Because that’s the rule: Dog Licensing and early re-vaccination

Recently, a question was raised by a resident about the need to re-vaccinate a dog in order to get an annual license from Teaneck.  I’ve looked into the issue.  As with most things in NJ, it’s…. complicated.  I’ll break down the relevant rules below and discuss some changes that I’ll be suggesting.

Issue:

  • July 2020: You get a new dog
  • October 2020: You get your dog vaccinated for Rabies (expires one year later in October 2021)
  • January 2021: You attempt to register your dog in Teaneck

 

This is a common scenario that many people have faced, only to find a rejection notice.  Residents are being told to re-vaccinate for rabies.  It’s confusing to most dog owners, because the vaccine is good for a year and they received it only 62 days ago.

Why can’t a dog get registered and then get a booster before the October vaccination expires? Continue reading “Because that’s the rule: Dog Licensing and early re-vaccination”

Affordable Housing vs Rent Control

Affordable housing enables Teaneck to keep the promise of equality and equitable treatment in our real estate markets. It furthers the objective of what Teaneck has always been about. Rent control does not. And I want to take a few moments to explain what the difference is.

From the time NECO and Fair Housing activists put out “Not for Sale” signs in response to blockbusting efforts, we’ve held true to the creed that everyone* deserves to live here and that we should be a town that creates the environment that allows people to move here and live here.

Affordable Housing creates a lower than market alternative for those unable to afford to live here due to market rates effectively pricing them out. All modern apartments must comply with affordable housing requirements. The affordable housing units are given only to those that can’t afford them otherwise and the processes in place ensures that ONLY those needing affordable housing receive it.

Rent control on the other hand has no means-test. It applies to a mere subset of units here in town and it has a lot of drawbacks. Make $250k a year? You get the benefits of rent control. Continue reading “Affordable Housing vs Rent Control”

Mayor Dunleavy on Advisory Boards: Clearing up misconceptions

At the August 11, 2020 meeting of the Township council, ordinance 15-2020 was adopted, which modifies some provisions for Council’s advisory boards.

In the video below, Mayor Dunleavy provides the reasons for the changes and current state of the Council’s Advisory Board operations.

I want to thank the Mayor for spending the past two years, meeting with all Advisory Board chairs, Township staff and others to create this new framework, which will bring additional clarity and productivity to the boards and how public input shapes the decisions council makes.

Anyone interested in applying to serve on an Advisory (or Statutory*) Board may click here: Application for Township Boards
(* The ordinance above only applies to advisory boards, statutory boards are governed by State statue)

Do Not Disturb: How to read an ordinance

In the State of New Jersey, Municipal governments are given powers from the State legislature.  If we are not specifically given a power, we can’t legislate it.

Of course, the State can also yank back powers and if the State lege chooses to act differently than a municipality, the local ordinance is superseded and can no longer be enforced.  An example of this could be seen in Teaneck’s “hands free phone ordinance” or the “requirement for fences for certain above ground pools”.  No matter how wonderful the local population may find the rule, once the State acts in a specific area, the local rules fall.

The question recently came up about whether or not the local “noise” ordinance is enforceable here in Teaneck.

I think this is a good opportunity to share with the public how I look at questions like this, so you can see how the process works out.

First and foremost — what is the ordinance? Continue reading “Do Not Disturb: How to read an ordinance”

[UPDATE] Above Ground Pool Information [update #1]

As I mentioned in the previous post, many residents have requested information about above-ground pools in light of COVID-19 altering summer plans.

In the past few weeks, I had meetings with the manager, the zoning subcommittee, the building department supervisor and code officials.

Note that fence and setback requirements represent serious and potentially deadly safety issues.  While a permit is not required, you must comply with them.

Here’s the latest:

Temporary Pools (no standing water)

  • No permits will be required for temporary pools that will be emptied at the end of each day.

