By Ron Leir
EAST NEWARK –
With curbside parking at a premium in the tiny borough, which ranks next to last among New Jersey’s 566 municipalities in total area, East Newark is looking to better control the use of available spots.
To that end, the mayor and Borough Council voted Nov. 13 to introduce an ordinance requiring a “non-resident owner/lessee of a [passenger] vehicle” to pay an annual $50 fee for a parking permit.
Mayor Joseph Smith said the plan is a logical outcome of how desperate the parking situation has become in East Newark and in its bordering town, Harrison.
Some years back, Smith said, Harrison started a two-hour weekday parking limitation for out-of-town motorists near the PATH station, then expanded that restriction to half the town, then to the entire town, and, as a result, Smith said, there was a parking spillover into East Newark.
Even some Kearny residents, at times, encroach into the borough, parking on John St. near the railroad tracks, for example, Smith said.
East Newark adopted its own two-hour parking limit for non-residents “but we started getting a lot of people who were moving here and leasing cars plus kids originally from here going to college out of state driving back here with a car registered somewhere else,” Smith said.
It got to the point, said Police Chief Anthony Monteiro, “we had people driving leased cars coming into the borough who’d come into headquarters every two weeks to ask for a courtesy parking sticker.”
Currently, the chief said, there are seven people logged on the Police Department’s “courtesy’’ parking list. On each shift, he said, officers will make a list of those vehicles’ plate numbers so when they’re out on patrol, they can check those cars without resident parking stickers against that list, although he said, there could well be more the department hasn’t yet caught up with.
Starting early next year, however, after the ordinance takes effect, these folks can apply for a “non-resident” parking decal to place in their vehicles for easy checking by police.
Municipal employees and employees of East Newark’s public school who commute to the borough from out of town will be exempt from paying the yearly parking fee, according to Smith.
Drivers who live in the borough, meanwhile, can continue to apply for or renew existing parking stickers and apply for visitor parking permits which are valid “for a period not longer than two weeks, holidays and weekends included.” There is no fee for a resident or visitor permit.
The borough will begin supplying the new “non-resident parking permit” to owners or lessees of non-commercial vehicles to applicants who can provide the following:
• A valid driver’s license for the vehicle.
• A valid motor vehicle registration for the vehicle.
• A valid motor vehicle insurance card for the vehicle.
• A current utility bill and lease exhibiting the applicant’s name and temporary East Newark address or in the case of a month-to-month renter, a landlord’s affidavit attesting to the residency of the applicant in lieu of a lease.
• For someone employed by a business in the borough, a valid employment ID and/ or pay stub, along with the appropriate vehicle documentation.
A parking permit, once granted, must be displayed on the vehicle’s rear view mirror facing the front windshield, driver’s side or as so directed by the Police Department.
The borough will revoke a parking sticker if a vehicle no longer qualifies per the ordinance or if transferred to a car other than the one so designated per the sticker application or if the registration number differs from the number on the application.
Any vehicle parked in violation of the ordinance – which can include a revoked or expired sticker – will be subject to a municipal court fine of $35.