PROGRAM OF ACTION

The implementation or this General Development Plan consists of both public and private action. These actions include initiation of a capital improvement program, improvement of the community appearance, and the use of regulatory controls.

THE COST OF THE PLAN

Some people may view the General Development Plan as a program for spending more money than might otherwise be spent in public improvements. This is not the case. The improvements that are shown in the Plan are all designed to show how Township funds should be spent in the future in the best interest of the Township and at the lowest possible cost. The Capital Improvements Program presented here is framed in full recognition of the need to avoid excessive tax increases in Teaneck Township. On the other hand, it recognizes the need for the Township to improve basic community facilities and maintain a high level of services in order to maintain the desirability of the Township as a place to live and work. Probably the greatest value of a Capital Improvements Program is in the development of a priority plan for the accomplishment of certain community objectives. A suggested six-year plan has been worked out in which the most important of these objectives can be achieved during this period with only a nominal increase in the annual appropriation to the Capital Improvements Fund.

The six-year Capital Improvements Program does not include all the proposals incorporated in the Genera! Development Plan. These include:

  1. The costs attached to any improvements in the public school plant. 
  2. The development of existing and proposed recreation areas such as Pomander Walk Park, Argonne Park and Playfield, the Hackensack Riverfront Park and the Public Works site as a playfield might more suitably be provided for in an increased annual appropriation for the Parks and Playground Account.
  3. The development of municipal swimming facilities, when they are advanced as a definite municipal undertaking, should be financed by the issuance of revenue bonds.
  4. The various major traffic and street improvements affecting State or County routes are anticipated for implementation by the respective jurisdiction, if and when agreement is reached on the need.
  5. Teaneck is eligible for State aid on the acquisition of any proposed parklands such as the Hackensack Riverfront Park. The Planning Board recommends application for this aid.

The street improvement program, one of the major items in the Capital Improvements Program, is based upon the annual maintenance program of the Public Works Department. It does not include the annual expenditures for the construction of new streets nor those that have never been properly improved according to Township standards. This latter street improvement program is based primarily upon resident petition and is, of course, directly assessable to the homeowners on the particular street.Another item not reflected in Table 1 is the improvements to the storm drainage system. A comprehensive long-range program is presently being prepared and will be released in the near future.

Table 1
Recommended Six Year Capital Improvements Programs, Teaneck Township, 1963-1968
196319641965 19661967 1968
Street Improvements 100,000100,000100,000 100,000100,000 100,000
Fire Dept. -- Misc. Equipment 77,00077,000 77,000  
Public Works -- Misc. Equipment 56,000 56,000 56,000
Fire Alarm system Improvement 17,000 17,000 17,000
Parking Lots* 58,000(5)108,000(1) 66,000(3)84,000(4)  
Hackensack River Parkland 108,000  
Sagamore Avenue -- Grayson Place Bridge 160,000  
Kipp Street -- Vandelinda Avenue Bridge 160,000  
West Englewood Fire Station 73,000  
West Englewood Branch Library 15,000  
Morningside Terrace Fire Station 60,000  
Air-conditioning. Main Library 57,000  
Tax Maps, Assessor 20,000  
Morningside Terrace Branch Library 10,000**
New Public Works Garage & Warehouse 250,000
Total Expenditure 343,000333,000445,000 327,000398,000 433,000
*     Numbers refer to the parking lots described in the Circulation Plan.
**   This figure does not indicate the cost of acquisition; Township presently leases the building.

The total estimated costs of the capital improvement are $2,279,000.  This figure includes improvements which have been suggested by Township officials as well as proposals set forth by the Planning Board as to which improvements should be built first, and which should be deferred to a later date.  The program suggested for the 1963-1968 period is shown in Table 1.

The capital budgeting process involves an annual reassessment of the future; the principal factors being the tax base, the debt situation and the relative priority of projects.  The Planning Board will review all aspects of the program and recommend to the Manager and Council a schedule for the following six years.  The system should eliminate most "emergencies" and their resulting tax increases due to a bunching of necessary projects.  The schedule also provides an opportunity to achieve a better climate of understanding about which projects are most important and the Township's ability to pay.

FINANCING

The various improvements in the six-year program are proposed to be financed solely on a pay-as-you-go basis.  In order to finance in this manner, payments into the Township's Capital improvement Fund are proposed in Table 2.

Although this program is a reasonable one, it does not purport to be the exact program to be followed over the coming six-year period.  It should, rather, serve as a guide for the annual preparation of a six-year program.

Table 2
Annual Capital Improvement Fund Payments
Year Payment To Fund Yearly Expenditure Unexpended Balance
1962     175,000
1963 300,000 343,000 132,000
1964 350,000 333,000 149,000
1965 350,000 445,000 54,000
1966 400,000 327,000 127,000
1967 400,000 398,000 179,000
1968 450,000 433,000 146,000

ZONING

Zoning is a legal and administrative tool for land use and density control related to the objectives of the General Development Plan.  The narrow concept  of zoning is being extended to broader interpretations of the use of the "police power" so that a community is permitted to maximize its economic, social, physical and cultural characteristics in relation to its land use.

