SOMERSET, NJ - An ordinance banning on-street parking when it snows was defeated at last night’s council meeting but will be back on the agenda later this month.
Deputy Mayor James Vassanella said that the ordinance would cause anyone without a driveway to be unfairly penalized. The only exemptions were for Ambrose Street, Brookline Avenue and Home Street.
“We’re going to have to look and see the most practical way to put into play this parking prohibition which I think we all want to see,” Vassanella said.
After Township Manager Robert Vornlocker recommended getting rid of the ordinance and reintroducing it with added protections for residents without driveways, the council declined to make a motion on the legislation, taking it out of consideration in its current form.
“I think the appropriate action is not to table this ordinance but to simply vote ‘no,’” Vornlnocker said. “Based on the lengthy discussions that have happened over the last 15 years about this ordinance, we can’t delay this process beyond a reintroduction at the next meeting. I think that the exemption on an individual property basis is more than satisfactory to meet the need for those stray properties that might have a lack of off-street parking.”
The council will reintroduce the ordinance with added exemptions at the Sept. 24 meeting, ensuring the township has enough time to enact the legislation before winter.
“It gives us ample opportunity for us to get what amounts to 60 or 70 signs mounted that need to be done so that this ordinance can be enforced and get it advertised it to the public prior to snow and that’s why we don’t want to delay the process into November and December,” Vornlocker said.
The council passed a series of ordinances preserving three farms, costing the township $2,636,695. The three farms -- Four Barns Farm, Terhune Farm and Peacos Farm -- were bought with money from the township’s Open Space Trust Fund, but Councilman Theodore Chase said the township would get some of that money back.
“We will get money back from the state on at least one and possibly more of the lots here, we’re still negotiating,” he said. “We’re paying a little more than the state thought we should for two of the lots but we will get a substantial amount of money back.”
Even though the council bought the development rights to the properties, the land can still be used for commercial farming.
“These fields are being farmed,” Chase said, noting that a farmer from Montgomery Township works the fields on Peacos Farm.