SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The people spoke, and the South Orange Village Board of Trustees listened, abandoning a plan to limit parking on streets on the north border of Meadowbrook Park.

Residents who live on Meadowbrook Place, Meadowbrook Lane and Hillside Place turned out in force at Monday’s board meeting to oppose a plan to prohibit parking on the streets between 11 p.m. and 9 a.m. The intent of the restrictions, trustees said, was to address complaints about early-morning fitness training in the park.

David Cincotta, 356 Hillside Place, presented the board a petition he said was signed by 30 neighborhood residents who felt the restrictions would place an “undue burden” on them.

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After hearing from nearly a dozen people during the public comment session, trustees agreed to revisit the issue.

“I cannot support (the ordinance) when the majority of residents are against it,” Trustee Deborah Davis-Ford said. Trustee Michael Goldberg agreed, saying the trustees needed to ensure there was a consensus among the neighbors. “Clearly there was not,” he said.

The board did vote 5-0 (Trustee Nancy Gould was not present for the vote) to introduce an ordinance that allows the village to designate properties as local landmarks. The amendment to the village code automatically includes properties on state and national historic registers.

A public hearing on the ordinance is set for Sept. 24. The ordinance complements the establishment of the village’s Historic Preservation Commission (see related story).

In other action, the board:

  • Honored Jeff DuBowy for his leadership of and service on the Parking Authority from 1999-2012
  • Voted 5-0 to adopt an ordinance requiring businesses that buy jewelry to hold the items for 72 hours before resale.
  • Learned that the village will be picking up the tab – between $2,000 and $3,000, according to Administrator Barry Lewis Jr. – for police and public works employees needed for a street fair, which will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 30. South Orange Avenue will be closed for the event.

    Goldberg noted that the village requires vendors to pay these costs. However, Trustee Mark Rosner said, “The problem is he was told there would be no cost.”  The village will look into ways to make the rules clear during the permitting process.
  • Received an update on the village hall renovation project from Lewis, who said construction drawings will be completed in mid-December and work will probably start in January, beginning with asbestos abatement. A more detailed project report is planned for the Sept. 10 meeting.