Madison, NJ

Madison, with an area of four square miles, has a population of approximately 16,000. The dominant land use is single-family housing, occupying 52 percent of the developed land, largely on lots well under one acre. Public and quasi-public uses occupy 25 percent of the developed land and commercial uses 13 percent. Most of the remaining land is used for multi-family housing with less than two percent vacant. Industrial uses are minimal.

The center of Madison's borough government is in the Hartley Dodge Memorial building, an imposing structure located across King's Road from the railroad station. The borough government provides a high level of services to the community including: efficient police and fire services; comprehensive refuse collection and recycling programs; a public water supply system and an electric power distribution utility. A sewage disposal plant, located in Chatham Borough, is operated jointly by Madison and Chatham. Its capacity is adequate to meet local needs and it has recently been substantially upgraded to meet revised federal and state standards of performance. The Borough is well endowed with parklands and has strong recreation and seniors programs. The Health Department provides comprehensive services, not only to Madison but to other communities on a contract basis.

Madison is known as a community with strong educational, cultural and historical amenities. The Free Public Library of the Borough of Madison is exceptional for a community of Madison's size and is widely regarded as one of the finest small community public libraries in New Jersey. The program of Drew University Minicourses at the library gives adults a convenient means for college level courses in an informal atmosphere.

Madison is the home of Drew University and has the Madison-Florham Park Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University and the College of St. Elizabeth immediately adjacent.

There is a strong public school system, which maintains relatively small class sizes and a broad curriculum. There are three elementary schools, one junior high school, and one high school. The high school is also attended by students from nearby Harding Township. In addition, St. Vincent Martyr Church operates a parochial elementary school here.

Madison's downtown is a thriving central business district. It is supported by a Downtown Development Commission and a Downtown Manager. The Madison Civic Commercial Historic District, which includes much of "downtown" as well as Borough Hall and the train station, is on the State Register of Historic Places. At any time there is very little vacant commercial space. In recent years Madison has become noted for the number and quality of its restaurants. 

Madison has a wide range of housing opportunities, from garden apartments, affordable housing and starter homes to large residences. Residential areas exhibit many positive attributes, with neighborhood parks and tree lined streets which reflect the historical development of neighborhoods. The initiation of direct train service to Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan has made Madison even more desirable for commuters. Recently the Borough Council has taken steps to preserve the current residential character of Madison by limiting the size of new homes on small lots.

Madison has been very successful in providing federally subsidized low and moderate income housing. The Madison Housing Authority, established in 1981, has been responsible for the construction of a two senior citizen housing complexes (one with seventy-nine units and the other with twelve) and fifty townhouse units. The latter have been developed under a "scatter site" plan and are integrated into the community. The work of the Housing Authority has been nationally recognized for its quality and performance and its management expertise is in demand from other communities.


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