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Posted on: July 21, 2023

Notice of Public Hearing August 14, 2023 at 7 pm re: Ordinance 12-23 Amendment





WHEREAS, in 1992 the Town of Boonton established a Historic Preservation Ordinance that included the establishment of the Boonton Historic Preservation Commission; and


WHEREAS, the Town of Boonton Master Plan provides that the historic preservation goals include, but are not limited to, the following:


  1. Foster recognition of the Town of Boonton for its natural and historic assets;


  1. Balance new development with historic preservation efforts and older historic–rich buildings;


  1. Ensure high-quality historic districts, and landmark buildings and sites through regulation and enforcement;


4.         Assist in preservation of, and public access to, cultural, historical and archaeological sites; and


WHEREAS, the Ironworks Industrial Historic District is identified on the attached map [describe the boundaries and the properties included within the proposed district]; and 


WHEREAS, the Historic Preservation Commission has recommended that, in addition to the established “Ironworks Residential District”, the “Ironworks Industrial Historic District” be a thematically consistent and logical extension to be identified as part of the Historic Preservation District and sites for the Town of Boonton pursuant to Section 300-68(A); and


WHEREAS, the Town Code provides that in order for an area of the Town to be designated as a Historic District it must meet certain criteria for such designation, and in accordance with that criteria, the Ironworks Industrial area that is proposed to be a Historic District meets the criteria pursuant to the following standards: 


1.         Its association with a significant historical event;

2.         Embodiment of a distinctive character;

3.         Type or method of construction;

4.         Significant or distinctive artistic value;

5.         Archaeological significance;

6.         Inclusion on national register of historic places; and


WHEREAS, the concept of establishing the Boonton “Ironworks Industrial District” is supported in the 2018 Boonton Master Plan, including in:


1.         Table 18, which identifies the Boonton Ironworks Complex as part of the Morris Canal Historic District; and the Boonton Forge and Grounds as having a SHPO Opinion and Inventory ID #4615;


2.         Map 10, entitled “Existing Historic Districts and Resources”, which identifies the Boonton Ironworks Complex as Item 15 in a list of Historic Sites;


3.         Table 21, which identifies the former site of the Esten House located at 2 Plane Street as a contributing site to the Historic District; and



WHEREAS, on July 24, 2019 the Boonton Ironworks District, which is coterminous with the proposed Ironworks Industrial Historic District, was issued a Certification of Eligibility from the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office that includes, but is not limited to, the proposed Ironworks Industrial District and identified its period of significance as being from 1831 to 1930; and 


WHEREAS, the aforementioned Certification of Eligibility includes the following identifiable significant resources of the district such as:


A.         The 1866 stone arch building;

B.         The remains of stone foundation with arches;

C.        Potential buried remains from Boonton Ironworks;

D.        Stone retaining walls;

E.         Former Morris and Essex Railroad siding;

F.         Remains of Morris and Essex turntable;

G.        Boonton Ironworks Railroad Trestle Bridge;

H.        Bed of the Morris Canal;

I.          Grace Lord Park;

J.         George Esten House; 

K.         Pocket of industrial/commercial buildings adjacent to Plane Street;

L.         Pocket of Boonton Public Works Building;


WHEREAS, pursuant N.J.S.A. 40:55D-4, a Historic District means one or more historic sites and intervening or surrounding property significantly affecting or affected by the quality and character of the historical site; and


WHEREAS, the history and significance of the Boonton Ironworks Industrial Historic District predates the Town of Boonton and whose workforce was the cause of the Town’s subsequent establishment and growth and having an essential influence in defining the character of the Town when it was incorporated in 1867, which history is referenced and outlined in great detail in the Town’s application for the District’s nomination to the State and National Registers of Historical Places, which includes an extensive overview of the Boonton Ironworks Morris Canal and Morris and Essex Railroad, and its history, boundaries and landmarks, such as the Rockaway River and Morris Canal basin; and


WHEREAS, the application provides extensive detail of the Boonton Ironwork resources, and the Morris Canal, and identifies in great detail the first record of iron operations dating back to 1747 through 1929 and the establishment of Grace Lord Park; and


WHEREAS, the application narrative is incorporated as part of this Ordinance (see Exhibit C).


NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED, by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Boonton, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, as follows:


SECTION 1. For all of the reasons stated herein, Part 4 of the Town Code entitled "Zoning", Article XVII , entitled "Zone Districts and Enforcement", Section 300-68(A), is hereby amended to include the Ironworks Industrial Historic District pursuant to the map boundaries identified in Schedule A


SECTION 2.  If any section or provision of this Ordinance shall be held invalid in any Court of competent jurisdiction, the same shall not affect the other sections or provisions of this Ordinance, except so far as the section or provision so declared invalid shall be inseparable from the remainder or any portion thereof. 


SECTION 3.  All ordinances of the Town of Boonton that are inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance, are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.


SECTION 4.  This Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon final passage, approval, and publication as required by law.


The foregoing ordinance having been introduced and passed on first reading by the Mayor and Town Council of the Town of Boonton, County of Morris, State of New Jersey on July 10, 2023 and then ordered to be published according to the law, will be further considered for final passage and adoption at  a public hearing to be held at a meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. on August 14, 2023 at the Town Hall, 100 Washington Street, Boonton, NJ 07005, when and where or at such time and place to which said meeting may be adjourned.  All persons interested will be given an opportunity to be heard concerning said ordinance.


Cynthia A. Oravits, RMC/CMR

Town Clerk/Registrar

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