|Chester Township, New Jersey|
|— Township —|
|Black River County Park|
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||April 1, 1799|
|• Type||Faulkner Act (Small Municipality)|
|• Mayor||William Cogger (term ends December 31, 2013)|
|• Administrator / Clerk||Carol Isemann|
|• Total||29.462 sq mi (76.306 km2)|
|• Land||29.377 sq mi (76.086 km2)|
|• Water||0.085 sq mi (0.221 km2) 0.29%|
|Area rank||93rd of 566 in state
5th of 39 in county
|Elevation||787 ft (240 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Rank||293rd of 566 in state
24th of 39 in county
|• Density||266.8/sq mi (103.0/km2)|
|• Density rank||487th of 566 in state
38th of 39 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0882199|
Chester Township is a township in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 7,838, reflecting an increase of 556 (+7.6%) from the 7,282 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,324 (+22.2%) from the 5,958 counted in the 1990 Census.
Chester Township is located about 40 miles (64 km) west of New York City and features Victorian style homes and palatial estates. Throughout the year there are craft fairs, Victorian house tours during the holiday season, jazz concerts in downtown park, and other community events. It was established by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 1, 1799, from portions of both Roxbury Township and Washington Township, based on the results of a referendum held that day. Additional territories were acquired from Randolph Township (in 1806) and Washington Township (1840 and 1853). Portions of the township were taken on April 3, 1930, to form Chester Borough, a separate municipality surrounded entirely by Chester Township.
Chester Township is located at United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 29.462 square miles (76.306 km2), of which, 29.377 square miles (76.086 km2) of it is land and 0.085 square miles (0.221 km2) of it (0.29%) is water.(40.776312,-74.687645). According to the
1930-1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.
Census 2010 
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 7,838 people, 2,592 households, and 2,201 families residing in the township. The population density was 266.8 inhabitants per square mile (103.0 /km2). There were 2,697 housing units at an average density of 91.8 per square mile (35.4 /km2). The racial makeup of the township was 93.31% (7,314) White, 1.05% (82) Black or African American, 0.03% (2) Native American, 3.50% (274) Asian, 0.01% (1) Pacific Islander, 0.54% (42) from other races, and 1.57% (123) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.35% (341) of the population.
There were 2,592 households out of which 43.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 76.5% were married couples living together, 5.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 15.1% were non-families. 11.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the township the population was spread out with 30.0% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 16.3% from 25 to 44, 35.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.4 years. For every 100 females there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.6 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $162,188 (with a margin of error of +/- $17,186) and the median family income was $168,942 (+/- $15,109). Males had a median income of $147,109 (+/- $13,523) versus $67,647 (+/- $9,800) for females. The per capita income for the township was $77,787 (+/- $8,389). About 3.1% of families and 6.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.0% of those under age 18 and 0.9% of those age 65 or over.
Census 2000 
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 7,282 people, 2,323 households, and 2,014 families residing in the township. The population density was 248.3 people per square mile (95.9/km²). There were 2,377 housing units at an average density of 81.1 per square mile (31.3/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 95.12% white, 1.15% African American, 0.01% Native American, 2.39% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.58% of the population.
Of the 2,323 households, 46.0% feature children under the age of 18, 79.6% were married couples living together, 4.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.3% were non-families. 10.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.05 and the average family size was 3.29.
In the township the population was spread out with 30.5% under the age of 18, 4.1% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 29.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $117,298, and the median income for a family was $133,586. Males had a median income of $91,841 versus $52,076 for females. The per capita income for the township was $55,353. About 2.4% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.8% of those under age 18 and 2.8% of those age 65 or over.
The earliest records of individuals settling in the area date back to deeds dated in 1713, for properties located near a point where two Lenape Native American trails crossed at an area called Black River. With the arrival of the Rogerenes in 1730, the area developed as an agricultural community, producing applejack, flax and wool, as well as raising cattle. A burst of economic activity occurred starting in 1875 with the discovery of iron ore in the area, which led to the construction of dozens of mines, a blast furnace and many of the commercial and residential structures in the township date to that era. The discovery of far more abundant and productive mining sites in Minnesota's Mesabi Range ended that boom after nearly 15 years. Chester returned to its farming roots in the 20th Century.
