Borough of Glassboro v. Vallorosi, 117 N.J. 421 (1990)

Facts: A Borough of Glassboro ordinance limits residence in certain districts to stable and permanent “single housekeeping units” that constitute either a “traditional family unit” or its functional equivalent. The Borough conceded that the ordinance was to prevent groups of college students from living together.

Issue: Whether a group of ten unrelated college students constitute a “family” within the definition of a restrictive zoning ordinance.

Procedural History: The Chancery Division concluded that the relationship and living arrangements among Vallorosi and the other college students demonstrated the “generic character” of a family. The Appellate Division affirmed.

Holding: Affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Division.

Reasoning: Vallorosi and the other students often ate meals together, cooked for each other, and shared the household chores, grocery shopping, and yard work. In addition, a common checking account paid for food and other bills and they shared the use of a telephone. Although Vallorosi and the students are uncertain of living arrangements after graduation, their relationship “shows stability, permanency and can be described as the functional equivalent of a family.”

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