Tenafly is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2020 census the borough had a population of 15,409, an increase of 6.4% over the 14,488 counted in the 2010 census. (The 2010 population had reflected an increase of 682 (+4.9%) from the 13,806 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 480 (+3.6%) from the 13,326 counted in the 1990 Census.) Tenafly is a suburb of New York City.
The first European settlers in Tenafly were Dutch immigrants, who began to populate the area during the late 17th century. The name "Tenafly" is derived from the early-modern Dutch phrase "Tiene Vly" or "Ten Swamps" which was given by Dutch settlers in 1688. Other derivations cite a Dutch-language connection to its location on a meadow.
The borough has been one of the state's highest-income communities. Based on data from the American Community Survey for 2013–2017, Tenafly residents had a median household income of $153,381, ranked 13th in the state among municipalities with more than 10,000 residents, more than double the statewide median of $76,475.
Tenafly was incorporated as a borough on January 24, 1894, by an act of the New Jersey Legislature from portions of the now-defunct Palisades Township, based on the results of a referendum held the previous day. The borough was the first formed during the "Boroughitis" phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County, in which 26 boroughs were formed in the county in 1894 alone. Portions of Palisades Township were acquired based on legislation approved on April 8, 1897.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 5.16 square miles (13.38 km2), including 4.59 square miles (11.88 km2) of land and 0.58 square miles (1.50 km2) of water (11.20%).
The borough borders the municipalities of Alpine, Bergenfield, Cresskill, Englewood and Englewood Cliffs in Bergen County; The Bronx in New York City and Yonkers in Westchester County, New York, across the Hudson River.
Tenafly's street plan and overall development were largely determined by its hills and valleys. The eastern part of the borough is referred to as the "East Hill" for its higher elevation in relation to the rest of the borough. There, the terrain rises dramatically to the east of the downtown area, terminating at the New Jersey Palisades, overlooking the Hudson River. Nearby is the Tenafly Nature Center, located at 313 Hudson Avenue.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $125,865 (with a margin of error of +/- $23,612) and the median family income was $140,100 (+/- $26,372). Males had a median income of $102,645 (+/- $7,373) versus $60,871 (+/- $9,308) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $60,557 (+/- $5,176). About 1.8% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.4% of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 13,806 people, 4,774 households, and 3,866 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,993.4 people per square mile (1,156.3/km2). There were 4,897 housing units at an average density of 1,061.8 per square mile (410.1/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 76.79% White, 0.96% African American, 0.09% Native American, 19.08% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.40% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.65% of the population. 11.1% of residents reported that they were of Irish, 8.7% Russian, 8.6% Italian, 7.9% American, 7.8% German and 6.2% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. Among residents, 64.0% spoke English at home, while 8.7% spoke Korean, 5.0% Spanish, 4.5% Chinese or Mandarin and 3.1% Hebrew.
There were 4,774 households, out of which 43.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.6% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.0% were non-families. 16.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the borough the age distribution of the population shows 28.3% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 26.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.
2007 estimates state that the median income for a household in the borough was $109,887, and the median income for a family was $124,656. Males had a median income of $92,678 versus $61,990 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $62,230. About 2.3% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.
Tenafly is governed under a special charter granted by the New Jersey Legislature. This charter retains most aspects of the Borough form of government, with the addition of initiative, referendum, and recall features. The borough is one of 11 municipalities (of the 564) statewide that use a state-granted special charter. The governing body comprises a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office, and is eligible for re-election. The Borough Council comprises six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. As the legislative body, the Borough Council adopts ordinances and resolutions, decides on appropriations, approves appointments made by the Mayor, determines policy, and establishes the functions of the various departments of the local government. Each Council member is chairperson of one of six standing committees. The Mayor presides over Council meetings, but only votes in case of a tie, and can cast a veto which can be overridden by a two-thirds vote of the Council.
, the Mayor of Tenafly is Democrat Mark Zinna, whose term ends on December 31, 2023. Members of the Tenafly Borough Council are Lauren M. Dayton (D, term ends 2023), Jeffrey D. Grossman (D, 2023), Adam Michaels (D, 2022), Venugopal Menon (D, 2024), Daniel Park (D, 2022) and Julie O'Connor (D, 2024).
In January 2020, the Borough Council appointed Julie O'Connor to fill the remainder of the term expiring in December 2021 that had been held by Mark Zinna until he stepped down earlier that month to take office as mayor.
In 2000, the local government of Tenafly sought to ban the erection of eruvs in their community. The eruv association filed a lawsuit in response to the borough's action. After six years of litigation in the federal courts, Tenafly settled by keeping the eruvs intact and paid $325,000 of the plaintiff's legal fees.