Local government 
In 1958, Chester Township changed its form of government from the Township form to a Faulkner Act form, Small Municipality, Plan C. Its structure includes four Councilmembers and a Mayor, all elected at large for three-year terms on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year. The candidates run on a partisan basis at regular primary and general election times. Independent candidates, having declared their intentions at primary time, run only in the general election.
Chester Township's form of government features a strong mayor, who acts as the township's executive, overseeing the creation of a budget, preparing an annual financial report and the enforcement of state and local laws, and is responsible for hiring most township officials (with approval of the Council). The Council, which is the township's legislative body, selects one of its members to serve as president to preside when the mayor is not present. The mayor participates and votes in Council sessions and makes committee assignments to Councilmembers. The mayor and a member of the Council serve on the Planning Board.
Merger discussion with Chester Borough 
In 2007, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine created incentives for municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants to combine with other communities. The goal is to reduce the overall cost of government and thereby offer some tax relief. "New Jersey has 21 counties, 566 municipalities and 616 school districts, and property taxes average $6,800 per homeowner, or twice the national average." 
Chester Borough split from Chester Township in 1930 over the creation of sewer and water infrastructure in the more densely settled center of the municipality. The residents of the rural portions of the Township did not wish to financially support the construction and maintenance of a public sewer or water utility. Since that time rural Chester Township has relied upon individual private wells for water and septic systems for wastewater treatment while the Borough is primarily, although not entirely, served by public sewer and water. Concerns over the extension of utilities into the rural Township with the resultant potential for large scale growth served as an impediment to consolidation. The prohibition of utility extensions supported by the NJ State Plan and codified in the Highlands Water Protection Act, along with the development restrictions contained in the Highlands Act have lessened those concerns. Additionally, an aggressive land conservation program in the Township has resulted in over 40% of the 29-square-mile (75 km2) Township being placed into permanent preservation, further lessening worries about potential overdevelopment. The two municipalities currently share a common K-8 school district, volunteer fire department, library, first aid squad and other municipal services.
Governor Corzine's plan to reduce or eliminate state aid had residents considering recombining towns. The two mayors publicly endorsed a cost/benefit analysis of a merger. However, a merger vote planned for November 2, 2010, was delayed until 2011 due to Governor Christie's elimination of equalization funds that ensured some taxpayers do not pay more due to the merger.
Federal, state and county representation 
Chester Township is located in the 7th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 25th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Chester Township had been in the 24th state legislative district. Prior to the 2010 Census, Chester Township had been part of the 11th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.
New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Leonard Lance (R, Clinton Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).
The 25th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Anthony Bucco (R, Boonton) and in the General Assembly by Tony Bucco (R, Boonton Township) and Michael Patrick Carroll (R, Morris Township). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Morris County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year. As of 2011, Morris County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director William J. Chegwidden (Wharton), Deputy Freeholder Director Douglas R. Cabana (Boonton Township), Gene F. Feyl (Denville), Ann F. Grassi (Parsippany-Troy Hills), Thomas J. Mastrangelo (Montville), John J. Murphy (Morris Township) and Hank Lyon (Montville Township),
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 5,435 registered voters in Chester Township, of which 807 (14.8%) were registered as Democrats, 2,608 (48.0%) were registered as Republicans and 2,018 (37.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 2 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 62.7% of the vote here (2,821 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 36.1% (1,623 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (39 votes), among the 4,499 ballots cast by the township's 5,748 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.3%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 65.5% of the vote here (2,840 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 33.3% (1,445 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (37 votes), among the 4,336 ballots cast by the township's 5,654 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 76.7.
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 72.1% of the vote here (2,381 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 19.0% (628 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 8.0% (264 votes) and other candidates with 0.3% (10 votes), among the 3,302 ballots cast by the township's 5,601 registered voters, yielding a 59.0% turnout.
Students in grades K-8 attend the Chester Township Public School District, together with children from Chester Borough. Schools in the district (with 2010-11 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Dickerson Elementary School (grades K-2; 371 students), Bragg Intermediate School (3-5; 455), and Black River Middle School (6-8; 519). Dickerson and Bragg Schools are located on County Route 510, east of Chester Borough; Black River Middle School is on County Route 513 (North Road), north of Chester Borough.
Students in public school for grades nine through twelve in both communities attend West Morris Mendham High School, part of the West Morris Regional High School District, which serves students from the surrounding Morris County school districts of Chester Borough, Chester Township, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township and from Washington Township.
