There were a number of twists and turns along the way and the cost was much higher than we expected. However, Nancy and I are grateful that we received Elizabeth Township’s permission to begin transforming the derelict 50 year old Poplar Grove Chapel building into our home.
I received a message Thursday afternoon that the Township engineer had completed her review of our request for an exemption. She agreed that we should not be required to build a stormwater retention structure. She said, “We agree that the proposed improvements would result in a net zero increase from the existing conditions.” She even agreed that our current plan allows us to “still have the full 1,000 square foot exemption amount for future development.”
After receiving her message, I called the Township Assistant Secretary-Treasurer. I caught her as she was leaving for the day. She told me that she would not be in the office Friday, or Monday. However, she would be able to process the paperwork Tuesday. I suspected that “processing the paperwork” meant moving it from one box to another. So, I requested permission to personally deliver the paperwork to the Zoning Officer. She agreed that would probably be okay. The Zoning Officer told me that if I emailed him a signed document that he needed, he should be able to complete the process by Friday morning — yesterday!
I emailed him the document and arrived at his house Friday morning at 8am with two checks totaling $2500. He provided me with the final documents that are needed for us to begin construction! We have the building permit!
Yesterday, we also had a church group from New York City come to help us. They spent several hours moving chairs and other items out of the sanctuary into a storage area that we rented. Their efforts help make room for the contractors who we expect will begin coming soon!
We are grateful to be moving onto the next stage of this project!
If you would like to view a video that our son-in-law made for us about this project, click here: Video