Zoning Board Approves Myriad Of Applications

7-7-16 Meeting - 4

Pastor Selvin Galvan of Iglesias Cristiana del Dios Vivo, left, describes his Hamilton Street project before the Zoning Board on July 7.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment had a busy night July 7, approving all four applications brought before it.

Township residents Ed Potosnak and Jeremy Pike – Potosnak is the Board of Education president – received permission from the board to renovate and temporarily live in a barn at the rear of a Canal Road property they recently bought.

The two want to live in the barn while they take time to renovate and restore the main house, known as the John Honeyman home. Honeyman is reputed to have been a spy for George Washington during the Revolution.

The main house, Potosnak said, has been victimized by a bad foundation. The previous owners, he said, took care of the problem, but did not fix the many symptoms of the problem, resulting in remedial work being needed.

The barn has an upstairs apartment, with two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen area, Potosnak told the board, with a bathroom/shower area washer and dryer and utility sink on the lower level.

“The barn is also in need of a lot of love,” he said. “It’s closer to collapsing than the main house.”

Work on the barn will include a new roof, plus relocation of an inner stairway to the outside, to make more living space, Potosnak said.

The board also approved an application that calls for the renovation of the former U.S. Post Office at Franklin Boulevard and Lewis Street into an annex of The Center School.

The school recently relocated to a building on Riverside Drive, but needs more room to offer career services to its graduates, Marcie Fiorentino, the school’s director, told the board.

The Center School offers special education programs for at-risk students in grades K-12 and beyond, according to its web site.

Fiorentino said the annex would be used to teach graduates life skills, such as financial literacy.

“We want to have a place up to age 21 for additional career training,” she said. She said students would spend part of the day in the school building and part in a local business where they would be interning.

The day would normally last from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., and there would be between one and five employees, she said.

The school would replace the existing sidewalks on Lewis Street, the board was told.

The board also approved the application of a New Brunswick-based church to relocate to a Hamilton Street building now being used as a day care center.

The church, Iglesias Cristiana Del Dios Vivo, will use the former home of the Little Children of God Preschool and Kindergarten.

Pastor Selvin Galvan told the board that his church was founded in Somerset, then had to move due to the increasing congregation, but now wants to come back “home.”

The church now has 80 families, he said, and would have services or Bible studies on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Although the building’s parking lot only holds 38 parking spots and 63 would be needed for the church use, Galvan said that won’t be a problem because most of his parishioners come by a special church shuttle bus, and they have an agreement with the Genesis housing development across the street to use some of their parking.

Worship would be held on the first floor of the two-story building, he said, while the second story would hold an office and some conference rooms. The conference rooms would also be used for children’s Bible study, he said.

The board also approved an application by Regency Heritage Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on DeMott Lane for a paved patio and walkway.

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