(However, they must still comply with regulations., including fence and setback requirements. — see below) Continue reading “[UPDATE] Above Ground Pool Information [update #1]”

Administrative Order 2020-15 [Libraries and more]

Good news for readers!  Administrative Order 2020-15 now allows for library book pickup (curbside).
The following is merely an excerpt of what is found in the order.  Please review the actual order below for all legal requirements.

Libraries:

  • All outdoor spaces may reopen
  • All municipal, County, State public libraries and all libraries at public and private colleges / universities are permitted to reopen (subject to requirements)
    • Curbside pickup / drop-off
    • Transactions handled in advance by phone / email
    • Employees will bring materials out
  • (read AO 2020-15 for complete list)

Continue reading “Administrative Order 2020-15 [Libraries and more]”

Executive Order 154: Personal Care Services

Below, are the new guidelines on the reopening of personal care services, which in general includes cosmetology shops, barber shops, beauty salons, hair braiding shops, nail salons, electrology facilities, certain spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, and tattoo parlors.

Effective at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, June 22, 2020, the following types of stores are permitted to reopen to the public provided that the facility complies with standards issues by the Dvisiion of Sonsumer Affaris and DOH, as laid out in the order:

  1. cosmetology shops
  2. barber shops
  3. beauty salons
  4. hair braiding shops
  5. nail salons
  6. electrology facilities
  7. spas, including day spas and medical spas, at which solely elective and cosmetic medical procedures are performed
  8. massage parlors
  9. tanning salons,
  10. and tattoo parlors

As always, please please read these carefully and reach out to the appropriate experts, with any questions.
Continue reading “Executive Order 154: Personal Care Services”

Above Ground Pool Information

Many residents have requested information about above-ground pools in light of COVID-19 altering summer plans.

I requested the Building Department and manager put together the information below.  Pools, taller than 24 inches require a zoning permit under our code.

If you have further questions, please feel free to reach out to the township. Continue reading “Above Ground Pool Information”

Executive Order 142: Non-Essential Services and Construction

Governor Murphy has issued Executive Order 142, which rolls back some of the previous measures that were put in place to halt the spread of COVID-19.

I’ve reviewed the order and compiled the list below.  This is not legal advice and I would strongly suggest anyone operating a business to review the rule in its entirety and seek legal guidance before changing any operations.

As the rate of infection decreases, the following changes take effect:

  1. Constructions projects not designated as essential may resume (subject to restrictions)
  2. Some vehicular based gatherings are permitted (subject to social distancing restrictions).
    1. Leaving your home to participate in such a gathering is no longer a violation of Executive Order.
  3. Certain Recreational and Entertainment events are now permitted (subject to social distancing restrictions).
  4. Non-essential retail businesses are permitted to reopen to the public, but only where they adopt specific policies as outlined in section 9.
    1. Curbside pickup only
    2. Limited employees required to effect curbside pickup
    3. Emphasis on contactless payments
    4. Arrangements for scheduling are encouraged
    5. Employees will place goods in vehicles
    6. Mall businesses can operate with curbside pickup (subject to social distancing restrictions)

The order tasks the State Director of Emergency Management with discretion to make additions, amendments, clarifications, exceptions, and exclusions to the terms in the order.

Municipalities are prohibited from any contrary rules.

Executive Order 142 Nonessential Contrcution Curbside Pickup Gatherings in Cars

Law is hard

When one starts to review laws, either on a local or state basis, the complexity factor is readily apparent.  There are many layers, tweaked over the decades (and sometimes centuries) which make legal counsel a requirement, even to understand what otherwise look like simple words.

Take this example:

“The commission shall consist of not less than five nor more than seven members, appointed by the mayor of the municipality…”

Source: NJSA 40:56A-1

Who does the appointing?

  1. The Mayor, Mohammed Hameeduddin
  2. The Council
  3. The Manager, Dean Kazinci

If you answered, the Mayor, you probably aren’t alone.  But you’d be wrong. Continue reading “Law is hard”