Caretaker and his elderly mother left in lurch between homes

A buyer is found for one home, but new home isn't yet legal for occupancy

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By Vera Moret Frendak

— Fred Kent of Milford thought he'd found the solution to a problem many of us face.

His elderly mother was unable to live alone safely any longer, so he set out to sell her home and purchase a new one on Mountain Spring Road in Milford Township with enough space for them both. But, as he told township supervisors Monday, that house is not legal for occupancy. Changes made to the house haven't yet been inspected for compliance with building codes.

Kent found a buyer for his mother's house and is preparing to move into the new house, which has three living facilities, each with a separate entrance: a remodeled garage, a finished basement, and traditional space upstairs. The basement, where his mother will live, was made handicapped-accessible, and Kent will live upstairs. The garage will not be used as living quarters.

Kent said he had not counted on finding that the remodeling of the garage and basement was done illegally, without permits. He also discovered that these two living spaces had been illegally rented out. The area is zoned for single-family homes only, but this won't present a problem for Kent since zoning allows mother/daughter housing for family members.

Supervisors told Kent to call the housing inspector, John Fuller, to examine the changes. The sewer system also needs to be checked.

After the inspection, Kent must submit a letter to the planning board along with a detailed report on the changes made.

The supervisors expressed sympathy with Kent's predicament but said the matter is out of their hands until they get the letter and report.

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