No limited access roads run through Chester, but they are accessible in neighboring communities, such as Interstate 80 in Roxbury and Mount Olive, and both Interstate 287 and Interstate 78 in Bedminster.
Local recreation and environment 
Of the township’s 29.8 square miles (77 km2), 42 percent, or about 12 square miles (31 km2), is permanently protected from development. There are nature reserves and parkland, but also agricultural property that is deed restricted under the state Farmland Preservation Program, which buys the development rights while allowing the farmer to retain title and continue working the land.
Chester has been described as a rural environment that caters to "agritourism." The township has developed this reputation by preserving farmland through public investment in open spaces.
The townships parks are preserves are free and open to the public. A partial list includes:
- Chubb Park: an 85-acre (340,000 m2) area with playing fields, skating, ponds, and sledding.
- Tiger Brook Park: Purchased with the assistance of the New Jersey Green Acres Program in 1980, this 270-acre (1.1 km2) preserve contains a 10-acre (40,000 m2) reservoir.
- Hacklebarney State Park: This 890-acre (3.6 km2) park was established in 1924 with the donation of 32 acres (130,000 m2). The Black River, which bisects the park, is one of the premier trout fishing streams in New Jersey.
- Black River Fish and Wildlife Management Area: This area consists of 3,020 acres (12.2 km2) in the northern portion of the Township. It was purchased under the Green Acres Acquisition Program for recreational activities, including fishing, hunting, canoeing, cross-country skiing and hiking.
Development is highly constrained due to state and town ordinance. The entire Township is located in the New Jersey Highlands with approximately 86% of the land area designated as part of the more highly constrained Highlands Preservation Area. This environmentally sensitive area supplies drinking water to two-thirds of the state’s residents. In 2004, the state passed the Highlands Preservation Act to limit development. In 2005, 27 new homes were built and only 16 in 2006.
Notable people 
Notable current and former residents of Chester Township include:
- Jim Breuer (born 1967), comedian.
- Alex Buzbee (born 1985), defensive end for the Washington Redskins of the NFL.
- Neil Cavuto (born 1958), Fox News Channel anchor.
- James Gandolfini (born 1961), actor.
- Dave Levey, finalist on Hell's Kitchen.
- Rick Porcello (born 1988), pitcher for the Detroit Tigers.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Gazetteer of New Jersey Places, United States Census Bureau. Accessed Accessed January 19, 2013.
- 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, April 2005, p. 110.
- 2013 New Jersey Mayors Directory, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Accessed May 12, 2013.
- Township Directory, Chester Township. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Township of Chester, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed March 5, 2013.
- DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 for Chester township, Morris County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- Municipalities Grouped by 2011-2020 Legislative Districts, New Jersey Department of State, p. 11. Accessed January 6, 2013.
- Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2010 for Chester township, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- GCT-PH1 Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - State -- County Subdivision from the 2010 Census Summary File 1 for New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed December 11, 2012.
- Look Up a ZIP Code for Chester, NJ, United States Postal Service. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- A Cure for the Common Codes: New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed October 27, 2012.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- Table 7. Population for the Counties and Municipalities in New Jersey: 1990, 2000 and 2010, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, February 2011. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 192. Accessed October 25, 2012.
- Census Estimates for New Jersey April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011, United States Census Bureau. Accessed November 26, 2012.
- Raum, John O. The History of New Jersey: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 1, p. 256, J. E. Potter and company, 1877. Accessed December 17, 2012. "Chester was formed in 1799, and in 1850 contained a population of 1,334 inhabitants; in 1860, 1,558; and in 1870, 1,743."
- Debow, James Dunwoody Brownson. The Seventh Census of the United States: 1850, p. 140. R. Armstrong, 1853. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- Staff. A compendium of the ninth census, 1870, p. 260. United States Census Bureau, 1872. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- Porter, Robert Percival. Preliminary Results as Contained in the Eleventh Census Bulletins: Volume III - 51 to 75, p. 98. United States Census Bureau, 1890. Accessed September 23, 2012.
- Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910: Population by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions, 1910, 1900, 1890, United States Census Bureau, p. 338. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- "Fifteenth Census of the United States: 1930 - Population Volume I", United States Census Bureau, p. 717. Accessed September 23, 2012.
- New Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: 1930 - 1990, Workforce New Jersey Public Information Network, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 2, 2009. Accessed September 23, 2012.
