SPACE VIOLATION

The University’s two most frequented parking lots are in violation of South Orange municipal codes, according to an investigation by The Setonian.

The Setonian measured parking space sizes around campus and reported the findings in a Feb. 24 article. The Xavier Hall spaces measured about 8 feet 4 inches wide. The spots in the parking deck were about 7 feet 11 inches wide.

According to Salvatore Renda, the Village zoning officer, standard parking spaces in South Orange must be at least nine feet wide. This measurement requirement also applies to parking decks.

Renda added there is a provision allowing for spaces that are 8 feet 5 inches wide, but this applies to “non-transient” (long-term parking) lots with more than 30 spaces.

The University, though a nonprofit, private organization, is not “exempt from municipal codes,” Renda said.

John Signorello, Seton Hall’s associate vice president for facilities and operations, told The Setonian that “parking space size is determined by the architect or engineer designing the parking lot in accordance with municipal codes and ordinances.”

Renda agreed, adding that parking lots on-campus were designed by professionals hired by the University.

“The designs were brought before the South Orange Planning Board for approval,” Renda said. “The Planning Board reviews the plan for compliance with the Village Code. Where there are deviations from the code, the University must provide justification for the deviations.”

When asked if Seton Hall had been given “a waiver or pass” from the municipal code, Signorello said, “to my knowledge, no.”

Renda said he was not aware of what justification the University may have given for the spaces that are not in compliance.

“I cannot answer the question regarding the University’s justification as that would have occurred during the Planning Board hearings several years ago,” he said.

The lot near the front gate next to Cabrini Hall features spaces that are also below code at 8 feet 4 inches wide, as reported by The Setonian on Feb. 24.

However, there are lots on campus that seem to be in compliance with code according to the Village municipal code. The Duffy Hall lot measures about 9 feet 4 inches wife, and the reserved spaces in front of Mooney Hall, adjacent to the Green, were about 10 feet 10.5 inches wide.

The University has approximately 2,500 on-campus parking spaces, according to Parking Services.

Brian Wisowaty can be reached at brian.wisowaty@student.shu.edu.

Jessica Sutcliffe can be reached at jessica.sutcliffe@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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