or taking care of their property and houses looking as though they are abandoned and unkept. This town needs improvement from all (DPW, Mayor, Council and residents). I have lived in Township my entire life and nothing has changed; if anything it is falling apart and looking ragged and worn. ALL parties need to step up to plate and do their part/job. Too many heads look the other way and allow people to do a half assed job-pardon the expression. Who is in charge? Because the look of things around town tells me no one is making sure or taking charge to make sure the people are doing their jobs. I walk around town and see the town that was once beautiful and drew people to want to live in it slowly become neglected and not as sought after any more. THAT IS THE DISGRACE!
B@B May 21, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Has it ever occurred to you that those properties that offend your delicate sensibilities because they "look as though they are abandoned and unkept" just might BE abandoned and unkept because they are foreclosed? Or "jingle-mail" properties? Or people who have lost their jobs live there and can no longer afford the landscaping service that used to keep their lawns looking like a green carpet? Whose job do you think it is to maintain these properties? The town? Are you willing to pay more taxes for that? Instead of screeching about it, why not call Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County and volunteer to do something? They have a "Brush with Kindness" program that you can volunteer for which helps low income people maintain their properties. How about putting your sweat equity where your mouth is?
Jeffrey Tammen May 21, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Hey bob go easy the carmalani family has been in the town for very long time and I think her point is the properties owned by the town and other commercial properties , plus some residential homes that have crap every where .and your right we should pay more attention to our neighboors and help them when needed .pay it forward there should be a site where our neighbors could leave a post and we could help them some are to proud . I used to cut my neighbors grass when ever it was long and I was cutting I had a ride went quick and would snow blow them too it was very gratifying for me .if you pay it forward to three people and then they pay it forward to three lots could be helped.we should start a town group to help I would be there in a heart beat .i do some of already I'm blessed with a skill as a plumber and I help peps and only need cost of materials. We should organize and bring our residents close

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