A separate document, forming the basis of an entirely new zoning ordinance is being studies by the Planning Board.  The following provisions represent the more significant features of the recommended ordinance;

  1. Whereas the present ordinance establishes only a single one-family residential zone with a lot size of 7,500 square feet, the proposed ordinance creates three one-family zones with lot sizes of 5,000, 6,000 and 7,5000 square feet.  This more accurately reflects present development patterns in the community.
  2. The proposed ordinance places the emphasis on "principal permitted uses" in each zone rather than on "prohibited uses" as contained in the present ordinance.
  3. The proposed ordinance clarifies the treatment of non-conforming uses.
  4. Whereas the present ordinance permits the construction of one-family and multiple dwellings in the business and industrial zones, the proposed ordinance establishes the principle of exclusiveness in both the business and the industrial zones. The suggested professional and commercial office zone excludes retail business.

OTHER REGULATORY CODES

To be effective, zoning must be supplemented with other regulations protecting the community's welfare in matters of physical development. Teaneck already has health and fire codes and subdivision regulations. A Housing Code, needed to enforce certain minimum standards of home occupancy and maintenance, is presently under study. This code, applying largely to existing structures would deal, in a general manner with cooking, heating and plumbing facilities, lighting, outside storage, ventilation, egress, interior building and outside grounds maintenance, and the occupancy of interior space. It is recommended that consideration be given to the adoption of the New Jersey State Model Housing Code in the near future.

For regulating new construction, Teaneck has a Building Code which dates back to 1921 with minor amendments thereafter. A comprehensive Building Code, conforming to modern requirements for construction, is in its final stages of preparation. It is recommended that it be adopted as early as possible.

  1. Requirements regarding the erection and design of outdoor advertising media and display devices are more stringent in the proposed zoning ordinance. .
  2. Prior to the issuance of a building permit by the Building Inspectors the proposed ordinance establishes a comprehensive review of the site planned for garden apartments, town houses, and tower apartments by the Planning Board.

COMMUNITY APPEARANCE

Growth and change can often bring ugliness. Communities become more monotonous, impersonal and standardized. A beautiful Teaneck can be maintained only through a deliberate search for beauty on the part of the community leadership--the architects and planners, the building industry and public officials--backed by a lively appreciation of the visual world by the people.

A search for beauty, however, goes beyond the usual considerations of street layout and maintenance, design of poles and wires, street lights and street markers, signs and billboards and architectural facades. The most crucial influences on community appearance are such matters as: (1) The three-dimensional relations of structures to their vicinities - to the roads, the nearby structures and the open spaces created between them; (2) The presence of open spaces of adequate size and interesting sequence as one moves about; (3) The varied landscape treatment of both the open spaces and the paths of circulation; (4) The locations of buildings on their own lots; and (5) The arrangement of trees, shrubs, lawns, driveways and paths.

A significant contribution to the appearance to Teaneck can be made by the Township government in the construction of public buildings and development of public areas, such as exemplified in the government center at Cedar Lane and Teaneck Road. The appearance of public property should serve as an example in character and attractiveness for private developers.

It appears inevitable, however, that some sort of direction and guidance will have to be forthcoming from the local government in the form of esthetic regulations and a Design Board of Review to further from the aesthetic regulations and a Design Board of Review to further stimulate the quest for beauty. The concept of public interest in the appearance of private property is now well established:

The concept of public welfare is broad and inclusive -- The values it represents are spiritual as well as physical, aesthetic as well as monetary. It is within the power of the legislature to determine that the community be beautiful as well as healthy, spacious as well as clean, well-balanced as well as carefully patrolled." Breman v. Parker, 348 U. S. 26.

This study will be undertaken as part of the Planning Board's continuing planning program.

ADOPTION OF THE MASTER PLAN

New Jersey statutes provide for the adoption of all or part of the Master Plan (General Development Plan) by the Planning Board following a public hearing. The Master Plan can also be amended from time to time as the need arises, but only after a public hearing.

The State statute (N.J.S.A. 40:55-1. 1'3) provides that,

"Whenever the planning board after public hearing shall have adopted any portion of the master plan, the governing body or other public agency having jurisdiction over the subject matter, before taking action necessitating the expenditure of any public funds, incidental to that location character of extent of one or more projects thereof, shall refer action involving such specific project or projects to the planning board for review and recommendation, and shall not act thereon without such recommendation or until forty-five days after such reference have elapsed without such recommendation. This requirement shall apply to action by a housing, parking, highway or other authority, redevelopment agency, school board or other similar public agency federal, state, county or municipal."

This adoption of the Master Plan is important to give formal status and recognition to the role of the Planning Board in guiding the development of the Township. It is also important from the viewpoint of gaining widespread citizen understanding and support for the Master Plan as an explicit statement of the Township's development goals and policies.

Adoption does not automatically lead to effectuation of the Plan. Planning is a continuing process, with a Master Plan as its beginning, not its end.

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