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Scotch Plains

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About Scotch Plains

Scotch Plains is a mid-size township in New Jersey's Union County. It's just 15 miles from Newark but has a small-town feel that's very different from the big-city lifestyle. Despite being a quiet community, it offers plentiful amenities, including parks, recreational programs and everyday conveniences.

The History of Scotch Plains

The area that's now the township of Scotch Plains was first settled in 1684 by a small group of Scottish Quakers. The community served as a stage coach stop on the route between New York City and Philadelphia and later played an important role in the Revolutionary War. Several skirmishes and the pivotal Battle of Short Hills took place in the area, and you can find many war landmarks in the community today.

In 1878, the community was incorporated as Fanwood Township and renamed Scotch Plains in 1917. By World War I, Scotch Plains was evolving from a quiet farming town into a modern community. The township welcomed a large number of Italian immigrants, who brought skills that expanded the local industries into shoe making, plumbing, carpentry and masonry.

After World War I, Scotch Plains became a desirable commuter suburb, and its residential developments expanded. However, it was still a fairly small, rural town compared with some of its neighboring communities. The most significant growth came after World War II, as much of the local farm-land gave way to growing housing developments.

Living in Scotch Plains

Scotch Plains, home to a diverse community, has a history of welcoming immigrants, enriching the township with Italian, Irish, German, Polish, Asian-American and African-American cultures. It's convenient location has attracted not just residents, but businesses as well, which supply a healthy number of local jobs. Commuting to nearby cities is a popular choice for Scotch Plains residents, especially since Brooklyn is about 22 miles away and Newark is just 15 miles from town.

Scotch Plains is a very family-oriented community with many parks, two golf courses and an amusement park. If you like antiques, you'll enjoy the wide variety of antique shops in town. Local events reinforce the strong sense of community. The township hosts holiday celebrations, car shows, community 5K runs, summer concerts and more, providing plenty of opportunities to meet your neighbors and make new friends.

Scotch Plains Schools

Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools operates the public schools in Scotch Plains and the surrounding area. Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School offers advanced placement coursework and exams as well as extracurricular sports and clubs.

Resources for Moving to Scotch Plains

Here are a few helpful resources for planning your move to Scotch Plains:

  • Utilities: Scotch Plains' major utilities providers include Public Service Electric & Gas and the township's utilities department.
  • Garbage and Recycling: Recycling collection services are available twice-a-month basis. However, because the township doesn't provide waste disposal services, it's up to you to contact a private company.
  • Transportation: You'll have access to several New Jersey Transit routes in Scotch Plains, as well as Amtrak service that connects to many cities along the East Coast.
  • Pets: All dogs more than 6 months old must be licensed by the township.

Scotch Plains Housing

Although Scotch Plains was named one of New Jersey's most affordable communities in the early 2000s, prices have jumped significantly since then. Growing demand and popularity have driven housing costs higher than the Greater New York City average. However, you can find a range of housing options throughout Scotch Plains, so it's possible to buy or rent something that fits your budget.