New Home, Raised Building Plans Floated Before Historic Preservation Commission

The township Historic Preservation Advisory Commission held two informal hearings at its March 4 meeting, one of which dealt with a building raising and another which dealt with a proposed new home.

Joachim Messing of Neuville Drive told the commission that he wants to tear down a garage on property he owns next to his house and build another home.

Messing has to get the commission’s approval because his property falls within 1,000 feet of the Delaware & Raritan Canal.

Messing said the new home would front Easton Avenue and would be two stories, hold three bedrooms and a two-car garage.

He said his plan is for a caretaker to live in the house when he and his wife get older, so they do not have to move into an assisted living center.

Commissioners had mixed feelings about some of the home’s design elements, including whether there is a third story on the building that could be converted to living space. Messing said that is an attic that will be used to house whatever mechanics are needed for heating, air conditioning and the like.

Messing will return to the commission in April for a formal hearing.

Steve Androsko, owner of the Griggstown Canoe Rental on Canal Road, said he wanted the commissioners’ thoughts on his plan to raise one of his buildings eight feet and move it about 20 feet away from the Canal Road and Griggstown Causeway’s intersection.

Androsko said his building gets flooded out and is often struck by trucks making turns at the intersection.

“I do flood almost yearly,” he said. “I’m in the severe repetitive loss category.”

Androsko said his flood insurance premiums could hit $30,000 a year.

“My main goal was to come here and see if there were any major objections to this,” he said.

Commission vice chairman Tom Gale said he was concerned that moving the building 20 feet would impinge on the bridge tender’s house next door.

Androsko still has to navigate the state’s regulatory bureaucracy, needing a number of permits from the state Department of Environmental Protection and other regulatory bodies.

“You want to make sure the DEP will issue you a permit before you do anything,” said Vince Dominach, the township’s principal planner. “You also going to want to talk to the (Delaware & Raritan) Canal Commission.”

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