Some recent news:
The Committee attended the July meeting of the Planning Board to address the application of Felician University for the construction of a Gymnasium and Wellness Center. At this meeting the University submitted revision preliminary plans to the board which removes the 1500 seat gymnasium from the application. This is good news as the revised plans appear to no longer affect the viewshed and surrounding grounds near Iviswold Castle. The Committee is currently engaged in sourcing contractors for a complete update of the Historic Sites Inventory in the Borough. An advisory letter is expected to be sent to all homeowners listed in this revised inventory in the fall describing what a listing means for property owners, who the Committee is and what role we play in the Borough. The Committee is expected to introduce a request to the Borough Council to fund a study to extend the Ridge Road Historic District. This action is necessary in order for the Planning Board to act on the Extension request by the Committee. The current district begins at Park Avenue and extends to Pierrepont Ave. The extension will include the rest of Ridge Road from Pierrepont Ave. to nearly the Marginal Road.
The Committee has recently attended the special Planning Board meeting on June 13 to address the ongoing Felician University application for a proposed athletic center on the campus and its effect on the National Register properties both on and near the campus such as Iviswold Castle and the Rutherford Women’s Club. The meeting did not proceed as planned since the applicant has elected to change legal representation and the new law firm requested an extension to have time to be brought up to speed on the project. The next meeting to address this application will be at 7:00PM on July 16.
The Committee has recently approved a petition drive that will be presented to the Borough Council in the near future. The petition requests that the Council upgrade the current Committee to full Commission status. The Committee is undertaking this drive for the following reasons:
1.To provide community preservation representatives the opportunity to weigh in via a formal review process on any and all applications before the building department, planning board, board of adjustment or downtown partnership that would affect currently designated historic properties in the borough as well as designated historic districts.
2.To provide oversight of any demolition permits requested for currently designated historic properties or historic districts prior to any approvals by the building department.
3.To implement a process of review by the Historic Preservation Commission for the completion of a Certificate Of Appropriateness by the property owner for any façade changes on currently designated historic properties or contributing structures within a designated historic district.
4.To provide citizens of the Borough with Certified Local Government assistance and aid. Aid may take the form of grant money to the owner of an historic property for restoration or preservation work. This may only be accomplished through upgrading of the current Committee to Commission status.
The Committee hopes that by becoming a Commission we will be better able to educate the owners of historic properties on their value to them as well as to the community and we will be better able to preserve the historic streetscape that is unique to the Borough. Since 2004, the year of the last Historic Sites Inventory, the Borough has lost over 20 historic sites to either demolition or irreparable, non-historic facade alteration.
The Committee has begun gathering signatures at Borough events such as the recent Tree Fest and Multi-Cultural Festival and will continue to do so over the next few months. Interested parties may contact the HPC directly through the website to make arrangements to sign the petition or visit us at one of our meetings in Borough Hall on the first Monday of each month with the exception of September which is the second Monday. 5/28/19
The Committee has recently been in discussions with the Borough Business Administrator and Attorney regarding the possible upgrading of the current Committee to full Commission status. Commission status would provide the HPC with the ability to weigh in on façade projects in the Borough involving designated historic properties and contributing structures in designated historic districts. The HPC has initiated a petition drive to gather resident signatures for presentation to the Borough Council requesting same. The drive began on April 27th at the Arbor Day Tree Fest which the Committee attended with a table. The Committee will also attend the Multi-Cultural Festival on May 18th to further gather support and signatures. 5/3/19
The Committee Chair and Borough Historian recently testified at the Borough Planning Board meeting of February 19. Objections were raised concerning the Felician University application before the board on the grounds of non-compliance with easements granted to both the State and County for monies received the restoration of Iviswold Castle. The Board Attorney acknowledged a letter from the County Historic Preservation Board requesting that no action be taken on the application until such time as the County can review the applicant’s request as it affects the Iviswold easements. 2/20/19
The Committee has recently advised the Rutherford Planning Board on its official position opposing the current application by Felician University for the construction of an athletic center on the Rutherford campus. The Committee feels that this project would have an adverse impact on the viewshed of the Iviswold Castle, a National and State registered historic site. The impact of the this project would also have a negative effect by encroaching on the grounds in front of this historic property, grounds on which the ashes of the Sammartinos, Fairleigh Dickinson University benefactors, were scattered after their deaths. The Committee also made a presentation to the full Planning Board on December 20, 2018 outlining our opposition and the impact that this project would have on Iviswold. 1/8/19
The Rutherford Historic Preservation Committee is in the process of updating its Historic Sites Inventory in the Borough and has completed re-photographing all homes presently on the survey. Recent meetings by the Committee have added 18 more homes and a request has been made to the Planning Board for an extension of the Ridge Road Historic District. The Committee expects to send advisory letters to all owners of historic homes in the Borough apprising them of their status and what this means as well as outlining the work and mission of the Committee. 7/8/18
The Rutherford Historic Preservation Committee has weighed in with the Borough Planning Board on the recent application by Felician University for the construction of an NCAA regulation gymnasium. This project may adversely affect the viewshed of the Iviswold Castle which is on the National and State Registers of historic places. 6/15/18
Nominations and voting has been completed by the Committee and the 2018 Historic Preservation Awards will be presented at the Borough Council meeting on May 8th in the Council Chambers. Congratulations to the owners of 456 Montross Ave., 237 Ridge Road and 249 Ridge Road. 4/29/18
Approval of new members to the Committee, Carol Calamari, Michelle Korosy and Rosario Mannino who represent a crossection of the real estate industry and buikding trades in the Borough-2/1/18
Annual Reorganization meeting of the Rutherford Historic Preservation Committee to vote on a new slate of officer for 2018. Newly elected officers are:John A. Trosky, Chairperson, Rod Leith, Vice Chairperson, Oksana Baczynskyj-Heimur, Treasurer, Leo Nakashian, Secretary-1/8/17
Planning Board Meeting concerning the possible designation of Meadow Road as "an area in need of redevelopment". This is the site of 12 Meadow Road, the last pre-revolutionary war home in the Borough-12/21/17
2017 Rutherford Historic Preservation Awards Presented to Three Local Homes-119 Wheaton Place, 67 Home Ave. and 136 East Pierrepont Ave. during the Borough Council meeting on 12/11/17