Federal, state and county representation
Tenafly is located in the 9th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 37th state legislative district. Prior to the 2010 Census, Tenafly had been part of the , 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.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 8,709 registered voters in Tenafly, of whom 3,082 (35.4% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,445 (16.6% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 4,181 (48.0% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 60.1% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 87.3% of those aged 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 3,694 votes (58.8% vs. 54.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 2,489 votes (39.6% vs. 43.5%) and other candidates with 62 votes (1.0% vs. 0.9%), among the 6,281 ballots cast by the borough's 9,322 registered voters, for a turnout of 67.4% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 4,285 votes (63.3% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 2,376 votes (35.1% vs. 44.5%) and other candidates with 54 votes (0.8% vs. 0.8%), among the 6,773 ballots cast by the borough's 9,002 registered voters, for a turnout of 75.2% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 4,195 votes (61.3% vs. 51.7% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 2,569 votes (37.5% vs. 47.2%) and other candidates with 53 votes (0.8% vs. 0.7%), among the 6,848 ballots cast by the borough's 8,871 registered voters, for a turnout of 77.2% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 57.3% of the vote (2,046 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 42.2% (1,505 votes), and other candidates with 0.5% (18 votes), among the 3,667 ballots cast by the borough's 8,800 registered voters (98 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 41.7%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 2,454 ballots cast (55.8% vs. 48.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 1,701 votes (38.7% vs. 45.8%), Independent Chris Daggett with 189 votes (4.3% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 17 votes (0.4% vs. 0.5%), among the 4,401 ballots cast by the borough's 8,782 registered voters, yielding a 50.1% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
The Tenafly Public Schools serve students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprising six schools, had an enrollment of 3,732 students and 303.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.3:1. Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are
Malcolm S. Mackay Elementary School (391 students; in grades K-5),
Ralph S. Maugham Elementary School (411; K-5),
J. Spencer Smith Elementary School (360; K-5),
Walter Stillman Elementary School (393; K-5),
Tenafly Middle School (917; 6-8) and
Tenafly High School (1,193; 9-12). Students from Alpine attend Tenafly High School as part of a sending/receiving relationship.
The United States Department of Education awarded Tenafly High School the National Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence at a special assembly to the Tenafly High School community on September 20, 2005. Tenafly was the only high school in New Jersey and one of 38 public high schools in the U.S. to receive the 2005 Blue Ribbon School Award.
The school was the third-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2012 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after also being ranked third in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. Schooldigger.com ranked the school as tied for 26th out of 376 public high schools statewide in its 2010 rankings (unchanged from the 2009 rank) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the language arts literacy and mathematics components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
Tenafly High School has consistently performed very well in college acceptance and SAT scores. Most recent college acceptance] and [https://www.nj.com/education/2018/01/the_50_nj_high_schools_with_the_best_sat_scores.html SAT scores.
Public school students from the borough, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student's home school district.
Academy of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, was recognized in 2012 by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program of the United States Department of Education, one of 15 private and public schools in the state to be honored that year.
, the borough had a total of of roadways, of which were maintained by the municipality, by Bergen County, by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.
County Route 501, U.S. Route 9W and the Palisades Interstate Parkway all pass through Tenafly.
The Palisades Interstate Parkway runs above the Hudson River from Englewood Cliffs north towards Alpine. There are no exits on the parkway in Tenafly; the nearest interchanges are Exit 1 in Englewood Cliffs to the south, and Exit 2 in Alpine in the north.
U.S. Route 9W adjoins and runs parallel to the Palisades Interstate Parkway.
Local and express bus service to and from New York City is available via NJ Transit bus route 166 to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan.
Rockland Coaches provides services to the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Route 14ET from Montvale, New Jersey, the 9/9A/9T/9TA from Stony Point, New York and the 20/20T routes from West Nyack, New York.
Saddle River Tours/Ameribus provides a rush hour service to the George Washington Bridge Bus Station on the 20/84 route.
From the mid-1850s until September 1966, Tenafly was served by rail along the Northern Branch, originally to Pavonia Terminal, and later to Hoboken Terminal. CSX now provides freight service along the line. The former Tenafly Station, currently a restaurant, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979; it is one of four surviving stations on the Northern Branch.
The Northern Branch Corridor Project, a proposal by New Jersey Transit to extend the Hudson Bergen Light Rail for nine stops and northward from its current terminus in North Bergen to two stations in Tenafly, the last of which would be a new terminus near the Cresskill town line, met with mixed reactions. Many residents and officials believed that the negative consequences for the borough in terms of traffic and noise outweighed the benefits. In November 2010, voters rejected the plan to re-establish a rail service to the town by a nearly 2-1 ratio in a non-binding referendum, with all of the borough council candidates opposing the restoration of commuter train service. There is continued resistance to New Jersey Transit's preferred alternative as described in the plan's December 2011 announcement. Despite local opposition, officials in Bergen County asked the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority to support the proposal. In 2013, New Jersey Transit announced that the line would end in Englewood, after Tenafly officials estimated that as much as $8 million in commercial property valuation would be lost and residents raised strong objections.
Historic locations in Tenafly include:
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise associated with Tenafly include:
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Tenafly, NJ, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 4.0.