July 8, 2014 at 6:00 AM
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Seton Hall University won approval to go ahead with renovations to the exterior of the Ora Manor apartment building on Valley Street from the Board of Adjustment on Tuesday night.
The university is renovating the 30-unit building but was denied permits for exterior work, according to Kevin J. Coakley, an attorney with Connell Foley representing Seton Hall.
“The balconies … are in a state of deterioration,” Coakley said. “The plan is to take the balconies down and replace the doors leading to the balconies with windows.” He argued the removal of the balconies was not “a major structural change” and the university should be exempt from having to provide a site plan for the board’s approval.
Board member Robert Adler commented: “I can’t really see what would be gained in this particular case … by having a full hearing on this. What would we end up deciding?”
The board voted 6-0 to overrule the decision that the renovations require a site plan. The university owns the apartments and rents them to students.
In other action, the board:
approved a resolution allowing south Orange Dental Center to expand its building at 481 South Orange Ave.
- approved a resolution granting a use variance to WESO REalty to allow first-floor office space and a licensed childcare center on the lower level at 19 Prospect St.
NOTE: Amy Kiste Nyberg is a journalism professor in the Department of Communication & The Arts at Seton Hall University.