- Census 2000 Profiles of Demographic / Social / Economic / Housing Characteristics for Chester township, Morris County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- DP-1: Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 - Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data for Chester township, Morris County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- DP03: Selected Economic Characteristics from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates for Chester township, Morris County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- "Chester History". Chester Township, NJ. 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
- Cheslow, Jerry (June 24, 2007). "Don’t Count on Running Into the Neighbors". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
- Van Dyke, Meghan (2008). "The Chesters look at forming one community". Daily Record (Morristown). Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- Goldberg, Dan (2010). "Chesters merger panel puts off meeting until next year". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- Plan Components Report, New Jersey Redistricting Commission, December 23, 2011. Accessed January 6, 2013.
- 2012 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government, p. 56, New Jersey League of Women Voters. Accessed January 6, 2013.
- Districts by Number for 2011-2020, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 6, 2013.
- 2011 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government, p. 56, New Jersey League of Women Voters. Accessed January 6, 2013.
- Directory of Representatives: New Jersey, United States House of Representatives. Accessed January 5, 2012.
- Legislative Roster 2012-2013 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 11, 2012.
- "About the Governor". State of New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
- "About the Lieutenant Governor". State of New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
- What is a Freeholder?, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed January 5, 2011.
- William J. Chegwidden, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
- Douglas R. Cabana, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
- Gene F. Feyl, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
- Ann F. Grossi, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
- Thomas J. Mastrangelo, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
- John J. Murphy, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
- Hank Lyon, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
- Meet the Freeholders, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2011.
- Voter Registration Summary - Morris, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, March 23, 2011. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- 2008 Presidential General Election Results: Morris County, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, December 23, 2008. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- 2004 Presidential Election: Morris County, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, December 13, 2004. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- 2009 Governor: Morris County, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, December 31, 2009. Accessed December 17, 2012.
- Our District, Chester School District. Accessed December 17, 2012. "The school district serves two municipalities, Chester Borough and Chester Township. The Borough of Chester is a 1.6 square mile village centered on a main street lined with specialty shops, old homes, and historic buildings.... The surrounding Chester Township is a 29.3 square mile residential community made up of farms, estates, and attractive housing developments."
- Data for the Chester Township Public School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed July 18, 2011.
- Chester Township School District 2011 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 17, 2012. "Students in grades nine through twelve attend West Morris Mendham High School. "
- West Morris Regional High School District 2011 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 17, 2012. "The district serves the students of five Morris County communities, Chester Borough, Chester Township, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township and Washington Township, in grades 9 through 12. Students from Washington Township attend West Morris Central High School, and students from the Chesters and the Mendhams attend West Morris Mendham High School."
- Morris County Bus/Rail Connections, New Jersey Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 22, 2009. Accessed July 18, 2011.
- "Chester Township Parks". Chester Township, NJ. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
- Keller, Joel. "IN PERSON; Mr. Breuer's Neighborhood", The New York Times, October 16, 2005. Accessed February 28, 2008.
- Former Hoya Football Standout Alex Buzbee Signs with Washington Redskins, CSTV, May 15, 2007. Accessed October 14, 2007. "Like most college seniors, Georgetown University senior Alex Buzbee (Chester, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) went through a series of job interviews."
- Fackelmann, Kathleen. "MS part of Cavuto's world", USA Today, December 21, 2005. Accessed July 16, 2008.
- McGeveran, Tom (2002). "Sopranos Suburb?". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- Manochio, Matt (2009). "Chester native finalist on "Hell's Kitchen" cooking show". Daily Record. Retrieved October 6, 2009.
- Ash, Lorraine. "Name dropping in Morris: Life in county shapes luminaries' successes", Daily Record (Morristown), July 8, 2009. Accessed April 28, 2011. "Rick Porcello, 20 - Grew up in Chester Township, now lives in Detroit"
- Chester Township website
- Chester Township Public School District
- Chester Township Public School District's 2010–11 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- Data for the Chester Township Public School District, National Center for Education Statistics
- West Morris Regional High School District
- West Morris Central High School
- West Morris Mendham High School
- Daily Record, area newspaper
- Photographic montage of Chester Township
- Chester Game Association
||Mount Olive Township||Roxbury Township||Randolph Township|
|Washington Township||Mendham Township|
|Tewksbury Township||Bedminster Township||Peapack and Gladstone|
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