Busy Night For Historic Preservation Advisory Commission

The township’s watchdog of historic sites gave its stamp of approval to a handful of proposals at its April 1 meeting.

In addition to granting certificates of appropriateness for new facade plans for the former Unclaimed Freight building on Easton Avenue, commissioners did likewise for the construction of new homes on Williams Street and Neuville Drive, the replacement of a barn on Canal Road, and the construction of an addition to an Italian market on Route 27.

Most of the discussion revolved around the latter application, in which business owner Gennaro Costabile wanted to build an addition to the rear of his store, located in Kingston. Some commissioners were concerned about the appearance of an exhaust vent on the roof, and whether it would be visible to the building’s neighbors.

“I feel pretty strongly that that (exhaust vent) hinders the design,” said commission vice chairman Tom Gale.

“The ‘mushroom vent’ is a bit much,” agreed chairman Andrew Burian.

Commissioners tried to convince architect Jeff Kusmick to move the vent to the side or the rear of the building, but he said regulations concerning those vents prevented him from doing so.

The vent’s location on the roof, he said, “is far enough back that it won’t be an eyesore.”

“I think it would be better to have the ‘mushroom’ on top of the building,” commissioner Susan Goldey said.

The appropriateness certification was eventually approved, with Gale and Burian voting “no.”

Approvals were also granted to:

  • Jim O’Donnell of Canal Road, who wanted to demolish an old garage and replace it with a new one, made of metal. Gale asked whether the garage could be built of wood, but there did not seem to be support among commissioners for pressing the point.
  • Hillsborough resident Michael Abramowitz, who wanted to build a two-story home on Williams Street. Abramowitz agreed to teh commissioners’ request that he move the house up 10 feet, to be in the same sight- line as existing homes on the street, even though that design change would trigger the need for a variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Gale told Abramowitz the commission would support his variance request before the board.
  • Joachim Messing of Neuville Drive, who wanted to tear down a garage on property he owns next to his house and build another home. Messing appeared before the last commission meeting for an informal review of his plans. Commissioners had questions about the use of the proposed attic and some design elements, all of which Messing answered April 1.

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