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West Orange Adds to Its Open Space

Land on Belgrade Terrace is acquired by the township.


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The amount of open space in West Orange continues to grow. 

The property at 7 Belgrade Terrace was acquired by the township at the beginning of July. The 10,000 square-foot lot was purchased for approximately $60,000 using money from the Open Space Trust Fund and the township. 

The township should receive a reimbursement of at least half of the purchase price from New Jersey Green Acres Planning Incentive Grant. 

Municipal Engineer Leonard Lepore said that said the township was in communication with the neighbors on Belgrade Terrace and they supported the purchase. 

By purchasing the property, Lepore said it prevents anyone from removing trees, which could negatively affect water runoff in the surrounding area. 

“West Orange has long supported open space preservation for our growing conservation and recreation needs,” wrote Mayor Robert Parisi in a press release. “A permanent deed restriction on land helps preserve historic, scenic and recreational areas of our Township.”

The township owns two other lots on the street at 15 and 19 Belgrade Terrace, and both are also about 10,000 square feet. These other two properties were acquired in a swap with the property owner in an effort to prevent development on the properties, said Lepore.  

“In this one we will just let nature keep taking over,” said Lepore, “because that’s what it is now.” 

Kelly Wenzel August 02, 2012 at 02:41 PM
I am all for open space - it's what I'm about, it's what I do for a living. BUT. The West Orange Master Plan has not been completely updated since 1989 and that was in reaction to the Fair Housing Act. Re-exams are not adequate. Our last re-exam was completed in 2010 and was not significantly changed. Before we start accepting so much donated land for preservation shouldn't we properly evaluate the needs of the community and balance preservation with the need to maintain a tax base? West Orange already carries a significant burdon by housing 2 of the County's largest reservations. Do we really *need* 10,000 more SF of land dedicated just to nature - in an already residential area? I am a full-time employee for New Jersey Audubon. These are my personal views and not the views of NJ Audubon. I am also a graduate of the E.J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and have studied the WO Master Plan in depth.
Ken August 02, 2012 at 03:59 PM
West Orange already has enough areas with houses built on every possible structure. We should be aggressively buying up open land whenever possible, ESPECIALLY on slopes like this, and I fully support this open space purchase.
Brad Schwartz August 02, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I would love to see the township do something similar with the 100+ privately held acres in the northwest corner of the town, behind the West Essex Highlands townhouses. This land is virgin forest currently and in danger of being developed by the developer that currently owns it. The land I'm referring to can be viewed on Google maps here: http://goo.gl/maps/WUN2z
Brett Kaiser August 03, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Ummmm..the town USED to own that land back in the70's I beleive


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