Trustees Vote to Ban Rooming Houses
This course of action was a reversal of a previous move to restrict rooming/boarding houses to five districts already zoned for multi-family dwellings.
The Board of Trustees passed an ordinance imposing an outright prohibition on rooming and boarding houses in South Orange at their Monday night meeting.
An earlier ordinance seeking to define where boarding houses could be situated was tabled on Sept. 30, when a number of residents from the Irvington Avenue area spoke out against it, and stricken on Nov. 9. At that time, the Trustees spoke of pursuing one of three courses: continuing with the status quo, wherein those seeking to open a boarding house would need to obtain a variance; designate boarding houses as a permitted use in specific areas; or prohibit them outright.
Village President Douglas Newman read from a prepared statement on Monday:
"Over the course of many months the Board of Trustees (the "Board") has considered a variety of approaches to the regulation of rooming houses and boarding houses (the "Uses") in the Township of South Orange Village (the "Township"). During that time, the Board considered prohibition of the Uses as well as limitation of the Uses to certain business districts. A proposal to limit the Uses as conditional uses in B-1 Districts was forwarded to the South Orange Planning Board. The Planning Board returned a recommendation that the Uses be permitted as conditional uses in additional districts permitting multi-family structures, more specifically in B-3, B-4, R-B, RC-1 and R-TH Districts. Thereafter, the Board conducted a public hearing on an ordinance adopting the recommendations of the Planning Board and heard numerous objections to that ordinance. Based upon facts revealed at the hearing and a separate analysis of the zoning district map, it became apparent that the boundaries of districts wherein the Uses would be permitted intruded significantly into single-family residential districts. As a consequence, the Uses might have been developed in locations which would have a significant negative impact on single-family neighborhoods. For all of the foregoing reasons, the Board has not adopted the recommendations of the Planning Board and has instead chosen to adopt an ordinance prohibiting the Uses throughout the Township."
Only one boarding house currently exists in South Orange, on Milligan Place, and it's effectively grandfathered in.