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Occupancy Law Amendment to be Drafted

Subcommittee to be formed as many Parsippany families are set to lose their homes.

The occupancy ordinance wasn't on the agenda for Tuesday night's Parsippany Township Council meeting. But that law—and the families set to lose their homes because of it—became the business session's central focus. 

The council decided Tuesday night to form a subcommittee to draft an occupancy ordinance amendment the members will accept. Council President Brian Stanton refused all requests to volunteer, saying he would hand pick who will serve on the panel.

The issue arose when Councilman James Vigilante sneaked in a question just before Stanton was about to adjourn what had been a fairly routine meeting. 

Vigilante noted that at least four Parsippany families—including one with a 6-month-old baby—are about to be evicted because under Par-Troy housing law, three people cannot live in a one-bedroom apartment. 

The councilman said that while he supports strong enforcement of true stacking infractions, he doesn't believe young families were the intended targets of the law.

"Is there anything legally that we can do to suspend the ordinance and protect these families?" Vigilante asked Township Attorney John Inglesino.

"The ordinance is the law of this municipality," the lawyer said. "We're duty-bound to enforce the law."

Inglesino reminded Vigilante that just weeks ago an ordinance amendment proposal backed by Mayor James Barberio appeared before the council. Under that plan, families in violation of the ordinance could attempt to obtain a waiver, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"parsippany-council-residential-occupancy-ordinance"} -->. That proposal was just shy of its second reading when the after some

