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Posts Tagged ‘65 Abbott Avenue’

65 Abbott. Photo by Charles Layton

1. Neptune Township has issued another stop-work order on the controversial new house at 65 Abbott Avenue. This is the house where the height of the foundation and front porch were found to have substantially exceeded what the Zoning Department and the HPC had authorized. That violation was discovered after the house had already been framed, roofed and sheathed, presenting the builder, Sawbucks Contracting, with a serious dilemma. On March 6 the Township ordered all work stopped. Sawbucks then obtained a permit to lower the house. In the interim, they also received permission to install windows and wrap the house in Tyvek to protect it from the weather. However, according to Township officials, they also proceeded with construction on the second-floor porch. Township Construction Official Bill Doolittle inspected the site this week, discovered that unauthorized work and ordered it halted. For previous articles on this subject, go here and here.

2. Marshall Koplitz remains in default of a Municipal Court consent order to rehab his nuisance property at 23 Seaview Avenue, also known as the Park View Inn. However, the Township is giving him another 30 days to come into compliance. Under the terms of a July 28 court order, Koplitz agreed to a rehab schedule, under which he was supposed to have submitted complete architectural plans by now as well as approvals from the Zoning Department and the HPC. Township Attorney Gene Anthony said this week that Koplitz’ lawyer, Michelle Lebovitz Lamar, had asked for the extra 30 days because the partners in Koplitz’ architectural firm had split up. Anthony said he would give Koplitz the extra time rather than hauling him back into court because he thought Koplitz had “a legitimate excuse.” More to the point, perhaps, he said he thought Municipal Court Judge Robin Wernik would consider it a legitimate excuse. For background on all of this, go here.

3. Since the Mary Beth Jahn/Nick Williams controversy erupted this past week, commenters on this website have been seeking to better understand the arcane world of Neptune party politics. In an effort to help, Blogfinger has obtained the names of the two parties’ district leaders from the Municipal Clerk’s office. All of Neptune is divided into 20 voting districts, three of which are in Ocean Grove, and the party leaders in those three OG districts, according to the Clerk’s office, are:

– District 1: Repubs Matthew and Elizabeth Gannon; Dems Randy Bishop and (vacant)
– District 2: Repubs Ed Wyzykowski and Eileen Kean; Dems Paul Ristow and Carol Bernard
– District 3: Repubs Denis McCarthy and Grace Ann Shotwell; Dems Jeffrey and Caitlin Wood-Yesline

Each of the 20 districts is entitled to have two representatives for each party. However, not all those positions are filled. The Republicans have none at all in some districts, while the Democrats have only one in several districts, including District 1 in Ocean Grove. These vacancies make the system even more exclusive, as does the fact that in many cases the party’s two district leaders are husband and wife.

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By Charles Layton

In response to criticism from neighbors and a stop-work order from the Township, the builders of the new home at 65 Abbott Avenue have agreed to lower the height of the porch and foundation to match the approved specifications.

A letter to that effect, from the builder to Township officials, was made public at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission.

Obviously, reducing the height of the foundation after the house is essentially built will be a major undertaking. Susan Solebello of Sawbucks Contracting said Wednesday she was not yet prepared to say just how this will be done. It would appear to require jacking up the entire house.

Construction has been stopped at 65 Abbott Avenue. Photo by Charles Layton

Only after the house had been completely framed, roofed and sheathed was it discovered that the foundation had been built higher than what the original plans and zoning permit called for. Members of the HPC were particularly concerned that the foundation had been “altered drastically,” as HPC chairwoman Deborah Osepchuk put it. The problem was originally brought to the Township’s attention by a neighbor who was distressed at the overall size of the new home, which is out of proportion to other homes on the block.

There is some question as to how much the foundation height exceeds what the HPC had approved last summer. HPC members thought it exceeded the approved height by three feet. Solebello said Wednesday the difference was “less than two feet.”

The property was purchased last year by a Freehold family. A much smaller house on the site was demolished to make way for a 2 ½ story single-family home with a total floor area of 2,672 square feet, including a habitable attic. The plans, by local architect Mark Pavliv, also include a multi-purpose gym and a home theater in the basement.

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