Progress toward actual work on the property is slower than I anticipated.
After spending several hours attempting to complete on the on-line Zoning Hearing Board application I finally got it to “submit” Monday evening. Now that the building plans are done we must apply for the various required permits. We cannot move forward with work on the property until we get permits relating to zoning, driveway, sewage, building, and maybe a couple others. Zoning is the first step.
I thought I was following appropriate procedure by completing the on-line form. However, I was awakened to the possibility that I might be on the wrong path when I received this response from the Township Zoning Officer, “I am not certain why you returned a blank ZHB application and what you are specifically requesting that I do, …” Apparently, the on-line form doesn’t work and is not generally used.
The Zoning Officer sent me some documents that helped me more effectively move forward, but I still stumbled. He referred me to a couple specific sections of the Zoning Ordinance. So, I went back to the Elizabeth Township website to look up the sections. Unfortunately, after several hours of struggle, I realized that there must be some mistake. In fact, the Zoning Ordinance that is on-line is different than the version the Zoning Officer uses. Eventually, he sent me the verbiage from his version which made a lot more sense.
One of the reasons I need to adjust my expectations regarding the timing of this project is that the Elizabeth Township Zoning Hearing Board meets once a month and the application is due about five weeks prior to the meeting. So, to present my situation to the Board during the May meeting, I need to have an application submitted by Monday, April 6th. It took two days for me to learn the legalese, gather the various items, and complete the form. I sent the package with five copies of our plans, the application, etc. via overnight mail yesterday. Even with that investment, I am not confident I have completed everything. If my application is inaccurate or incomplete my case could be bumped to the June meeting.
My expectations about beginning construction in April were overly optimistic. I am now hoping that we will begin by the end of May, but I am holding that loosely.