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Open Space Committee

Welcome

Did you know that the Borough of Fair Lawn is one of the most densely populated municipalities in Bergen County?  Did you know that the National Recreation and Parks Association recommends that 6.25 to 10.50 acres of developed open space land be provided fo every 1,000 people?

The Borough of Fair Lawn (whose population was 32,457 based on the 2010 census) should have between 203 and 341 acres of open space – it has approximately 138 acres (this number excludes Board of Education and County Property). 

Did you know that open spaces (and especially green open spaces) have a strong impact on suburban economies, largely as an amenity which enhances the value of nearby property and makes the community more attractive overall as a place to locate a home or business?  Open Space is a very important issue.  On September 20, 2005 the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Fair Lawn created the Open Space Committee. The responsibilities of the Committee are:

  • To inventory all open space in the Borough and identify existing utilized space which may be converted to open space in the future.
  • Research and identify sources of funding such as grants or low interest loans to be utilized to obtain, preserve and maintain open space.
  • Examine the uses of exiting open space and make recommendations as to the appropriateness of such utilization for recreation, parks, or passive uses of such space.
  • Review the use of open space in relationship to its surrounding environs to determine the appropriateness of such utilization.
  • Take into consideration an overview of existing utilizations, potential utilizations, potential acquisition, change of utilizations, if applicable, for the entire municipality.

The Mayor and Council and the Open Space Committee are committed to maintaining Fair Lawn as one of the most desirable communities in the State of New Jersey and believe that the preservation and protection of Open Space is an important component in preserving the character and desirability of Fair Lawn.  

The Mayor and Council and the Open Space Committee recognize the Borough’s past successful efforts in maintaining and securing approximately 138 acres of open space within the Borough and believe it is vital for the Borough and its residents to continue to preserve, maintain, improve and acquire, when available, open space for passive and recreational use by the residents of the Borough.


Municipal Open Space Tax

On November 8, 2005, at the general election, the voters of the Borough of Fair Lawn previously authorized the establishment of the Municipal Open Space Tax, which has been used to fund the Municipal Open Space Trust Fund. 

The Mayor and Council and the Open Space Committee believe that it is in the best interest of the residents of the Borough of Fair Lawn to have the opportunity to maintain and carry the existing Municipal Open Space Trust Fund and to continue to fund the Municipal Open Space Trust Fund.  

In recognizing the Borough’s effort to acquire, maintain, improve and preserve Open Space, the Mayor and Council found it appropriate for the Borough to again place a public question on the general election ballot for November 7, 2017, so as to allow the public to vote to maintain and carry the existing Municipal Open Space Trust Fund and to continue the existing annual tax levy which funds the Municipal Open Space Trust Fund.

At the November 7, 2017 general election, the voters of the Borough of Fair Lawn approved the continuation of the Open Space Tax.  The Municipal Open Space Trust Fund shall continue to be funded through the collection of local property taxes in an amount of .005 (1/2 cent) per one hundred ($100.00) dollars of assessed value, per annum.  Monies   within the Municipal Open Space Trust Fund shall be used for any one or all of the following purposes or any combination thereof, as determined by the governing body: 

  1. Acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes;
  2. Development of lands acquired for recreation and conservation purposes;
  3. Initial and/or start-up maintenance of lands acquired for recreation and conservation purposes;
  4. Historic preservation of historic properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas, or objects, and the acquisition of such properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas, or objects, for historic preservation purposes;
  5. NJDEP Blue Acres projects; an acquisition program that targets the buyout of flood prone structures and the preservation of the floodplain   and is a subset of the Green Acres State Land Acquisition Program.
  6. Payment of debt service on indebtedness issued or incurred by the Borough for any of the purposes set forth in sub-paragraph (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) of this paragraph.


Fair Lawn Open Space & Recreation Plan (Click Here)

Committee Members
Deputy Mayor John Cosgrove - Council Liaison 
Councilmember Cristina Cutrone - Council Liaison
Jim Van Kruiningen - Borough Manager
Jim Graff - Superintendent of Recreation & Parks
Manuel Antigua
Ronald Barbarulo
Heather Blecher
Benjamin Bontekoe
Wendy Dabney
Peter Kortright
Laura A. Lander
Craig Mont
Ray Richter
Nicholas Ruffilo


Meetings
Meetings are held on Mondays in Room 201 of the Municipal Building, beginning at 7:30 p.m. prevailing time unless otherwise noted:

Monday, March 5, 2018
Monday, September 17, 2018
Monday, November 19, 2018