West Montrose Residents Talk Back to Trustees
South Orange Board of Trustees heard from residents about proposed parking changes
Hillside Place and Meadowbrook Place residents succeeded in convincing the South Orange Board of Trustees to drop proposed change in parking rules. The group presented a petition signed by some 30 residents who object to a proposed ordinance that would prohibit parking on the streets between 11 p.m. and 9 a.m.
The proposed restrictions, trustees said, were proposed to address complaints about early-morning fitness training in the park. Trainers and their clients arrive in the Floods Hill area, say residents. They sometimes double park and create a noisy situation.
However, residents said this restriction would impose a burden on 27 additional households directly, and perhaps more.
Residents were permitted to speak to the trustees at 7:30 p.m. after initial confusion about the meeting start time.
"I understand the basis of this ordinance," said 10-year resident Jessie Wendt, who understands that early-morning trainers bring noise and inconvenience. However, she noted that limiting parking at 11 p.m. would also bring inconvenience, noting that she often has out-of-state houseguests, who would be forced be "shuffle cars in and out of the driveway" both in the evening and the morning.
Wendt further noted that the 9 a.m. start time would be a challenge for families with two commuting parents, for those with cleaners, babysitters, or tradespeople coming to the house.
At the same time, a lawyer representing resident Rani Doyle noted that his client has been working "for years" to improve the quality of life near the park. Specifically, Doyle objects to littering, sleeping in cars alongside the park, and early-morning training businesses. She supports the proposed change along with greater enforcement of existing rules.
The trustees agreed to drop the proposed changes after hearing public comment on the matter.