Robert Simpson September 19, 2012 at 10:14 AM
Carifi is on the right tract. There should be a violation issued to the landlord if he signs a lease when there is an occupancy violation.
PatchLover September 19, 2012 at 11:17 AM
I agree that the landlord should be held responsible for enforcing the lease and the housing law. Before we look for the solution to the problem, can someone please provide the data on stacking? How many notices for the stacking were issued by our housing dept? How many families were evicted? How many families were paid by the township to move out? (six months rent?). I hear many comments about saying that stacking is a real problem, but I think public should see some data. This is just like BOE always complaint about many non-residents are attending our schools but when they verified the papers, it was not a big issue. Let us do our homework before we try to resolve the issue. I am not saying that it is not a problem.
Carol M. September 19, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Patchlover that's actually a really good point. Stacking is a serious safety issue, a very emotional topic and a terrific political hot button but the council would be wise to study the information they already have available to them as they approach the best way to revisit the ordinance thats already in place. I remember what you mention about the BOE. I think it was about 2 or so years ago when everyone was all up in arms that there were children that lived elsewhere that attended our schools and we all had to go through re-registering every child k-12.. The BOE was so thorough in the process that when I was a little slow getting my paperwork in that I even got a call from the school to let me know that my children wouldn't be able to start again in September without it. After all that, I remember the BOE saying they didn't find any problem at all. All that emotion and effort over the idea that there were children who didn't belong in our schools wasn't really needed but I'm glad that it was done. They gathered the information needed to be able to make data based decisions going forward and that concern about children who dont belong in our schools that stirs up all kinds of emotion can finally just be put to rest. It would be a smart move for the Council to gather the information needed to make sound decisions on this topic gong forward.
Bob Crawford September 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM
The clock continues to tick for at least four families facing eviction and from the Town Council and the Mayor's office comes continued wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. Now a sub committee hand picked by Town Concil President Stanton will be charged with doing the work the Town Council doesn't know how to do but volunteers who might be able to provide new insights need not apply. It would appear that the Mayor's and his minions' need for control continues to trump common sense. Come on Mayor Barberio give Mr. Stanton the green light and allow him to take a chance and invite Parsippany residents who haven't sworn their loyalty to you to join the sub committee.
jim wilson September 19, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Robert, With all due respect some of the complex's in town are 200 to 800 units. It is impossible for a landlord to police every single tenant. Keep in mind that tenants also lie and mislead landlords. There has to be a way to allow a true family unit for getting evicted, but blaming the landlords or penalizing them is not the answer!
Carol M. September 19, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Once yet again Mr Crawford your need to deprecate a reasonable conversation with name calling and nastiness and you’re never ending need to denigrate those in elected office is so very, very tiresome. Try being constructive, pleasant or even just positive about anything at all that’s going on in this town and maybe then one of your countless offers to volunteer from the last 3 years will be taken. I know YOU feel you have expertise to offer but not everyone feels the same.
clyde donovan September 19, 2012 at 07:54 PM
I like this occupancy violation law thing. If Parsippany can kick everyone out of town who has children, they can close down all the schools and save a lot of money.
Bob Crawford September 20, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Carol M Come on. Let Mayor Barberio and other elected officials who get called out by my "name calling and nastiness" respond themselves.. Their continuing and rather sad need to depend upon you to do their cheer leading reinforces the growing impression that they are unwilling or unable to state their case. To use your words what is so "very tiresome" are elected officials who can't or won't think on their own because doing so would not be in their personal self interest. Of course you already know that given who you are when your are not playing Carol M. By the way tell us who you are and let's compare volunteer activiities. Who knows we may have served together. .
Patch Enthusiast September 20, 2012 at 01:40 PM
I agree with upholding the law regarding overcrowding and stacking. I lived in a condo in town that I owned and moved out when I had twins because the rule said no more than 2 people per one bedroom unit allowed. I find out now that so many people are living in the same sized units with 3 and 4 (and sometimes more) people and are not being evicted. Why is it that people who follow the rules are the only ones who suffer and those who refuse to obey the rules and laws benefit? It was a huge financial sacrifice for us to move but we believe in following the law/rules as should others. We need to make the penalties for breaking the law more severe so that people follow the law.
Mike P September 20, 2012 at 02:40 PM
@Patch Enthusiast there is no rule or law in Parsippany that that says that no more than 2 people are allowed in a bedroom. It's based on square feet and not the amount of bedrooms.
Patch Enthusiast September 20, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Thank you for clarifying my mistake, Mr. Panico. I appreciate your kind response. What is the square footage required for three people? for 4? That is how many people are occupying condos that measure less than 652 square feet. (652 is the largest one bedroom, while all other one bedrooms are smaller - ave of 630 sq feet).
patchitup1 September 20, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Once again Bob is attacking here on the patch! Carol you have no idea how this guy just loves to go after people with his rants and raves. He always wants people who hold back there personal info to Come out and fight with him. He's a bully and has a history of it! Never once has bob said a nice thing on here unless it was about himself. Bob the reason that people like carol and others don't put there names on here is to keep our home and kids away from aggressive people like you!
Mike P September 20, 2012 at 03:19 PM
@Patch Enthusiast it depends on the actual size of the bedroom. I just looked up the law. For 3 people sleeping in one bedroom it is 170 sq feet. For 4 people it is 220 sq. feet.
Patch Enthusiast September 20, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Thanks, Mr. Panico. I guess I need to find out the size of the bedrooms. Thanks for the valuable information. I appreciate it.
Patch Enthusiast September 20, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I just checked - All bedrooms in this particular condo development measure 12' x 12' - 144 sq feet. Based on the law, only 2 people should be living in each and this is not the case. There are 3 and even 4 in a 144 sq ft bedroom unit.
g September 20, 2012 at 08:49 PM
I didn't see any name calling or nastiness in Bob Crawford's comments. Can you point them out to me?
g September 20, 2012 at 08:50 PM
The above was directed to Carol M.
Carol M. September 21, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Mr Crawford why can't you focus on the issues rather then the people you don't like? We've had this on going back and forth and I know you can not possibly fathom that there is an individual out here who does not like the way you act or your ideas but I do not speak on anyone elses behalf. I speak to my own observations and I speak of my own opinions. Believe it or not but there was a time when you shook my hand, while my child was at my side during your campaign and you told us all about the vision you had if you were elected and I took you on your word. Then I started paying attention and saw that the words were smooth but the motive was rocky. After that I decided that I would never be mislead by someone's words again so now I make sure to observe and learn for myself when I can. You constantly accuse that I'm someone else because I refuse to share my full name but I watched for a long time as some on patch harassed others for face to face meetings or one on one "chats" over coffee so I took a safer path. Your constant need to focus on knowing me and your crazy idea that I'm someone else confirms that I made the right choice so you can set that distraction aside. And if you talked issues or actions rather then people we would never need to have any of these sort of conversations to begin with.
Stephanie October 05, 2012 at 04:30 AM
The school district has already proven that the majority of stacking does not involve children. I remember living in an apartment years ago where I had complained about the noise in the middle of the night as more than a dozen men piled into a one bedroom apartment daily. When the superintendent went into the apartment, it was obvious that there were even more people living there as they said that there were wall to wall mattresses on the floor. The landlord, in this incident, did follow through with eviction as it was an extreme situation. A small family unit in a one bedroom apartment due to young children, is not really the concern, is it?

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