About West Orange
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 12.2 square miles (31.7 km), of which, 12.1 square miles (31.4 km) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.90%) is water.
The oldest and most densely populated part of the township lies in the low valley along the border with the City of Orange, between Montclair Township in the north and South Orange Township to the south (“down the hill”). The Edison National Historic Site is located on Main Street in this section, and several major east-west arteries of the Newark street grid have their western terminus here, notably Central and Park Avenues. Downtown West Orange has a more urban character than the rest of the township.
Moving west, the neighborhoods along the First Watchung Mountain become increasingly suburban, ascending the steep hill along Northfield, Mount Pleasant, and Eagle Rock Avenues. The housing stock in neighborhoods of Hutton Park and the First Mountain neighborhoods is a mixture of 19th-century and Jazz Age estates, large pre-war Tudor-style houses, garden apartments, and post-war suburban houses. Llewellyn Park, one of the country’s first planned communities, is also located on the First Mountain. These parts of town overlook downtown West Orange and many streets, often called terraces, have sweeping views of the skylines of downtown Newark and New York City.
Beyond the high ridge of Prospect Avenue (“up the hill”), the township transitions to a predominantly post-war suburban neighborhood, interspersed with pockets of older homes, golf courses, and shopping centers, sloping back down toward Pleasant Valley Way. Pleasantdale includes a business district and large Orthodox Jewish community.
The westernmost section of West Orange lies along the eastern face of the Second Watchung Mountain, and includes a large part of South Mountain Reservation. The post-war housing stock in this neighborhood resembles Pleasant Valley, bordering the townships of Millburn, Maplewood and Livingston.
As of the census of 2000, there were 44,943 people, 16,480 households, and 11,684 families residing in the township. The population density was 3,708.7 people per square mile (1,431.7/km). There were 16,901 housing units at an average density of 1,394.7/sq mi (538.4/km). The racial makeup of the township was 67.55% White, 17.46% African American, 0.14% Native American, 8.09% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.52% from other races, and 3.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.04% of the population.
There were 16,480 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.1% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.19. In the township the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.0 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $69,254, and the median income for a family was $83,375. Males had a median income of $52,029 versus $39,484 for females. The per capita income for the township was $34,412. About 4.6% of families and 5.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.0% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.
The Township of West Orange is governed by the Mayor-Council system of municipal government under the Faulkner Act. Within this form of government, each member of the Township Council is elected to four-year terms on a staggered basis, in nonpartisan elections and serves on an at-large basis, representing the entire township.
The Mayor and members of the Township Council are:
• John F. McKeon, Mayor (term ends June 30, 2010)
• Sal M. Anderton, Township Councilman (2012)
• Renard Barnes, Township Councilman (2010)
• Patty Spango., Township Councilwoman (2012)
• Susan McCartney, Township Councilwoman (2010)
• Robert Parisi, Township Councilman (2012)
• Harry L. Starrett – Presiding Judge, West Orange Municipal Court
• Margaret Padovano – Municipal Judge, West Orange Municipal Court
• Mark Infante – Municipal Prosecutor
• The Municipal Building and Township Council offices are located at 66 Main Street
• The Police Department and Municipal Court are located at 60 Main Street
• The West Orange First Aid Squad is located at 25 Mount Pleasant Place
• The West Orange Fire Department HQ is located at 415 Valley Road.
• The West Orange Public Library is located at 46 Mount Pleasant Avenue.