With the holiday season upon us, it’s a great opportunity to patronize our downtown businesses. Please be sure to support them on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holidays, which is the most critical time for small merchants. Once again, free holiday parking for shoppers will be available beginning this Friday, November 25, through January 1 for pay station lots and street meters (hourly restrictions still apply).
Please join us to kick off the season at the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony this Sunday, November 27, at 5:00 PM, at the North Avenue train station. The DWC will have a DJ spinning holiday tunes as we wait for Santa’s arrival on the Westfield Fire Department truck. In addition, our annual menorah lighting will take place on Sunday, December 18, at 4:30 with the Union County Torah Center Chabad.
As always, the DWC has many events planned to celebrate the season, including Westfield Winter Wonderland Activities on December 18 in Foundation Park, Hanukkah Hoopla and Kwanzaa Fun from December 18 through December 26, the Miracle on Elm Street Weekly Gift Card Giveaways, and holiday music throughout Downtown Westfield on December 11 and 18. For full details, visit the DWC website.
Thanks to our Police Department, Fire Department, Volunteer Rescue Squad and Department of Public Works for launching our first-ever Santa Convoy on December 17, when Santa will drive around Westfield to hand out candy canes to children. For more information, or to sign up to get a visit on your street, go to westfieldnj.gov/santa-convoy.
In addition, the Westfield Police Department is partnering with Toys for Tots to collect new unwrapped toys for less fortunate children this holiday season. There is a toy collection bin located in the Police Department lobby, which is accessible 24/7, as well as an Amazon wish list. The deadline to contribute is December 14. For more details, visit westfieldnj.gov/toys-for-tots.
ONE WESTFIELD PLACE PREVIEW CENTER
Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to visit the One Westfield Place Preview Center! If you have not yet had the opportunity, I encourage you to make the time to stop by so you can view the redevelopment proposal by HBC | Streetworks Development and provide your input. You can explore the Preview Center at your own leisure during their operating hours (Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 - 5:00, and Saturdays from 1:00 - 4:00). You can also book a personalized, 90-minute curated tour on their website.
I’d also like to make you aware of some new opportunities to obtain more specific information about the proposal.
HBC | Streetworks Development Information Sessions
Based on the input provided by the community, HBC | Streetworks Development will be hosting several themed information sessions, beginning next week, to specifically address the following topics: Traffic Mitigation, The Future of Office Space, and Planning & Design, with Wellness & Sustainability to follow after the new year.
- November 28, December 1, and December 2: Traffic – Discussion on planned traffic mitigation measures and pedestrian safety (6:30 PM)
- December 8 and 13: The Future of Office Space – Discussion of current market trends, demand for Class-A office space, office amenities, and post-COVID work spaces (6:00 PM)
- December 15: Planning and Design – Discussion of land use, proposed scale, and overall aesthetics and design (6:00 PM)
To manage capacity, pre-registration is required for these sessions, and is available on the One Westfield Place website. If these sessions reach capacity, additional dates will be made available.
Municipal Information Events
- I will be hosting a series of Facebook Live events to discuss similar topics with residents. The first discussion, on Monday, December 12, at 5:30 PM, will focus on general site planning including traffic mitigation, where I’ll be joined by Chris Colley from our redevelopment planning firm, Topology, and John Federico from our traffic consulting firm, WSP. A subsequent Facebook Live focused on the finance details of the proposal will be held immediately after the holidays.
- We are also hosting ward-specific tours of the Preview Center, where you can obtain information and provide feedback directly to your Town Council representatives.
- Ward 1: Saturday, December 3, 11:30 AM
- Ward 2: Tuesday, December 6, 6:00 PM
- Ward 3: Saturday, December 10, 11:30 AM
- Ward 4: Wednesday, December 7, 6:00 PM
No registration is required and we hope to see you at these sessions to hear your feedback and answer any questions.
Additionally, new supplemental FAQs will be posted on our website next week to address questions we’ve been receiving – mainly on the topics of traffic, parking, finance, and school impact. We will continue to update the FAQs as we receive feedback from the community.
Tonight we have several administrative items on the agenda, as well as a resolution authorizing the Union County Deer Management Program, which I’d like to briefly address. As a reminder, this will be our fourth year participating in this program, and the third year utilizing locations in approved areas of Brightwood Park and a small section of a Tamaques Park wooded area along Lamberts Mill Road as identified by the County. This program has been successful over the past few years in taking some important steps, at no cost to the Town, toward addressing an increasing safety problem with the rapidly multiplying deer population. This year, the season is scheduled to begin on or about December 1 and last through mid-February.
Before we get started, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and express my gratitude to my fellow Council members for their volunteer service, to all of our Town employees and our first responders for their exceptional work on our behalves, and especially to all of our residents for making this such an incredible place to call home.
Have a safe and happy holiday!