Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Divided Council approves law that seeks to make town housing law stronger and more humane.
A new maximum occupancy ordinance proposal won three yes votes and ultimate passage at the Feb. 12 Township Council meeting. The news ends a process that began last year after tenants in Parsippany garden apartments found themselves served with eviction notices—and some say, callous and cruel treatment from housing staff—for the crime, the residents said, of having babies, which put them in violation of the maximum occupancy ordinance. Mayor James Barberio's administration put forth a proposed amendment to the housing law that would allow waivers to protect such families. The Town Council refused to consider the measure last August. "This is something that maybe we should not do," Councilman Michael dePierro said at the time the …
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Jonathan Nelson, a council candidate, suggests adding line that excempts children under 2 from anti-stacking ordinance.
The occupancy law controversy reared its head again at Tuesday's Township Council agenda meeting at the municipal building. Parsippany resident Jonathan Nelson, who is running for council in the November election, presented the governing body with a suggestion that, if taken seriously and adopted, could help families who run afoul of the ordinance. "Instead of taking a sledgehammer approach and creating waivers, as was tried last month, why can’t the council just amend the ordinance to exclude a child under a certain age?" he asked, suggesting that children 2 and under be exempt from the law (the age of 2, the benchmark used in the state occupancy law, was used merely as a nonspecific example). "We’re talking about adding one sentence to …
Friday, September 7, 2012
But the little-known provision in the ordinance could prove costly for the municipality.
Parsippany residents who receive an eviction notice because of a change in status—such as the birth of a child—put them in violation of the township's occupancy ordinance have some protection under law. Section 213, Chapter 42.1 of the township code covers issues related to housing and property maintenance. The law states: The Township shall establish a Relocation Assistance Fund to be administered by the Director of Human Services. The Fund shall accept relocation assistance payments as required by this Ordinance, and distribute them to eligible displaced tenants. It further says: Any tenant who receives a notice of eviction ... that results from zoning or code enforcement activity for an illegal occupancy ... shall be considered a …
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Town Council bows to pressure and halts occupany law change; family with disabled child again faces losing their home.
Ranya Tawfik said she learned a tough lesson at Tuesday's Township Council agenda meeting at Town Hall: "Parsippany doesn't care about my family." That was the reaction she shared with Patch after the council, citing citizen fears over overcrowding in apartments and single-family homes, decided not to go forward with proposed changes to Parsippany's maximum occupancy ordinance. Council President Brian Stanton said a new means to protect residents who find themselves in violation of the law will be explored. "That's going to take time," he said. "It's not going to happen overnight." And that puts Tawfik, her husband and their 4-year-old disabled daughter in jeopardy, she said. The proposal would have allowed waivers to be given to …
Monday, July 30, 2012
If you want to get something off your chest, send your Letter to the Editor to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, July 30, 2012
On Tuesday, July 17, the Parsippany Township Council voted on the introduction and first reading of Ordinance 2012:31, Occupancy Waivers. Four councilmen voted “yes” and one voted “no.” The “no” vote came from Councilman Paul Carifi Jr. Carifi stood by his campaign platform to strongly enforce occupancy ordinances to stop stacking abuses when the others did not! Please, fellow residents and taxpayers (commercial property owners), read introduced Ordinance 2012:31 and watch the July 17 council meeting tape of on the town website. This amended ordinance, if passed, would open up Parsippany to a lot of lawsuits. Just think, would you want the Town Council and the mayor to dictate to you how to run your business? What should come first is …
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Provident Bank steps up to help nonprofit help people with mental illness.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The Provident Bank Foundation recently awarded a $1,000 grant to Community Hope, Inc. , a Parsippany-based nonprofit that offers housing assistance to people recovering from debilitating mental illness. The funds will support the group's CHOICE Independent-Living Program, a supportive housing program for disabled individuals. “We are extremely thankful for the grant from the Provident Bank Foundation,” said Julia Bey Ahmet, vice president of development. "This funding will help subsidize affordable housing over a three month period for an individual in our program who is in recovery." Community Hope was founded in 1985 by Eileen Griffith and others related to young adults whose lives were impacted by depression, schizophrenia and other …
Friday, May 18, 2012
Two recent disputes involving residents of local apartment complexes and the town's housing department raise questions.
The news is happy for a married couple with a disabled daughter who live in a Parsippany apartment. After spending a few days in fear because of an eviction threat reportedly from the township's Housing Coordinator Rena Plaxe, Mayor James Barberio came to the rescue, assured that 12-year resident Ranya Tabik and her husband had done nothing wrong. He promised them they could stay in their Dartmouth Village apartment and told Patch a misapplied ordinance that limits the number of people who can live in a one-bedroom apartment based on the square footage of the dwelling will be changed. The news so far is not as pleasant for Lisa Etkin, who says she has experienced severe problems with having heat consistently over the past three years in …
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Barberio said law designed to prevent apartment overcrowding wasn't intended to hurt small families.
A distraught married couple with a disabled child, facing threatened eviction from their apartment, turned to the Township Council and the mayor for help--and got it. Ranya Tawfik, a tenant of Dartmouth Village Apartments on Baldwin Road, stood before the council and pleaded their case "I'm currently in the process of being evicted from the apartment I've resided in for 12 years," she said. The story involves an ordinance in existence that limits the number of people who can live in a one-bedroom apartment based on the square footage of the dwelling. Tawfik said that when their daughter, who is disabled, was born four years ago, she and her husband suddenly were in violation of the law. Their living situation was not a secret. "Two years …