In November and December, we completed a series of six “user requirements” sessions to help identify the types of features we would like our new building to provide. Our thanks to all those members who provided invaluable input on the three key functions of the building: the large commons room, the Religious Education classrooms and the kitchen. When the time comes for actual detailed design of the space, both the overall scoring and comments will be given to our architects to help inform their work.
November also saw the first presentation to the Morris Township Zoning Board of Adjustment on our application for site plan approval, Rev. Alison did her normal wonderful job in setting the stage by educating the Board as to who we are and the good we do in the world.
As is very common in these situations, and even though we did hold two prior informal meetings with our neighbors to listen to their needs, a couple of neighbors have indicated that they intend to oppose our application.
Our next hearing will take place in January (there was apparently no room on the agenda for us at the December meeting). Given the limited time the Zoning Board can devote to a single applicant in one evening, our attorneys have advised us that regulatory approval may require several more months but they remain optimistic that our application will ultimately be approved. This additional time does have the potential to impact our construction schedule. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and keep you informed of progress.
Finally, by the time you read this, we likely will have completed the repair of the small section of roof above the transept between the mansion and the sanctuary. It’s wonderful to see progress being made on the good stewardship of our facilities!